Walter Funeral Homes

Serving the communities of Freeman, Marion and Bridgewater, South Dakota


Iris Lorraine Achenbach Shanard, 90 years old, peacefully passed away on May 2, 2019. Iris was born on September 24, 1928 to Inga (Rud) and Floyd Achenbach in Tripp County, SD.  She attended country school in Colome, SD and graduated from Winner High School in 1945.  Before and after graduation, Iris worked for the Winner school system as a secretary.  She then moved to Sioux Falls, to work for Equitable Life Insurance Company and did some modeling for a clothing store where she worked part-time.  These were some of the happiest days of her life as a young beautiful independent working woman. She sang and danced in Community playhouse and shared an apartment with her girlfriends on Phillips Avenue. 

She married George H. Shanard on June 22, 1952. Together they had four children, George III, Laurie, Kari, and Heidi, and they lived in Bridgewater.  Iris moved to Sioux Falls in February 2019 and briefly lived at Grand Living at Lake Loraine, where she made wonderful new friends.

Iris had three deep passions in her life: Her undying faith in God, her love of family, and her incredible love for music. These passions defined her as a human being. Iris joined the First Presbyterian Church in Bridgewater, where she directed the choir for many years.  She held several church offices and ultimately played the piano for Sunday worship services, as a self-taught pianist. Iris also served with the Presbytery of South Dakota. Iris was a founding member and sang soprano in the Bridgewater Community Choir for over forty years where she performed in the annual Easter Cantata, which she loved.  Her home was always filled with music: Broadway show tunes from South Pacific, Nat King Cole, Sinatra, and spiritual music. 

Iris was an avid bridge player and enjoyed hosting her friends. She was an active member of the Order of the Eastern Star.  Iris loved family gatherings both near and far. She was a friend to all including the strays in the neighborhood, the birds, and the squirrels which she loved to watch.  

She taught her girls to be strong resilient women.  She enjoyed special relationships with all of her children and also with her three grandchildren. At home, Iris loved working in her garden and canning the fruits of her labor. Her dill pickles were highly sought after by all that knew her. 

Iris was predeceased by her parents, her son George, her sisters Marjorie Pederson and Sybil Hotchkiss, twin infant sisters, Jean and Joan, her son-in-law Gregory Koenders, her former husband George Shanard and a host of other family and friends. Iris is survived by her three daughters, Laurie Shanard (David Smalley) of Burlington, VT, Kari Shanard-Koenders (Mike Riebe) of Sioux Falls, SD and Heidi Shanard (Randal) Norgaard of Mt. Vernon, SD and three grandchildren, Shannon Koenders of Minneapolis, MN, Jacob Smalley of Burlington, VT, and Cole Neuhart of Parker, CO. She is also survived by her siblings Lynn (Bernard) Bergman of Omaha, NE, and Allen (Nita) Achenbach of Harrison, AR. She is survived by many other relatives, dear friends, and special friend John Pudwill of Rock Rapids, IA.

In lieu of flowers, if you wish to provide a memorial, please direct it to the Washington Pavilion in support of the performing arts or to a charity of your choice. 


Four generations of care