Mary Frances Ganje was born November 12, 1928 in Eagle Butte, SD, the daughter of John and Margaretha (Rieger) Ganje. At age eight, Mary and her family moved to a farm northeast of Villard, MN. Later the family moved to a farm east of Alexandria before moving into Alexandria on Douglas Street.
Mary took a job as a telephone operator; she worked for the phone company for a couple of years; she kept in contact with her coworkers over the years. On September 28, 1948 Mary was united in marriage to Lester Rajdl. The couple was blessed with two children, Julie and David. Mary quit her job with the telephone company and moved onto a dairy farm with Lester, southeast of Forada. In addition to raising her two children, Mary helped Lester operate the farm. She helped keep the farm self-sufficient by maintaining a large garden and raising chickens.
Mary loved to bake; family favorites were banana bread and plachinda (a German pumpkin turnover). Some called it dessert, some called it a side salad, but Mary sure liked her Jello. She like to read and cut articles about family members and recipes from the newspaper. Mary loved animals and loved to watch the birds. She had an extensive collection of household items and figurines; all based on the owl. In her younger days, she loved going dancing with her family at Lakeside Ballroom and Gene’s Barn.
Mary was a member of the Sunshine Birthday Club, made up of neighbors and friends. She was also a member of the Christian Mothers at St. Bartholomew’s in Villard.
On Monday, April 29, 2019 Mary died at the age of ninety years. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lester; four sisters, Barbara Johnson, Victoria Betterman, and two infant twins; and five brothers, Herman Joseph, Anton, Albert and Bennie Ganje. Mary is survived by her daughter, Julie Ann Rajdl (Barnack) and husband, Dennis, of Alexandria; son, David Lester Rajdl and wife, Carol, of Nelson; grandchildren, Anthony “Tony” Barnack and wife, Rebecca, of Lonsdale, MN, Sara Barnack Bertram and husband, Brett, of Bloomington, Travis Rajdl of Alexandria and Andrew Rajdl and fiancée, Stephanie Strasser, of Mishawaka, IN; great-grandchildren, Benjamin, Samuel and Daniel Barnack, and Adeline and Brody Bertram; and sister-in-law, Sr. Mary Lou Ann Rajdl, M.M. of Chicago, IL.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 AM Friday, May 3, 2019 at the Church of St. Mary in Alexandria with Reverend Father Steve Binsfeld as the celebrant. Interment will be in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 PM Thursday with a prayer service beginning at 7 PM at the Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria. Additional visitation will be from 10 to 11 AM Friday at the church. Casket bearers include Tony Barnack, Sara Bertram, Travis Rajdl, Andrew Rajdl, Ben Barnack and Sam Barnack.
Arrangements were with the Anderson Funeral Home.
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