Lou Nelson, 96

Funeral services for LouElla Nelson, 96, Winner, formerly of Millboro, were held Nov. 23 at the First Christian Church in Winner. Burial was in the Winner Cemetery.

LouElla Mae Rix, one of nine children born to Henry and Dora (Montgomery) Rix, came into this world on Aug. 13, 1923, on a farm five miles north of Springview, NE. She grew up in the Springview area and graduated from Keya Paha County High School in 1942. As a young lady, Lou worked at various jobs around Springview and Ainworth.

On Jan. 30, 1943, Lou was united in marriage to Erwin Herrmann. To this union, two children were born: Larry Erwin and Dianne Lynn.

On Oct. 20, 1957, Lou married Glen Nelson and was blessed with three more daughters: Linda Jean, Darla Lyn, and Nancy Eileen. The couple, along with their combined family, made their home in Millboro where Glen served as the rural mail carrier and Lou took on the role of housewife and mother, teaching their girls to cook, sew, and do various other domestic skills.

She was a wonderful cook, and her children and grandchildren will forever remember the homemade dishes and fruit jellies she delighted in preparing for them.

Lou was a member of the United Church of Christ in Millboro and the Millboro Extension Club. She was also a member of several service connected organizations.

Glen and Lou had a full and happy life together until Glen’s passing in December 1996. Lou continued to live in the family home in Millboro until January 2015, when health issues forced her to move to the Elder Inn assisted living facility in Winner.

She later transferred to Winner Regional Long Term Care after suffering a severe stroke in September 2019.

LouElla passed away at the Winner Nursing Home on Nov. 18, 2019.
Lou is survived by four daughters: Dianne Herrmann, Winner, SD; Linda (Larry) May, Bassett, NE; Darla (Rich) Miles, Omaha, NE; and Nancy (Richard) Kloucek, Scotland, SD; six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, four step-great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and a host of friends.

‘She was preceded in death by both parents; her husband, Glen; eight siblings: Mildred, Glenn, