Jean Yvonne Wilkinson, age 61, of De Smet, S.D., passed away Sat., April 3, 2021, at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., after a courageous and hard-fought health battle. She was the wife of Todd Wilkinson. Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. Wed., April 7, 2021, at American Lutheran Church in De Smet. Rev Jonathan Dolan officiated. Music was provided by Julie Baszler as organist with Tristin Gruenhagen as soloist. The service will be live-streamed on Crawford-Osthus Funeral Facebook page.
Visitation was at the American Lutheran Church on Tuesday and prior to the service on Wednesday.
Burial was at the De Smet Cemetery. Honorary pallbearers were all of Jean’s grandchildren: Ava Meier, Kobe Meier, Drue Meier, Ty Wilkinson, Kadence Wilkinson, Lincoln Wilkinson, Paislee Wilkinson, Emerie Orton and Riley Orton. Active pallbearers were Dan Wilkinson, Mark Wilkinson, Mark Hoek, Dale Patrick, Scott Finck and Allen Merrill.
Jean was born on June 17, 1959, to Harley and Reneta (Strohfus) McFerran, in Watertown, S.D. Jean was proud to be 1 of 7 daughters. She was a 1977 graduate of De Smet High School; she then graduated from Sioux Valley School of Nursing in Sioux Falls. She began her nursing career as a neo-natal nurse at Sacred Heart in Yankton while Todd attended law school. On May 31, 1980, high school sweethearts, Todd and Jean were united in marriage in De Smet, S.D. They moved to De Smet after Todd’s graduation and began creating their life together.
Jean worked at the De Smet Hospital for over 20 years and was very active with the ambulance crew. Jean worked by Todd’s side for the past 15 years as the office manager but was better known as “The Boss.”
Jean was a faithful servant of the Lord. She faced many health issues over the last 13 years, and her faith never wavered. You would hear Jean say, I gave it over to the Lord and we must trust in him. Jean knew the power of prayer, and that prayers go up and blessings come down. Even if the day was hard, Jean was thinking of others and sending them letters and messages of encouragement despite her own affliction.
Jean was highly active in multiple organizations and was always volunteering her time. A faithful member of the American Lutheran Church, she served as the President of the ALCW for many years. She served on a multitude of church boards and enjoyed playing in bell choir and singing in the choir for decades. Jean was a former First Lady of the Jaycees, a title she held proudly and served gracefully. Jean was a founding member of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation and gave countless hours to organizing the Prime Time Gala and concert each year. She was active with the South Dakota Snowmobile Association and inducted into the South Dakota Snowmobile Hall of Fame. Jean was awarded the Spirit of Dakota Award, an honor she held close to her heart. Jean’s favorite times were spent with family and friends, traveling with Todd and her family, reading Bible Scripture, snowmobiling and reading a good book. Her most treasured times were those spent with her children and grandchildren.
Jean touched many lives through volunteering, but her greatest impact was on her children and grandchildren.
Jean is survived by her husband, Todd of De Smet; her children, Nicholas (Jessica) Wilkinson of rural De Smet, Nicole Meier of Redwood Falls, Minn. and Michelle (Daniel) Orton of Volga; nine grandchildren; her mother, Reneta McFerran of Watertown; her sisters, Nancy (Darwin) Brinkman of Watertown, Mary (Kevin) Bjordahl of Milbank, Kay (Dale) Patrick of Brookings, Jill (Mark) Hoek of Lake Poinsett, Janet (Chip) Bortnem of Lake Oakwood and Wendy (Joel) Brekke of Fargo, N.D. .
She was preceded in death by her father.
Arrangements by Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel Watertown, Hayti, De Smet, Bryant www.crawfordosthus.com