Leslie “Les” Sherwood Jr., 49

Leslie “Les” Sherwood Jr., 49, of White River, SD passed away at his home on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023. 

Funeral service was held on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. at the Wood Community Hall in Wood, SD.  Burial followed in the Winner City Cemetery. 

Leslie “Les” Howard Sherwood Jr. (49) was born prematurely to Peggy Lee Bowers-Sherwood and Leslie Howard Sherwood Sr. on July 21, 1974, In Winner, South Dakota. Leslie grew up in and around the Wood and White River areas. Learning ranching from his father Les Sherwood Sr. and mechanics from his step-father Roy Moran Sr. He was always learning and teaching something new along the way throughout his life.

He graduated from White River, South Dakota in 1992. After he attended technical school in Watertown, South Dakota where he became a certified diesel mechanic.

Throughout his adult life he worked for various implements using his mechanical skills, as a ranch hand at a few different locations and as a mechanic at Wagner Auto in Pierre, South Dakota. He later pursued his dream of working on his family’s ranch outside of Wood, South Dakota, where he stayed. Les is known for his kind heart, loving words, calming demeanor, love and his acceptance of everyone he met along his journey. There was never a time that Les would not make sure that he could take his grandbabies out to the pasture to see the cattle and the horses or even to let them go with him to feed in the mornings. Among all of Les’s hobbies he enjoyed hunting and fishing with his family. Along with the yearly camping trip where he could enjoy family and boating. Les especially enjoyed all of the hunting adventures he went on with his brother Henry Moran.

Les passed unexpectedly on Dec. 16, 2023 in the early hours of the day. He will be missed by all.

Survived by his wife, Vickie Sherwood. His daughter Sierra Boren, son Damian Bingen (Megan) Aberdeen, South Dakota, Jarred Bingen (Brittany) Witten, South Dakota, Trey Bingen (Maddie) Burke, South Dakota. Along with his 6 grandbabies, Raphael Jax, Reese James, Delilah Belle, Kensley Mae, Jackson Leslie, and Ryker Joel. Survived by his father Les Sherwood Sr. (Lois) White River, South Dakota, Siblings Tonya Copeland (Rich) Rapid City, South Dakota, Misty Moran (Kelly Wright Sr.) Pierre, South Dakota, Henry Moran (Rose Larvie) White River, South Dakota, Harold Moran (Audra) Letcher, South Dakota, Berton Moran (Cassie Jones) Mitchell, South Dakota, Lisa Sherwood (Tyler Harter) White River, South Dakota and Brother-in-law Gabe Schumacher Wosley, South Dakota. Bonus siblings, Joelene Hamilton, Roy Moran Jr., Tim Moran (Breanna) and Jewels Moran. Along with several nieces and nephews.

Preceded in death by his mother Peggy Lee Moran, sister Karin Schumacher, niece Kateri Knife, Maternal and paternal grandparents and several aunts and uncles.

Douglas John Taggart, 71

Douglas John Taggart was born to John and Lillian Taggart in Winner, SD on April 13, 1952.

Doug grew up on a farm outside of Winner with his sister Karen and brothers Jerry, Brad and Robert.  Much has been whispered about his antics, but no one wants to come forward with hard facts on the wild days in Winner.  I can confirm that he DID learn to play the accordion, because his aunt and uncle liked to dance to the polka.  I know, right?!  The accordion.  Knock me down with a feather.  He was also the undefeated boxing champ from Winner.  He was 15 years old.  It was one fight and then he hung up his professional boxing gloves for good……but it was sanctioned.  So, we are going with Undefeated Boxing Champ.

Doug was world-renowned for his lack of patience or his endless patience (which one would you get today???), not holding back his opinion and telling it like it is. Doug always told you the truth, even if it wasn’t what you wanted to hear.  It was the school of hard knocks, and yes, we were told many times how he had to walk for miles in a blizzard to get to school, so suck it up and life is tough all over kid, get used to it!

He married his main squeeze, Polly, a librarian, almost 50 years ago in Colstrip, Mont. They lived in Montana, Indiana and later returned to Montana so dad could hunt and fish. They spent many hours on a boat with fishing poles in their hands but much to Doug’s dismay, Polly could out fish him many times.  Jennifer and Whitney (the daughters), cannot out fish either of them. Recently they moved to North Dakota to be near family and so dad could go back to his roots of farming, which he loved. 

Doug taught us that family comes first, to get outside,  and work hard…at what you love.  Doug made the best sourdough treats, homemade pizza and cookies.  Jennifer and Whitney also ended up with midnight snack addictions because of Doug.  Many a night would pass with a knock on the door and a question – “Want an ice cream shake?” He also made sure that he had someone around to make his sweet treats, he taught Jennifer how to bake cookies each weekend. Why? So, he could have the cookies for a nighttime snack.

Jennifer married Kevin Norton and Whitney married David Gonitzke – in a stroke of amazing luck – Doug loved both of them. 

