Walt Graesser, 90

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Walter Edward Graesser was born on January 5, 1925 at the Gregory Hospital to Thomas D. & Neta (Stoltenberg) Graesser and died July 27, 2015 at Rosebud Country Care Center. He was the third of 4 children. Walt’s family lived in Carlock township until they moved to Valley township when he was four where he continued to live and raise his family until his retirement.

In 1943 he graduated from Gregory High School, after which he worked on the farm with his dad, taking over when his parents retired.  Walt married Arlene (Lebert) on May 27, 1950 at the Paxton Methodist Church and to this union Rod, Steve, Kevin and Karen were born.

Walt’s passion was attending the sporting events of his children and grandchildren and there was little that caused him to miss, even if it involved milking the dairy cows at 4 in the afternoon.  He loved working with horses and reminiscing about his special ones. One particular memory was during the winter of ’52 when roads were blocked with snow. Rod was a baby and became quite ill, requiring medication. The mailman was able to bring it as far as Carlock which was 10 miles away, so Walt rode his horse Rocket to get the medicine.  Another special memory was when he found his team of horses, Nip and Tuck. They, along with Dick and Jean Steffen hitched them to a covered wagon for the SD centennial and participated in the wagon train from Winner to Bonesteel.  Walt loved baseball. He played for Colome and had the opportunity to coach Rod, Steve and Kevin for several years. He also enjoyed watching his grandchildren play ball and talking Twins baseball, especially with grandson Carter.

His children have many memories of visiting neighbors which always involved a game of cards around the kitchen table. He continued to enjoy playing pitch with their many friends into his later years.

Ramona High Rock, 79

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Ramona was born on May 18, 1936, to Edward and Lenora Ringing Shield in Rosebud, South Dakota.  Ramona was raised in Bad Nation, SD and graduated from St. Mary’s Catholic Boarding School in Springfield, South Dakota in May 1955.

Ramona married Martin Sidney High Rock on October 5, 1956.  From this union five children were born.  Bonnie Black Feather of Winner, SD; Ronald High Rock Sr. of Aberdeen, SD; Shirley Groskruetz of Minneapolis, MN; Brenda High Rock of Winner, SD and Lonnie High Rock of Rapid City, SD.  Ramona has 22 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren.

Ramona worked as a CNA at the Winner Regional Hospital in Winner, SD, a training officer at the Winner School District, as a coordinator with Family Planning, but her favorite job was being an excellent caring and loving mother and wife.  She was proud to say she was a homemaker because she was so good at it.

Keith Burkinshaw, 87

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Victor Keith “Chipper” Burkinshaw was born on March 10, 1928 at the family ranch NW of Wood SD, to Vernon Victor and Clemintine Burkinshaw. He graduated from Wood High School. He was drafted during the Korean War into the Armed Services and did basic training at Camp Roberts, CA. On the completion of his duties he was honorably discharged and came home to take over the ranch as his father was failing with cancer. He then met and married Eunice Gilliland on November 26, 1955. They were married for 43 years before Eunice’s early passing. They were blessed with 3 children, Roger, Debbie and Cindy. After leaving the family farm and moving to Winner, he worked for Brown Oil Company for many years. He later moved to manage a motel and lastly he owned and operated a Credit Bureau.

Keith was a faithful, loving, honest and hard-working husband, father and grandfather. He also encouraged his family to never lose their faith in God. Keith sang at numerous funerals, weddings, church and other events along with his beloved wife, as she sang and played the piano, accordion and organ. He was a (witty) man who loved his family and was passionate about his faith. He set examples for his family members and also for living a Godly life. One of his greatest hobbies was gardening and yard work, spending time with Eunice, his family, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He was an active and dedicated member of the Wood American Legion for over 50 years and a member of The First Reformed Church in Mitchell. The family would like to thank all the caregivers at Avera Brady for their efforts, care and dedication.

BHSU Alum Establishes Scholarship in Memory of Teammate

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More than 40 years after they ran track for Black Hills State University, Barry Grossenburg of Winner still keeps a photo of his teammate Roy Borreson in his office.  Grossenburg established the Roy Borreson Memorial Scholarship recently in honor of Roy, a Yankton native, who lived courageously with Huntington’s disease before passing away in 2008 at the age of 55.

