The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

December 30, 2013

S.D. woman marries at hospital to give mother her dying wish

Delores Vastenhout of Leota, Minn., died one day after her daughter married

SIOUX FALLS — Rather than fulfill her own dream for a January wedding in Mexico, a South Dakota woman held it at a hospital instead to make her dying mother's wish come true.

Delores Vastenhout, 58, of Leota, Minn., died Friday at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, four days after one of her daughters, Nicole, married her sweetheart, Ken Decker of Yankton, in the hospital's packed chapel. The couple had planned to tie the knot Jan. 11 at a Mexican resort.

"We knew there were two things my mom really wanted this year," Christy Menning, of Hartford, said Monday. "One was to see my sister get married and the second was to have a family Christmas."

On Christmas Eve, which was the day after the wedding, the family brought all the gifts to Vastenhout's hospital room, decorated it for the holiday and celebrated what would be their last Christmas together.

Menning said her mother, though weak and in a lot of pain, was able to take part.

"She wanted to see them open their Christmas presents one more time," Menning said of her two children, who were her mother's only grandchildren. "She wanted to be there for her family, so she would never give up."

On Monday, she was helping to plan the funeral, which was to take place Tuesday in Leota.

"People need to realize that time is valuable and they should hold their loved ones close while they still can," Menning said.

KSFY-TV first reported the story.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Congress reaches agreement on VA reform With days left before the August break, congressional leaders unveiled a $17 billion bipartisan compromise Monday to fix the tattered Department of Veterans Affairs.

    July 28, 2014

  • Residency case targets state GOP legislator A residency dispute involving a Minnesota legislator has landed in court and could put a Republican-held seat in contention at a time when the party is fighting to wrest chamber control from Democrats.

    July 28, 2014

  • 8,000 get false notice of health care cancellation ST. PAUL — More than 8,000 low-income Minnesotans received erroneous notices that their health coverage would be temporarily canceled if they don't pay up. A July 17 notice warned MinnesotaCare subscribers that they faced a four-month coverage locko

    July 28, 2014

  • ND deputy hurt in scuffle Suspect charged with assaulting, trying to disarm law officer

    July 28, 2014

  • Fergus Falls plans deer hunt Hunters are selected by a lottery, pay $20 fee

    July 28, 2014

  • Man killed in home invasion Homeowner's son in Ray, Minn., fires fatal shot

    July 28, 2014

  • Charges filed in July 8 fatal Dodge Center woman criminally charged in fatal car crash

    July 28, 2014

  • American doctor in Africa gets treatment for Ebola BOONE, N.C. (AP) — An American doctor infected with the deadly Ebola disease received intensive treatment Sunday in West Africa and was in stable condition, talking to his medical team and working on his computer, a spokeswoman for an aid group said.

    July 27, 2014

  • Salmonella Outbreak Trial [Duplicate] Trial in salmonella outbreak to start in Georgia ATLANTA (AP) — Three people accused of scheming to manufacture and ship salmonella-tainted peanuts that killed nine people, sickened more than 700 and prompted one of the largest food recalls in history are set to go to trial this week in south Georg

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pitfalls emerge in health insurance renewals WASHINGTON — For the 8 million people who persevered through all the technical travails in the new health insurance exchanges and managed to sign up for coverage in 2014, their policies will probably automatically renew come November when open enroll

    July 27, 2014