The funeral service for Marian Brooks, 101, of Aberdeen is 1 p.m. Tuesday at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Aberdeen with Pastor Jeff Whillock leading the worship. Burial will be in Warner Township Cemetery.
Visitation is from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at Gramm Funeral Home, 720 N. Sixth St., in Ipswich and one hour before services at church on Tuesday.
Marian was born Oct. 19, 1911, in Brown County, S.D., to Carl and Marie (Hunstad) Gustafson. Her grandparents had immigrated from Sweden and Norway, and homesteaded southeast of Aberdeen in Gem Township. She was baptized and confirmed in the Scandinavia Lutheran Church. She attended rural school, graduated from Aberdeen Central High School in 1929, and took teachers training at Northern Teachers College.
After college, she taught at a rural school in McPherson County for two years. Her parents had moved to Edmunds County during that time, and Marian met Andrew Brooks at a barn dance at her parents' farm.
Marian and Andy married May 8, 1932, at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Aberdeen. They farmed and ranched in Pembrook Township, near Mina, for 60 years. They raised a family of six children: Helen (Keith) Yetter of Duluth, Minn., Cherie (Michael) Reilly of Pittsburgh, Pa., Donna (Bruce) Ericksen of Pasadena, Md., Dale (Linda) Brooks of Mina, S.D., Linda (Alfred) Faas of Mesquite, Nev., and Jerry (Peggy) Brooks of Ipswich, S.D.
Upon their parents' retirement, sons Dale and Jerry carried on farming and ranching in Edmunds County.
Marian was a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, WMF and Bethesda Circle, taught Sunday school and was a 35-year member of the Pioneer Extension club of Edmunds County. She enjoyed gardening, quilting, ceramic painting and other arts and crafts. Marian was especially noted for her wonderful baking. She delighted friends and family with her delicious pies, breads and angel food cakes. Her marvelous fudge and divinity candy were family favorites. In later years, she particularly enjoyed playing board games with her friends.
Marian and Andy enjoyed traveling. They visited most of the United States and spent several months visiting daughter, Donna, and her family when they lived in England in the 1970s. They spent winters in Apache Junction, Ariz., for almost 20 years. The couple had celebrated 61 years of marriage when Andy passed away in 1993. Marian continued to winter in Apache Junction until 2002, when she took up year-around residence at Parkside Retirement Community in Aberdeen. She maintained her own apartment residence there until February 2013, when she transferred to Bethesda Nursing Home.
Marian enjoyed a vital and healthy old age, traveling to family events from coast to coast, never missing a grandchild's wedding. She delighted in her large family and decorated her walls with dozens of family photos. When Central High School dedicated its new building in 2004, Marian was recognized as the oldest graduate to attend the festivities. Over 200 friends and family attended her 100th birthday celebration in 2012.
Marian passed away at Bethesda Home of Aberdeen on Wednesday, April 3, 2013.
Marian is survived by five of her children, her niece, Deanna Gustafson Hanson, of Pierre, 20 grandchildren, and over 30 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by husband, Andrew, daughter, Donna, grandson, Bradley Yetter, son-in-law, Keith Yetter, brothers, Robert and Colonel Gustafson, and her parents, Carl and Marie Gustafson.
Online guest registry at grammfuneralhome.com