Nov. 20, 1926 - Oct. 10, 2020
Long-time Brookings resident, Mavis Jeanette (Gaard) Neuberger, age 93 , passed from this world on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, while a resident at the Avera Hospice House, Yankton, SD. Private family funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, at Ascension Lutheran Church in Brookings. Services will be livestreamed on the Rude’s Funeral Home Facebook page.
Mavis was born on Nov. 20, 1926, in Hetland, SD to Ole and Charlotte (Erickson) Gaard. Her father had emigrated to the U.S. from Stavanger, Norway, and married Charlotte who was born in the Dakota Territory of Swedish immigrant parents. Mavis grew up on the family farm near Arlington, SD.
When her own father unexpectedly passed away, Mavis, at the age of 14 years, left high school for a year to help keep the family farm going. Mavis then went on to graduate from Hetland High School.
Shortly after graduation Mavis moved to Sioux Falls where she met her husband of 70 years, Harold Neuberger. In 1954, the family moved from Sioux Falls to Gettysburg where Harold began his career as a South Dakota Highway Patrolman. Having never been west of the river, Mavis wasn’t quite sure what was in store for them with this move. What she did find were lifelong friends.
In 1959 they moved to Brookings where they resided for the next 60 years, raising five children. It was a difficult decision to leave her beloved community of Brookings in 2019 but health reasons dictated the need, leaving behind good friends and family she dearly missed.
Mavis truly was the kind of neighbor everyone appreciated: kind, helpful, friendly. Her home on Jefferson Avenue was a revolving door of neighborhood children. In addition to her five, Mavis provided child care for a number of families on a daily basis. Her skills in the kitchen always matched the number of mouths to feed and she could ‘rustle up the grub’ out of nowhere.
While modest in her abilities, many marveled at her talent for sewing, crochet, upholstery, and of all things, helping Harold build the family camper. She was an artist who chose to raise a family rather than pursue a career in art.
She loved to draw and paint, often sharing the final product with family. She was an avid reader and loved to travel. She packed many food boxes and suitcases for the annual road trips with Harold and the kids, traveling both in and out of South Dakota.
Spending time with relatives in Norway was top on her list. She felt at home when walking along the paths of Talgje, her father’s birthplace.
Mavis loved to laugh and had an Erma Bombeck style of humor. A natural talent for accounting, she worked as a bookkeeper at the United Retirement Center and later at Brookings Hospital. She was involved in many activities through the Sons of Norway and Ascension Lutheran Church.
Mavis’s greatest traits were her Christian faith and her ability to forge through any adversity. When things didn’t go quite right she would simply say, “well, that’s the way we like it today.”
Mom, we know you have run the race with patience, fortitude and love and you leave behind a host of admirers in your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, family and friends.
Mavis is survived by sons Jeffrey (Spokane, WA) and Clifford (Coral Springs, FL); daughters Karol (Rust) of Wichita, Kansas, Jane (Miller) of Yankton, SD and Joan (Neilan) of Sioux Falls, SD. She is also survived by fifteen grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren, sister-in-law JoAnne Gaard, and many nieces and nephews.
Mavis was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers, a sister, and her husband Harold.
Condolences may be sent to the family through www.rudesfuneralhome.com.