Reneta Marie (Strohfus) McFerran, age 90 of Watertown, South Dakota, formerly of Willow Lake, passed away on June 17, 2022. Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at Grace Lutheran Church in Watertown. Pastor Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett will officiate. Music will be provided by A.J. Sherrill as organist with Robbyn Givens, Paul, Curtis, and Kyle Bevers as vocalists. The service will be live-streamed via the Crawford Osthus Funeral Chapel website.
Visitation will be at Grace Lutheran Church in Watertown on Wednesday from 9:30-11:00 a.m.
Burial will be at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Watertown. Active pallbearers will be Jason Brinkman, Nathan Brinkman, Dustin Brinkman, Dr. Paul Bjordahl, Dr. Ryan Bjordahl, Dr. Travis Bjordahl, Nicholas Wilkinson, Jeremy Patrick, Thomas Hoek, Tanner Bortnem, Hunter Brekke, and Mason Brekke. Cross Bearers will be Nicole Meier, Michelle Orton, and Kelsey Kjellsen.
Reneta was born December 28, 1931 in rural Hazel to John and Agnes (David) Strohfus. She had two brothers and two sisters. She graduated from Thomas High School in 1949.
Reneta was united in marriage to Harley McFerran on August 27, 1950 at Grace Lutheran Church in Watertown. They were proud parents of seven daughters and blessed with 18 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren. Reneta and Harley were fortunate to have shared a loving, faith-filled, devoted marriage for 57 years. Harley passed away on August 28, 2007.
Reneta and Harley made their home on the original McFerran homestead near Hazel. They purchased the Willow Lake Livestock Auction in 1967 and operated that business until 2001. The family moved to DeSmet in 1972 where they owned and operated the DeSmet Livestock Auction. They made their home in Willow Lake in 1981 until moving to Watertown in 2001. Reneta was the bookkeeper and office manager for the auction businesses they enjoyed operating through the years.
Reneta had a deep, abiding faith. Throughout her life, babies and children held a special place in her heart. Her gentle, caring nature was evident by her involvement with family, friends, church and community. Reneta was an exceptional seamstress. She sewed for herself and her daughters. She made quilts for her children and many for the church. Reneta loved making teddy bears, which are cherished by her family and friends.
Blessed to have shared in Reneta’s life are her seven daughters and families:
Nancy (Darwin) Brinkman of Watertown, South Dakota
Jason (Jill), Chase and Aspen
Nathan (Colleen), Ella and Cecilia
Dustin (Adrienne), Drake and Hadley
Mary (Dr. Kevin) Bjordahl of Milbank, South Dakota
Dr. Paul (Joy), Caden (fiancé Selena), Anika, Kiersten, Johanna, Elise, Gretchen and David
Dr. Ryan (Kari), Desmond
Dr. Travis (Emily), Jonathan, William and Thomas
The late Jean (Todd) Wilkinson of DeSmet, South Dakota
Nicholas (Jessica), Ty, Kadence, Lincoln and Paislee
Nicole Meier, Ava, Drue and Kobe
Michelle Orton (Dan), Emerie and Riley
Kay (Dale) Patrick of Brookings, South Dakota
Jeremy (Kelli), Reed, Micah, Everett and Tripp
Jill (Mark) Hoek of Lake Poinsett, South Dakota
Thomas (Shauna), Harper, Layton and Carsyn
Janet (Chip) Bortnem of Sun Lakes, Arizona
Kelsey Kjellsen (Alex)
Wendy (Joel) Brekke of Fargo, North Dakota
Reneta is also survived by one sister, Audrey Rausch, sisters-in-law Helen Strohfus and Mary Strohfus, and many nieces and nephews.
Preceding Reneta in death were her husband Harley; daughter Jean Wilkinson; grandchildren Ashley, Brady and Adam Patrick; her parents; siblings Richard Strohfus, Norman Strohfus and Valeria Kannas.