Celebration of Life Services for Ferne C. Liebsch, age 100 will be 11:00 AM Saturday, June 17, 2023 at Calvary Free Lutheran Church with Pastor Gary Jorgenson and Lay Pastor William Buck officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the Church. Interment will be in the Arlington City Cemetery under the direction of Johnson-Henry Funeral Home of Arlington, SD. Ferne passed away Thursday, June 8, 2023 at her home in Arlington, SD. Ferne's service will be livestreamed under her obituary page.
Ferne Corinne Nelson Almond Liebsch, age 100, passed peacefully June 8, 2023.
She was born January 18, 1923 at Conde, SD to Tilford and Theresa (Anderson) Nelson. They soon moved to Newark, SD and when she was five years old the family, including baby, Faith, moved to Arlington, where she was baptized and later confirmed into the Christian faith. The family increased by three more children, Ramon, Charlene and Kaye. Ferne graduated from Arlington High School and attended Dakota Business College in Fargo, ND, and worked at the Bell Telephone Co. before her marriage in Feb. 1942 to 2 Lt. Donald Almond, of Hurley, SD in San Antonio, TX. They moved to Tacoma, WA, then Salt Lake City until Ferne was sent home with only brief visits with her husband in CA until he was sent overseas in September as a Capt. of a B24. They had one daughter, Sandra Kaye. In the spring of 1943 word came that Don was MIA and later learned that his plane had been shot down over the water near New Guinea.
In Feb. 1946, Ferne married Raymond Liebsch of Arlington, SD. They lived in Omaha for a year where Ray flew for Midwest Airline. The airline went under and a new life began with the purchase of a farm north of Arlington where Ferne was indoctrinated into farm life with electricity but no running water. While Ray was gone receiving more flight instruction, Ferne learned to milk Rosie, the cow, slop the pigs and care for a calf. Ray had his own flying school at Lake Poinsett and later became a Capt. for North Central Airlines commuting back and forth from the farm for his flights out of Minneapolis. In 1952 they had a daughter, Shari Lynn. Ferne cooked for family and farmhands and wrote a weekly column “Corinne is Cooking” for The Arlington Sun for five years using her garden produce to inspire her recipes. She grew hundreds of gladiolas also, enjoyed stamp collecting, was active in PTA and taught Brownie Scouts and loved the lifelong friendship that developed while teaching a Vietnamese family English. She was a Sunday school teacher and active in many church activities. Ferne gave piano lessons and accompanied music students for years for contests.
During a bout with cancer 1993, she couldn’t sleep and knit 46 afghans. She belonged to a knitting club, and was a charter member of Winsor Wives Extension club and was a Red Hatter also played in a bridge club. She made MANY dozens of scrapbooks, recycling photos from magazines on numerous subjects and loved giving them away.
Ferne played the organ at church for several decades, took care of the church’s library and wrote a monthly “Lines from the Library” until she was 99. She loved her Calvary Free Lutheran family. She served on the public library board for thirty years and wrote “Library Lingo”; joined a writing group called Wordslingers, and participated in “Bardic”, a poetry group in Sioux Falls. Ferne served on the SD State Poetry Society. She competed and won many competitions and has publications in “Pasque Petals”, “SD Magazine” and several other papers and magazines and was very excited about her book “Ferne’s Haiku”. She also did some writing for the Brookings Register. She kept journals thoughout her lifetime and was an avid reader and had a huge collecton of books.
In 1974, Ray retired from flying and they built a house in Arlington. Ray died in 1995; Ferne continued to live a busy, full, life and thoroughly enjoyed family and friends, playing her piano, and playing a scrabble or card game right up to her last days.
Ferne is survived by her daughters; Sandra Severson, Shari (Bob) Haufschild; grandchilden Wendy (Todd) Schreter, Jason (Alyssa) Haufschild, Jodi (David) Ulschmid; great grands Heather (Chris) Stucky, Shania Schreter, Andrew and Isaac Haufschild, Kaelyn and Caleb Ulschmid; great-great grands Shaylee and Kingston Schreter, Milo and Levi Stucky, sister Kaye (Gerald) Moe; many nieces and nephews.
Ferne is preceded in death by her parents Tilford and Theresa Nelson (and John Pankratz); both husbands Donald Almond and Raymond Liebsch; grandson, Rick Severson, sisters, Faith (Frank) Nicolas, Charlene (Orlynn) Piehl, and brother, Ramon (JoAnn) Nelson and many brothers and sisters-in laws.
Ferne was a very loving mom, grandma and friend and her strong faith and gentle loving ways will be missed.
Now she lives with the Lord, grateful for grace and grateful to her Lord Jesus.