Photography

Geraldine "Gerry" S. (Hillstrom) Vandeventer

October 17, 1937 ~ January 6, 2024 (age 86) 86 Years Old

Geraldine "Gerry" Vandeventer Obituary

Gerry Vandeventer, 86, of Minnetonka, Minnesota, passed away on January 6, 2024, surrounded by her loving family, following complications from her cancer treatment. Gerry’s sweet, serene demeanor belied her warrior strength. She was born on October 17, 1937, and raised on farms in Ortonville, Minnesota, without electricity or indoor plumbing. Gerry’s education began in a one-room schoolhouse and those early years instilled in her the value of a dollar. Her beautiful smile lit up any room, instantly capturing the heart of fellow student, Gil Vandeventer, who wooed Gerry for fifteen years before finally winning his bride’s hand. They supported one another through 56 years of marriage, raising four children, and modeling hard work, sacrifice, and deep faith. In 1960, Gerry moved to Minneapolis to continue her banking career but remained a small-town girl at heart. Wanting to stay home while her kids were young, coupled with her love of children, Gerry opened an in-home daycare, which she ran for 25 years, “retiring” when her first grandchild was born. The children and families for whom she cared became extensions of her own. Equally adept at nourishing plants, Gerry grew towering trees from saplings, perfectly-timed her Christmas cactus blossoms, and tended expansive vegetable and flower gardens. She was committed to healthful eating and daily walks above nearly everything else. As such, she was undaunted by physical challenges – hiking the Grand Canyon and the Great Wall; camping for weeks at a time in the U.S. and East Africa; and beating her teenagers at arm-wrestling contests around the kitchen table. Her wanderlust prompted her to travel in five continents, often with her whole family in tow. Although Gerry’s beginnings were humble, she lived an incredibly rich life filled with the love of her close-knit family, the comfort of lifelong friendships, and an appreciation of simple pleasures. Mom, words cannot capture the love and gratitude we will forever hold in our hearts for you. We will miss your profound empathy, endless patience, and easy laughter. You were the kindest wife, mother, and grandma in the entire world, and we would choose you every time.

A memorial service will be held Friday, February 9, at 2 p.m. with visitation one hour prior at Oak Knoll Lutheran Church in Minnetonka, where Gerry and Gil have been faithful members for 55 years. Interment will be held on Saturday, February 10, at 12 p.m. at Mound Cemetery in Ortonville. Memorials to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital are preferred.

Preceded in death by parents Mabel (Erickson) and Clarence Hillstrom; brother Curtis; and pet lamb, Baaaaa. Survived by sister and best friend Charlotte Farrell; husband Gil; children Lori (Wayne), Kevin (Danie), Jon, and Sara; beloved grandchildren Annika, Anders, Tryggve, Zachary, Hanna and Eli; and many nieces and nephews whom she adored.

 

 

 

 

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Services

Visitation
Friday
February 9, 2024

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Oak Knoll Lutheran Church
600 County Road 73
Minnetonka, MN 55343

Memorial Service
Friday
February 9, 2024

2:00 PM
Oak Knoll Lutheran Church
600 County Road 73
Minnetonka, MN 55343

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