Verna Hemmingson

Verna O. Hemmingson

June 14th, 1925 - October 12th, 2019
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Verna O. Hemmingson, age 94, of Watertown, SD, passed away on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at Prairie Lakes Hospital. Verna O. Ochsner was born June 14, 1925 on a farm north of Alpena, South Dakota, to Nicolaus and Katherina Ochsner. She was baptized and confirmed in the Reformed Church of Alpena. She attended country schools near her family’s home and worked with her parents and siblings on the family farm.

She married Pete W. Hemmingson on August 28, 1949 at the Reformed Church of Alpena. They made their home and raised their four children in Huron, Bradley and Watertown. She joined Grace Lutheran Church in Watertown in 1974 and was a faithful member until her death. She was also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, VFW Auxiliary, TOPS and other local organizations.

After her husband passed away December 10, 1992, she continued to live in their home in Watertown until 2017 when she moved into an apartment.

Verna loved gardening and canning every year while she lived in her home. She enjoyed emailing and sharing humor stories with family and friends. She was known as an expert lefsa baker, delighting her children and grandchildren with gifts of lefsa for many years. She worked with the Grace Lutheran Church fall lefsa bakers for more than 20 years until her health began to fail.

She loved music, which brought her great enjoyment. As a young woman, she and her sisters sang for church groups in the Alpena area. She taught herself how to play the organ and enjoyed playing and singing hymns until her passing.

Verna is survived by four daughters: Kay (Ted) Moe of Watertown, Jean (Jeff) Audiss of Pierre, Sandy (Bob) Wirkus of Summerset, and Holly Kleinsasser of Sioux Falls; seven grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband; one great-grandchild, Lincoln Brenden; one son-in-law, Craig Kleinsasser; and nine brothers and sisters and their spouses: Ted (Lydia) Ochsner, Albert (Leah) Ochsner, Edna (Gideon) Neuharth, Ruth (Ed) Schnabel, Rueben (Orillia) Ochsner, Helmuth (Ruby) Ochsner, Calvin (Margaret) Ochsner, Ardella (Bill) Brandenburg, and Emil (Dorie) Ochsner.

Private funeral services will be held.

Burial will be in Mount Hope Cemetery.

Pallbearers and honorary pallbearers include: sons-in-law, Ted Moe, Jeff Audiss, and Bob Wirkus; grandchildren and spouses, Angela (Jim) Czech, Jennifer (Wade) Brenden, Tyanne (Paul) Luken, Mark (Catherine) Wirkus, Brittany Audiss, Mike Wirkus, Jessica (Cody) Skinner; and her great-grandchildren: Theo, Sam, and Andrew Czech; Riley, Noah, Gracey, Annabelle, Jadey, Emma, Eden, Isaiah, and Finn Brenden; Kate and Ava Luken; Bradley and Molly Wirkus; and Paxton and Olivia Skinner.

Arrangements by Wight & Comes Funeral Chapel,
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  • Interment

    Mount Hope Cemetery
    1133 11th St. NE
    WATERTOWN, SD 57201
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence
Rick & Nancy and Darrick & Robin Moe family and Helmuth Ochsner family, Carolyn, Rod, Renae, &Donn sent flowers to the family of Verna O. Hemmingson.
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Rick & Nancy and Darrick & Robin Moe family

Posted at 10:24am
We are thinking of you.
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Rick & Nancy and Darrick & Robin Moe family purchased flowers for the family of Verna Hemmingson. Send Flowers


V. R. Brandenburg

Posted at 09:48am
I have so many fond memories of Verna and family. Like the time our family headed out for a family vacation, and got as far as Bradley where with no prior warning to Verna, we stayed for several days and nights. How we enjoyed being with our cousins, and getting the chance to be around and ride horses! Those were much simpler times, but I still remember feeling very welcomed by Verna and family. You are so lucky to have her in your lives for so many more years than we had our mom. And now I can only believe the vision that I have of Verna and Ardy singing and laughing together as sisters once again. The memories will just keep getting better as the pain of the separation wanes. God’s peace and love be with you at this time.

Holly Kleinsasser Posted at 07:52pm

Thank you so much for sharing your memory, Verdayne. Ardy and Mom together was so incredible. I recall Thanksgiving Friday at my house in Sioux Falls, you call to see if your mom planned to come back to your house. Eight hours flew by for them and they laughed almost the whole time. Heaven is definitely brighter with the two of them reunited. - Holly

Helmuth Ochsner family, Carolyn, Rod, Renae, &Donn

Posted at 04:58pm
With loving memories of "Aunt Verna Hemmingson",
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Helmuth Ochsner family, Carolyn, Rod, Renae, &Donn purchased the The FTD Comfort Planter for the family of Verna Hemmingson. Send Flowers


Dianne K Rasmussen

Posted at 12:02pm
My memories of Verna are when I stayed at my Grandparents in Huron. My aunt Verna lived in a house right behind my Grandparents. I would cross the alley and would go and visit her. She always had treats for me. Loved her laughter and our fun times we had. Prayers for your family and memories of her will never be forgotten.

Holly Kleinsasser Posted at 07:54pm

Thank you for sharing, Dianne. I didn't know this story. I know Mom really enjoyed getting together with you a couple of years back. We appreciate your sharing your memories! - Holly

Ronda Frye

Posted at 11:41am
Kay, Jean, Sandy, Holly and all the grandchildren and great grandchildren,
Please know you are all in my thoughts and prayers during this time of grief. I have so many good memories of family get togethers and the two weeks spent in Bradley one summer. It was fun going camping for the first time!

Holly Kleinsasser Posted at 07:56pm

Ronda, Ardy was like a second mom, and your post brings back so many memories, camping with us and our visits to your lake cabin as kids. We appreciate your sharing your memories. - Holly

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