Mary Betty Crackel, 91

Photo M15-05 (Betty Crackel)

Mary Betty Crackel, 91, of Miller, passed away Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at the Avera Hand County Memorial Hospital, Miller.

Funeral service were Saturday, Feb. 28,  at the First Presbyterian Church, Miller with Rev. Brian Jones officiating. Burial followed at Morningside Cemetery, Ree Heights.

Mary Betty was born August 31, 1923 to Harry and Edith (Dicks) Snethen near Hamill, South Dakota.  She attended and graduated from Winner High School.  After high school, she moved to Omaha, Nebraska and attended night school while working as a bookkeeper for Baker Manufacturing.  After several years there, she moved to Fargo, North Dakota where she attained a similar job as a bookkeeper.

On January 31, 1954, she married Raymond “Barney” Crackel where they lived on a farm south of Ree Heights.  To this union, four children were born.  Unfortunately, her husband passed away in July of 1964.  Betty and her children moved into Ree Heights where she stayed home with her youngest and babysat her niece.  After her youngest reached school age, she began working for Miller Plumbing and Heating in Miller.  After one year of winter driving every day, the family moved to Miller.  She worked in the Hand County Treasurer’s office for a few years, and then worked at the First National Bank for many years in the bookkeeping department.  After retirement from the bank, she continued to work at the Miller Sale Barn, and then through Experience Works at the Soil Conservation Service and Job Service.  She also worked as the First Presbyterian Church secretary for several years.

Betty was a member of the First Presbyterian Church serving as deacon and was a member of women’s circle.  While living in Ree Heights, she was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary.

Debra J. Allibone, 57

Debra Allibone obit

Debra J. Allibone, 57, of Kearney, NE., formally of Winner, passed away February 24, 2015 at her home in Kearney, NE. Mass of Christian Burial was held  Monday, March 2, 2015 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Winner. Burial  followed at the Winner City Cemetery.

Deb was born January 29, 1958 in Winner, South Dakota to John and Jean (McCollam) Farner.  Deb was a 1976 graduate of Winner High School and lived in Winner until 1977 when she married Mike Allibone, the love of her life.  The couple made their first home in Peoria, Illinois.  They also lived in Garner, Iowa before settling in Kearney in 1990.  God blessed them with three children, Emily, Sarah, and Matthew.

Deb worked for various employers throughout her life including the Outlaw Trading Post, and Dairy Queen in Winner, Klaus Radio in Peoria, Cabela’s, Morris Press, and Kearney Catholic High School in Kearney.  She began working at Kearney Catholic in August 1996 and enjoyed witnessing the development of hundreds of students.  She made some of her closest friends in her co-workers.

Above all, Deb was passionate about her family.  She was a devoted wife, and she adored her children and grandchildren.  She did anything and everything for her family and loved doing it.  She contributed her time and talent to the Kearney Catholic Activities Association, Kearney Catholic Wrestling Club, and Boy Scout Troop 139.  She spent countless hours at dance recitals and wrestling meets.

Deb fought cancer fiercely for over 6 years.  During her journey, she blessed countless people by living out her faith and hopefulness.  She will be sorely missed.

Zina Chris “Zike” Hansen, 80

Hansen, Zina Obit

Zina Chris “Zike” Hansen died Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 in Casper. He was born Nov. 5, 1934 at Carter, SD to Chancey W. and Alice L. (Adkins) Hansen. He worked on the family farm until he joined the army in Jan. 1954. He was married Aug. 20, 1955 to Virginia Boerner. They were the parents of five children. Family was everything to him and he was a fun father and good example to his children. He was also very attentive to his parents and 9 siblings, visiting or calling often. He worked in construction and owned Rocky Mountain Sheet Metal and then Hansen Ent. He was baptized with his first child at this church and the church became very important to him. In 73/74 he and Virginia sponsored the MYF with 35 to 55 teens every week.  These kids did the first candle lighting service in the church, which then became a tradition.  At the request of Rev Day, he oversaw the construction of the large cross over the alter, then gifting it to the church. He was also very involved in the 3 phases of remodel by the church and served on various Church boards for about 30 years.

Mary Agnes Burnette, 99

Mary Burnette obit

Mary Agnes Burnette, 99, of White River, SD passed away on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at the White River Healthcare Center in White River.   Funeral service were held on Friday, Feb. 27, at 10 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in White River.  Burial  followed in the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis on Feb. 27,  at 1:30 p.m.

