Muriel Ann Van Gerpen

Muriel Ann (Smits) Van Gerpen, died of natural causes at age 89, on Sunday, February 14, 2021 in her home with her loving family by her side.

Funeral services will be 2:00 PM on Friday, February 19, 2021, at Calvary Baptist Church in Yankton, South Dakota, with Pastor Errin Mulberry officiating.  The public is invited to attend the funeral or to watch the live stream at and on Muriel’s obituary page at  Burial will be at a later date.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the funeral on Friday at Calvary Baptist Church.  Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton.

Pallbearers are Robert Jackson, Gale Otto, Jim Eben, Sam Van Gerpen, and CJ Van Gerpen.

Muriel was born February 5, 1932 in Corsica, South Dakota to Bill and Anna (Buekelman) Smits. She attended Corsica Public Schools and graduated in 1950. She then went on to attend Southern State Teachers College in Springfield, SD and began her teaching years. She married Myron Van Gerpen on July 21, 1953 in Corsica. They started their family before leaving for Europe for her husband’s Air Force career. Their family grew with the addition of four more children and many more moves in the United States. While living in southern California, Muriel was a manager in the Robinsons department store. After her husband retired in 1975, they moved back to South Dakota to be near family. Muriel lived in Yankton and was an active member of Calvary Baptist Church and a few ways she served her Lord was church librarian and helping with AWANA.  Muriel was an active member of many clubs and activities including Questers, P.E.O., Friendship Bible Studies, GFWC, American Legion Auxiliary, and Kiwanis.

Muriel will be dearly missed by her husband, Myron of 67 years; and five children: Maureen (Robert) Jackson of Tracy, MN, Melinda (Gale) Otto of Tracy, MN, Myrna (Jim) Eben of Ada, MI, Merrill (Sandi) Van Gerpen of Yankton, and Morris Van Gerpen of Yankton; 15 grandchildren; and 21 great grandchildren.

Muriel was preceded in death by her parents; and her sister, Bernita.


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4 response to "Muriel Ann Van Gerpen"

  1. By: Kathy (de Jonge) Alles Posted: February 17, 2021

    Muriel was my cousin, as our mothers were sisters. They were 2 of 10 children, 5 being sisters, many living in SD most of their lives. That large family was very close and so even though we no longer live near, my memories of that time are very real. My sympathies to Myron and their children. My prayers and memories are with you!

  2. By: Connie Ferdig Posted: February 18, 2021

    So very sorry to hear of your Wife, Mother, Grandmother., GreatGrandmas passing. There are NO certain words that express my true feelings for ur loss but only the reassurance we know that she’s in Heaven being loved on til U can hug her again..can come to. The service tomorrow but Ur all in my prays.

  3. By: Linda nickles Posted: February 18, 2021

    I met Muriel at Calvary Baptist Church. She was the nicest person to be around. We both worked in the library at church and when I helped in library on Wednesday nights she would come in and visit before they helped with awana. I am sorry for your loss but know how loved by everyone at church she was.

  4. By: Marilyn Ter Maat Posted: February 19, 2021

    Aunt Muriel was a very special and gracious lady. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Uncle Myron and all my cousins!! Please remember all the great times we had together. Sending sympathy and love!!

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