Darlene Gefre, age 91, of Milbank, SD, formerly of Aberdeen, SD, passed away on Monday, April 10, 2023, at St. William’s Care Center in Milbank, SD.
A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, April 15, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Milbank, SD. Visitation will be held on Friday, April 14, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at St. Lawrence Catholic Church with a prayer service beginning at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the Mass at the church on Saturday. Fr. Gary DeRouchey will celebrate the Mass and inurnment will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Aberdeen, SD, at a later date.
Darlene Aurelia (Schwab) Gefre was born on March 18, 1932, on the family farm 18 miles southwest of Aberdeen, SD, to Carl and Aurelia (Snyder) Schwab. She grew up on the family farm until she was in eighth grade when she moved into town. Darlene attended school and graduated with the Class of 1950 from Aberdeen Central. She lived her entire life in the Aberdeen area until 2016 when she moved to Milbank.
On June 19, 1950, Darlene was united in marriage with Joseph S. Gefre and together, they were blessed with five children: Jolene, Dallas, Carla, Darwin, and Jody.
Darlene was a wonderful homemaker raising her children and always volunteering wherever she was needed. She did hold various odd jobs including daycare and babysitting for many children and working at the Elk’s Club.
With her faith being of the utmost importance to her, Darlene was a member of the Rosary Crusade and Altar Societies at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Aberdeen. She was a prayer warrior and prayed hard for the less fortunate and the ones she loved. She was full of wisdom and many people sought her advice.
Darlene was an avid seamstress and an amazing baker. She sewed her daughters, Jolene and Carla’s wedding dresses and the bridesmaid dresses. Darlene was famous for her apple pies, caramel rolls, and Kuchen. She loved playing Bingo and dominoes and enjoyed arts and crafts at St. William’s. The staff and residents of St. William’s were like her second family. Most of all, Darlene cherished her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and time she spent with them.
Left to cherish Darlene’s memory are her daughters: Jolene (John) Nerdahl of Surprise, AZ; Carla (Kevin) Dandurand of Watertown, SD; and Jody (Rick) Dilts of Milbank, SD; seven grandchildren: Jarrod (Tonia) Waetjen, Riley (Ashley) Dandurand, Dustin (April) Dandurand, Justin (Cassie) Amsler, Eric (Danielle) Dandurand, Austin (Jamela) Dilts, and Erin (Justin) Eccles; 10 great-grandchildren and one on the way in May 2023; along with many nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her husband, Joseph in 2014; sons: Dallas Gefre and Darwin Gefre; sister, Rozella Grote; and brothers: J. Leonard Schwab, Leon Schwab, Florian Schwab, and Norman Schwab.