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Kleinsasser, John E. (1912-1962)

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Mennonite Weekly Review obituary: 1962 Aug 23 p. 7

Birth date: 1912

text of obituary:

Five Killed in Head-On Collision Near Freeman

Freeman, S. D. – This community was shocked and saddened by the deaths of four local residents and a four-year-old Carthage, S. D. boy in a fiery head-on collision near here Sunday afternoon, Aug. 12. It was believed to be the worst accident in the community’s history.

A mass funeral service for four of the victims – all occupants of the same car – were [sic was] held Wednesday afternoon in Pioneer Hall at Freeman College. They were John E. Kleinsasser, 50, his daughters Orlene, 14, and Sherry, 16, and Kenneth Wipf, 4 of Carthage.

Services for Mary Jo Tschetter, 16, daughter of Attorney and Mrs. Wm. Tschetter, were held Tuesday afternoon at the Bethany Mennonite Church. Rev. Wm. Unrau officiated at both services.

Miss Tschetter was a passenger in a car driven by Rodney Gross, 16, who was critically injured. He is a son of Wm Gross of Freeman. Other passengers in the car driven by Mr. Kleinsasser were his wife and her sister, Mrs. Floyd Wipf, mother of the dead youth, both of whom were seriously injured but are reported improving.

The two cars collided on a hilly township road one and a half miles south of Freeman, the Gross auto catching fire upon impact. Howard Graber, farmer living nearby, heard the crash and hurried to the scene. He then ran home for his tractor, and with the aid of Andrew Wipf, pulled the burning car away. His action probably saved the lives of the women in the Kleinsasser car.

Only survivors in the Kleinsasser family are Mrs. Kleinsasser and a son, Gary, 11, who was not along at the time of the accident. Mary Jo Tschetter is survived by her parents and two brothers, Robert of Dallas, Texas and Richard of Freeman.

The Mennonite obituary: 1962 Sep 11 p. 588

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