Doug was Papa to Mackenzie, Aiden, Jules and Jane.  Oh, how he loved the four of them.  We don’t want say that he got soft as a Grandpa….but he got soft!!  Those kids could do anything and get anything!  He made sure his grandkids knew how to fish and that started at a young age. Papa was a huge history buff, this love of history was passed down to his grandson, Aiden, who is going to college to be a high school history teacher.  He bragged about his grandkids to anyone that would listen!

Doug and his two best friends, Pat and Kelly, (the “Three Amigos”) hunted and fished for over 30 years together.  After a while Doug decided that their friendship was strong enough to withstand anything…..so he included them into the Taggart Brothers Secret Circle.  For years and years, the brothers circle would meet up at Uncle Jerry’s ranch house in Wyoming to fish, hunt, drink loads of beer.  Who knows what lies and tall tales were told on those trips.  Really – Guys, can’t you just tell us one little thing??

Doug traveled extensively and took us camping all the time.  We went from tent, to a pickup box camper, then a 5th wheel camper– spoiling us girls forever.  Never will Jennifer or Whitney tent camp again.  Our love of the water likely came from the plethora of trips to rivers and lakes.

He is survived by his saint of a wife, Polly; children,  Jennifer (Kevin) Norton, Whitney (David) Gonitzke; grandchildren, Mackenzie (Eric) Wineinger, Aiden Sothers, Jules and Jane Gonitzke; great-grandchild, baby Wineinger (coming in June); siblings Jerry (Janine) Taggart, Karen King, Brad (Linda Wilson) Taggart, Robert (Kim) Taggart and many, many nephews, nieces, cousins, family and friends.

Although we feel like we didn’t get enough Doug in our lives – we can remember that Doug did not live an average life.  He traveled where he wanted to travel, laughed inappropriately at every chance, danced (especially the alligator) when the opportunity arose, learned what he wanted to learn, fixed what he wanted to fix, and loved who he wanted to love, and loved those people hard……..especially Polly.

Since Doug liked to do unusual things, he also ended up with cholangiocarcinoma – bile duct cancer.  It’s rare and aggressive.  Of course, that’s what he died from, he had to be unique.  Doug went to heaven on Dec. 15, 2023.

Danny Herman, 63

Danny Herman, 63, of Winner, SD passed away on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023 at the Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD.

Funeral services were held on Friday, Dec. 22, 2023 at 11 a.m. at the First Christian Church in Winner, SD. Burial  followed in the Winner City Cemetery.

Danny Eugene Herman was born on April 26, 1960, in Winner, South Dakota, to Robert and Joyce (Biggins) Herman. He was the first of four to join this union. In the later years, his best friends, Tony, Marty, and Penny, joined him.

Dan attended his grade, middle, and high school career at the Winner School District. He graduated in the year of 1978. This year was his 45 class reunion. It was a lot of fun, as he drove a party bus for their celebration.

After graduating high school, he attended Western Dakota Tech for mechanics.

After his schooling, Dan joined his father at the B&D Auto Salvage. He got to do what he loved for many years – working on cars. Another passion he had was racing, and he spent many summers at the Winner Speedway. Dan now has a pit crew seat in all of the races. If anyone needed something, he would do anything that he could to help. Until his last days, individuals would find him working on cars, riding his motorcycle, or drinking Busch Lights with his friends.

If someone happened to go out to the shop at 6:30 pm, the television would be playing “The Wheel of Fortune.” He would get multiple puzzles correct and would joke that he would do better than many contestants. Fittingly, on his last night on Earth, that show was on the television. Dan certainly hit the million-dollar wedge in this thing called life.

What Dan loved the most was being a father and grandpa. His grandkids could do no wrong. You could always count on him dropping what he was doing to be there for his kids and grandkids. The second drawer on the left-hand side of his desk was filled with different toys. His grandkids would drag out all of the different toys every visit. Dan was a kid at heart, and he would always be right there playing with them. He was the best “Pop-Pop.”

Dan is survived by his five children: Travis (Kat) Walker, Trevor (Kortni) Herman, Joshua Herman, Jacob Herman, and Shanelle (Clinton) Herman. His grandchildren also survive him: Dane, Kai, Jaxon, Krew, Adyson, Connor, Canyon, Dally, Copeland, Delaynie, and Sage.  Also having an empty place in their hearts are his siblings: Marty, Tony, and Penny (Chad). Other family members include nephews: Bryce (Becky) and Adam, nieces: Lindsey and Alex, Aunt Dianne, and Uncle Darrell.

He is preceded in death by his parents, a special aunt Darlene; and aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Bankwest donates toys

Dan Bechtold/Winner Advocate Photo
BankWest employees donated toys to Southern Plains Behavioral Health Services Make a Wish program. Pictured in front from left are Penny Heenan, Danielle Cahoy, LaDana Spreckles, Deanne Steinke, Josi Meek, Amy Walker, Dione Rowe, Rhonda Gilchrist, Tina Dummer and Kristi Donahue. In back from left are Lisa Curtis, Mary Sprenkle, Jody Engel, Sarah Aid, Lindsey McCarthy, Linda Nelson.

