Gerald L. Tiedeman, 92, of Oronoco, died Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019, at Saint Marys Hospital.
On Aug. 13, 1926, Gerald Louis Tiedeman was born to Louis and Matilda (Koenig) Tiedeman of Oronoco, becoming the third generation of the family dairy farm. Gerald married Eleanor Hoffmann on Sept. 18, 1949. They made this farm their home, buying it financially from Gerald's parents in 1951, purchasing the dairy herd and machinery. Gerald and Eleanor raised three children, Cheryl, John and Jean, the fourth generation on the farm. John graduated from the University of Minnesota-Waseca for Animal Production and Crop Management. Currently, Gerald and John work as a partnership, continuing the family dairy farm operation with Adam Tiedeman's help, John's son and the fifth generation.The farming operation expanded when John purchased a neighbor's dairy farm in 1977, doubling the acreage. The crop acreage was plotted with contoured strips and an earthen dam by means of working with the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Gerald and John also own and manage a local mobile home court consisting of 66 lots.
During these years, Gerald was active in various levels of public service. These included being a member of the Pine Island Rural Fire Department, elected as Clerk of Oronoco Township for five years, which lead to being elected to the Olmsted County Township Officers. Gerald served as an elected County Commissioner for Olmsted County for 12 years, and serving as Chairman of the Hiawatha Valley Resource Conservation and Development District (RC&D), a branch of the SCS of USDA., in addition to numerous county committees, public health advisory groups, and chairman of many election committees. He was appointed by Governor Wendell Anderson to the Southern Minnesota River Basin Commission (SMRBS). Gerald participated as a member of the Church Council where he and Eleanor continue to attend Sunday services.
During the summer, Gerald and Eleanor enjoyed fishing with friends in the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota. The rest of the year, they played 500 with neighboring couples and supported the County Extension Groups and the local Oronoco Optimists 4-H Club, when their children were members. Gerald and Eleanor have traveled the Midwest and Canada on their trips by car with their children to Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Salt Lake City, Utah. As a couple, they have visited family in California and Colorado. As well as vacations to Branson, Mo., which was also where they spent their honeymoon in 1949, along with seizing the opportunity to take a site-seeing tour of the beautiful state of Alaska.
Gerald contributes his success in accomplishing the goals and objectives that he set for himself when he was young, to his willingness to help others and keeping a positive attitude.
Gerald is survived by his children, John Tiedeman of Oronoco, and Jean (Bob) Engle of Phoenix; four grandchildren, Lisa (Rob) Hofer, Brenda (Chad) Ruhnow, Cory Tiedeman and Adam Tiedeman; six great-grandsons; and three great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded death by his parents; wife, Eleanor; one daughter, Cheryl (Wooley) Engelking; and a brother, Virgil.
A Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13, at Grace Lutheran Church, 45 First Ave. NW, Oronoco. Visitation will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 12, at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes and one hour prior to the service Tuesday at the church. Burial will take place at Oronoco Cemetery.
Gerald's family thanks Deanna and Armin Shremp and the caregiving staff at Rehoboth Adult & Elder Care for the excellent care they provided during Gerald's last couple years. Please send memorial donations to diabetes research to help others with this life changing condition.
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes is honored to be serving the Tiedeman family. To share a special memory or condolence, please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com.