Geraldine van der Hagen, age 100, of Bird Island died Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at Prairie View Assisted Living in Hector.  Mass of Christian burial will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bird Island on Monday, May 17, at 1:15 p.m. with Rev. George Schmit as celebrant.  Burial will be in the church cemetery.  Visitation will be Monday at the church from 11:00 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred.  Arrangements are with Dirks-Blem Funeral Service of Olivia, MN.

A live stream of Gerry’s service will be available starting at 1:15 p.m. on Monday at the following link:

Geraldine Marcella van der Hagen was born June 20, 1920 in Renville, Minnesota to Ferdinand and Ella (Schmidt) Lenz.  She grew up in Renville and graduated from Renville High School.  Geraldine was an executive secretary for the Renville County Auditor’s office, Bird Island Schools Vocational Rehab, H.K. Ferguson Co., Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative and Rauenhorst Bellows Associates in Olivia all while raising her family.  Geraldine was united in marriage to William van der Hagen Jr. on July 26, 1943 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. While Bill was deployed with the Merchant Marines in WWII they lived in Boston, San Francisco and then returned to Bird Island where they raised six children.  Gerry enjoyed the outdoors, especially the river bottom, bird watching, playing piano, cooking, antiquing, playing bridge, and coffee with friends.  She traveled with Bill to Pfarr, Texas and enjoyed trips to Europe and Mexico. She was a member of the Bird Island American Legion Auxiliary and St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Most important to her was spending time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She will be remembered for making chocolate chip cookies, potato salad, and her infamous turkey salad which she shared with friends and family.  Gerry received excellent care at Prairie View Memory Care Unit, in Hector, for the past four months. The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the staff of Prairie View for providing Gerry the best care ever, and to Big Stone Therapies and Renville County Hospice.

Geraldine is survived by her children: William James (Jim) van der Hagen III of Bird Island, Annette (Ed) Raitz of Bird Island, Ellen (Matt) Krippner of Marty, Tim (Colleen Albers) van der Hagen of Bird Island, and Carolyn (Dewey Panitzke) Young of Redwood Falls; her daughter-in-law Karen van der Hagen of Olivia; her 15 grandchildren: Michele (Josh) Thompson, Nicole (Scott) Buss, Tony (Connie Willey) Raitz, Joe (Sherry) Krippner, Paul (Tanya) Krippner, Stephen (Amanda) Krippner, Sara (Jamie) Kloster, Tonya (Chad) Grunewald, Jason (Katie) van der Hagen, Jeremie (Anita) van der Hagen, Alethea (Corey) Caraway, Bill (Shannon Steffke) van der Hagen, Shawn (Stephanie) Young, Marie (Jarrod) Larsen, Katrina (Jose) Dorantes; and 37 great-grandchildren; her in-laws Kathryn O’Loughlin, Joan McCalla, Mary Lou Didier, Dorothy (Tom) Swanback, Phyllis (Tootie) van der Hagen, Bob (Dottie) van der Hagen; and many nieces and nephews.  Geraldine was preceded in death by her parents; her husband William (Bill) van der Hagen; son David van der Hagen; daughter-in-law Cheryl van der Hagen; son-in-law Jeffery Young; her siblings: Marvin (Eileen) Lenz and Adeline (Paul) Tersteeg; her brothers-in-law: Frank van der Hagen, Douglas van der Hagen, Bernie van der Hagen, Roger van der Hagen, Douglas McCalla, Tom O’Loughlin and her devoted, Tiger Baby.

As she goes on her final journey….

Blessed Be Her Memory