Tommie Joe Fox, 82

Tommie Joe Fox was born on January 11, 1933 in Winner, South Dakota to Thomas Fox and Kate (Scott) Fox. Tommie attended school in the Mission area until he dropped out in the 9th grade to help with the family ranches due to his father’s poor health.

Tommie married Dorothy Lee Dvorak on November 7, 1952. They lived and ranched on the ranch where he grew up north of Mission, South Dakota for many years. This ranch has been in the Fox family for almost 100 years. Tommie and Dorothy raised four children on the ranch and always seemed to have lots of family and friends visiting. Everyone gathered there as it was referred to as the “Home Place”.

Tommie loved the land, cattle and horses. He was a true cowboy in every sense of the word. He enjoyed ranch life and visiting with friends, neighbors, and family. He was witty and loved to talk, tell stories, and make people laugh. He also enjoyed attending rodeos and horse sales. In fact, in his younger years, Tommie Joe was quite the bronc rider and very proud of winning First Place among 40 contestants at a rodeo in the area. He cherished the belt buckle he won that day.

In the 1990’s his wife Dorothy’s declining health made it necessary to move to Winner to be close to doctors. Tommie did not like town life and traveled to the ranch almost daily. Eventually Dorothy was moved to the Winner Nursing Home and Tommie to the Elder Inn Assisted Living. Tommie was a faithful husband and visited Dorothy in the nursing home every morning and evening as long as he was able to do so.

In 2011 Tommie and Dorothy entered a nursing home in Lakewood, Colorado to be close to their daughter, Cindy, and her family. When Dorothy passed away in 2012 Tommie moved to a small Assisted Living facility with a home like environment where he resided until he passed away peacefully on September 24th after a long bout with Alzheimer’s disease.

Leuella M. Lee, 87

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Leuella was born December 4, 1927 in Bryant, South Dakota to Louis and Mabel Gilbertson. Leuella graduated from Hayti High School. She was united in marriage to Curtis Lee on September 7, 1947. The couple made their home near Lake Norden. While raising a family, Leuella attended SDSU and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics in January of 1969. During the summer of 1969 she accepted the position as Extension Agent for Tripp County and they moved to Winner.

As the Extension Agent she taught many classes of beginning sewing and bread baking. She thoroughly enjoyed teaching and assisting 4-H members and their 4-H clubs over the years. Leuella retired after 20 years of service.

After retirement Leuella enjoyed spending time on the farm with Curtis. She raised very large gardens and enjoyed giving away her harvest to friends and family. Another passion that she mastered was quilting. Leuella made beautiful quilts for family and friends. She was a charter member of the South Canyon Lutheran Church Piecemakers in Rapid City. Leuella is quoted as saying, “nothing gets in my way to keep me from being there on Thursday mornings.”

Leuella will always be remembered for her love of family and friends. She was well known for the beautiful flowers she grew, her peach pies and homemade buns. Faith was always an integral part of her life. Leuella attend Circle and Prayer Breakfast as a member of South Canyon Lutheran Church. Her values of kindness, respect of others, hard work, and strong faith were passed onto her children and grandchildren.

Ardith Long Crow, 66

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Ardith Mae Roubideaux long Crow was born at home delivered by her grandmother Frances on September 10, 1949 to parents Charles and Virginia Roubideaux. She was one of thirteen children. Back in the day, tents were the Lakota family’s homes, so Ardith always told a story of being born in a tent by the railroad tracks in 1949 or 1950. She grew up unsure by what year, so she always went by 1949 as her year of birth.

Ardith grew up and lived in Winner all her life. In her younger years she had three children: Anthony, Jennifer, and Sherry. On July 19, 1979 she married Orson R. Long Crow and to this union four daughters were born: Carol, LeAnn, Victoria, and Lori. While Orson was a Winner City Police officer, Ardith worked at the Winner Nursing Home for several years. She also attended Sinte Gleska University and DWU studying nursing. Ardith eventually chose to be a homemaker caring for her children, then her grandchildren.

Ardith took great pride in her family, her children, especially her grandchildren. She devoted her life to her family and followed all the activities and football games her grandchildren participated in. Ardith was a very important part of all her grandchildren’s lives, and was happy when her family was all together. She enjoyed playing bingo, her puzzle books, and visiting with her sisters, and loved being called Grandma by all the children in her life. She had nicknames for all of them.

Ardith had an effect on many people in her life, to her beautiful smile, her unique voice, to her love she had for life.

Reuben H. Brei, 92


Reuben Henry Brei was born on April 24, 1923 at the family home near Mission, SD in Todd County to Henry and Anna Brei, nee Kasat. He was baptized and confirmed at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mission, SD. He was a faithful member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod his entire life, having served for many years on various boards and committees. Reuben was a member of Zion in Mission, SD, Trinity in Winner, SD and Good Shepherd in Kearney, NE.

