Kimber Bell, 65

Kimber “Kim” Lee Bell was born July 7, 1955, in Winner, SD, to Eddie Lee and Lee “Verdean” (Klein) Bell. He graduated from Winner High School in 1973, and went on to college at SDSU and NSU, participating in the ROTC program.

Eventually, Kim went to work as a trucker, and trucked for many years. After his accident, he went looking for a place to build his log house, and decided to put it right next to the interstate, just in case he decided to go back to trucking, because that would give him easy access to the road. He was later self-employed, working heavy equipment building roads.

Whatever Kim did, he worked hard and gave his all. Kim was everyone’s “hero.” No matter who you were, he would always take the time to stop and just listen, and no matter what the circumstances, he thought of others before himself.

He was a giver, not a taker. Kim had a tremendous passion for two things – old cars and bass fishing. No one can remember a time when Kim bought anything new, as he would rather fix up something himself. This translated to his love of cars, believing in working hard to restore old to new. His latest was his green 1957 Ford Ranch Wagon.

However, when it came to fishing, that was his time to relax. He loved fishing the stock dams near Winner, and the lies and stories that came afterwards were always a joy to listen to. The solitude at the pond was what it was all about to him, second only to the competition amongst the whole family when it came to fishing.

On any given Sunday afternoon during football season, Kim could be found watching his beloved Chicago Bears. He was a die-hard fan, and he refused to have company on Sundays, because there was always a game to be watched. Above all, Kim was a writer.

He always had a unique way with words, and everyone looked forward to a letter from him. His words were so wise, sincere, and straight from the heart, reminding his friends and family how loved and cherished they were.

On Monday, July 13, 2020, Kim passed away at his home in Piedmont, SD. He put up a hell of a fight to beat cancer, and succeeded for five years longer than he was supposed to. He never complained about the journey, and he never lost that determination to live until his very last breath.

Kim touched the lives of all who knew him, and will be deeply missed by each and every one.

He is survived by his sisters, Debbie Robinson, Cindy (Jerry) Haskell, and Amy (Bill) Reiser; his brother, Randy (DeEtte) Bell; niece, Sadie; nephews, Chad, Charlie, Luke, Tye, Corey, Bryce, Preston, Nick, and Brandon; and a host of other family members and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ed and Verdean Bell; grandparents, Lee and Lena Klein and Elmer and Hazel Bell; and his nephew, Kris Robinson.

Funeral services were held 10 a.m. on Friday, July 17, 2020, at Grace United Methodist Church in Piedmont, with Pastor John Britt officiating. Graveside services followed at Piedmont Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Piedmont Cemetery Association in Kim’s name. Condolences may be sent to the family at

A Historic Day at Mount Rushmore

By Governor Kristi Noem
July 10, 2020

On July 3rd, South Dakota got to showcase our state to not only the rest of the nation but also the world. For the first time in more than a decade, we celebrated America’s birthday with fireworks at Mount Rushmore. The excitement leading up to the event could be felt by everyone in attendance. Over just three days, more than 125 thousand people tried to get tickets to the event, and the lucky 7,500 who witnessed it in person saw quite a show.

South Dakotans know just how beautiful and magnificent the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore are, but it was wonderful to share them with millions of viewers from around the globe. Early estimates suggest more than 5.5 million people tuned in to watch our celebration on just one cable news network.

Our team at the Department of Tourism spent countless hours pulling together this great event. The Department of the Interior’s Secretary David Bernhardt was instrumental in helping us overcome countless obstacles to make it a reality. And of course, none of this would have been possible without President Trump’s dedication to making this event happen. Before I was even sworn in as Governor, I asked for his help to bring fireworks back to Mount Rushmore, and he went to work on it immediately.

In addition to the wonderful fireworks display, we were also thrilled to be the audience for President Trump’s best ever speech. It was unifying and focused on his dedication to the things that make America the greatest country in the world. But he also warned of a sinister threat to that greatness: the radical movement to re-write American history.

Make no mistake, this movement is not about equality. This movement’s attempt to “cancel” the founding generation is an attempt to cancel our own freedoms. Our Founders had their flaws, certainly. But every person has flaws. Without our Founders’ words, ideals, and sacrifice, the world would not have a ringing example of true freedom. We can write, worship, work, defend ourselves, and even protest as we see fit because of these men and their ideals.

That’s what the celebration of America’s birthday is about. It’s about our core American ideal: “All men are created equal.” It’s about the day our ideal was forever enshrined in one of the most important statements of purpose ever written, the Declaration of Independence. It’s about the work of countless brave men and women, including the four presidents enshrined on Mount Rushmore, to live up to that ideal and make America the greatest country ever.

