Mary Ann Kerschmann, age 84, of Harlingen, Texas passed away surrounded by her family on February 12, 2020 after a brief and courageous battle with bone cancer.
Mary was born April 27, 1935 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to Lee and Helen (Egge) Branson. Her mother later married beloved step-father, Russell Goembel in 1957.
Mary graduated from Humboldt South Dakota High School in 1953. She was active in music, home economics and speech club where she earned awards in poetry competitions. Mary was head majorette remembered for twirling fire batons into the air and leading the high school marching band in the town’s parades.
On August 24, 1968, she married her soul mate Gordon John Kerschmann at the First United Methodist Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They celebrated 51 years of marriage. Together, they traveled the country in their RV with dog, Heidi and went on international trips to Europe and South America. They enjoyed boating, camping, social events and square dancing. They took pleasure in several vacations with their children including the last family gathering in Branson, Missouri in October 2019.
She lived in and around Sioux Falls, South Dakota most of her life until 1984 when Gordon’s career transferred the family to the St. Louis area. She resided in St. Peters, Missouri until 2004 when she and Gordon mutually retired and made their permanent home in Harlingen, Texas.
A superior seamstress, Mary began her sewing career crafting military parachutes with Raven Industries in Sioux Falls. She also sewed a variety of children’s clothing and elaborate doll accessories. She crafted multiple dresses and decorations for her children’s weddings. By the 1970’s, she had built a reputable tailoring service out of her home that grew to a store front in Sioux Falls: Mary K’s Alterations. Years later in retirement, Mary enjoyed driving a school bus and participating in traveling craft shows. She loved music entertainment and for several years played keyboard and accordion in a classic rock band.
Mary dearly loved her friends and meeting new people. Her smile and zest for life was contagious. She dedicated her time to volunteering including the church altar guild, organizing a variety of social events and directing the annual Christmas Show productions.
Mary will be deeply missed by her devoted husband, Gordon. She is survived by their children: Jacquelene Jones Engle (Tim), Sioux City, IA; Elizabeth Jones Bond (Richard), Dakota Dunes, SD; David Jones (Kris), Sioux City, IA; Tammalynn Jones Keney (David), Bloomington IL; and Kimberly Kerschmann Wheeler (Ken), Pleasant Hill, MO; 20 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in her memory may be made to American Cancer Society.
Gordon and the family would like to express their gratitude for your many kind expressions of sympathy and support. The dedicated care provided by the medical professionals at Harlingen Medical Center and Providence Hospice Home will be forever remembered and deeply appreciated.
Mary was highly creative, always kind and deeply loved.
Please join the family for a reception following the service at Palm Garden’s Retirement Park Community Hall, 3401 W. Business 83, Harlingen, Texas.
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