Della Jeanette (Jung) Deer, 98, a longtime resident of Aitkin, MN went to be with the Lord on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at Golden Horizon Assisted Living Center. A Celebration of Life service will be Saturday, July 9, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, in Aitkin, MN, with Pastor David Becker officiating. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church. There will be a committal service at the Bancroft Cemetery in Bancroft, NE at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Following the interment, there will be a visitation and lunch for family and friends at the Bancroft Fire Hall until 2:00 p.m.
Della was born April 3, 1924, to Edwin and Gertrude (Stier) Jung. Della was the eldest of six children, Della, Donna, Dean, Dorothy, Dennis, and Darlys. She was raised on a farm near Madison S.D. After graduating from Madison High School, she went to work at the Air Base in Sioux Falls. She worked in the payroll division and later in the telegraph office. She would prepare and deliver telegrams to the appropriate offices and people. This is where she met a young airman in training, Kennith Deer. Ken served in World War II in the Pacific where he was a radio engineer on a B29 bomber. After working at the base, Della attended Sioux Falls College, in Sioux Falls, SD.
When the war ended, Ken moved to California and took a job with General Western Telephone Co. Della flew there to marry him on Dec. 16, 1946, in Santa Rosa, CA, where she worked in food service at a Catholic school. Kathlyn and Kenneth were born during their time in California.
They later returned to Madison, SD where Carolyn was born. They purchased a small telephone company in Winfred, SD, and later a bigger telephone company in Hills, MN. In 1954, they moved to Bancroft, NE where they bought the Bancroft Telephone Company. During this time, Ken was the manager and lineman, and Della was the bookkeeper and switchboard operator. As an operator, Della was responsible for the noon and six o’clock whistle for Bancroft. When fire calls came in, she sounded the fire whistle and gave directions to each of the volunteer firemen as they called in. In 1958, they replaced the switchboard with dial telephones. Della was active in the Bancroft community and the Presbyterian Church. She enjoyed sewing, crocheting, gardening, fishing, water skiing and camping.
In 1967, they sold the phone company and moved to Omaha, NE. After selling the phone company, they traveled and pursued many hobbies. In Omaha, Della enjoyed being a docent at the Joslyn Art Museum, giving tours to school children for many years. She made afghans for over 50 of her nieces, nephews, and grandkids.
In 2000, they moved to Aitkin. She enjoyed volunteering at the Jaques Art center and Riverwood Hospital, recycling greeting cards, and loved being a grand friend to many fourth-graders at Rippleside Elementary. While in Aitkin, she continued traveling and enjoyed many new friendships. She also continued to take college courses, mostly online courses towards her AA degree.
Della was preceded in death by her husband Kennith Mark Deer who died in 2000. She was also preceded by two sisters, Donna Walker and Darlys Weeldreyer and her brother Dean Jung. She is survived by her brother Dennis Jung and sister Dorothy Heitzman and her daughter Kathlyn (Kathy) Deer, Chapala, Mexico; her son Kenneth Deer, and daughter-in-law, Judy (Macklin) Deer, Murfreesboro, TN, and her daughter, Carolyn (Deer) Pagels, and son-in-law, Gene Pagels, Aitkin, MN. She had 6 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, whom she loved dearly.
We would like to sincerely thank everyone who has offered such kind thoughts and condolences for Mom. It is truly humbling to hear how many lives she has touched in her short 98 years. One of the strongest memories we have is her generosity of her God-given time, talents and treasures. She truly loved volunteering and giving. To us, that is the heart of who she was.
Special heartfelt thanks to the wonderful people at Golden Horizons and Heartland Hospice for their loving care and kindness. Also Thank You to Pastor Becker for his visits, prayers and support. To sign the guestbook online, go to: www.srtfuneral.com. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Aitkin.
Again, our heartfelt thanks to all of you who took the time share your memories and to offer your sympathies.
Carolyn & Gene, Ken and Judy and Kathy.