Gerald Wangsness(1937 - 2013)

Gerald R. Wangsness

Gerald Ross Wangsness was born February 12, 1937, in Sioux Falls, to Harvey and Florence (Eikemo) Wangsness. He received his early education at Mark Twain Elementary School in Sioux Falls. Gerald graduated from Washington High School, where he played basketball on the 1955 State Championship team, making the game winning shot in the district final. After High School, he continued his education at Augustana College where he also played basketball, receiving a B.S. in Math in 1959. He continued to follow Augustana athletics throughout his life. Gerald went on to earn a Master's Degree in education from SDSU.

Gerald became a teacher at Edison Junior High School, where he was also a coach. This is where he met Alexis Fargen and they were married on November 27, 1971. They would be blessed with two children, Christopher and Erin. Gerald bought a 1962 Black Chevrolet Corvette with his first year's salary, which he meticulously took care of for the 27 years. He taught many years at Edison, before moving to Lincoln High School where he retired in 1997 after teaching for 37 years in the Sioux Falls School System.

Gerald's interests included taking care of his family. He loved and followed all sports including Christopher and Erin's involvement in athletics and various college and professional teams. He enjoyed yard work at his home and took great pride in his well cared for lawn. He enjoyed chocolates of all types. In retirement he enjoyed getting together weekly with many friends he had made throughout his life. Gerald was a devoted member of First Lutheran Church where he ushered for many years.

He was a kind man with a gentle soul, willing to always help anyone in need, always willing to do more than that was asked of him. He was greatly loved by his family and respected by his many friends. He will be deeply missed by all whom were lucky enough to have shared in his life. His memory will be cherished forever by his wife of 41 years, Alexis (Fargen) Wangsness; his son Dr. Christopher Wangsness and fiancé Brittany Kruisselbrink, his daughter Erin (Wangsness) Meyers and Son-in-law Chad Meyers, his brother Roger and Genna Wangsness, extended family and many friends. Gerald was preceded in death by his parents Harvey and Florence Wangsness.

The family requests that Memorials be directed to the First Lutheran Church Media Minstry or the Feed South Dakota Backpack Program.


Published in The Argus Leader on Jan. 16, 2013