Gerald H. Rupiper
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Gerald H. Rupiper, age 72, of Yankton, South Dakota, died Saturday, December 13, 2014, at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, surrounded by his family.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 AM on Friday, December 19, 2014, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Yankton with Reverend Mark Lichter officiating. Burial will be in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Yankton. Visitation is from 4:00 to 8:00 PM on Thursday, December 18, 2014, at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton with a rosary at 7:00 PM and a vigil service at 7:30 PM. Visitation will resume one hour prior to the Mass on Friday at the church.

Pallbearers are Anthony Bemrich, Matt Schlingman, Mitch Schlingman, Craig Rupiper, Brent Rupiper, Scott Becker, and Keith Becker.

Gerald Rupiper was born June 29, 1942 in Fordyce, Nebraska to Clarence and Bernadette (Boehmer) Rupiper. He grew up on the family farm and attended school at St. John the Baptist Elementary in Fordyce, then graduated from Holy Trinity High School in Hartington, Nebraska in 1960. He married Bonnie Stevens, October 17, 1964 in Hartington. After their marriage, Gerald farmed near Fordyce until they moved to Utica, South Dakota and he began farming with his brother, Larry in 1969. He started Missouri Valley Irrigation in 1976 and later moved to Pierre, South Dakota where he continued in the irrigation business. In 1981, they moved to Fort Dodge, Iowa, where Gerald began working at Norwest Bank as an Ag Loan Officer. They moved back to Yankton in 1988, and opened The Floor to Ceiling Store, which he continued to own and operate with his wife, Bonnie despite his failing health.

He was an active member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus in Yankton and was a former president and member of the Lewis and Clark Homebuilders Association. Gerald was a hardworking, soft hearted, loyal and faithful man who enjoyed working in his yard and driving his 1963 Pontiac Catalina. One of his most cherished memories was playing drums with "The Wanted". He was a strong man who fought his disease with everything he had and loved his family above all else, especially his wife and all of his girls.

Survivors include his wife, Bonnie of Yankton; five daughters: Brenda Liddicoat (Greg Ching) of Denver, Colorado; Kristi (Jamie) Bemrich of Fort Dodge, Iowa; Robyn (Mark) Glaser of Denver; Dixie (Chris) DeGroot of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Jen Rupiper (Don Reyes) of Shakopee, Minnesota; five grandchildren: Anthony and Aubrey Bemrich, Logan DeGroot, and Matthew and Piper Glaser; three brothers: Larry (Jane) Rupiper of Yankton; Clair (Kathy) Rupiper of Fordyce, Nebraska; and Stanley Rupiper of Sioux City, Iowa; four sisters: Mary Ellen (David) Kline of Yankton; Rose Mary (Terry) Becker of Norfolk, Nebraska; Carla (Jim) Schlingman of Yankton; and Cheryl Ann Rupiper of Hartington. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

In lieu of flowers, monetary donations will be made to help future patients of the new hospice care facility in Memory of Gerald Rupiper.

Messages will be reviewed and posted within 1 business day.

Gerry will be missed at our SD Home Builders Association board meetings. He always took time to say hello. My sympathy to the family.

Susan Hilmoe

Gerry will be greatly missed. I could not put a high enough value on the things that he taught me over the last 17 odd years. He single handedly helped me to find the internal fortitude to fight several things in my career as a contracter I will always appreciate to long talks out back of the store. My deepest sympathies to Bonnie and the girls

Josh Barber

We have known Gerry for years he was a wonderful and caring man!!He will be truly missed!!!Our deepest sympathy to the families!!!And to Bonnie who was always by his side!!!!

Don&Vi Heimes

Gerry will be missed by everyone who knew him. One thing I liked about Gerry was he always had an opinion on most anything you wanted to talk about. He always treated people with respect and kindness. My deepest sympathy to Bonnie and the family!!

Dan Teeslink

Deepest condolences to Bonnie and all of gerry's family and friends. Gerry was a wonderful man, so skilled and talented. He will be truly missed by many.

