NLJ Staff


May 7, 1928–Oct. 6, 2021

Our funny, lovely, beautiful, and forever sacrificing mother, Doris Jean Kennedy Weischedel, age 93, of Gettysburg, S.D., passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, at the Avera Oahe Manor after a long and arduous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Funeral services were at 10 a.m., Monday, Oct. 11, at the United Methodist Church, Onida, S.D., with Pastor Jeff Adel presiding. Burial followed in the Onida Cemetery. A prayer service was at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 10, at the church in Onida.

Doris Jean Kennedy was born on May 7, 1928, in Sully County to Earl and Ada (Banister) Kennedy of rural Onida. She was the second youngest of eight children, all who have preceded her in death.

Doris was raised in the Okoboji and Onida area and graduated Onida High School in 1946. She married her high school sweetheart, Gerald D. Weischedel, on Jan 17, 1947, in Pierre, S.D. To this union five children were born, Linda, Terry, Julie, Melanie and Brad.

After her marriage, she and Gerald lived in Hartford township and raised chickens and cows and kids.  In those first winters as a married couple, they stayed with her in-laws so they were closer to the livestock and chickens. Doris loved going into town on Saturday nights, and the story is told that she often set the clocks ahead so Gerald would get cleaned up sooner so they could head to town. Her closest friends were her sisters, and much socializing was done from coffee to cards with the Kennedy girls and their families.

After moving into Onida in 1963, and Gerald being elected to Sully Country sheriff, Doris helped her husband in the sheriff’s office and was often referred to as “Deputy Doris.” During her years in Onida, Doris was very active in Eastern Star and was Guardian of Job’s Daughters. She was a Grand Matron and was very proud that Linda and Julie were both Honored Queens in Job’s Daughters. She also babysat and worked at local cafés.

In 1975 Gerald and Doris moved to Newcastle, Wyo., with their two youngest children, Melanie and Brad, where Gerald worked in the oil fields for 32 years. Doris began her 30-year career with Weston County Health Services in housekeeping and laundry. Before her retirement in 2006, she was the manager of both departments. She was especially proud of the cleanliness of the hospital, and was often complimented on it, “as it was the cleanest hospital in the state of Wyoming!”

After retirement, Doris and Gerald moved back to Onida in 2007. In 2011 they moved to the Michael J. Fitzmaurice State Veterans Home, Hot Springs, S.D. Doris enjoyed getting together with lifelong friends who lived there, spending many hours playing cards and reminiscing. In May of 2015 Doris moved to the Oahe Manor, Gettysburg, S.D.

Doris enjoyed going to dances with her husband of 68 years. and it was hard for the younger generation to keep up with them. A favorite pastime she shared with her parents, siblings, and extended family was a competitive game of cards. She was a fierce competitor, and the games could go on for many hours. Her grandchildren have similar stories about her love of Bingo and remember her luck while playing with her. Grandma Doris was generous to a fault, but one thing she didn’t share was her Bingo winnings!

She followed her children and grandchildren in their school, sports and rodeo activities and was an active observer, especially during wrestling matches when she often “wrestled the whole match” herself while yelling encouragement at the top of her lungs! She was quite a crocheter and made many crocheted dolls for her granddaughters, along with blankets, tablecloths, and other treasures. Another hobby was ceramics, and she made many creations as gifts for family and friends.

She was courageous, loyal and witty and always made the best of everything during her moves to Wyoming and Hot Springs. She always considered Onida as her home, but made lifelong friends wherever she lived.

She thought the world of all her nieces and nephews and many of them remember getting to spend time with their favorite Aunt Doris on the farm. She was their favorite because she was always so much fun and even full of a little mischief! She appreciated all of them coming to visit, their phone calls, cards and letters. When Gerald and Doris moved to Onida, she planned a big reunion for all her Kennedy nieces and nephews, and her immediate family and enjoyed every minute of it.

Her life will be cherished by children, Linda Severson, Pierre, Terry (Nancy) Weischedel, Gettysburg,  Julie Smith, Hendricks, Minn., Melanie (Tom) Geho, Douglas, Wyo., Brad (Kamile) Weischedel, Salt Lake City, Utah, and their grandson, Randy (Christine) Weischedel, Lennox, S.D., whom they adopted and raised; her grandchildren, Jeff (Kimberly) Severson, Jen (Derek) Stern, Angie (Darren) Alexander, Amanda (Jake) Hegland, Ryder (Alyssa) Weischedel, Heather (Bill) Landmark, Nadine (Joe) Campbell, Casey (Brady) Hickman, Jamie (Cole) Renken, Raymond Geho (Sierra Gladson), Brian Austin-Weischedel (Sadie), Odin and Oliver Weischedel; 36 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren; along with dearly loved nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald, on April 24, 2015; her parents, Earl and Ada Kennedy; son-in-law, Larry Severson; and her siblings, Lucille Green Weber, Marvin Kennedy, Clair Kennedy, Grace Simon, Betty Ripley, Rosella Groseclose, and June Kellogg Norman; sister-in-law, Deloris Ripley Quashnick; and in-laws, Howard and Olive Weischedel. 

Doris and her family are grateful to all the devoted and loving staff at the Oahe Manor who cared for her since May 2015. 

Luce Funeral Home of Gettysburg has been entrusted with Doris’ arrangements,


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