LoDema Faye (Sibley) Kirkus was born April 23, 1928 in Mt. Vernon to Fay and Louine (Cooley) Sibley. After her father was killed in a grain elevator accident in Mt. Vernon when she was nine, her mother married Ray Brammer. LoDema graduated from Mt. Vernon High School in 1946. She married Russell Kirkus on January 30, 1948 in Mt. Vernon. The couple started farming near Mt. Vernon before they moved into town where they resided for over fifty years. They moved to Mitchell in 2010. To this union was born four children, Douglas, Denise, Kevin and Stacy. LoDema was a homemaker and for a time she worked as an aide at the Mt. Vernon School. She was a member of St. Michael Parish in Mt. Vernon where she was baptized, confirmed and married. She was a member of the St. Michael’s Altar Society, the American Legion Auxiliary and the Mitchell Moose Lodge. She served on the Mt. Vernon Library Board for many years. She and her husband were caretakers for St. Michael Church for over 40 years.
Within her family, LoDema was famous for her baking skills that included her chocolate chip cookies and her great pies. Her home was always open to others as was the cookie jar. She and Russell took great pride in their yard in Mt. Vernon that included perfectly trimmed bushes and beautiful roses. Their efforts were recognized when they received Yard of the Month by the Mitchell Garden Club.
LoDema is survived by her husband, Russell of Mitchell; her son Douglas (Susan) Kirkus and her daughter Denise (Lyle) DeKruif of Mitchell; her son Kevin (Kristy) Kirkus of New Hampton, Iowa; grandchildren: Danielle DeKruif of Sidney, Nebraska, Brant DeKruif of Mitchell, Michael Kirkus of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Jamie Kirkus Shatek (Brad) of Elma, Iowa and a step-grandson, Scott Thomas of Brookings. Other survivors include her first cousin Marie (Kent) Long of Woonsocket, who was raised by LoDema’s mother, her brother-in-law Delbert Kirkus of Mitchell, a nephew Chris Kirkus of Brandon and a niece Kelly Kirkus Hinds of Aberdeen and her life-long friend, Faye (Oakley) Weaver of Inverness, Florida. She was preceded in death by her parents and step-father, her infant daughter Stacy and her sister-in-law, Corrine Kirkus.