Margaret Kollmar, 96

kollmar obit

Margaret was born at Piniele, MT in Carter County on May 10, 1921 to Roy and Florence Davis. She was the oldest of 5 children.

The family moved to different locations in the next few years spending the most time in Deadwood, SD where the rest of her brothers and sisters were born. Margaret attended grade school in Deadwood and often talked about growing up there.

As a teenager she worked as a mica cutter in Custer for a time. In her mid-teens the family moved to southern Tripp County after her dad was discharged from his WWII duties. While in Tripp County she met Kenneth Kollmar. After they courted for a time they were married Sept. 15, 1952, in Gregory, SD. Three children were born to this union, Patricia, Kenneth, and Vola.

After many years of farming and ranching in the Clearfield/Millboro area Kenneth passed away in 1987.

Margaret moved to Winner with her daughter Vola and then to Madison and Watertown, SD and then back to Winner where she lived in Lamro Apartments for 15 years until the time of her death.

She was a long time member of the VFW Auxiliary and the Colome Legion.

James Lee Graf, 78

james graf obit

James was born Aug. 2, 1938, to Leonard and Maude Grade in Winner, SD. He was raised in Winner and was a proud member of the football, basketball, and track teams for the Winner Warriors High School. He graduated in 1956. After graduation, he attended the University of South Dakota. He returned to Winner to work at the local Ford dealership and met the love of his life, Donna Tideman. They were married on Sept. 11, 1960. He operated a pizza place called The Varsity in Vermillion, SD, where his children (Theresa, Brad, and Shari) were born. He wanted more for his family and decided to sell life insurance for Prairie States Life Insurance Company of Rapid City. He moved his family to Bismarck, ND, in 1971.

He bought the family home in 1976 at 1906 Assumption Dr. James “Jim” was a charismatic man who could disarm you with his smile. He was always friendly and outgoing, almost to a point of fault. Jim was a proud member of the United States Marine Corps and was fond of the Semper Fi (Always Faithful) motto. He struggled at times with addiction, but overcame it with perseverance and determination and obtained 17 years of sobriety. Jim enjoyed golfing, working outdoors, and spending time with his family.

Shirley Berg, 75

shirley berg obit

Shirley was born Oct. 28, 1941 to Emil and Albina (Stroh) Forsch in Burke, South Dakota. She was the 7th born of 13 children in the family. She was raised on the family farm, south of Burke, near Jamison, Neb. She grew up going to country school, just over the hill from the farm. She always took pride in the fact that she attended all eight years, being the only student in her grade for each of those years. She would joke that she would always have to know the answers to all of the questions. She attended Burke High School, graduating in 1959. She then attended hair styling school in Sioux Falls with her sister Bonnie. They both graduated and obtained jobs in Minneapolis.

Shirley was married to Douglas Mathison and started her family. To that marriage, two children were born: Perry Douglas and Wendy Lee. They lived for a time in South Minneapolis and eventually moved to Elk River, Minn. Shirley worked for the Lutheran Church as the church secretary. She then began working with the Sherburne County Sheriffs Office as the head record keeper. Her services included the assisting in serving court issued detention orders for any female. From this job, it grew to the point that she was sent the Minnesota State Law Enforcement School in Arden Hills, Minn. She was very proud of her achievement there, a was her father Emil, of becoming a licensed Law Enforcement Officer. She continued working in the office as a record keeper, but also had the opportunity to occasionally work in the field. She worked for the Sherburne County Sheriffs Office for almost ten years.

Shirley and Douglas were divorced in 1983. She met and married Richard Berg on March 7, 1983. They lived in Elk River and Monticello, Minnesota until Richard’s retirement from the Minnesota State Patrol in 1999. they moved to Burke, South Dakota and have resided there ever since.



In 2009 Madison slugger Kevin Leighton hit his 500th home run for the amateur Canova Gang. He broke the state record 169 homers before.

Leighton was just one of many memorable South Dakota baseball players — many of whom we’ve written about in South Dakota Magazine.

Like Leighton, Bill Prunty played amateur baseball for many years. But he’s best remembered for a single blast, known for years as the Home Run in the Dark. In a 1938 state championship game, Claremont and Aberdeen were tied 4-4 in the 10th inning. Umpire Tommy Collins announced that if there were no runs at the end of the 10th, the game would be replayed the next day. That was bad news for Claremont because their pitcher, Clayton Feser, had already pitched a winning game against Watertown that day plus all 10 innings against Aberdeen. It would have been impossible for him to pitch again in the morning.

Aberdeen didn’t score in the top of the 10th. Claremont had two outs in the bottom of the inning when Prunty came to the plate. He worked the count to 3-2, even though he could barely see the ball. The sports editor of the Aberdeen American News later wrote a poem about his next swing:

A sharp, clear crack and out through space

The leather pellet flew,

A blot against the darkening sky,

A speck against the blue.

Above the fence in deep right field,

In rapid, whirling flight,

The ball sailed on, the speck grew dim

And soon was out of sight.

