Jean Marie Tommeraasen, 90, formerly of Spring Grove

Jean Marie Tommeraasen (Buxengard), age 90, of Madison, S.D., died peacefully surrounded by family on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, at the Avantara Mountain View in Rapid City, S.D. 

Jean was born on May 8, 1929, to Knute and Esther Buxengard in Spring Grove, where she was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church, and graduated from Spring Grove High School in 1947. She was involved in many school activities such as choir, band, and plays, but her passion was her painting, and designing fashions for the Dixie Dugan and Jane Ardan comic strips which were published in the area newspapers. 

After high school, she moved to Evanston, Ill., to be a governess for a couple and their four children, and met her future husband, Dr. Owen Tommeraasen while singing in the church choir. 

Owen and Jean were then married on Nov. 21, 1948, in Spring Grove and were married for 60 years until Owen’s death in August of 2009. They moved to Madison in 1949 where they opened up an optometric practice with Jean as the receptionist. She also worked at the Rexall Drug Store until their daughters, Anita and Holly, were born. 

Jean was an accomplished artist and received the Visitor’s Choice Award at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron for her painting, “Blue Boy,” and the Visitor’s Choice Award at the Sioux Empire Fair in Sioux Falls for her portrait of Ernest Hemmingway. She also loved to write, and won an award for her short-story “The Garden” in Rapid City, and wrote a book in memory of her Father, “I Give a Book to You.” 

Both Jean and Owen loved to travel together. They visited the Orient, Europe, the Caribbean, and many U.S. states such as Hawaii and Alaska. Jean was also involved in many organizations at Trinity Lutheran Church, at Dakota State University, PEO, Questers, SD Optometric Auxiliary Association, Community Arts Association, the country club, bridge club, and her Bible study group. 

Jean is survived by her two daughters, Anita (Greg) Jung and Holly (Patrick) Moser; two grandchildren, Nick Jung and Mandy (James) Moisan; a great-grandchild, Addy Moisan; a brother, Dr. Dale (Sharon) Buxengard; and several nieces and nephews.