Honor flight trip

By Dan Bechtold


Judy Bartels of Winner  enjoyed the experience of an honor flight trip to Washington, D.C.

The mission of Midwest Honor Flight is to transport America’s veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit those memorials dedicated to honor the service and sacrifices of themselves and fellow veterans.

Bartels went on the honor flight on May 16. She served as a guardian for a Navy veteran from the Rapid City area. She had to be at the airport at 3:30 a.m. and the flight left  at 6:30 a.m. and they were back in Sioux Falls at 10:30 p.m.

Friday night before the flight there was a banquet at the Sioux Falls convention center. Bartels could ask any veteran to be her guest. She chose Tyler Sampson and the two enjoyed a delicious meal.

Bartels volunteered do be a guardian. She went to the Tripp County veterans service office in Winner and filled out the paperwork to be a guardian.  Several weeks later she was notified she had been selected and was being paired with a veteran from Piedmont.

The duties of a guardian are to physically assist the veterans at the airport, during the flight and at the memorials. 

The group saw all the memorials in one day.

The South Dakotans met Sen. John Thune and Rep. Dusty Johnson at the Lincoln Memorial.

Bartels said her veteran was very impressed with the Navy memorial. For Bartels, her favorite was the Vietnam Memorial because that was the era in which she was raised.

Bartels noted it was heartening to see the veterans enjoying the memorials.

They also saw the changing of the guard at the Arlington National Cemetery. Bartels said this was awesome.

This was Bartels  first trip to Washington, D.C. and she was glad that she went on the trip.

It had meaning for her since her dad, brothers and uncle all served in the Army.

New minister joins Methodist church

By Dan Bechtold


Tony Coffman is getting settled in as the new pastor at Winner Methodist Church.

He started here on Oct. 16 after serving three years at a church in Rugby, N. D. Prior to a stop in North Dakota, he was the pastor of a church in St. Paul, Neb., for four years.

His life was not always in the ministry.

After serving in the Army for six years he went to work in the corporate world. He worked 18 years for Verizon all over the United States. His last job for Verizon was as a regional manager.

He has worked in marketing and advertising since 2002. In fact the first two churches he served he also had  full time job.

Winner is the first church where he does not have another job.

While in North Dakota, he was the marketing manager and foundation director for a hospital.

While working in corporate world in the back of his mind was that call to ministry and he tried to avoid it.

“I have always enjoyed my work but it has never been totally satisfying. Finally in 2017, I gave up and walked into ministry full time.”

Before becoming a minister he served as a lay pastor for many years.

He received his master’s degree from Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Ind. He graduated with honor in ministry studies.

He took the course work on-line. He said it was two very hard years to get his degree.

Coffman did not follow the traditional college path of getting an undergraduate degree and then going on for a master’s.

Two years ago he saw an ad on Facebook that the U.S accrediting agency was allowing a few select seminaries to allow people into a graduate program without an undergrad degree.

“I did not tell my wife.  I just started the application process,” he said.   In May of 2021 he got a letter that he has been accepted into the program.

Early his August, Coffman was talking to the head of pastoral recruiting for the Global Methodist Church.

“After talking to him for a few weeks he asked me if I would be willing to pastor a church in Winner. I looked at what the Global Methodist Church stood for, what they believed in and made a trip to Winner to meet with church representatives,” he said.

The Winner congregation has about 190 in person at Sunday services and another 60-70 watching on line.

“As a group of people in Winner, it is the nicest group of people I have ever pastored. They are caring, very open. Pastoring can be difficult to step into a new church. They have made it easy for my wife and I and have been very kind to us,” said the pastor.

Coffman enjoys serving people. “You get to be the center of focus for people who are hurting, angry or have questions. I love to serve God in this capacity and I love that he has entrusted me the love and care of his people. Originally from Portland, Ore., the minister has had a lot of life experiences. He dropped out of high school his sophomore year. “I did not have a church background and I knew I needed someone to get their hands on me and give me some discipline. I had gotten my GED and went  to the Army recruiter and asked how soon I could join. They told  me as soon as I got a parental signature,” he explained.

The  tour of duty with the Army included stops in Germany and the United States.

When he  got out of the Army around age 24 he gave his life to Christ at a small Baptist church in Vancouver, Wash.

Coffman and his wife, Lisa, have two grown children, a 25 year old girl and a 22 year old boy.

When asked what people should know about the new pastor he said: “I am so very thankful to be in this  community and to be part of this church. It is very humbling to be allowed to be the shepherd of a group of people who are trying to follow Christ. I do not take that for granted. These are great people and I am honored to get to know them.”