Everyone who tuned in for our celebration also learned about South Dakota’s commitment to that American ideal, to freedom, and to trusting our citizens to exercise their personal responsibility to do what’s best for themselves and their loved-ones. Let us, like our Founding Fathers, pledge our own lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the cause of liberty and self-government, so that we may continue to have the freedom to follow our consciences, build our lives, and live in peace.

And let’s continue to celebrate America’s birthday with fireworks at Mount Rushmore!

School set to reopen

By Dan Bechtold

Mike Calhoon was re-elected chairman of the Winner School Board at Monday’s meeting.

Scott Meiners was re-elected vice chairman as the school board started its new term.

Taking their seats on the board and taking their oath of office were Nelle Schlomer and Rusty Blare. They were elected to the board in the June 30 election.

Bill Mann was appointed to a one-year term on the board to fill the unexpired term of Haley Barfuss who has taken a position as middle school guidance counselor for the school district.

School board committee assignments include:
Buildings and grounds—Bill Mann, Rusty Blare and Scott Meiners
Finance committee—Mike Calhoon, Scott Meiners and Steve Kubik
Curriculum and personnel—Julie Manke, Nelle Schlomer and Bill Mann
Negotiations committee—Manke, Kubik and Schlomer
Calendar committee—Meiners, Blare and Schlomer
Amended consent decree—Calhoon, Kubik and Manke
Administrative assignments for the school term are:
Trust/agency—Laura Root and Cathy Ducheneaux
Title I, II and VI—Kim DeMers and Keven Morehart
Title IX-Morehart, Gerald Witte, Dan Aaker and Brian Naasz
PL 94-142 SPED—Naasz and Morehart
Section 504/ADA coordination—DeMers and Morehart
Title VII impact aid—Root, Morehart
Asbestos—Root, Morehart
Food Service—Root,Morehart
Facilities management—Orville Schroeder, Morehart, Naasz, Witte and Aaker
District technology—Witte and Brett Gardner
Truancy offciers—Morehart, Witte, Aaker and Naasz

Continuation of amended consent decree—Morehart and DeMers

The school board held a lengthy discussion on the opening of school.
Plans are for school to open on Aug. 20 with in person instruction in the classroom.

Students have not been in the classroom since early March due to COVID-19.

The local well start committee is working on coming up with a plan for the opening of school and guidelines to follow to stop the spread of the virus.

A public forum on the start of school will be held July 30 at 7 p.m. in the Armory where the school board will present the back to school plan.

Prior to the public meeting, there will be a special school board meeting at 6 p.m. July 30 in the high school chorus room.

Chairman Calhoon said parents he has talked to want school to open and the children to be in the classroom.

Supt. Morehart explained other school districts around the state are coming up with plans on what they plan to do to open school.

School board members said they need to be proactive and communicate with the community on the opening of school.

Dan Aaker, Winner School Activities director, sits on the South Dakota High School Activities Association committee that is coming up with guidelines for the start of fall sports.

In other business at Monday’s meeting the school board:
•Approved the chairperson as custodian of all legal depositories of all district accounts. Supt. Morehart and business manager Root remain on all legal depositories.
•Designated the official depositories of school funds to include BankWest, First Fidelity Bank, Sentinel Federal Credit Union and Wells Fargo bank.
•Authorize the business manager to invest and reinvest funds in institutions which serves the greatest advantage to the school district.
•Designated the Winner Advocate as the official newspaper of the school district
•Set date, time and place for regular school board meetings as the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in Room 200 at Winner High School
•Set salaries of school board members as $45 for regular meetings and $25 for special meetings for the chairman and $40 for regular meetings and $20 for special meetings for the board members.
•Set mileage, meals and lodging rates at state rates
•Authorize the publication of salaries
•Designate Rodney Freeman as the school attorney
•Set admission charges for the 2020-2021school year at $5 for adults, $3 for students for regular season events
•Authorize Supt. Morehardt to close school in emergency situations and in case of inclement weather
•Approve Laura Root’s contract as business manager
•Approve nursing service contract with Universal Pediatrics
•Approve school lunch and breakfast prices and there will be no change from the price charged last year.

In additional business, the school board approved the contract of Cyndy DeMers as the assistant dance coach.

Unique Sound of White received the bid to install a new sound system in the Armory. The firm’s bid was $16,498.

The school board canvassed the June 30 school board election.

The board approved the surplus and sale of 325 laptop computers.

Prior to the regular meeting, a public hearing was held on the 2020-2021 budget.

The budget totals $9,341,417 which is an increase of $490,417 from last year’s budget.

