Geraldine Mary Althoff Craig, 83, of Bella Vista, Arkansas, died Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, at her home, surrounded by the love of her family.
Gerry was born Nov. 18, 1929, in Mankato, MN, to John and Katherine Schaak Bachmeyer, the second youngest of 11 children. She married Dennis A. Althoff on Feb. 5, 1949, in Mankato, and they settled in Austin, MN, to raise their 13 children.
Gerry's main focus was being a mother, nurturer and provider. She also found joy in the songs of birds, musical performances and lots of laughter. When the last of her children entered kindergarten, she herself returned to school to obtain a cosmetology license. She operated the Belle Beauty Salon in Austin for about 15 years before she and Denny retired to Bella Vista, AR, in 1986. Dennis passed away in December 1988. On June 4, 2005, Gerry married longtime companion Ted L. Craig.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 40 years, Dennis Althoff; an infant daughter; daughter Tammy; grandson Patrick; 6 brothers: Norbert, Raymond, Walter, Lawrence, Norman and Gilbert Bachmeyer; and 3 sisters: Marcella Benning, Pauline Heiser and Catherine Pierce.
Gerry is survived by her husband, Ted L. Craig, Bella Vista, AR; four sons: Rick (Mary) Althoff, Sioux Falls, SD; Randy (Gloria) Althoff, Jordan, MN; Terry (Deb) Althoff, Luverne, MN; Larry (Kim) Althoff, Wausau, WI; nine daughters: Nancy (Scott) Petersen, North Mankato, MN; Ginny Althoff, Bismarck, ND; Wendy (Dave) Murphy, Adams, MN; Kathy (Steve) Hughes, Kasson, MN; Cindy Toby, Elkton, MD; Lorry (Victor) Adkins, Knoxville, IA; Kelly (Dan) Cheramy, McFarland, WI; Tracy Ramsey, Madison, WI; Becky Quisenberry, Bentonville, AR; one brother: Clem (Linda) Bachmeyer, Mankato, MN; 41 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Gerry is also survived by her husband's offspring: Robert (Sharon) Craig, Yukon, OK; Nathan (Janice) Craig, Edmond, OK; and their children and grandchildren. She has always been, and will continue to be, an angel watching over us.
Visitation will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012 at Queen of Angels Catholic Church, 1001 Oakland Ave East, Austin, MN. A Mass of Celebration will be held at 2 p.m., followed by burial in Calvary Cemetery. In eternal thanks for great education and moral values for her family, memorials may be directed to the Althoff Fund at Pacelli Catholic Schools, 511 4th Ave. NW, Austin, MN 55912, or to the donor's choice.
Online condolences may be offered at www.funeralmation.com, or cards may be sent to Althoff Family, c/o Wendy Murphy, Lyle Post Office, Lyle MN 55953.