Eleanor Rohla, 104

eleanor rohla obit

Eleanor was born July 17, 1912 at Kutch, Colorado, to James and Stazie (Cerny) Vopat. They lived in several Nebraska towns before moving near White River, SD. Later the family moved back to Nebraska.

Eleanor married Robert K. Rohla November 7, 1939 in Ord, Neb. They farmed in the Carter/Witten area all their lives.

Eleanor was a gentle, hardworking homemaker. She raised lots of chickens and a garden, then preserved the produce for her family’s use. She was a life member of WFLA (ZCBJ) Lodge.

Richard Tate, 86

tate obit

Richard Tate, age 86 of Hidden Timber, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 at North Platte Care Center.

He was born to Jay and Eva (Rothley) Tate in a tarpaper shack on their farm west of Hidden Timber on Jan. 6, 1931. Richard spent his entire life on this land.

Richard attended Schneiderite School through elementary then Todd County High School, where he graduated in 1949. Following graduation, he attended South Dakota State College in Brookings.

He was drafted into the US Army on June 17, 1952. He spent two Christmases in Korea, drawing combat pay for 7 of those months firing artillery. He also worked in the carpool, traveling extensively throughout Korea. He was honorably discharged March 16, 1954.
After returning home, Richard worked with his dad on the farm and returned to college in the fall. He married Shirley Luedke in 1956 in Mission, SD and they were blessed with three children.

Richard worked at many jobs during his life, including planting trees for Todd County Conservation District, working as a ranch hand near Brownlee and working on teacher housing in Mission. He was a private pilot and owned his own plane. Several people remember getting their first plane ride from him. He would fly to the sale barn in Martin and often would fly out to help neighbors find lost cattle and check pasture. Richard loved the freedom of flying, not following the roads.

Richard was very good with his hands. In the early 70’s he built a boat that he and his family took to Lake of the Woods in Canada. He built the family’s first camper. Richard loved spending time with his family camping and boating. He also, with the help of family and neighbors, built their first house.

Richard started ranching on a quarter of land he purchased from his dad. He raised hogs and cattle and ran yearlings for many years, ranching with his son, Robert. He eventually retired in 1993 and sold the ranch to Robert & Tammi in 2015.

After retiring, he filled his free time with keeping the prairie dog population down. He could hit a prairie dog and 300 yards. He also enjoyed fishing. He treasured the trips made to Jones Hardware in Mission to visit with friends over a cup of coffee. He especially enjoyed the calls and visits from family and friends during his stay in North Platte.

Ted Eugene Schmidt, 62

ted schmidt obit

Ted Eugene Schmidt, 62, of rural White River SD, passed away on January 20, 2017. He passed away while doing what he loved, working with his cattle. Viewing was held at the White River Community Events Center, on Thursday, January 26, 2017, at 9:30, and the Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. The burial will follow, at the White River cemetery.

On December 30, 1954, Ted entered this world the 2nd born child to Theodore “Ted” and Jean (Reichardt) Schmidt, in Valentine NE. Ted joined an older brother, David (Sandy) Schmidt, later came his younger brother, Ray (Debra) Schmidt, and younger sister Sally Parsons.

Ted attended Mitchell Country School, in Mellette County, through the 8th grade. From there he attended White River High School and graduated in 1973. In May of 1976, Ted married Candace (Hanson) Schmidt, who unexpectedly passed away in September of 1999. To this union 4 children were born, Steve (Kim) Schmidt, Dan (Alyssa) Schmidt, Candy Kaye Schmidt, and the late Jacob Norman Schmidt. Ted worked on the family ranch with his dad until 1991, when his parents moved into town. At that time, Ted took over the family ranch on his own.

In July of 2006, Ted began another chapter in his life when he married Barb Shedeed. To this union, Ted received a step daughter, Teri (Brad) Biggins.
Ted was a friend to everyone he met. He always saw the good in everyone and enjoyed their company. He thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors which included hunting, fishing and trapping. He could often be seen coyote hunting with his dogs. In his earlier years, his hunting and trapping helped to support the family. For the past several years, he ran a guided deer hunting service and from this, gained some wonderful friends. Everyone knew when Ted was in the vicinity because of his infectious laugh. He enjoyed helping others with anything they needed, from putting out fires to helping neighbors with farm work. For the last several years Ted played on a dart league. He wasn’t proud of his dart ability but no one had more fun than he did. He was also a member of the Wood Fire Department, and a current Mellette County Commissioner.

Ted was a father figure to so many people other than his own kids. He dearly loved spending time with his grandchildren. They were the pride of his life.

Frances Jorgensen, 80

francis jorgensen oibit

Frances Elaine (Harter) Jorgensen was born Aug. 18, 1936 to Glenn and Laura Josephine (Cramlett) Harter.

Frances attended Grandview rural elementary school and Colome High School, obtaining her GED later in life.

Frances married Raymond Jorgensen in October 1953, 4 children were born to this union; Vicki, Beverly, Glen, and Dean.

