Rural 01

James Geranen

February 1, 1936 ~ November 29, 2020 (age 84)


James Geranen, 84, of Frederick, SD, passed away Sunday, November 29, 2020, at Sanford Aberdeen Medical Center.
Memorial Services will be 11:00 a.m., Friday, July 2nd, 2021, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Frederick, SD with Pastor Justin Brotzel officiating. A luncheon and time of fellowship will follow the service at the church hall.
Burial will follow the Luncheon at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Aberdeen at 2:00 p.m. 
Schriver’s Memorial Mortuary and Crematory, 414 5th Avenue NW, Aberdeen, is in charge of arrangements.  Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at

James Clayton Geranen was born February 1st, 1936 to Edward (Eddie) & Stella (Anderson) Geranen of rural Frederick S.D. He was the third born after Joan & Dayton then big brother to Dennis & Russell. He loved the farm and knew when he was a little boy that it was what he aspired to do when he grew up. He attended rural country school, Barnard Elementary & Frederick High School, where he graduated with the class of 1954. He was active in 4-H (which he continued later with his children) & loved playing football in high school. Post high school, he attended Aberdeen School of Commerce. 

In 1956 he married his high school sweetheart, Darlene Rahskopf, from Warner, S.D. (whom he’d met at the county fair through 4-H). They had their first child, Kipp, in 1958 & before setting out to farm, they moved to California for a brief time so he could try carpentry with his brothers. His love of farming called him quickly back to S.D. Their daughters, Kelly & Lona, were born in 1962 & 1964 respectively. In 1964, they purchased his parents’ farm where he was raised & in 1965 they purchased the Ed Maunu farm which became their home-place 5 miles east of Frederick. Son, Douglas, was born in 1967 and in that year they purchased the Ludwig Maunu farm across the road from their home place. Over the next 55 years Jim treasured raising his family, plus crops, hogs, milk cows and ultimately beef cattle again as he’d done during his childhood. 

During the years Jim & Darlene relished being involved with their community as he served on several boards including the Frederick School Board, West Central Holstein Assoc., Land O’ Lakes Dairy Board & the Brown County Fair Board. They enjoyed many trips due to their involvement in these organizations. He was most proud of his work on the Frederick School Board when he led the effort to build the new gymnasium & keep the district from busing the Frederick students to Hecla. He felt strongly that shuddering the school would greatly impact Frederick’s future and he didn’t want to lose his town.

Next to a good days’ work tending his crops & cattle, Jim loved car racing and even raced a car with his good friend, Gerald Martilla, after high school. He also enjoyed playing whist - a card game he’d learned as a young boy to get through the harsh winters, watching sports - especially high school football and basketball games - girls & boys, listening to the Twins & Vikings from his tractor and attending polka dances as often as he could. - He lost Darlene in 1994 after her long battle with stomach cancer. He worked the farm operation with his son, Doug, and didn’t retire until he was 81. 

Grateful to have shared Jim’s life are children; Kipp (Lisa) Geranen – Brandon, SD, Kelly (John) Mitzel – Missoula, MT, Lona (Michael) Gruebele – Prior Lake, MN & Doug (Lesli) Geranen – Frederick, SD. Grandchildren; Travis (Anlee) Geranen, Tyler (Michaela) Geranen, Shonci (Pete) Kramer, Tanner Geranen, Marcus (Lauren) Mitzel, Luke (Katie) Mitzel, Joseph (Alison) Mitzel, Thomas Mitzel, Margaret Mitzel, Peter Mitzel, Nicholas Mitzel, Dane Gruebele, Rachel Darlene Gruebele, Lauren Geranen & Jesse James Geranen. Great Grandchildren; Chase & Devyn Geranen, Michael, Lincoln & Jessyn Geranen, Weston & Zoey Kramer. Brothers; Dayton (Connie) Geranen & Dennis Geranen and sister-in-law Cynthia Geranen. Companion, Nikki Meidinger.

He is preceded in death by his father Eddie, mother Stella, wife Darlene, baby son (stillborn), sister Joan & brother-in-law Manual Saroff, brother Russell, sister-in-law Karen Geranen & grandson Travis.

To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral store.


Funeral Service
July 2, 2021

11:00 AM
St. Paul's Lutheran Church - Frederick
3rd Ave.
Frederick, SD 57441

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