March 4, 1918 ~ December 27, 2013
Jean P. Ries, 95, Sioux Falls, formerly Groton, died Friday, December 27, 2013, at home after a long battle with cancer.
Visitation will be January 1, 2014, from 5-7pm, with a prayer service at 6:30pm, at Heartland Funeral Home. Funeral mass will begin at 11:00am, January 2, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Sioux Falls, with Fr. Morgan officiating. Inurnment will take place at a later date at the Black Hills National Cemetery. A Memorial services will also take place at the Groton Catholic Church at a later date.
Jean Pierre Ries was born March 4, 1918, to John and Mary (Falk) Ries Watertown, SD as one of seventeen children. He attended school in Watertown and graduated from Watertown High School where he was the two time State Champ in golf. He attended college for a short time before joining the Army. He was stationed in Pearl Harbor until one week prior to the attack. He served in New Guinea and Darwin, Australia, during WWII. Jean met and married Betty Mae Sieh January 11, 1945, in Groton, SD, where they dairy farmed for over 32 years and raised their family.
Jean was an avid hunter and fisherman. He spent many summers in Alaska and at Akaska fishing. He also took many trips hunting in the Black Hills and was the cook at many goose camps. He was well known for his baking accomplishments of pies, cookies and cinnamon rolls. He often made cookies for the St. Francis house. Jean was active member of the National Farmers Organization, the American Legion of Groton, St. John the Baptist Church of Groton and Holy Spirit Catholic Church of Sioux Falls. Jean enjoyed playing cards and cribbage, having his one warm beer a day, and loved to singing German lullabies to babies. It didn’t matter whose babies they were, he just loved to hold them and sing to them. He had his favorite saying of “So Big!” and “I’m the Boss”.
Jean is survived by his children, Jackie Graves, Omaha, NE, Collette Gesinger, Sioux Falls, Barbara Anderson, Jacksonville, FL, Pam Nelson, Clarksville, TN, Pierrette (Bill) Lyons, Whitewood, SD, John (Janet) Ries, Elk Point, & Rene’ (Mark) Hill, Salt Lake City, UT; 15 grandchildren & 20 great-grandchildren, 1 brother, Joe Ries, Reno, NV; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, 15 brothers and sisters, his wife Betty, daughter Michele Reid, granddaughters Stephanie Nissen & Rene’ Gesinger Becker, great granddaughter Hailey Gesinger, son-in-law Terry Gesinger, and his special friend Marion Davies.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to feeding South Dakota.