Hollenbeck to Compete at National Rodeo

Sydney Hollenbeck has qualified to the National High School Finals Rodeo in the pole bending competition. Hollenbeck recently completed her sophomore year at Winner High School. Sydney competes in the Nebraska High School Association. When the dust settled at the state finals in Hastings, NE, Hollenbeck finished the year in fourth place in the standings. She will travel with her Nebraska teammates to Rock Springs, Wyoming in mid July in the NHSFR.

Sydney will be riding Peponitas Okie Lena, a 15-year-old Quarter Horse owned by her parents. Sydney and Okie have now qualified for five consecutive national final rodeos- three in junior high division, and now two in the high school division. She is the daughter of Scott Hollenbeck and Dr. Teresa Novotny of rural Winner.

Robert Steffen, 44

Steffen, Robert. obit


Robert was born April 19, 1971 to Geneive and Norman Steffen, the fifth (and maybe a little unexpected ) child born to Geneive and Norman.  Robert Ross joined Ronald Eugene, Carol Rae, Ellen Marie and Roger Norman.  He was born in Winner and grew up on the Steffen farm west of Dallas, South Dakota.  Robert was named after Norman’s brother and was eventually refereed to as “Baby Robert” by the Nebraska crew.  He was no stranger to having nicknames or giving them.

Robert was adored and spoiled by his older siblings.  He learned when Carol came home from work, she would bring him candy, and each time, she did indeed bring him candy.  Growing up on the farm gave opportunity to run the crick, run the farm equipment and run to play.  Robert enjoyed spending time with the Ekroth kids, shooting rabbits and birds for the barn cats; having his town friends out to go fishing; convincing the Minnesota cousin to dig in the old outhouse hole with a stick; and giving Kerri terrifying and exhilarating rides on the 3-wheeler.  He could walk on his hands across a wooden fence and swing across the haymow on a long rope more times than any other kid.  He was competitive.  He and Ellen could go fishing all afternoon simply to see who could catch the biggest fish.

Robert was a sportsman in all respects.  He loved to deer hunt and pheasant hunt.  Most of all, Robert enjoyed bass fishing.  Robert played a lot of ball.  He played baseball for Gregory and also proudly wore A Dallas Toads uniform, playing slow pitch softball with Ron and Roger.

Robert graduated from Gregory High School in 1989.  One of his best high school memories was being crowned homecoming king.  That honor, that memory, brought a smile to his face every time.  He never forgot it.

Robert was a graduate of South Dakota State University (Go Jackrabbits!).  He earned a bachelor of science degree in agronomy/ag. business.  He moved on to be a successful seed salesman for different companies.  Robert believed that presentation and attitude could overcome any obstacle.

He was sincere. He put his best foot forward; he was kind; he dressed for success; he set goals and met them.  He loved meeting the people; and the people loved him.  He could be so very reassuring.

Robert looked forward to an adventure.  Robert wanted to see new things and experience the thrill of any escapade (including sky diving).  For Robert, an everyday event became an opportunity.  Robert was a philosophical man; he could validate his knowledge because “I have been around the world and to three county fairs”.

Robert made friends readily and easily.  People were drawn to his easy smile.  He could engage anyone and leave them guessing.  Consider  yourself lucky if you’ve met “Rueben Little Dog, Chief Full of Bull”.  When in the mood (which he usually was) an in proper company (which was self defined) Robert rallied and campaigned for the office of state dog catcher – one of his many, many tall tales.  Some folks probably went to the polls looking for his name.  Robert was an original; an innovator; a genius of quick study and wit; an angel.

Robert’s eyes of mischief, smile and love will be missed by his family: brother Ron and Val Steffen and their children Sara, Regan and Sam; sister Carol and Glen Cook, their children Kerri (husband Matt and children Devin, Kendra and Addison), Ryan (wife Kathryn and son Max) and Riley (wife Abby); sister Ellen Moss and Paul Storms, their children Michele (husband TJ and children Shayla and Evan), Michael (wife Chelsey and children Cora, Reven and Bohdi), and Eric (wife Destiny and children Bryken and Jace); and brother Roger.

Brenda Mahoney, 72

brenda mahoney obit

Brenda was born February 26, 1943 in Winner, SD, the oldest of five children, to Albert and Vernice (Blomstrom) Pederson.  Brenda attended school in Winner, graduating from high school in 1961.  She attended Nettleton Commercial College in Sioux Falls.  Brenda married Darrell Mahoney on September 17, 1964 and to this union, 3 children were born.  They were married for fifty years.

Brenda worked in banking for 35 years and retired in 2008.  Thirty-two years were spent at First Dakota National Bank in Yankton.  She was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church and volunteered her time to help with communion preparation and ushering.  Brenda was involved in Church Circle, Extension Club and Meals on Wheels.  She loved traveling and spending time with family and friends.  Every holiday was a special occasion with her many decorations, wonderful assortment of food and her “just a little something” gifts for all.  She remembered all birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions with cards and gifts as well.  She was the first to praise and compliment others young and old.  Her passion was giving to others with her time and thoughtfulness.  She was totally involved with nieces, nephews and grandchildrens’ lives.  Brenda never missed a school or church event or activity that they were involved in.  She was at all graduations – front and center and full of pride, even college graduations far away.  She was an amazing aunt and grandma.  Brenda enjoyed spending time with her dear friends and co-workers, also known as the S&B Girls.