The general fund budget is $6,292,890 and the capital outlay budget is $1,400,000.

The special education budget is $1,259,58.

The school district will receive $2,232,158 in state aid based on a projection of 675 students.

he Winner School District will receive $260,267 in federal CARES funding.

This is funding to off set losses due to the coronavirus. The school district has a plan how to use this money.

Elks Rodeo is Set

The 51st annual Winner Elks Rodeo will be held July 24, 25, 26 at the Tripp County Rodeo Arena.

The rodeo is a benefit for LifeScape outreach program which serves children statewide from centers in Sioux Falls and Rapid City.

New this year is an outstanding specialty act from Ponotoc, Mississippi. This act is sponsored in part by Elevate Agronomics of Winner. Nationally known performer Tim “Wild Thang” Lepard and his Team Ghost Riders will entertain the crowd with his capuchin monkeys riding border collies and herding rams into a pen.
Kids will love watching the monkeys dressed up as cowboys. Little E, short for Elvis, is a character and likes to show off. Fans are welcome to bring oranges, apples, bananas and monkey chow, plus bones and liver treats for the dogs. Wild Thang performs at 30-something minor league baseball games a year. He also does half time shows at the NFL. Up until this year when Covid hit, Lepard is on the road 360 days a year. Two years ago, Hollenbeck Rodeo had the pleasure of working a rodeo with Wild Thang and Team Ghost Riders. He calls his animals the Ghost Riders because watching them is like looking at a ghost. You just can’t believe what you’re seeing!

Coming back to the Winner Elks Rodeo is funnyman Adam “Jelly Bean” Carlson from Brainerd, MN. Being a former high jumper and track athlete helps him bring high energy to every show with an upbeat tempo. Adam is a health and physical education teacher and coaches track at Aitkin High School. Adam brings out his inner “Jelly Bean” in class to create a fun learning environment for his students and to help get his lesson to stick.

The competition begins at 7:30 each night with over $35,000 in prize money in all standard events. To add to the excitement is a $1,000 bounty bull each night sponsored by Frontier Motors. The bull rider who has the highest score or if no score, rides the longest, gets a chance to ride the bounty bull. If he rides the bounty bull he wins $1,000. There will be a bounty bull all three nights with $1,000 up for grabs each night.

Ranch bronc riding has a $300 purse each night. The entry fee is $50. It is limited to six each night and persons can enter by calling 842-5830.

Due to Covid 19, the rodeo committee decided it was in the best interest of kids and adults to not have the muttin bustin and the candy scramble this year.

Rodeo stock is provided by Hollenbeck Rodeo Co. of Winner, named SDRA stock contractor of the year. The Hollenbecks have been the stock contractor since the first Elks Rodeo in 1969.

Calling the action will be SDRA Finals announcer, Alan Odden of Ft.Pierre. Dusty May of Creighton and Colton Kovarik, Kearney will be the bull fighters.

Winner BPO Does No. 238 will run the lunch stand, serving grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos and soft drinks. All food & drinks will be covered. Hand sanitizer will be available.

The Elks will have a beer stand. No coolers please.

There will be 50/50 tickets available each night & drawings held for beef certificates and SD lottery tickets.

The rodeo is sanctioned by the South Dakota Rodeo Association, Mid-States Rodeo Association, Northwest Ranch Cowboys Association and Nebraska State Rodeo Association and the WCRA.

Proceeds from the rodeo go to the outreach program for LifeScape which served children last year from Tripp County, 23 from Todd County, 10 from Mellette County, 7 from Jones County, 28 from Lyman County and 5 from Gregory County.

The rodeo started in 1969 under the leadership of four Winer Elks members–Bill Dillon, Vince Hollenbeck, Dick Kazda and Harold Jans. LifeScape, (then Crippled Childrens Hospital & School) had a traveling rehab unit that visited communities across the state providing clinics for children with physical disabilities, mostly polio.

In Winner, the clinics were held at the Elks Lodge. The four men were touched by the plight of the children and their families and decided to start a fundraising rodeo to help. The event has been held every year since with the event raising well over $250,000 over the years.

Admission at the gate is $12; advance tickets are $10. Kids 10 and under attend for free.

FFA Workshop

Submitted photo
A few weeks ago the Winner FFA officers had their officer training. In front are Maggie DeMers and Meagan Blare. In back from left are Aaron Gilchrist, Amanda Blare and Madeline Watzel. Not pictured in Chase Boerner. They planned FFA events, goals and visions for the school year. They also participated in leadership and team building activities.