Mary Agnes Burnette was born December 22, 1915 in Mellette County. She was one of nine children of Joseph and Anna (Sindelar) Novey. She attended grade 1-8 at the Round-Up school near the family ranch northwest of White River.

She married Fred Burnette on February 26, 1935 at Martin, SD. Fred was a SeaBee (construction battalion) in the Navy. During that time they lived in various places including Rosebud, Spearfish, Rapid City, Garden Grove, CA, and eventually Mary moved back to White River to be close to her family.

Mary was a kind, gentle, honest and loving person. She loved the outdoors and especially loved gardening and growing flowers. She cared for sisters and brother while they were ill. She loved her family with all her heart. She lived and died with Grace.

Grace Neyens, 94

grace neyens obit .

Grace Neyens, 94, of Winner, passed away on Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 at the Winner Regional Healthcare Center in Winner.  Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Winner.  Burial followed in the Colome City Cemetery.

Grace was born on August 29, 1920 at the family homestead located west of Hamill, SD.  She was the daughter of William and Loretta (Range) Scheufler. She grew up and attended the Lone Star rural school.  She attended Hamill High School for one year and then completed her remaining years of high school in Winner graduating with the class of 1938.  She continued her education at Southern State normal college at Springfield, SD.  She then taught in a rural school located in Tripp County.

On June 3, 1941, she was united in marriage to Raymond Neyens at St. Isidore church at Colome, SD.  They made their home on a farm northeast of Colome.  Three children were born to this union: Ray Jr. and the twins Dennis and Diana.  She enjoyed many years on the family farm.  She raised a big garden, did lots of canning, raised poultry and helped with various chores on the farm.  She had always enjoyed planting and caring for many different types of flowers.  During the winter months, when time permitted, she enjoyed sewing, embroidery work, crocheting and handcrafts.

She enjoyed traveling and toured all 50 states in the USA and Canada.  She  always welcomed company to visit, have lunch and maybe even played a few hands of cards with them.

She was a kind and loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Her grandchildren were her pride and joy and she enjoyed spending time with them. She, like her father, was quiet in nature and liked to keep things in order.

After 50 years on the farm, they retired and moved to Winner in November 1990.                              After the death of her husband, Raymond, in 2010 she moved to the Golden Prairie Manor.

She was a member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic, C.D.A, Farmers Union, Retired Teachers and the Historical Society.  She helped establish the Ray and Grace Neyens Family Scholarship for the Local Tripp County High Schools.

Loretta Ward, 73

ward obit

Loretta Janice Furrey was born November 4, 1941, to Gerald and Antha (Kinsley) Furrey in Nebraska. She grew up in the Valentine and Mission area on a farm. She moved to Kadoka, South Dakota her junior year of high school and graduated as Valedictorian of her class. She then attended Black Hills Teachers College and received a teaching degree. After graduating, Loretta taught school in Rapid City.

She was united in marriage to Jerry Ward, and they moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado where their son, Jeff, was born. Later they moved to Kadoka where their son, Gary, was born.

Loretta divorced Jerry shortly thereafter.

Loretta was a devoted stay at home mom for her two sons and resided with her father, Gerald Furrey. Loretta worked cleaning motel rooms while her children were younger.

In the mid-1970’s, she continued her teaching career in Wanblee. Later she took a position teaching elementary school in Kadoka where she taught until her retirement.

Loretta was active in the community as a member of the Rebeccah Lodge. She also volunteered at the CAP Office and served on the Jackson County Library Board. Loretta left her home in Kadoka in April 2014 due to health problems. She was in and out of the hospital, assistant living, and nursing homes until her death.

Loretta was an avid reader, especially mystery books. She enjoyed gardening and making quilts. Her family is what she cared for most. She will be missed dearly by all those she touched through family, friends, and teaching.

Frances Bachmann, 78


Frances Bachmann, age 78, of Winner, passed away on February 28, 2015 at the Winner Regional Healthcare Center. Funeral Services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 5, 2015 at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Winner. Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at the church with a 7 p.m. prayer service.

The Future Rolls on West to Murdo!

