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Obituary: Geraldine Louise DeFoe

Geraldine Louise DeFoe (Zaangwewegaabawiikwe) was born on Aug. 29, 1939, to George L. and Mary L. (Churchill) Benjamin in Ogema Township, Minnesota. She grew up in Hinckley and graduated from Sandstone High School in 1954. Following graduation, Geraldine worked as a dietician at the hospital in Sandstone for a number of years.

She was married to Kenneth L. DeFoe Sr., and together they had three children, Kenneth Jr., Kevin and Keith. Geraldine passed away on June 16, 2023, at her home in Cloquet, at the age of 83 years.

Starting from a young age, Geraldine was a mother figure to many, helping raise her younger siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews and grandchildren. She found joy in raising her family and providing them the best of everything she could while supporting them in their own endeavors. If she wasn’t at home cooking her favorites — frybread, wild rice and frybread dogs — or watching “The Price Is Right” you would find her at bingo, her next love after her family and cooking. Geraldine will be missed for her leadership, humor and, above all, her strong-willed and stubborn spirit.

Geraldine is survived by her sons Kevin L. DeFoe of Cloquet and Keith L. DeFoe of Isle; daughters-in-law, Doreen Diver and Shelly Brenny; grandchildren, Deanna, Ken III, Josh, Randi, Amanda, Kevin Jr., Ashley, Cody, Keith Jr., Tim, Missy, Katrina, Sami-Jo, Kyle and Taryn; Winnie, Sequoia, King and Kenny IV, amongst many other great-grandchildren; brothers Richard and Delbert Sr. Benjamin of Danbury, Wisconsin; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Kenneth L. DeFoe Sr .; son Kenneth L. (Angela) DeFoe Jr .; brothers Edwin, Bernard, Robert and Marvin DeFoe; and sisters, Evelyn Reynolds, Delphine Shabiash and Deloris Pike.

A traditional wake service was held from dusk June 19 until the traditional funeral service on June 20 at the Aazhoomog Community Center in Sandstone, with burial in the Aazhoomog community at the cemetery near Stevens Lake. Arrangements by Nelson Funeral Care of Cloquet.