Mike Bitton

Please accept our deepest condolences. We are praying for strength and comfort for you at this time. We will always remember the laughter we shared with Gerry at the Chamber Mixers and when we would come to your store. We will miss him greatly. Our deepest sympathies go out to Bonnie and the kids.

Ken and Steph Kopetsky

Bonnie and family, So sorry to here about Gerry. It was over 20 years ago when you first opened the Floor To Ceiling Store that I met the two of you. A friendship was quickly formed and Gerry and I had many great times together. I will always remember his drum playing skills along with many of the in depth conversations regarding the FTC. I wish for you and your family strength to cope with the sadness of losing him. Remember the good times. My deepest sympathy.

Bob and Becky Nelson

Bonnie and family:

I was so sorry to hear of your loss. Some of my earliest memories are of visiting at his folks house. Gerry was always so friendly and I was glad to have known him.

Linda (Rupiper) Coe

Teresa and I offer our deepest condolences to Bonnie and your family. Gerry has been in my prayers. We could drive for hours and never run out of conversation with Gerry. The good old times from our years together in Fort Dodge Sertoma club and serving together in business ventures will never be forgotten. Gerry will be missed by many. May God be with your family during this time or sorrow.

Mike & Teresa Hendren

Our condolences to Bonnie and your family. It was good to be associated with Gerry. Was a lot of help. He will be missed.

Bruce & Carol Fox

We worked with Jerry at Norwest Bank in Ft. Dodge. He was a great guy, always smiling and helpful. He remodeled the kitchen in our first home. His wife Bonnie babysat our oldest son Joseph. I'll always remember his saying, "sexy as a three-legged calf".

Our condolences to Bonnie and the girls.

Andrew and Lynette Kobs

Rupiper Family, thinking of you all in this time of sorrow. Prayers to everyone.

Denita Lee-Luke

My condolences to Bonnie and her family. I have fond memories of Gerry in my time associated with Floor To Ceiling. He was always around to offer any help that he could. I especially remember his great sense of humor and his great laugh. We had some fun times!

Tim Rogers

Our deepest condolences on the loss of your dear husband and father. We know he will be greatly missed. It is always heart wrenching when death causes us to lose someone we love. Please be assured that God does love you and your family and has even made a promise in the bible book of Revelation 21:3, 4 to bring an end to all sickness, pain, and even death. I hope that you can find comfort in the scriptures to help you and your family to ease your distress and sorrow.

The Holt Family

Kristi and family you are in our thoughts and prayers in the loss of your Dad. I really enjoyed working with him at Norwest Bank. He was always smiling, very friendly and always helpful. He will be missed by all that knew him.

Doug and Shirley Hanna Hottman

I did not know Gerry well at all, but I was saddened to hear of his passing. He and Bonnie were often greeters at our church, and I always appreciated his kind smile and his patience with my ornery children! We also ran into them at a car show behind the Fryn' Pan one day after we ate breakfast, and I appreciate his patience and kindness once again as he showed the same ornery children his beautiful car-- they were most impressed! He and Bonnie seemed like people who sincerely enjoyed each other's company, and I smiled when I noted their 50th wedding anniversary recently in the paper. Although I did not know him well, please accept my condolences and prayers during your time of loss, he will be remembered fondly by so many.

Lindsay Hovden

Marcia and I offer our sympathies to your entire family. Gerry was a great guy, a good man and so fun to be around. His help in the formation of our company and his dedicated service to it will not be forgotten. To many times he sacrificed his time with you and away from his business to help our group. I often chastised him for driving bad roads at late hours to be present for meetings. Bonnie, we are all thinking of you and praying for you and your family.

Dave and Marcia Munson

Bonnie and Family, My deepest sympathies to you all!

I ALWAYS enjoyed Gerry's and my conversations when I stopped in to show him new products. He would ALWAYS take time to welcome me, and tell me a story, or two, or three........He will be missed by EVERYONE here at Syversons.

Dennis Mehlbrech

Our Thoughts and Prayers go out to you Bonnie and the entire Rupiper Familes. . Gerry was such a valued Director and pillar of our organization and will be greatly missed. Thank you for sharing him with us and know that all of us are here for you. Take Care

Lewis and Clark Home Builders

Bonnie and Family,

A multi-talented and kind, thoughtful man is no longer with us. He truly will be missed.
Please accept our deepest sympathy.