Rails to the Future, a grass roots organization dedicated to upgrading state owned railroad infrastructure west of Chamberlain, announced new leadership to build upon the successful Chamberlain to Presho railroad upgrade project.  New board members, Andy Rankin of Draper and Randy Englund of Pierre, will serve as chairman and vice chairman, respectively.  Past chairman, Steve Halverson, will remain involved as liaison to the South Dakota Department of Transportation.  Bryan Jorgensen, former secretary/treasurer will focus on economic development on the Chamberlain to Presho segment. For continuity, Bill Ferguson remains on the board and will serve as secretary/treasurer and registered agent.

Steve Halverson said, “In order to achieve our goal of bringing heavy rail to Murdo, we need leadership from Jones County.”   A survey of Jones County businesses pointed to Andy as a dynamic and energetic leader.  He was elected unanimously at the annual membership meeting January 26, 2015, along with Randy Englund, the retired former Executive Director of the South Dakota Wheat Commission.  His experience at the Wheat Commission, Randy developed excellent relations with farmers and businesses throughout the region.  His experience with rural development financing and banking brings depth to the project.   A group of volunteer citizens have joined behind Chairman Andy Rankin.  Halverson commented, “They are heavily motivated to see heavy rail to Murdo and are working to identify business projects in their region.”

About Rails to the Future:  Rails to the Future is a South Dakota Domestic Nonprofit Corporation  dedicated to the upgrade of state owned railroad infrastructure west of Chamberlain SD, for the purpose of enhancing the social, economic, and general welfare of the citizens of the region.  It is funded by donations from individuals and businesses, grants from government entities and other nonprofit organizations.  It solicits pledges of matching funds for specific projects.  It has applied for IRS recognition as a 501(c)(3) public charity.

March is Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Each year, during March – Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month – the SD Council on Developmental Disabilities, along with the Center for Disabilities at Sanford School of Medicine at USD and South Dakota Advocacy Services focus on peoples’ abilities and similarities rather than differences, and encourages everyone to welcome people with intellectual and developmental disabilities into their communities. Many new opportunities are emerging in this spirit throughout the state, including community-based employment options and residential opportunities that more fully integrate people with disabilities. The 2015 theme for the month reflects this spirit — “Can Do, Like You!”

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard has signed a proclamation declaring March as Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness month in South Dakota.

Statewide, and across the nation, organizations devoted to serving individuals with developmental disabilities are planning special events in March to raise public awareness of the many abilities people have, regardless of disability. “Can Do, Like You” encourages people to understand that when people with disabilities are welcomed into local neighborhoods, workplaces, houses of worship, and schools everyone wins. “This is a time when our organization focuses on encouraging the public to better understand the individuals we serve,” said Tim Neyhart, Executive Director of SD Advocacy Services.

“During Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, we encourage people to learn more about people in this community who have intellectual and developmental disabilities and to recognize that all of us have talents and abilities that we can offer to make this a better place to live,” commented Arlene Poncelet the Director of the SD Council on Developmental Disabilities.

“This is the month where we celebrate the fact that everyone brings different abilities to the table,” said Wendy-Parent Johnson, Center for Disabilities executive director. “The more diverse our communities become, the better it is for all of us.

Neyhart, Poncelet, and Parent-Johnson encourage everyone to get acquainted with someone who has a developmental disability. “You’ll learn that everyone has something to offer and that when we are all together our communities are stronger, we accomplish more, and everyone wins!” said Neyhart.

Build Dakota Scholarship

Gov. Dennis Daugaard recently announced the Build Dakota Scholarship fund program. It is funded by a donation of $25 million by T. Denny Sanford and matched by Gov. Dennis Daugaard and the state of South Dakota Future Fund.

The scholarship provides a full ride  to students who will commit to working in South Dakota for three years after graduating from a technical program.

The scholarship can be used at South Dakota’s four technical schools.

The scholarships are available for new, incoming students in the 2015-2016 school year. A total of 300 scholarships will be awarded the first year.

The area of study covered by the scholarship are: automotive, building trades/construction, energy technicians, engineering technicians, licensed practical nursing, medical lab technicians, precision manufacturing and welding.

Build Dakota is concentrated on high-need workforce programs and aims to ease the worker shortage in the state.

At Winner High School, the Build Dakota Scholarship information is available on Counselor’s Corner.