No one needed to see where it landed – the resounding crack from the bat was enough. The ball was found in the morning and is now exhibited at the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in Lake Norden.

Red Loecker’s baseball career is most notable because no one expected it to happen. After being hit with sniper fire in Vietnam, he was told he might never walk again. But he was determined to get on his feet and play baseball back home in Yankton. He not only returned to the ball field, but won batting titles in 1969, 1970 and 1976, and was the state tourney MVP in 1969.

Women are also part of our state’s baseball history. Amanda Clement of Hudson was the first umpire inducted to the South Dakota Hall of Fame and the second female. Born in 1888, she grew up next to the Hudson ballpark and often played ball with her brother, Henry, and other kids in town. Because she was a girl, the boys often made her call the balls and strikes. She umpired her first real game at age 16 for Renville vs. Hawarden; it was the first game on record in which a girl earned money for umpiring.

Clement’s services were in high demand. She knew the game, plus coaches learned that they could sell more tickets with a pretty, young umpire behind the plate. She worked about 50 games each summer in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and the Dakotas. Her earnings paid her way through college. The Boston Post reported that she had turned down 60 proposals for marriage while umpiring, dubbing her the “heartless arbitrator.” Clement also broke a world record when she threw a baseball 279 feet.

Those are just three of our many heroes of summer. Every town has different memories and different stars. For a state with long winters and short baseball seasons, we have more than our share.

Katie Hunhoff is the editor of South Dakota Magazine, a bi-monthly magazine published in Yankton. Visit for more information.

Meth Changes Everything Campaign Reaches 10,000 Participants


The Department of Social Services’ ‘Meth Changes Everything’ awareness campaign has given presentations to over 10,000 South Dakotans.

Over the last eight months, the ‘Meth Changes Everything’ campaign has been visiting schools and communities across the state to provide education and information about meth use in South Dakota. Prevention Resource Centers have completed 245 presentations since September 2016 and will continue to be available to schools and communities upon request.

“Meth is a highly addictive and dangerous drug,” said state Department of Social Services Secretary Lynne Valenti. “It is vitally important to provide information about meth use to help prevent individuals from trying the drug.”

As a result of the presentations, communities have identified some key outcomes to work towards in the fight against meth. These include supporting individuals in recovery, educating others on the myths and misperceptions to decrease stigma associated with treatment, forming and organizing community coalitions and providing education and information for youth.

“The department is receiving positive feedback from the campaign and will continue to work with communities to educate and raise awareness across the state,” said Secretary Valenti.

The next phase of the campaign will include the development of a community toolkit. The toolkit will include information and helpful resources to assist communities to use in leading local prevention efforts.

Gov. Daugaard Activates State Drought Task Force


Gov. Dennis Daugaard (Thursday) activated the state Drought Task Force to monitor drought conditions across South Dakota. The task force also held its first meeting today in Pierre.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that abnormally dry conditions can be found in western, south central and eastern parts of South Dakota. Moderate and severe drought conditions are found in central, north central and western South Dakota as well as in the extreme northeast part of the state. There are still areas of the state not considered to be in a drought.

“The recent hot, dry weather has increased drought conditions quickly in parts of South Dakota,” says Gov. Daugaard. “The Drought Task Force gives us a way to share information so we can all appropriately respond. We want to be ready in case drought conditions persist.”

Task Force members will coordinate the exchange of drought information among government agencies as well as agriculture, fire and water-supply organizations. Officials say the exchange of information will allow the task force to better monitor the development and seriousness of the drought. The task force also will evaluate the impact of drought on economic sectors of the state.

State government agencies represented on the Drought Task Force include the: Governor’s Office, Department of Agriculture, Department of Public Safety, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, South Dakota National Guard and Bureau of Information and Telecommunications.

Because of the dry conditions, the public is asked to be careful with open burns and other activities that could start fires.

Schramm Named “Friend of Baseball”

brad schramm friend of baseball award

Brad Schramm received the Friend of Baseball award at the state Class B tournament in Sioux Falls on May 29.

Schramm has been the life blood of South Dakota High School Baseball since its inception, serving on the original committee that brought baseball club status in this state.

He was responsible for helping form the Winner-Colome Royals in high school baseball’s inaugural year. He has been an active member of Winner baseball his entire life.

In 2004, the South Dakota High School Baseball Association formally organized, electing Schramm as its first president and executive director. He served in that role for 12 seasons before retiring this past fall. During his time at the helm, he was instrumental in instituting a pitch count limit and transitioning from aluminum to wood bats, two of the most significant changes to high school baseball since its inception in 2001.

Under Brad’s leadership, high school baseball flourished with over 52 teams representing 80 different schools across the state.

For all of the time and effort given to the advancement of South Dakota High School Baseball, the SDHSBA board of directors named Schramm the 2017 SDHSBA Friend of Baseball.

“Thank you Brad for all you have done. It is greatly appreciated by more people than you will ever know,” said a board member.