Loving survivors include her husband, Darrell of Yankton, SD; children:  Trace Mahoney  (Katie Price) of Sioux Falls, SD, Becky (Luke) Seeman of Sioux Falls, SD and Tyler Mahoney of Watertown, SD; grandchildren:  Rowan and Harrison Seeman and Lucy Mahoney, all of Sioux Falls, SD, Oliver Mahoney of Groton, SD; mother, Vernice Pederson of Sioux Falls, SD; sister, Linda (Tom) Roberts of Sioux Falls; brother, Kevin (Lori) Pederson of Scottsdale, AZ; nieces and nephews:  Josh Roberts of Kindred, ND, Alex Roberts of Houston, TX, Lindsay Zawrotny of Novato, CA, Tanea St. Pierre of Waltham, MA, Jenifer and Bismark Roberts, Sioux Falls, SD, Joe Fransen of Los Angeles, CA and Ruth and Hannah Pederson of Denver, CO.

Brenda was preceded in death by her father, Albert Pederson and brothers, Doug and Clay Pederson.

Gwendolyn Holmes, 87

Gwendolyn Wanda Haas was born June 20, 1928 in the Lakeview Community of Todd County, South Dakota.  She was the daughter of Clarence and Alma (Wolhert) Haas.  Gwendolyn was baptized into the Lutheran faith, and grew up in the Lakeview Community graduating from the Todd County High School in 1946.  On November 7, 1948 she was united in marriage to Verl A. Holmes in Mission, South Dakota.  Following their marriage they lived and ranched in Todd County for 56 years.

Gwendolyn was a school teacher for the Todd County School District in Mission SD for more than 50 years.  She was dedicated to her profession that influenced the lives of many students.  She loved her students very much and took great pride in their accomplishments.  She especially liked working with special needs children.

Gwendolyn is survived by her daughter, Laura Jean (Gerald) Moller of Spearfish SD; granddaughters, Kelli (Curtis) McGuigan of Spearfish SD, Daleri Moller (Ben Dean) of Valentine NE; great grandson, Blake Brunson; brother, Gail (Lorain) Haas of Valentine NE; sister, Sharon (Don) Sweat of Leadville CO; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband Verl A. Holmes on July 14, 2004; parents, Clarence and Alma Haas; and brothers, Larry, Leland, and Lyle Haas.

Hlavka Wins Young Author Award

Raelyn Hlavka, daughter of Randy and Chanie Hlavka of Rapid City, was one of ten South Dakota kindergarteners to win the Lewis and Clark Reading Council Young Authors Extravaganza contest. Her story was “Someone was in the doghouse and it wasn’t the dog.”

The ceremony was held June 13 in Chamberlain.

Raelyn is the granddaughter of David and Kathy Hagen of Winner and Rick and Linda Hlavka of Rapid City and the great granddaughter of Charlotte Colson of Winner and Mr. and Mrs. Emil Hlavka of Gregory.

Those Who Have Carried The Flag

A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard

At the beginning of the Revolutionary War the individual states were not united by a national government and they lacked a symbol that could unite them. Instead, there were many flags. An attempt to unite the states fighting for independence under a flag that held resemblance to Great Britain’s was not successful. Instead, the Second Continental Congress determined it was time to part with Great Britain’s emblem entirely and establish a new national symbol for a new nation.

One year after the Declaration of Independence was adopted the Second Continental Congress established a national flag. The resolution pronounced that “the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white” and that “the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

Decades later, a conflict over slavery and state sovereignty erupted. The North and the South could no longer resolve their differences. Those in the South rejected the flag that had united the country since its origin. Southerners replaced the American flag with their own flags: three successive confederate flags that would set their people apart from the United States.

Although the Civil War nearly tore our nation apart, we eventually emerged as a better and stronger nation. The tenets of the Declaration of Independence – that ALL men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights – could finally be realized with the elimination of slavery. And because of the Civil War, Americans began to fly the American flag. It wasn’t until Northerners began displaying flags as a symbol of their allegiance and patriotism that it became commonplace for individuals to fly flags at their own homes.

By the time of World War II, the United States was among the most prosperous and prominent nations of the world. The country had grown and the flag then contained 48 stars. As a world superpower, the United States joined the fight against the Axis Powers and led the Allies to victory.

With the admission of Alaska and Hawaii to the union, our flag became what it is today –a flag with 50 stars. Today our flag represents the American way of life. It is a sign of relief, an emblem of hope and a symbol of freedom. The flag stands for the fight for independence, the triumph over slavery, the crushing of Nazism and the containment of communism.

This Independence Day, I hope you’ll take the opportunity to thank the men and women who have worn the uniform of our United States, united under the flag of our nation. Because of them, and those who went before them, we won our independence, and are free.

Cattle Drive

Cattle Drive

Join us for a real cattle drive on July 15th and 16th as part of the Burke Stampede Rodeo.


To begin the cattle drive riders are asked to contact Chris Cernetisch who will be the trail boss. Call Chris at 830-0473 for more information or to sign up for the drive.  On July 15th all those participating in the cattle drive will gather at the Doug and Sandy Stukel Ranch North of Burke for a trail ride to the historic Red Rock on the Missouri River. On July 16th the herd of longhorn cattle with calves at side will be driven from The Justin and David Johnson Ranch, north of Burke, into Burke for the Annual Cattle Drive down Main Street at approximately 4:30 P.M.


The Longhorns will then be driven to the Burke Arena in time for the Chuck Wagon Feed and Idol Contest. You won’t want to miss this great opportunity to relive the days of yesteryear at an authentic cattle drive.


This year’s Stampede Rodeo is the 26th Annual and promises to be one of the area’s finest rodeos, so make plans to attend one of the three performances on July 17th, 18th and 19th. All performances will begin at 7 p.m. Don’t worry about supper because the Burke Rodeo Club will be staffing the refreshment stand featuring their famous roast beef sandwiches, nachos, drinks and much, much more.