Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Syrie Officer passed away peacefully into the presence of her Lord on September 27, 2023 after a long journey with Alzheimer's.
Services will be held on Thursday, October 5, 2023 at Pathways Community Church, 6341 167th Avenue NW Ramsey, MN 55303 at 11:00 AM with visitation one hour prior.
Graveside services for family and extended family will be held Friday, October 6 at 1:00 PM at Granite Falls Cemetery. A reception for the public with the family will be held Friday, October 6, 2023 at 2:00 PM at Anderson - TeBeest Funeral Home in Granite Falls.
Syrie Yvonne (Hanson) Officer, the first of five children was born to Iry and Doris (Velde) Hanson. The family lived on a farm in Hazel Run, MN, where Syrie attended a one room school through the primary years, followed by high school in Granite Falls, MN where she was a percussionist in the marching band. She learned to play piano and the accordion as a young girl, becoming the church pianist at the Hazel Run Baptist church as a teenager, later becoming the church pianist at Coon Rapids Evangelical Free Church and Pathways Community Church.
After high school, Syrie studied for a certificate as a lab and Xray technician in Minneapolis, then moved to Ellendale, North Dakota for her first job. Upon arrival in this new town with a suitcase and the address for her new apartment in hand, she went to the local drug store to ask for directions. That was where she met Ralph Officer, the college boy working behind the counter at the store. Every afternoon, Syrie stopped by the drug store to pick up her copy of the Minneapolis Tribune. When she arrived, the rest of the staff disappeared and left Ralph to help her. They immediately tagged Syrie as the perfect girl for Ralph. It took Ralph five months to ask her out. It was imperative that he first upgrade his car in order to impress her. They dated, fell in love, got engaged, then married. Their love story is the one we all long for, married on January 1, 1960, and remained happily married for 63 years until her passing.
Together they had four children; Derek, Heidi, and Nikole, each two and a half years apart, followed by Dane five years later. When asked if Dane was a surprise, she teased that she had "three surprises and a shock".
For Syrie, the most important things were her faith in Jesus, her family, and music; all of which were very intertwined. In addition to being the church pianist, Syrie often acted as the accompanist to her kids when they performed, and always sang in the church choir. As a kid, you couldn't ask for a better cheerleader. Whether you were marching in a parade, competing in a sport, or performing music, she would be the one shouting from the sidelines or holding up signs and making noise.
She took great joy and pride as a volunteer organizer for the Twin Cities Free Church Youth Fellowship music festival, coordinating the music competition portion of the event; a massive undertaking. The festival day was exciting, and required a great deal of coordination, running around, and just making sure things went smoothly. If that weren't enough, she was also accompanying her children when they were performing - sometimes having to fit in four or five events between her volunteer duties, never getting the acclaim, always handling things in the background, always supporting her kids.
Syrie remained dedicated to family and faith for her entire life. She dearly loved being a grandmother, and is cherished by all of her nieces and nephews. Friends and family alike relied on her for both fun and wise counsel. Syrie was fun loving, always up for a laugh, almost a bit impish; surely coping techniques gained from having four siblings so close in age - three brothers who teased relentlessly and a baby sister who charmed them all. If there was a loud burst of laughter anywhere - church, neighborhood party, kids event - you could bet that Syrie was in the middle of it, if not the cause of it. She brought joy and laughter wherever she went. This joyous nature followed her even into memory care, where the staff loved her for her delightful interaction and her one-liners.
Over her later years when she declined due to Alzheimer's disease, she faithfully tended her beautiful garden, sang hymns and her love never stopped, especially for her Ralphy. The last two and a half years were spent in memory care where she bragged non-stop to everyone about her wonderful husband and their wonderful marriage. The staff soon learned by seeing them together that the bragging was not even a little bit exaggerated. He was as wonderful as she said, and their marriage was that happy and devoted.
Syrie was preceded in death by her parents Iry and Doris Hanson, her brothers-in-law Stan Lindgren, Gordon Officer, Lee Galloway, her daughter-in-law Marie Officer, and nephew Nagal Hanson.
She is survived by husband of 63 years Ralph Officer, her children Derek, Heidi, Nikole (Paul) Rutzen and Dane (Cindy); her four siblings Forbes (Hazel), Delano (Deb) and Lyn (Anne) Hanson, and Julene (Brian) Gutknecht; her brother-in-law Jim (Esther) Officer, and sisters-in-law Shirley Lindgren and Diane (Officer) Galloway.
She also leaves nine grandchildren, countless nieces, nephews, and extended family & friends who loved her dearly.
Memorial gifts can be made in Syrie's name to Camp Shamineau, Pathways Community Church, or a charity of your choice.