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Services for Mary Walter, 65, of Groton and formerly of Pierre will be 2:00 p.m., Friday, December 4, 2020 at St. John's Lutheran Church, Groton. Rev. Andrew Wolfgram will officiate. Burial will follow in Union Cemetery under the direction of Paetznick-Garness Funeral Chapel, Groton. Services will be broadcast live on GDILIVE.COM and will also be broadcast on GDIRADIO at 89.3 FM, available within 1 mile of Groton.
Visitation will be held for one hour prior to services at the church.
Mary Jane Erdmann was born to Gerhardt & Orlean Erdmann on April 2, 1955. She was their fourth daughter. She grew up at the family farm located on the Brown County line near Verdon, SD. She was baptized May 15, 1955 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Ferney, SD. Her childhood Sunday mornings were spent with her family of 7 heading to church in a car that seated 5. She was confirmed in the Lutheran faith on April 17, 1969 at St. Paul's. Her confirmation verse was John 3:16.Her schooling started at the Garden Prairie Verdon school, continued at Groton until graduating from GHS in l973, and she attended USD, Vermillion for one year.
On August 22, 1974, she married Terry Walter. To this union, two sons were born: Tate Austin Walter and Paul Vernon Walter.
Mary started her employment with South Dakota Highway Patrol in Pierre in February 1976, as a data encoder. She had many promotions with responsibilities added until she became their Business Manager in 1993. She worked under 8 Superintendents. There is no one that loved the SDHP more than Mary. She retired on 6/30/2020 after 44 years of service. Her final message to the South Dakota Highway Patrol upon her retirement was "Be Smart?Be Safe?Be Somebody". They were her family.
She battled esophageal cancer for 3 years spending her last 1-1/2 years at the home of Bill & Eileen Schuelke. Mary passed on November 30, 2020.
Survivors are: sons, Tate (Olivia) Walter, and granddaughters, Emma, and Sophie, Peoria, AZ; Paul (Nichole Galbavy) Walter &Chantalle Galbavy, Groton, SD; sisters, Eileen (Bill) Schuelke, Groton, SD; Charlotte Erdmann, West Lafayette, IN; Barbara Whicker, West Lafayette, IN; and Helen (David) Gerhard, Green Bay, WI; special friend, Jean Walter, Groton, SD and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Jan Gary Erdmann.
Pallbearers are Members of the South Dakota Highway Patrol.
Sincere thankfulness goes to Avera Hospice who provided loving care for Mary so faithfully two separate times. Her family and she appreciated their listening ear to her needs, as well as their devotion and kindness.