age 88, died Christmas Eve, December 24, 2012, at her home in Pipestone, Minnesota, surrounded by her loving family. She was born to Henry and Anna (Brandt) Haper on March 15, 1924 in Altona Township of Pipestone County, Minnesota. She was raised on farms around the Ward and Elkton, South Dakota area before the family moved to the old Haper place, south of Ward in 1936. Margaret was educated in area country schools after which she was employed for several years in Flandreau, South Dakota and Pipestone, Minnesota. On June 1, 1947, she was united in marriage to Max Gelderman on the Haper farm. Following their marriage, they farmed in Altona Township for over 40 years. In 2004, she moved into Pipestone.
Margaret enjoyed farm life, raising flowers, vegetables and chickens. Most of all, she treasured her family and providing for them. She tended to many aches, pains, illnesses and disabilities in the family and always let you know it wasn’t the end of the world. During his years of failing health, Dad would often dismiss a visiting son’s concern saying, “Don’t worry about me, I have the best nurse in the world.” She had unconditional love for her husband, seven sons, their wives, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Margaret always had a cup of coffee, a cookie and a smile for anyone coming to visit. No one ever went away hungry from her table. Her fried chicken was to die for. She loved playing cards and was always one of the best Pepper players at the table. With infinite patience, both she and Dad introduced each new generation to the game that bound one generation to the next. Mom’s special skill was that she could play so well while at the same time be cooking, cleaning or tending to someone – a true multi-tasker. In 1980, she learned to crochet and ended up making afghans for all her grandchildren. She loved being outside working in the flower garden or playing with the grandchildren. On the farm, she had a large vegetable garden and was always canning and freezing her produce. She made all her daughters-in-law a recipe book of her sons’ favorite recipes. She died as she wished, surrounded by her family at her home on her favorite day of the year. Mom will always keep the family warm and fed with her spirit and her love.
She is lovingly remembered by her seven sons, Charles (Joyce) of Oregon, Wisconsin, Ron (Melody) of Colman, South Dakota, Kurtis (Jann) of Missoula, Montana, Clifford (Cynthia) of Hartley, Iowa, John (Mary) of Mendota Heights, Minnesota, Ralph (Candice) of Eureka, Montana, and Tedd (Joyce) of Pipestone; 15 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and her brother, Francis (Loretta) Haper of Slayton, Minnesota. She is preceded in death by her husband; her grandson, Joshua; her parents; her brother, Ralph Haper; and two sisters, Vera Gelderman and Betty Haper.