Bill Heubaum

I worked with Gerry at Norwest Bank and remember him being excited to move to Yankton and open your store. It was always a pleasure to visit with him.
Deepest Sympathy.

Sonja Scott

Bonnie and condolences to you and your family for the loss of your husband and father. He had a love for his family that had an impact on me with my children. A genuine love for his wife, children, and family. I am glad I knew Gerald and may he rest in eternal peace.

Matthew Kathol

It was a great honor to work with Gerry over the years at FTC. He was a key part of our success. I loved hearing his stories about the products the stores sold in the early days. I envied and enjoyed when he displayed his talent on the drums. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family.

Doug and Carolyn Reifsteck

Bonnie and family...Our deepest condolences to you and the girls. We have so many fond memories of the time you spent in "the circle" in Fort Dodge, especially Robin, Dixie, and Pam. May God give you His comfort in this time of your loss.

Harlan and Brenda Vande Berg

I worked with Gerry at Norwest Bank in Fort Dodge. He was always had a smile, was always kind, and I really enjoyed working with him. I have thought of him many time over the years since he left Fort Dodge. My deepest sympathy to his family.

Marsha Hickey

Bonnie and Family,

My deepest sympathies prayers and support to you during this very difficult time. I always remember your Dad Kristi greeting us with a warm smile and hello coming from Saint Edmond events. I know how hard it is to lose your Dad. I'm keeping you in my prayers.

Julie Lawler (Kahler) "+"

I worked with Jerry at Norwest Bank in Fort Dodge, Iowa and Jerry and Bonnie were also our neighbors. Jerry was a joy to work beside, always had a smile on his face, and willing to lend a helping hand. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family at this difficult time.

Paul and Janelle Swenson



Bonnie and Family, what an honor it was to count Gerry as a friend. As anyone who knew him I to enjoyed sitting down and visiting with him. He was always a professional and treated me with respect. I truly looked forward seeing him every month. I believe he is enjoying a story or two with our Lord right now. My prayers to you and your family.

Brian Young

Bonnie and family:

We are so sorry for your loss. Gerry was so fun and funny and a great husband, father and friend. May God be with you all.

Sandy and Larry Bushman

Bonnie and family:

We are saddened by the loss of Gerry, and all of you are in our thoughts and prayers. Just as we have been during this difficult time, we will be there for you all, and in Gerry's honor, keep "holding the fort down." May God bless you.

Kevin Kohles & Mark Underdahl

Dear Bonnie & family,

We express our heartfelt condolences to all of you regarding Gerry's passing. We'll never forget how you both allowed me to be a part of the FTC family. It's been a highly positive experience, and we will be praying for you. You're wonderful people and Gerry will be missed.

It may be of some comfort for you to read John 5:28 or Acts 24:15. Aldith and I each lost one of our parents in 2008 and these verses gave us comfort. In the meantime, take care and may God grant you strength and peace.

With love,

Mark & Aldith Underdahl

Bonnie and family,

I don't even know where to start. I have so many fond memories of Gerry. Most of all, I just remember that big smile was always on his face. And that chuckle of his was never too far behind. Back in the day, I loved razzing him about watching line dancing on the Country Music Channel! He had a heart of gold and a gentle demeanor. I truly viewed him as a father figure at a time when I so desperately needed one. A special man. A special family. You're all in my thoughts and prayers.

Derrick Martin

Bonnie and Family,

Deb and I wanted to be with you be with you today to mourn and celebrate Gerry's life. Unfortunately we are unable to attend. We will miss Gerry and his great attitude on life, business and family. I will miss his jam sessions on the drums when we had the bands play at the old FTC days. He will be missed. I pray that you and your family will find peace in each other, your friends and in the Grace of God.

Bob and Deb Jensen


Dear Bonnie, Robin and family,

I am so sorry for your loss. Your family meant so very much to Derrick and he loved all of you. God Bless You.

Ann Martin

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