Barb Williamson, 61

A celebration of life for Barbara Williamson, 61, formerly of Winner, will be held July 18 at 11 a.m. at the Gregory City park. The family asks that persons bring a lawn chair and a memory to share and that persons practice social distancing and wear a mask. A private burial will take place at a later date.

Barbara L. Williamson was born June 21, 1958, to Ralph and Mildred (Yeigh) Williamson in Los Angeles, CA. Barbara grew up with seven siblings: Ellen, Marjorie, David, Ralph, Teresa, Ron, and Chris. She lived in California, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota.

In 1974 Barbara was blessed with a son, Kevin Scott, but times were tough and she made the hard decision to adopt him out for a better life.

In 1977 Barbara met Don Soesbe and they were married. To this union three daughters were born: Dawn, Jennifer, and Erin. In the spring of 1987 they decided to go on different life paths.

In the fall of 1987, when Don married Sandy, Barb gained another daughter Yvonne. Barb also gained in Sandy, another trusted caregiver to her children.

In the years to come Barbara took care of numerous people and was a voice and an ear for many. She loved riding the Harley, doing embroidery, crocheting and cross stitch, and working puzzles and cross words.

Barbara worked as a barmaid/bartender in Wyoming. After moving back to SD she fought and won her battle against breast cancer. During her fight she continued to work at McDonald’s in Winner.

She spent the last of her working years at the Elder Inn in Winner where she was very attached to the residents and her coworkers.

In March of 2015 she was blessed with her son Kevin reaching out to her and completing her family. And her family grew with the addition of her daughter-in-law and two more granddaughters.

Her grandchildren now numbered eleven granddaughters and four grandsons.

Barbara moved to Yankton in 2019 where she lived out the rest of her life anxiously awaiting her first great granddaughter, Emma Rose, who made her appearance on April 7.

Barbara passed away on April 5, 2020, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, SD, at the age of 61.

Barbara is preceded in death by her parents.

She is survived by her children Kevin Hansen of Topeka, KS, Dawn (Bill) Atkins of Yankton, Jennifer Marks of Buxton, ND, Erin Soesbe of Gregory, and Yvonne Grewell of Rapid City; fifteen grandchildren and one great grandchild; and siblings Ellen Hoffman, Marjorie Perkins, David Williamson, Ralph Williamson, Teresa Duley, Ronald Williamson, and Chrystal Hammon.

Lester Emery, 88

Lester “Tiny” Wayne Emery, 88, of Mission, SD passed away on Saturday, June, 20, 2020 at the State Veterans Home in Hot Springs, SD.

A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 23, 2020 at the White River Cemetery in White River, SD. A memorial service will be held after the graveside service at the Catholic Hall in White River.

Lester “Tiny” Wayne Emery was born March 12, 1932 at Rosebud, SD. His parents are Clarence and Nellie (Young) Emery. Tiny was one of six children. The family lived on Ironwood Creek, near Parmelee. Clarence moved the family to Parmelee to be close to school and later to Mission for high school. Tiny left school after 8th grade to help with ranch work.

In 1951 Tiny enlisted in the Army, after basic training he was shipped to Alaska to help build Fort Richardson. After a three hitch Tiny was honorably discharged at Fort Carson, Colo.

Tiny married Laurene Markus in 1954 at Winner, SD. They have two sons Robert and Rockey, both born at Rosebud. When Tiny was building the ranch, he worked at the Rosebud boarding school’s farm/ranch. Tiny and Laurene lived in the school’s housing.

In 1958, Tiny joined the Navy. His first station was Norfolk, Virginia. Tiny rode destroyers his entire Navy career. His stations were: Newport, Rhode Island; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; back to Newport; Naval Reserve Center in Duluth, Minn., as an instructor; and Bayonne, New Jersey.

In 1970 Gunners mate Tiny Emery was selected Cruiser-Destroyer of the Atlantic Fleet- Sailor of the Year. Tiny was selected due to the performance of his duties as the Gun Boss aboard the U.S.S. Davis during their tour in Vietnam. August 1975 Tiny retired from the Navy.

Tiny and Laurene returned to the ranch and have been there ever since. Tiny passed away on June 20, 2020 at the Michael J. Fitzmaurice South Dakota Veterans Home in Hot Springs, SD.

Lester (Tiny) is survived by wife Laurene, son Bob (Paulette) Emery, son Rockey (Kathy) Emery, granddaughter Casey Emery Krogman, grandson Lance Emery, 6 great grandchildren, 2 sisters Delphine Tech of Witchta Falls, TX, Fern Benner of Williamsport, Penn.

He is preceded in death by his parents Clarence and Nellie Emery, brother Clarence Jr. Emery, sister’s Audrey Cordry, Eltine Krebs.