Pearl Marie (Bollinger) Eldredge

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Pearl Marie (Bollinger) Eldredge, 84, of Ashton, SD, passed away peacefully and surrounded by her loving family on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, at Sanford Foundation Hospice Cottage in Sioux Falls, SD. Pearl’s final act of kindness was to give the gift of life through organ and tissue donation.

Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 13 at Hyke Funeral Home in Redfield, SD. Family will be present to accept condolences. A prayer service and time of sharing will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Pearl’s Celebration of Life service will be at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 14 at the Brentford Congregational United Church of Christ in Brentford, SD. Pastor Mike Kampa will officiate. After lunch and fellowship at the church, interment will follow at Greenlawn Cemetery in Redfield.

Both the prayer service and Celebration of Life service will be live-streamed on the funeral home’s website. Arrangements have been entrusted to Hyke Funeral Home (www.hykefuneralhome.com).

In lieu of flowers, please consider sending a donation to:

Sanford Health Foundation 

PO Box 5039

Sioux Falls, SD  57117

Please include a note that your gift is in memory of Pearl Eldredge.

The donations will be put into a fund to help women, children, and cancer patients.

Pearl Marie Eldredge was born August 16, 1939, in Houston, TX to Charles and Janice (Sandquist) Bollinger. Early in her childhood, Pearl moved to her grandparents’ farm in rural Conde, where she and her sister Beulah grew up. Guided by the wisdom and work ethic of her grandparents, Pearl quickly learned how to take care of a family. She cared for her sister and brothers, Bill and Jerry, and the four of them became a close-knit group, sharing friendship as well as family ties for their entire lives.

Pearl attended school in Brentford, SD. She was a vibrant and beautiful young woman, always up for a fun time and loved roller skating, school dances, and movies. After graduation, she attended Northern State Teachers College for almost two years. During her time in Brentford, she met and married the love of her life, Marland Eldredge. They moved to Sioux Falls, where they had two sons, Greg and Steve. While in Sioux Falls, Greg was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Marland and Pearl sought the best care available and while Greg was in very good hands, he was called to Heaven at the young age of seven.

After Greg’s passing, Pearl, Steve and Marland settled on the family farm, where they had two more children, Jenifer and Kurtis. As the three children grew up, Pearl enjoyed being involved in their school activities, summer sports, and music recitals. She was a dedicated community leader who was involved in her church and the American Legion Auxiliary, and she was a 4-H mom. Throughout the years, she hosted countless family dinners and holidays for as many as 30 people at once. Creating holiday feasts for her family brought her great joy and was a beautiful expression of her love for them. She had the extraordinary ability to greet her company with a warm welcome and make them feel right at home.

Pearl was a faithful and hard-working employee at the South Dakota Developmental Center in Redfield, SD, where she retired in the role of supervisor after almost 30 years. She was very proud of the work she did there, won employee recognition awards for her service, and was committed to serving the needs of the individuals and her staff.

In 1995, Pearl was diagnosed with breast cancer. But she was a survivor, so it didn’t slow her down at all. One year later when she and Marland were challenged by the winter of 1996, she embodied the pioneer spirit with practicality and grace and declared that they were either going to die there or get in the tractor and go! After heating up and eating some canned soup warmed by a burning roll of toilet paper in an empty coffee can – they had no water and no power – Marland hooked up the snow-blower to the back of the tractor and diligently drove in reverse – a few feet at a time for almost 5 hours – to go 1.5 miles to Pearl’s sister’s home. They made it safely and have never liked to be cold since.

Pearl was smart and strong, and she used these skills to navigate being the executor of both her grandmother’s and mother’s estates. She knew what was right and just, and she fought hard-won battles with Marland at her side.

In 2009, when Marland passed away much too soon, Pearl stayed on the family farm and continued her work in Redfield until she retired in 2010. When her cancer came back in 2016, she moved to Sioux Falls to be closer to family and medical care.

Pearl and Marland were married for nearly 50 years and saw all three of their devoted children get married and start families of their own. Spending time with her grandchildren was one of her greatest joys on earth. Pearl took great delight doting on her beautiful granddaughters, Barbara, Myrna, and Milaana, and bragged about her handsome grandsons, Sam and Aydan. In her later years, Pearl was blessed with two adorable great-grandsons, Tommy and Caleb.

Pearl lived a colorful and vibrant life, full of love and genuine joy with her husband and family. She was patient, calm, and generous. She was quick to praise and understood the value of a good work ethic. Her life was a gift of service to those around her. She taught her children how to be generous, giving, and selfless by example, in her interactions with her family and her community. She taught her children to open their eyes to those who have less or are struggling and how to give unselfishly. She refused to let her family struggle, when she knew she could help.

She lived a clean and beautiful life - from the fashionable clothes she wore to the way she decorated her beautiful home. She put her whole heart and full self into everything she did. And she welcomed everyone with open arms.

Pearl was preceded in death by her son Greg, her grandparents Carl and Henrietta Sandquist, her parents Charlie and Janice Bollinger, her husband Marland, her sister Beulah, and her brothers Jerry and Bill.

Pearl’s memory lives on in her children, Steven (Ann) Eldredge, Jenifer (Greg) Wollman, and Kurtis Eldredge; her grandchildren Sam (Alicia) McCauley and Milaana Wollman; and her great-grandchildren Thomas and Caleb McCauley. She is also survived by her grandchildren Barbara Andrade, Myrna Eldredge, and Aydan Eldredge and their mother Maqueli Eldredge, as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews.