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Mary Lou Biesman

RAPID CITY | Mary Lou (Ostlund) Biesman passed away Sunday evening, Sept. 29, 2019, surrounded by family and friends. She was an amazing woman who inspired many and loved us all. She will be sorely missed but we know she had made peace with her maker and was ready to join those who went on before her. Her smile and laughter were contagious and she will be so terribly missed by so many.

Mary was born on July 24, 1932, to Arthur and Florence (Hatcher) Ostlund in Wolsey, SD. She attended school in Woonsocket, SD, until grade three and then the family moved to Gayville, SD. She attended school and did a lot of babysitting, helped with spring house cleaning for several ladies and worked in a local restaurant until she met and married Orville, a handsome WWII vet, in June of 1948 in Gayville. They moved to Yankton, where they started their family and then moved to the Black Hills (Sturgis then to Rapid City) in 1954, following their family friends, the Stuens.

After moving to Rapid City, Mary became involved in the PTA from 1954 until 1973, holding every office except president. She also worked in the Home School Community Improvement Council hosting “rap sessions” in her home under this program. She was involved in Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, baseball and as classroom mother. Mary and her family were charter members of Atonement Lutheran Church where she served as treasurer of the Sunday School, taught Sunday School classes and was active in several women’s groups, including the quilting group. She also worked outside the home cleaning for Mrs. John Bertolero, as well as doing sewing and dress making and alterations for family and others.

She began working at the Reynick Motel in 1966 and would move her growing family into the motel at least once a year and manage the motel while the owners were on vacation. During those years Mary also served on the Election Boards for both municipal and Presidential elections. She went to work for the Big K Furniture store, and soon became Manager, working there for over 20 years.

She served at Atonement for nearly her entire adult life in various capacities, including on the altar guild, preparing meals for every possible occasion, joining Bible studies, making lefse and sewing and making quilts for everyone in the family and many others, including for the Turkey Supper and Bazaar.

She enjoyed traveling (to Hawaii and throughout the U.S. from Seattle, WA, to Florida and Maine to California, as well as several trips abroad to Norway, Sweden and Germany) and visiting family and friends. She was not afraid to knock on the door of a Swedish relative that she had never met only to become best of friends who met many times thereafter on both sides of the Atlantic. She loved playing cards and dominoes and brought fun and laughter to every occasion. But she was also a down-to-earth, hardworking, no-nonsense person who knew when things had to get done with a “don’t sweat the small stuff” attitude.

She is survived by her loving children: son Allen (Else) Biesman, daughters Annette (Bryan) Tompkins, all of Rapid City and Linda (Marv) Schweigert of Watonga, OK, and sons Bryon Biesman and Troy Biesman of Rapid City; nine grandchildren: Chad (David) Biesman of Seattle, WA, Kara (Steve) Gray of Chandler, AZ, Shane Bartels of Spearfish, Kristi (Jake) Scherr of Rapid City, Shawn Schweigert of Murdo, Cassi (Danny) Scheffler of Watonga, OK, and Rachelle Chapman, Jordan Dolney and Dillon Dolney, all of Rapid City; as well as 19 great-grandchildren; two twin great-great-grandsons; a brother, Bob (Arlis) Ostlund of Seattle, WA; and numerous nieces and nephews and their families.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur and Florence Ostlund; brother, Marlin Ostlund; son, Richard Biesman; husband, Orville Biesman; and sisters, Donna (Kermit) Schooley, Betty (Dale) Carroll, Sheila (Jerry) Hoffman.

We will Celebrate her Life with services to be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 9, at Atonement Lutheran Church. Burial will be at a later date at Black Hill National Cemetery near Sturgis.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Hospice or Atonement Lutheran Church.

Arrangements are with Kirk Funeral Home of Rapid City (kirkfuneralhome.com).

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