Celebration of Life Service for Della Berndt will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, at Family Worship’s Edge Event Center, 1708 West Grand Crossing, Mobridge. A fellowship meal will follow immediately after the service.
Della passed away Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, at Mobridge Regional Hospital. Her interment will take place in the summer of 2022 at Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, South Dakota.
Della Emma Schneider was born Nov. 27, 1933, on a farm nine miles north of Java in Campbell County to William and Emma (Werre) Schneider. She was the sixth of seven children. Her siblings were Raymond, Vernard, Ervin, Hilda (Wahl), Meta (Lang) and Delbert.
Della attended a country school until the eighth grade and then graduated from Java High School in 1952. She attended one year of business college in Rapid City.
Della met Leland J. Berndt from Herreid, son of Adam and Eva (Schmidt) Berndt, at her brother Vernard and Ella’s wedding dance. They began dating and then got married March 8, 1953, in Java.
When her husband Leland obtained his law degree from University of South Dakota, he entered the U.S. Navy and served as a judicial officer. The newly married couple were stationed at New Port, Rhode Island, then Long Beach, California, and Astoria, Oregon. While Leland was serving in the Navy, their first two sons, Mark and Neil, were born.
After completion of Leland’s military service, they moved back to South Dakota. They made their home in Faulkton for a year where Leland served as Faulk County Judge. Here they added another son, Paul, to their family.
They then moved to Mobridge so Leland could join attorney Ervin E. Dupper. They formed The Law Office of Dupper and Berndt. Five more children were added: Bruce, Craig, Randy, Leann and Laura. With the help of Della, the children and friends campaigning door-to-door, Leland was elected as 12th District County Judge and later as 5th Circuit Court Judge. Della was always a huge support to her husband.
Della got a laugh each time she told the story about Leland’s response when he called from the office. He needed to get the birthdates of all their children for some form. She gave the birthdate of Mark. Then she fired off all in a row, Neil, Paul, Bruce and Craig. ‘56, ‘57, ‘58, and ‘59. He responded and said, “Oh My Goodness!” It was like an epiphany. Perhaps he got an extra appreciation for mom that day.
She also tells the story of when their first daughter, Leann, was born. The six boys were so excited. It was July 3, 1964, during the Mobridge City Parade. The word spread quickly and the whole town knew in a hurry. She said the boys always insisted that Leann wore a dress because they wanted everyone to know they had a sister!
Della was a wife and stay-at-home mother until her youngest, Laura was in second grade. She went to work at the Mobridge Care Center. She worked the shift from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. so she would be home when her children came home from school. She worked as a CNA at the Care Center for 30 some years. She had a gentle, loving, kind and compassionate heart toward those she cared for. It takes a special grace to work in a nursing home and she exemplified that.
In the past, she was involved in the Women of the Moose, the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary, and while her daughters were young, she was a Brownie leader. She also enjoyed working in her yard and pulling weeds. Perhaps it was a break from her eight children! Della also liked playing bridge with her friends. They had formed a bridge club and took turns hosting in their own homes.
Della spent a lot of time baking for her kids and all their friends. She said she would make three cakes at a time. The kids would have them all gone by the next day! With such a large family, Della had a huge garden, and everyone participated.
Della loved her Savior. Her last vocal prayer before she went Home was, “Thank you Jesus for everything. I love you — I love everyone.”
She would pray not only for her own family but for those all over the world. Her desire was for people to come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and to be with Him in eternity. She had a very tender heart for hurting people. For the last 10 years she enjoyed being a part of the ministry to which God had called her youngest daughter Laura. Della spent a lot of time praying for the ministry team Laura is a part of and those they ministered to. Della was a shining example of how to walk-in-love and forgiveness. She was resilient and strong in her faith.
Della is survived by her eight children, Mark (Maria) of Sturgis, Neil (Botan) of Cedar City, Utah, Paul (Janice) of Kansas City, Missouri, Bruce of Mobridge, Craig of Mobridge, Randy of West Lafayette, Indiana, Leann (Randy) Teigen of Hannibal, Missouri, and Laura (Jesse) Gunther of Mobridge; 13 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; her youngest brother, Delbert and his wife Joan Schneider of Garland, Texas; sister-in-law, Ella Schneider of Mobridge; one brother-in-law, Lauren Berndt of Herreid; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her father, William (1978) and mother, Emma (1958); brother, Raymond (1997) (wife Ernestine 1990) of Eureka; sister, Hilda (2012) (husband, Merle Wahl 2016) of Aberdeen; brother, Ervin (2014) (wife, Lydia aka Babe 2018) of Aberdeen; sister, Meta (2018) (husband, Elmer Lang 1998) of Howard; brother, Vernard (2019) of Mobridge; and Della’s husband of 66 years, Judge Leland Berndt (2019) of Mobridge.
Any memories/stories you would like to share of Della are comforting to the family. Please email her daughter Laura at JLephesians412@yahoo.com or send a text to 605-848-2723 or a note can be mailed to 6 Fourth Ave. East, Mobridge, SD, 57601. There is also an obituary guestbook you can sign at www.keslingfuneralhome.net
Please join the family in celebrating her life at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 29.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made in memory of Della Berndt to the Mobridge Senior Citizens Center’s “Furnace Project.” The building needs the two 32-year-old furnaces replaced this winter. The replacement cost for both furnaces will be about $8,000. As you know Mobridge has a large elderly population. The Senior Center is an incredible blessing to our community. So, if you are able, let’s bless them and help take care of them. Thank you.
Arrangements entrusted to Kesling Funeral Home.