Winner Warriors “Team of the Year”

football team and dan aaker

With great success comes lofty expectations.

For Winner, its 85-5 record since joining 11B in 2009 has raised the bar to the “downright implausible” range.

“Quite honestly, I think some of the expectations were very unrealistic at times,” coach Dan Aaker said in November. “Some people think that you just show up and that’s all you have to do. Our guys know better than that… That’s probably what I’m proudest of this group for is how they’ve handled that and just focused on having a good season.”

But no matter the standard you set for the Warriors, their performance in 2016 was nothing short of remarkable.

In claiming its second consecutive state title, Winner, which has won 24 consecutive games, surrendered a total of 35 points, whilst allowing fewer than 100 total yards per game.

But that’s not to say there weren’t challenges.

In late October, the Warriors lost a teammate, junior offensive lineman/linebacker Taylor Watzel, to an accident on the family farm.

“We had some tough things to deal with these last couple weeks,” senior Cameron Kuil said following the state championship game in November. “It brought us together as a team and as a community. We knew what we were playing for and who we were playing for. Taylor Watzel was a teammate and a friend.”

Though it paled in comparison to the heartbreak of losing a teammate, Winner faced adversity on the field, as well.
In the 11B semifinals, Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan became the first team in two years to take a lead on the defending state champs, kicking through a field goal early in the first quarter.

Six minutes later, the Warriors retaliated with the first of three unanswered touchdowns.

“We’ve definitely had a tough road to get back and that’s what we needed – to get challenged, to see the best,” Aaker said. “I think our guys have embraced that, too. They’re the type of crew that wants a challenge. They’re not going to back away from competition.”

At the DakotaDome, the Warriors put the final exclamation point on their phenomenal season, racking up 438 total yards in a 54-0 dismantling of Groton Area.

“We tried to stay humble all the time,” said senior running back Cameron Kuil, who caught three passes for 105 yards and ran nine times for 59 yards in the finale. “We know we have a great football team. People hold us to a higher level and we wanted to reach that level.”

Kuil was one of nine Warriors to crack the 11B All-State team. He was joined by Drew DeMers, Jayden Schroeder, Jordan Turgeon, Wyatt Ewing, Isaac Naasz, Krockett Krolikowski, Chase Kingsbury and Kayleb Brozik.

Kuil and Krolikowski, both of whom are headed to SDSU next season (Kuil for track), were also Elite 45 selections.

“That’s just a great 11-man football team, it doesn’t matter what class you’re talking about,” Groton Area coach Shaun Warner said following the 11B championship. “At least one division up and probably more, they’d be a great team.”

Kuil Named “Male Track Athlete of the Year”

cameron speaking

From Sioux Falls Argus Leader
Written by Brian Haenchen

Winner’s Cameron Kuil was named the boys track athlete of the year at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader sports award ceremony on June 3.

The 400-meter dash is not an event Winner senior Cameron Kuil looks forward to running in.

“I always kind of dread it right before the race,” he explained.

However, Kuil’s emotions typically change when he crosses the finish line.

“But after it’s done, I feel good,” he continued. “I’m tall, have long legs and I guess some speed. It’s all contributed to me running some good times.”

Kuil had ample reason to feel good following the 400 at this year’s state meet. The future South Dakota State University Jackrabbit successfully defended his state title, completing his lap in 48.52, a personal best mark which placed him nearly two seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

He also ran to victory in the 200 and was .01 second away from finishing first in the 100 as well.

For his performance, Kuil was named the MVP Class A in track.

Other Winner nominees for the Argus Leader awards were: Krockett Krokikowski as football player of the year; Dan Aaker as coach year and Winner as the football team of the year.

Students Learn About Rural Medicine

med students

By Dan Bechtold, Editor

Two college students spent a month in Winner learning about rural medicine.

Elizabeth Scholl, Brookings, is a medical lab science student at South Dakota State University and Jodi Sutton, Sioux Falls, is a family nurse practitioner student, also at SDSU.

Both women took part in the Rural Experiences for Health Professions Students (REHPS). The program places college students who are enrolled in a health program in a four week experience with preceptors established in rural areas of South Dakota. The students are exposed to all areas of a rural healthcare community.

The last day for the two women was on May 31 and they gave a presentation on what they have learned in the month spent in Winner.

They both said the experience was amazing.

Sutton said they were able to observe surgical procedures, see patients in the clinic, help in the lab and pharmacy and watch a couple of births.

Sutton noted in a larger city like Sioux Falls she would not have had the opportunity to see all he things she saw in Winner.

“The community of Winner has really welcomed us and we got to do a lot of fun things like attend a little kids baseball game, attend a movie at the Winner Drive-In Theater and tour the fire hall and ambulance bay,” said Sutton. They also had a chance to visit a farm.

Scholl said she likes chemistry and started out as a chemistry major. She wanted to do something in the medical field so switched to medical lab science.

As part of the REHPS program the students are required to do a community project. They presented a sun safety lesson to second graders and gave each one a pair of sunglasses.