South Dakota’s First Poet Laureate Captured Life in the American West

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Badger Clark turned four years of cowboy life into a career as one of America’s most successful cowboy poets.
Charles Badger Clark Jr., was born Jan, 1, 1883, in Albia, Iowa. His father, a minister, moved the family to the Plankinton area three months later. The family later lived in Mitchell, Huron and Deadwood. Clark attended Dakota Wesleyan University for one year and then lived in Cuba for two years before returning to the Black Hills to work for the Lead Daily Call. When he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, he followed a doctor’s advice to move to a dry climate. He went to Arizona, where he tended a small herd of cattle at a ranch near Tombstone.

Local Youth Leaders Attend National Leadership Conference

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More than 7,700 members, advisers, alumni, and guests of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), gathered at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, July 5-9 for the 2015 National FCCLA Leadership Conference. Abi Leyden and Shannon Duffy, juniors at Winner High School, attended along with their adviser, Kris Brockhoft for inspiration, training, and opportunities to make a difference.

Teeners Win Double Header over Mission

teener brickman pitching val gameWinner Teener baseball team defeated Mission in both games of double header Thursday at Leahy Bowl.

In the first game, Winner won 19-9.  Nick Lantz was the winning pitcher.  In the nightcap, Winner won 8-5. Cale Meiners was the winning pitcher.

Last Wednesday, July 15 in Rapid City, Winner Teeners were defeated 8-3. Carter Brickman was the losing pitcher.

On July 20, Colome defeated Winner in two games. In the first game, Winner lost 9-7. Jordan Turgeon was the losing pitcher.  In the second game, Winner lost 7-3. Ty Bolton was the losing pitcher.

The Winner varsity Teeners start region play on July 29 in Wagner. Winner will play Lead-Deadwood in the first game. The tournament continues Thursday and Friday.

City Golf Championship

men city golf wnnersLynn DeMers won the championship of the Winner women’s city tournament on Sunday. She shot an 88.  Second place in the championship flight was Kari DeMers, 89.

The Winner men’s city golf tournament was held at the same time. Jordan Kimmel won the championship flight. He was followed by Ryan Radant, 2nd; Chris Burns, 3rd and Mike Barfuss, 4th.

Amateurs Defeat Corsica

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Winner/Colome amateur baseball team defeated Corsica/Stickney 7-2 in the district tournament Friday in Platte.  J. J. Farner was the winning pitcher.  Derek Graesser had 3 hits with a home run.

On Sunday, Alexandria defeated Winner/Colome 10-1.  Drew Weber was the losing pitcher.

The Pheasants will play Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and will play the winners of the Parkston Mudcats and the Parkston Bullheads.

Joey Vavra, 87

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Joey attended rural schools close to the Colome family farm until his parents moved to Winner.  He graduated from Winner High School and went to Mitchell Business School in Mitchell, SD where he received a degree in business.  Joey went to work at the Winner Cold Storage and a Winner Gas Station where he worked in the office.
Joey joined the United States Army and was stationed at various bases around the country during the Korean War Conflict and was honorably discharged in February 1953.  He worked in the mail department which led to a job for the US Post Office in Winner where he worked for 35 years.  Joey first worked as a mail carrier and later as a clerk.  He was well-liked by his patrons and co-workers.

Joey was an active and lifetime member of the American Legion, VFW and the Elks Club.  For many years Joey marched in the Labor Day Parade.  He also served as Commander of the American Legion and was Grand Marshal for the Labor Day Parade.  Joey was care taker for his father for many years until his father passed away.

Joey liked to read and was a stamp and coin collector.  He was an avid sports fan, he also enjoyed car races and listening to the local school ball games on his radio.  Joey enjoyed traveling when he was younger, a highlight for him was to see a Vikings game in Minneapolis. Joey occupied his free time with his dog Snoopy, his vegetable and flower garden, his farm, farm animals, listening to Bohemian music, and spending time with his family and friends.  Joey was a kind, giving, and warm-hearted man.  He always had a warm smile and hello for everyone that made them feel special and wonderful.