Cover photo for Grace Ann Schiefen's Obituary
Grace Ann Schiefen Profile Photo
1958 Grace 2023

Grace Ann Schiefen

May 6, 1958 — April 20, 2023


Grace Ann Schiefen of Irene, SD passed away at Sanford USD Medical Center on Thursday April 20, 2023.

Grace Ann Schiefen was born on the 6th of May,1958 to Colette (Nepple) Schiefen and Ted Schiefen of rural LeMars Iowa.  Grace Ann graduated from Gehlen High School in 1976 and attended the University of South Dakota.  At USD, Grace Ann was Sec/Treas of both the Law Enforcement Club and the Judo Club.  She won trophies in Judo competitions.  After Graduation in 1980 she attended the USD Law School but had to withdraw due to illness and an injury.  Grace Ann then attended and graduated from the Denver Paralegal Institute in May of 1981 and began working as a paralegal. 

On September 5th, 1981, Grace Ann married John H Gunderson of Irene. A year later our son, Andrew (Dru) Schiefen-Gunderson was born, followed two years later by our daughter, Annicka Schiefen-Gunderson.  Moving to Irene continued Grace Ann’s involvement with farming. She liked both farming and working with cattle, but she missed her pigs…

Ann worked for several businesses in the Yankton area, mostly as a bookkeeper and accountant during the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s.  When not working Grace Ann was involved with our children’s activities.  She taught CCD for 25 years at St. Columba of rural Irene.  Grace Ann also served years as church Sec/Treas.

Grace Ann went back to USD and entered Grad School, where she earned her Master of Business Management.  Part of the curriculum was a School Trip to Egypt where she” just happened” to run into her Son who was studying in Morocco. After graduation, she worked for an accounting firm. 

In 2010 Grace Ann and John started a new chapter in their lives.  At a time when many people are planning retirement, they started farming again.  In 2017 we became involved with TEAM BACON!    It was a very challenging time which used all of Grace Ann’s skills to come to completion.  Cost Accounting, Paralegal and most importantly a lot of common sense and patience won the day. Grace Ann got her pigs!

In March of 2023, Grace Ann had a small stroke.  She was recovering well and was home a day after being in rehab for a month.  There followed another stroke.  In investigating the strokes, doctors discovered Stage IV, Pancreatic Cancer, which was causing the strokes.  Grace Ann lost her father Ted, to Pancreatic cancer in 1968 and her sister, Theresia, in 1989 to Ovarian Cancer.  Twenty-five years ago Grace Ann had a precancerous cyst removed from her ovary.  Grace Ann knew that each day was a gift and tried to live that way. We know that there is genetic testing available to predict certain cancers.  We encourage everyone to get tested and then find the best treatments.

We want to thank the Staff at Sanford Viborg and Sioux Falls for their kindness and attention to Grace Ann.  We also want to thank Dr. Brian Wilson and his wife Petra for help understanding strokes and recovery.  Dr. Nancy Schenk and her husband Karl were there to help us with Pancreatic Cancer.  Dr Nancy and Karl were a great support to Ann on that last day. 

Grace Ann is survived by her husband, John H Gunderson. Children Andrew and Annicka.  Sisters, Mary Jane (Gaylen) Tapper, Lanice (Fred) Engebretsen  and brother Fred (Cindy) Schiefen and numerous nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews, her sister-in-law, Mary Gunderson.  Her new family, TEAM BACON.  Her PEO Sisters and a large community of friends and neighbors were and have been a support to us all.  She was preceded in death by her parents, sister, Theresia, in-laws, and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Ann told me not to mention her ability to bake the best Chocolate Chip Cookies in the world.  I did not…   She wanted to be known for more than cookies.  She will be.


To send flowers to the family in memory of Grace Ann Schiefen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life for Grace Ann Schiefen

Saturday, April 29, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Columba Catholic Church

29601 444th Ave, Irene, SD 57037

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