Reuben graduated from Todd County High School in 1942 and worked for Wierr Construction Co., Orville Barry and L.E. Jones prior to beginning his career with the South Dakota Department of Transportation, where he worked for 36 years, retiring in June of 1986 as a certified heavy equipment operator.

Reuben married Phyllis Christiansen on June 12, 1954. To this union two children were born, Philip Reuben and Cheryl Irene Brei-Phillips.

Reuben retained his family’s farming roots as was evidenced for many years by the large garden and fruit trees at their home in Mission, SD. Caring for the lawn and the trees around the home was a passion of Reuben’s, the time and care spent on their home was very apparent. Reuben enjoyed hunting and fishing around the Mission, White River area. He was an avid fisherman for much of his life and loved to spend time with family and friends at a lake or perhaps even better telling and re-telling stories of past adventures. He also enjoyed attending Todd County High School reunions, he looked forward to them with great anticipation and loved to visit with old friends from the area and from across the country.

Reuben and Phyllis moved from Mission, SD to Winner, SD in November 2001, after living at their home in Mission for 45 years. They enjoyed their retirement years in Winner, especially the opportunity to meet old friends at coffee and the friendship that they made with their neighbors in Winner. They lived in Winner until February of 2012 when they moved to Cherry Hills in Valentine, NE. Reuben and Phyllis moved to Kearney, NE in March of 2013 due to Phyllis’s declining health.

Daniel Musilek, 51

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Daniel Philip Musilek was born on January 3, 1964. He was the youngest of 3 children born to William and Cecilia (Rohde) Musilek. Daniel spent most of his life on the family farm south of Colome. Daniel worked off the farm also as a care giver at Silver Threads, Rose Manor and the Elder Inn. Daniel cared for his parents and brother on the farm until their deaths.

Daniel sold the farm and bought a house in Winner, in January of 2013. He was very proud of his home in Winner. Daniel went to work at Holiday Inn Express as a maintenance foreman shortly after moving to Winner.

When he retired from the Holiday Inn he made a trip to Armour weekly to have the local paper printed. Daniel loved cars and tractors. He always had his vehicles clean and waxed. If they had dust on them they got washed. We would joke with him that he cleaned them so much that the wax wouldn’t stay on. He would just laugh and say “yes, they are clean”. He detailed cars for people in his garage. His favorite car was a corvette. He liked to restore cars and tractors and was very good at it.

Terry Luse, 64

Terry Earl Luse was born July 28, 1951 to Earl and Lucile (Johnson) Luse. He was the third of four children. Terry attended grade school all eight years at the little school house right at the top of the hill being taught by his sister Kaye, and Rod Billings and Glenn Linse, who later became his cousins-in-law. He went to Keya Paha County High School and graduated in 1969. Terry then attended a semester of diesel mechanics school in Springfield, SD.
Terry married his high school sweetheart, Karla Nilson on April 4, 1970. Other then 2 years spent living east of Burton, NE, they lived all of their married life on the home place just north of Wewela.
Terry was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith on December 13, 1970. They were members of Grace Lutheran Church in Burton, NE for over 40 years and later transferred to the Zion Lutheran Church of Colome, SD.
He was a member of the Burton Bombers men’s softball team and also coached baseball in Wewela and Clearfield. Many fond memories and friendships were made during these times. Terry was also active on the Wewela Community Hall Board, the Keya Paha township board, Grace Lutheran Church, and Zion Lutheran Church and belonged to trap clubs in Springview and Winner.
Terry instilled his love of shooting and hunting in his son and grandkids. Many hours were spent out on the deck shooting prairie dogs or waiting in a deer blind and walking the draws looking for “the big one” during deer season. His other love was farming and watching his crops grow. This started at a very early age, as he remembered and talked fondly about using an 8N Ford and 2 row equipment with his Grandpa Johnson and dad.
Terry was a people person, he never met a stranger and greatly enjoyed visiting with anyone he encountered. He was a prankster with a contagious attitude and laugh, who loved his family and friends very deeply, especially is grandkids and lived by the motto “the best things in life are not things.” Terry will be greatly missed.

Randy Dean Nespor, 56

Randy Dean Nespor, 56, was born April 6, 1959 to Leonard and Bev (Smith) Nespor at Winner, SD. He attended school in Hamill and Winner. He worked as a heavy equipment operator on road construction and also as a gunsmith at A & A Ingraving. Most recently, he worked at Al’s Oasis in Oacoma.
Randy enjoyed fishing, hunting, Chevys, guns, beer, and being with his friends. He also like watching westerns and animated movies. He was always willing to help anyone in need.
Randy passed away on September 7, 2015 at Oacoma, SD at the age of 56 years. Family services will be held at a later date.

Beverly Burtz, 85

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Beverly Helen Bailey Burtz went to be with the LORD on August 19th at the age of 85.  She was the youngest of 3 children and the last surviving.  She was born on October 21, 1929 on the family farm to Clifford and Gertrude Bailey.  She attended South Greenwood School and then Winner High School.  Beverly married Bill Burtz on Sept. 2, 1951 at their farm home on the White River.