Frances joined the working force when she and her sister JoAnn became cooks for the new school lunch program at the Colome School District in 1969. She was head cook for 12 years. Former students still talk about their favorites, chili and the amazing frosted cinnamon rolls.

Frances had various jobs through the years, including being a legal secretary and then a unit clerk at the Winner Regional Healthcare Center, retiring in 2011.

Frances had a love for antiques and collecting. She loved going to garage sales and attending auctions, eventually opening her own shop, The Black Cat Antiques & Collectibles.

Frances also enjoyed going to bingo with her grandkids, playing Scrabble and spending time at the Casino.

Dorothy Blomstrom, 95

dorothy blomsrom obit

Long time Winner resident Dorothy Blomstrom,  passed away in Scottsdale, Arizona on Jan. 21.

Mrs. Blomstrom was born in Brainerd, Neb., on Jan. 4, 1922.  She attended schools in Nebraska, and graduated from nurse’s training at St. Elizabeth’s hospital in Lincoln, Neb.  She enlisted in the  Army and served as a First Lieutenant in Europe during the occupation after World War II.

In 1949 she married Paul Blomstrom and moved to Winner, where she lived for 32 years.  After the passing of her husband, Paul Blomstrom in 1980, she moved to  Scottsdale, Arizona.

Robert “Bob” Ryno, 80

bob ryno obit

Bob was born May 15, 1936 to Ralph and Neva (Eaton) Ryno at their home on the northwest corner of Wood. Bob attended Cody Township School and graduated Wood High School in 1954. Shortly, thereafter, he joined the Army; completing basic training at Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX, Fort Carson, CO for infantry training then sent to Korea. He returned from the Army in 1956.

Upon his return, he was a delivery truck driver for Kaplan Tires of Winner, SD. He returned to the home place, north of Wood, to help his father on the ranch. Shortly thereafter, he was united in marriage to Frances “Babe” Belak on June 25, 1960.

In 1966 he purchased his first two thoroughbred mares from Gene Strain.

He and Babe purchased the old Leat place, south of Wood, and also the Standard Oil bulk business from Rex Sinclair, in 1969. They spent the rest of their lives building a beautiful home place, raising their two kids, Karla, born in 1962 and Marty, born in 1963.

Bob put off his horse racing career until Karla and Marty were thru high school. He sold the bulk business to Scott Dimond in 1997, his brother, Larry, watched the cattle herd, and he devoted the rest of his life to his true passion, racing horses.

Bob’s most notable accomplishments, during his racing career, included two horses in the Hall of Fame at Canterbury Downs in Shakopee, MN. Little Bro Lantis was born, raised, and trained on the home place. KZ Bay was Kentucky bred and purchased as a yearling. Bob brought her to South Dakota where he trained her and raced her at Canterbury Downs, River Downs, Churchill Downs, Remington Park, Woodbine and Franklin Downs.

The ultimate racing accomplishment was winning the Lady Canterbury feature race at Canterbury Downs on 6-22-1997. This race was a one mile turf race; KZ Bay went off the board at 32 to 1 and won the race, going wire to wire. K Z Bay was the first local mare to win the race against shippers brought in from all over the country. The grandstand erupted with cheers as she came charging down the home stretch and hit the wire, two lengths in front.

Bob’s love of horse racing was only surpassed by his love of family, friends and particularly his granddaughters, Robin and Teneil. He could be found pulling the girls on sleds across the pasture, rigging a swing on the horse walker so they could swing while he walked the horses, and just spending time with his good ‘ol kidders.

W. P. “Pete” Olson, 103

pete olson oibit

On Jan. 17, one week shy of his 104th birthday, Weldon Peter “Pete” Olson passed away at his home surrounded by several members of his family.

Pete was born Jan. 24th, 1913, on the family farm in Knox County Nebraska to Peter and Alma Olson. He was the oldest of five children.

Pete was a smart child and his teachers recommended he skip the 6th grade. He was later elected president of his class and graduated from Wausau, High School. He moved to Tripp County to farm with his Uncle Frank Lundgren.
He married Ruth Mack on April 5, 1941 in Ainsworth, Neb. and they enjoyed life together for 72 years. Pete and Ruth enjoyed dancing to waltzes and polkas. They decided on raising a large family. They had 13 children and were blessed with lots of grandchildren and great grandchildren who loved to spend time on the family farm. Pete enjoyed playing games such as Trivial Pursuit and cards with the family. All of his life, Pete was an avid reader enjoying books on tape when his eyesight was too weak. And, of course, he loved to rock the newest grandbaby.

Pete and Ruth moved to the farm in Ideal in 1947. Pete became very active in the community serving on the school board, various boards at the Ideal Presbyterian Church, the Ideal Township board and the Ideal Tigers Country basketball team board. As a member of the school board, Pete helped to start the hot lunch program at the Ideal school. He also loaded his car many times to transport students to Rosebud, SD, for dental and medical care. Pete and Ruth enjoyed living and raising their children in such a supportive community. Pete was able to go Christmas Eve Service at the Ideal Presbyterian Church in 2016 for his last venture from home.

