Gerald Wollmann: 1938-2023
=Gerald Michael Wollmann was born on Feb. 11, 1938, in Freeman, S.D., to Michael S. and Clara (Hofer) Wollmann. He had a younger sister, Lila Clara. The family moved to Bridgewater, S.D. in 1944 where Gerald attended school and graduated in 1956.
Gerald met Vauneta Decker through mutual friends. They were married on Nov. 4, 1960, at Plum Creek Baptist Church near Emery, S.D. Gerald and Vauneta were blessed with three children: Sheila Rae, Gail Lynn and Merlin Wayne.
Gerald and Vauneta lived on the family farm one mile north of Bridgewater where they farmed and raised cattle with his father and later with his son Merlin and grandsons.
Gerald was a loving father and especially enjoyed his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The grandkids looked forward to going to town for coffee at M & S with Grandpa and getting to pick out a treat.
Gerald’s faith and his Zion Mennonite church family were an important part of his life. As a young man in 1952, he trusted in Jesus Christ as his personal Savior at a revival meeting. He was later baptized by Pastor Paul Quenzer as a senior in high school and became a member of the church. Gerald faithfully attended and was active in his church, teaching Sunday school and serving on the board in various positions. Gerald and Vauneta supported many missionaries throughout their lives by praying for them, having them in their home, and giving to their ministries.
Gerald and Vauneta shared many joys, sorrows, and blessings in their 45 years together. Gerald was a devoted husband, caring for Vauneta many years as she suffered from rheumatoid arthritis until she passed away in 2006.
Gerald found another love and companion in Frieda Wollman. They were married on Aug. 8, 2008. He and Frieda enjoyed their years together traveling and visiting their kids and grandkids.
After retiring, Gerald continued to check daily on the farm and still helped out when needed. He enjoyed going to coffee — sometimes twice a day — watching the grandchildren’s sporting events and activities, and going to DWU basketball games at the Corn Palace.
Gerald passed away unexpectedly at his home in Bridgewater on Jan. 16, 2023, at the age of 84 years.