Barbara Jean Peschong

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November 9, 1936 ~ October 10, 2023

Barbara J. Peschong, 86, Brandon, SD, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, at her home.

Visitation with family will begin at 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, October 17, 2023, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. at Risen Savior Catholic Church, Brandon. Inurnment will follow at 2:30 p.m., at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Howard, SD.

Barbara Jean Thelen was born on November 9, 1936, in Howard, SD, to Joe and Lizzy (Lauer) Thelen. Barbara was the youngest of seven children. Her siblings, Joseph, Hubert, Zeta, Mercedes, Helen, and Millie, affectionately called her Bobbie Jean. Barbara attended Saint Agatha High School and then studied nursing at Presentation College, in Aberdeen and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Mitchell SD, where she graduated in 1957 as a Registered Nurse.

On December 28, 1957, Barbara married her high school sweetheart, Jim Peschong. Barbara and Jim had six children: Bradley, Christopher (1959), Jon, Laura (1962), Ann, and Mary. Jim’s career took the family first to Rapid City, SD, then to Sioux Falls, SD, and finally to Fargo, ND. Barbara was a full-time mother until the children were well on their way in school. Barbara’s training as a nurse and instincts as a mother were occasionally tested by one or two of her children, making it simply impossible to feign illness to avoid school. In 1972, while in Sioux Falls, Barbara and her dear friend, Illa Graphenteen, opened “Cottage Oak”, an antique reproduction store, which prospered under their ownership. When the family moved to Fargo, Barbara continued her nursing career at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital for a decade.

In retirement, Barbara and Jim made Brandon, SD, their home base, enjoying summers in the Ottertail Lake region of Minnesota. For 21 years straight, they journeyed south to warmer winters in New Braunfels, Texas. In Brandon, Barbara was one of the original members of “Young at Heart”, a program benefitting and celebrating the elderly at Risen Savior Catholic Church.

Barbara, a life-long devout Catholic, is survived by her husband of 66 years, Jim; her children, Bradley (Laura) Peschong, Brandon, SD, Jon Peschong (Tamara Holmlund), Olympia, WA, Ann (John) Ham, Fargo, ND, and Mary (Brian) Leach, Grand Forks, ND; her seven grandchildren, Andrew Peschong, Sioux Falls, SD, Emma (Mitchell) Younie, Tea, SD, Matthew (Sasha) Ham, Fargo, ND, Michael Ham, Madison, SD, Adam (Allison) Leach, Aberdeen, SD, Eric Leach, Grand Forks, ND, and Claire Leach, Grand Forks, ND; and three great-grandchildren, Baker, Mason, and Natalie.

Barbara is preceded in death by one son, Christopher; and one daughter, Laura; her parents, Joe and Lizzie Thelen; siblings, Joseph Thelen, Hubert Thelen, Zeta Thelen, Mercedes Pistole, Helen Sotz, and Millie Jansen.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to Risen Savior Catholic Church, Brandon, SD.

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