Roy Melvyn Lilly, 72

roy llilly obit

Roy Melvyn Lilly was born on March 4, 1944 at Gregory Hospital to Oliver and Ruth (Kenaston) Lilly.

Roy attended grade school through 8th grade at Kansas Flats and graduated from Colome High school in 1962 and went to work on the farm with his dad. He joined the National Guard in October 1962 and served with the 730 Medical Clearing Company until 1968.

Roy was united in marriage to Carol Ring on October 10, 1970 in Colome, to this union three daughters were born, Linda Jane, Brenda Jean and Rhonda Joy.

In July of 1992 Roy decided to try something other than farming/ranching and went to work at the Colome School. He worked for the School for 20 years and always enjoyed the kids. Roy always said that the best kids always come through the doors of the Colome School. After he retired, he still drove the school bus, he just found so much joy in seeing the kids and enjoying the scenery.

Roy was an active member of the Calvary Chapel Church as he served several years as a Church Board member, Sunday School Superintendent and Sunday School Teacher.

Roy was a kind hearted Christian, that always put others before himself and saw the good in everyone. He had a wish for everyone to know and walk with the Lord. Roy had 2 passions, the love for the Lord and the love for his family. He enjoyed playing cards at night with Carol and at family gatherings, he also enjoyed his summers by having a large garden and taking time to enjoy baseball games in Minnesota and Kansas City with his daughters and grandkids.

Roy passed away January 17, 2017 at the age of 72 at the Winner Regional Hospital.

Kenneth Watson, 70

ken waton obit

Kenneth Leroy Watson was born July 15, 1946 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and passed away on Saturday, January 14, 2017, at age 70 in the Winner Regional Healthcare Center.

Ken graduated from high school in Ulysses, Kansas in 1963 and joined the Navy the following fall. He served in the Navy and Navy Reserves for a total of 14 years, including two tours in Vietnam. Ken cherished his time served in the military and was proud to say he served this great country.

On May 31, 1975, Ken married Lori Stritecky at the Colome United Methodist Church. They moved to Sioux Falls where he worked various jobs until he graduated from Southeast Area Technical Institute with a degree in Electronics. They had two sons, Kevin and Ryan.

In 1979, they moved to Crooks, SD where Ken was active in the community with the Crooks VFW, Tri-Valley Booster Club, Crooks Optimist Club, served on the church board of Benton Lutheran Church, and various baseball programs in Crooks. While in Crooks for 22 years, Ken and his family created lifelong friends not only in Crooks but the surrounding communities which he cherished until his death. He always cherished teaching and coaching not only his own two boys, but numerous kids of the community and showing them life lessons through sports. He was active in the Tri-Valley School district where his sons attended school and graduated from. If there was one thing Ken loved was attending the various activities with friends and supporting his beloved “MUSTANGS”. Ken was a current member of the Winner United Methodist Church and Gregory American Legion.

After their sons graduated from high school, Ken and Lori moved to Gregory, SD in 1998 for 5 years. He then followed his wife with her Traveling Nurse Career. They bought a home in Peoria, AZ in 2007 where he worked as a cashier at AJ’s Fine Foods and Bashas’ Grocery Chain until his retirement in 2013. He was a season ticket holder for the Arizona Cardinals for seven years and enjoyed going to various Arizona Diamondback games and spending time with his family in the Phoenix area. Ken always had a passionate side for animals especially his fur babies Gizmo and Bella.

Due to health issues they recently moved back to Colome, SD in July 2016 to be closer to family and friends. With his love for sports, Ken touched many lives teaching and mentoring kids in the various baseball and basketball programs in the Crooks and Sioux Falls area, but most of all was looking forward to watching his grandchildren grow up. In addition to family time, he also enjoyed his boating, coin collecting, camping, pheasant hunting, cheering on the Denver Broncos and bowling. Ken always wanted was best for the kids of the community and always strived to get the best out of the kids he taught and coached.

Varney Daryl “Butch” Bancroft, 75

bancroft obit

Varney Daryl “Butch” Bancroft, age 75 of Vermillion, SD passed away Thursday January 19, 2017 in McCook, NE.

Butch was born on May 3, 1941 in Redfield, SD to Leonard and Genevieve (Bennett) Bancroft. He grew up in Burke, SD and graduated from Burke High School with the class of 1960. He married Karolee Gatson on June 10, 1962. He served in the US Marine Corp from 1965 until 1968, serving in Vietnam. After his discharge, he worked for Northwestern Bell Telephone Company (which later became AT & T) for over 40 years. After leaving AT & T, he opened T.D.C. where he worked on phone systems in South Dakota. He enjoyed hunting and was very artistic with his drawings and making wooden houses. He loved his family, especially his children and grandchildren. He was much loved by his family and will be greatly missed.