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Born: August 10, 1916

Death: June 18, 2013






This memorial provided by:
Welter Funeral Home
Huron, SD





Fern Klassen

    August 10, 1916  -  June 18, 2013
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Life Legacy


Fern Klassen, age 96, of Huron, SD died Tuesday, June 18, 2013, at SunQuest Heathcare Center.

Her funeral service will be 2:00 p.m. Thursday, June 27, at American Lutheran Church with Pastor Steven Brandsrud officiating. Burial will be at Restlawn Memory Gardens Cemetery.

Visitation with family present will be Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at Welter Funeral Home; or Thursday morning one hour prior to the service at the church.

Memorials may be directed to HRMC Endowment Fund; or American Lutheran Church.


Fern Emma Hedwig Klassen, daughter of Fred and Minnie (Ziegelman) Passenheim, was born in Garfield, MN, on August 10, 1916. She was baptized in the Lutheran faith. When Fern was 4 years old the family moved to Huron, SD, where Fern attended schools through her junior year in high school. She was confirmed at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Huron.

On September 23, 1934, Fern married James Klassen at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Huron. The couple moved to Hague, Saskatchewan, Canada, (where her husband, Jim, grew up) and lived there until July of 1945 when they moved back to Huron.

As a young mother and wife, in addition to raising her family, Fern worked outside the home - at a grocery store that was located in her neighborhood; credit manager at Gambles; office manager/bookkeeper at Tempo; and credit manager at the Music Center.

Her husband of 66 years, Jim, died on December 9, 2000.

Fern was a member of American Lutheran Church and the ALCW Mary Circle; HRMC Auxiliary, and a Pink Lady for over 20 years; Mr. & Mrs. Dance Club for many years; RSVP Volunteer at the Huron Area Senior Center for over 20 years; Huron Business and Professional Women; and SD state president for Credit Managers International.

Fern’s many interests include traveling, and crocheting.

After moving out of their home, Jim and Fern lived at the Courtyard Apartments for 17 years. Fern became a resident of SunQuest Healthcare Center in February 2013.

Fern is survived by 1 son, Robert (Sandy) Klassen of Ewa Beach, Hawaii; 1 daughter, Fern Marie (Larry) Mattke of Huron; 2 daughters-in-law, Trudy Klassen of Roseville, MN, and Barbara Klassen of Las Vegas, NV; 16 grandchildren; 33 great grandchildren; 8 great great grandchildren; and 1 sister, Cecilia Thunell (98 years old) of Anoka, MN; many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, James, Sr.; 2 sons, James, Jr. and Lyle; 2 sisters, Bernice Renshaw (95 years old) and Esther Waldner (35 years old); 1 brother, Ernst Passenheim; 1 sister-in-law, Joyce Passenheim; and 3 brothers-in-law, Vern Thunell, George Waldner, and Archie Renshaw.