Yvonne Claret (Narum) Fischer was born May 28, 1928, at Flom, MN, to Ernest and Edna (Peterson) Narum. She died peacefully and went to be with Jesus at age 92 on Sept. 8, 2020 at the Estelline Nursing and Care Center, Estelline, SD.
During her school aged years, Yvonne’s family moved to Gary, MN, where she graduated from high school in 1946. She attended Concordia College, Moorhead, MN but left after one year as she was needed at home to work at the family grocery store upon the sudden death of her father. Later, Yvonne began working as a bank teller in nearby Ada, MN. While living there, she met her future husband William (Bill) Fischer. They were married on March 24, 1951 at the Gary Lutheran Church while Bill was a student at North Dakota Agricultural College (now NDSU) training to become a Vocational Agriculture teacher.
Bill’s first teaching job took the couple to Rolla, ND, where their son, Wayne was born. Bill took teaching assignments in several locations in rural towns in western Minnesota. While living in Borup, MN at age 30, Yvonne accepted Jesus Christ into her heart and dedicated her life to serving Him and ministering unto those she came in contact with.
The family moved to Brookings, SD in 1963 when Bill began his employment with the Farmers Home Administration. A transfer moved them to Gettysburg, SD in 1965 when Yvonne resumed her banking position with the Potter County National Bank. While in Gettysburg, the family attended the Grace Bible Church where lifelong friends Palmer and Barbara Hohm were pastors. Once again, a transfer moved the family to Parkston, SD in 1969. Yvonne enjoyed working at the Mitchell National Bank as a drive-up teller. She was an active member of the Memorial Baptist Church and served in many capacities.
Shortly after their 40th wedding anniversary, Bill was diagnosed with rectal cancer. Yvonne provided loving care and transportation to his medical treatments until Bill passed away in 1994. Yvonne remained in Parkston for a short while but wanted to be closer to her family and their activities and moved to Brookings, SD. She greatly loved her grandkids and enjoyed attending and supporting their sports, music, fine arts, 4-H and church youth group activities. She was fondly referred to as “Grandma Honey Bunny” by her grandkids and their friends.
Yvonne had a true heart for evangelism. She witnessed for Jesus to all those she came in contact with. She eagerly went on several missionary trips to China, Albania and Bulgaria, just to name a few. Unbeknownst to her family, she was putting New Testaments in mail boxes at midnight in Beijing, China and was detained by the police and brought to the police station. Fortunately, she was released and told not to do that again. While in Albania and Bulgaria, she brought an entire suitcase of garden seeds to distribute to the local people. Of all of her adventures, Yvonne enjoyed her two tours of the Holy Land the most.
Yvonne loved people. She easily made friends wherever she lived or with whomever she met. In fact, she could be called the “poster child” for being an extreme extrovert. Yvonne had a zest for life and she gained her energy by being around people at every chance she could get. She always looked forward to family gatherings and her annual cousin reunions. Playing Scrabble and Tri Dominos with friends, hosting coffee parties, and going to dances at the Brookings Activity Center were highlights for her. The drivers of the BATA bus service all knew her by name! She loved what she called “peppy” music as well as the beloved traditional hymns. Yvonne also derived much satisfaction from her flowers and gardening which was evident by all who enjoyed the beauty that she cultivated. Later in Yvonne’s life, one of her greatest highlights was her ninetieth birthday celebration. Yvonne was also generous to a fault. She unselfishly donated money, food, clothing and her time to numerous religious organizations, charities and all who were in need. Yvonne was proud of her Norwegian heritage. She loved making lefsa, rosettes and krumkake. She was often heard expressing “Uff Da” if something was wrong or hard to do!
Yvonne dearly loved her family and will be greatly missed by son Wayne and his wife Melanie of Arlington, her four grandchildren Leslie (Ethan) Dolby of Sioux Falls, Alison (Riley) Hestermann of Brookings, Emily (AJ) Munger of Pierre, and Clint (Meggie) Fischer of Volga. Her ten great grandchildren, Alexis and Elizabeth Dolby, Jackson, Avaley, Colton and Maverick Hestermann, Briggs and Blaire Munger and Piper and Chloe Fischer all were able to visit her for her ninety-second birthday. She is survived by her sister Evangeline (Manley) Hillstad, brother-in-law Wayne (Johna) Fischer and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Bill, her parents, her brother Elwood and her sisters Lovilla and Beverly. Well done, thou good and faithful servant. The service will be livestreamed via Emily Munger’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/emily.munger.7/
A family gathering will take place at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept.11, 2020 at the Johnson-Henry Funeral Home in Arlington, burial will be in the United Cemetery at Arlington.