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Pearl Waltner

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Pearl Viola Graber was born September 20, 1921 to Jacob P. and Regina (Miller) Graber at the farm just south of Freeman, S.D. Pearl died peacefully at Oakview Terrace on Oct. 14, 2018.

Her elementary school days were spent at Diamond Valley Country School and Saint Paul Lutheran School in Freeman. After graduation from Freeman High School, she received her teaching certificate from Freeman Junior College. She taught country school in the East Freeman area and also at Olivet Elementary.

Pearl was baptized by Rev. Louis Linscheid and became a member of the Bethany Mennonite Church. She would later transfer her membership to Salem (South) Mennonite Church where she was active with Mennonite Women and taught Sunday School for many years.

On Aug. 26, 1945, she married Marvin Waltner. They settled on the family farm near Turkey Ridge where they raised their children, Kevin and Karla. Pearl helped with the milking until the cows were sold in 1984 when they moved to town and Kevin took over the farm. In the 70s, Pearl started working part time at the nursing home in Freeman and spent 20-plus years there.

After moving to Freeman, Pearl spent time volunteering at the Et Cetera Shoppe, and together with Marvin, delivered Meals on Wheels. 

Pearl is survived by her son Kevin (Amy) Waltner, Turkey Ridge, S.D.; grandchildren: Greg (Ashlee) Whisenant, Ft. Pierre, S.D., Brittany (Aaron) Litwin, Brookings, S.D., Kara Ashley, Sioux Falls, S.D., and Libby (Dalton) Miller, Freeman; eight great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and their families.

Pearl was preceded in death by her parents, husband Marvin, daughter Karla Whisenant, brother Arnold (Mae) Graber, mother and father-in-law Ben J. & Emma Waltner, brother-in-law Erland (Winifred) Waltner, and sister-in-law Salina (Dan) Penner.