Beverly was a dedicated farm wife who enjoyed gardening and canning, feeding and caring for her farm animals, and writing the local news for the Winner Advocate.  She was a substitute teacher in both the Eden and Greenwood rural schools and was also a Teacher’s Aide at the Winner Schools in 1972-73.

She had a great interest in history and worked hard to document her family’s ancestry.  She recently researched and presented the history of the Witten Baptist Church at the 100th anniversary program.  Beverly volunteered as a 4-H leader, was involved in her local Greenwood Kensington Extension Club and her local Ladies Community Bible Study.  She also was a Greenwood township board member.  She was very involved in her church as a Sunday School Superintendent, a Deaconess, a member of the Women’s Mission Circle, as a Bible School supervisor and most recently, as church secretary.

Being very proud of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Beverly would often share their pictures with friends.  Her house walls, refrigerator and bulletin boards are covered with photos and newspaper clippings that she would enjoy and share with others.  She enjoyed visiting with family and friends on the phone as well as keeping in touch by writing many long letters.

Alice Ann Blomstrom, 83

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Alice was born January 2, 1933, to William Peitz and Elizabeth (Bruce) Peitz. She was raised with two sisters and four brothers on a farm outside Colome South Dakota.

She entertained her twelve young ones with vivid stories of her youth, the basic amenities of those times, dust storms, cold winters, watching the land come to life in spring, helping her Mom prepare meals for thrashers that assisted in the harvest and experiences in the one room school house she attended from kindergarten to sixth grade.

Her love for music began at a young age listening to The Grand Ole Opry, on Saturday nights. When the radio batteries were weak, determined to hear her favorite performers. she would put her ear to the speaker, to enjoy songs by Ernest Tubb and other popular country singers of that era.

Upon graduation from Colome High School in 1950, Alice moved to the big town of Winner. She worked as a waitress at West Side cafe where she met “Big Marv the handsome Swede”. After a brief courtship the two eloped on April 22,1952 and following the birth of their 2nd child their marriage was blessed in the Catholic Church. Alice contacted polio at that time, which doctors said would immobilize her arms and upper body. She regained the strength in her arms by hanging clothes and lovingly caring for her family.

Marvin operated heavy equipment though out the state of South Dakota, which kept him away for weeks at a time, leaving Alice to care for her growing family. In 1968 the family was blessed with the eleventh sibling. Shelly was blind at birth and required many operations during her young years. Alice, determined to provide a main stream learning educational environment, relocated the family to Minnesota in 1972. The twelfth child Annie was also born that year.

In the course of her life, her children completed their education, with Shelly graduating from Rockhust University in Kansas City, marriages that blessed her and Marv with 31 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren, and two daughters and two sons that served their country in the military.

In 1989 Alice and Marv returned to their beloved state of South Dakota. She had worked at the University in Minnesota from 1976 until the move to Sioux Falls, and then resumed working until 2007 at Sioux Falls College (USF).

They belonged to the St. Joseph Parish, her dedication to the Catholic Church and the celebration of her God were apparent in her daily life. Every Saturday for many years both participated in the 24 hour Eucharistic Adoration.

Alice was a strong supporter of the Democratic Party, and over time had converted Marv.

In celebrating her life, she will be remembered for the love of her family, love of little babies, singing to her children, making and mending her children’s clothes, discussing current events, cooking and baking bread, working the “Jumble” puzzle in morning newspapers, and expressing herself through dance. As her children grew she could spend time helping Marv building and repairing houses.

Betty Ann Ellis, 85

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Betty Ann was born in Lyman County on the way to the hospital as a triplet with Billie Mae and Bernard on January 31, 1930 to C. Edward and Naomi (Anderson) Schooler.  The trio was born as the middle children of a family of 15.  In 1934, the family moved from the family homestead south of Reliance to a farm south of Oacoma less than half a mile from White River.  Betty attended the Walker Country School through the eighth grade.  During the summers she worked in the two acres of gardens with her family.  She helped take care of her younger siblings and would help care for neighbors families.

Betty was united in marriage to Wayne Ellis on September 9, 1950 at Pierre, and to that union seven children were born: Danny, Dickey, Darrell, Nancy, Cindy, Annette, and Scott.  After their marriage, they lived near the river at Iona until 1952 when they moved to Hamill and began raising their family.  In 1969, they moved to Chamberlain where they continued to raise their children and later enjoy their grandchildren.

Betty worked as a cook at the Hamill School, and a waitress at the Rainbow Cafe and the Truck Arena.  She also worked as a cashier at Joe’s Super Value and most recently at Alco.  She was a Tupperware consultant for many years.

She enjoyed bowling, crocheting, and sewing.  She sewed and mended many items for people over the years.