Mary Fransen

Mary Fransen, 88, of Huron, formerly of Pierre and Gettysburg, passed away Thursday, December 17, 2020, at Huron Regional Medical Center.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 a.m., Monday, December 28, 2020 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Gettysburg, with Fr. Jerry Kopel presiding. Burial will follow in Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery, Gettysburg. Visitation will be 2:00 p.m.– 4:00 p.m., with a 4:00 p.m. rosary, Sunday, December 27, 2020, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Huron. Those attending are required to wear masks. A live broadcast of the funeral service will also be available.

Mary Ann Garrity was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre, South Dakota on July 24, 1932 to Arthur Garrity and Evelyn Anderson Garrity, the first of ten children. She died on Thursday, December 17, 2020 at Huron Regional Medical Center in Huron, South Dakota.

The Garrity family initially lived a short distance north of Blunt, before moving to the Garrity homestead in Bretton Township, southwest of Harrold. Mary Ann grew up in the three bedroom homestead farmhouse built by her father and grandfather. She attended school from first grade through high school in Harrold and graduated the valedictorian of the Class of 1950.

She was active in basketball, band, declam and 4-H. Mary Ann attended one year of college at South Dakota State.

In their early years as a family, Mary Ann and Frank made their home in various South Dakota locations including Gettysburg, Martin, Warner, Harrold, and Redfield before taking up residence in Gettysburg with their family of seven children in August 1964. An eighth child arrived in 1969.

Mary Ann was heavily involved in community activities and in their children’s lives. These activities included the Catholic Church Alter Society, PTA, children’s school activities, Redfield Jaycettes, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, CCD classes, their children’s sports activities, and years of square dancing and clogging. Among her greatest of joys was spending time with her grandchildren. They also enjoyed family camping activities with their children and grandchildren.

Mary Ann took great pleasure in her work life which included jobs working for the Superintendent of Schools, for the Potter County News, and the First Potter County Bank. After she and Frank moved to Pierre in 1987. Mary Ann was employed at American State Bank and at All Around Graphics

Mary Ann and Frank moved to Huron, South Dakota in 2015 to live with their daughter Mary Lynn Schmidt and family in 2015.

Mary Ann is survived by her husband of 69 years Franklin Fransen of Huron, SD; her children Shirley Rush of Pierre, SD; David (Vicki) Fransen of Aberdeen, SD; Gerald (Peggy) Fransen of Parrish, FL; Patrick Fransen of Pierre, SD; Jean (Bob) Oberfoell of Ashton, SD; Kathy (John) Heier of Aberdeen, SD; and Mary (Lonnie) Schmidt of Huron, SD. In addition, she is survived by her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren and their families as well as many nieces and nephews. Special to her were her siblings, and she looked forward each year to the annual sibling reunion in October. Those siblings include her brothers Robert (Gloria) Garrity of Ft. Pierre, SD; Dr. Thomas Garrity of Hoven, SD; Michael Garrity of Pierre, SD; and sisters Patricia Rausch of Pierre, SD; Kay (Robert) Pfeil of Clear Lake, SD; Marjory Gregg of Ft. Pierre, SD; and Carol (Dan) Bancroft of Rapid City, SD. In addition, she acquired 8 stepbrothers and stepsisters when her mother and William Rausch were married in Hoven, South Dakota in 1963.

Mary Ann was preceded in death by two infant sons; Joseph in 1955 and Luke in 1958; her daughter Pamela Fransen Hoag in 2001, her father Arthur Garrity in 1955, her mother Evelyn Anderson Garrity Rausch in 1986, her brother Richard Garrity in 2015, her brother James Garrity in 2013, her grandparents, her stepfather William Rausch in 1994, two stepbrothers, and several nieces and nephews.

Luce Funeral Home of Gettysburg has been entrusted with Mary’s arrangements. (www.familyfuneralhome.net)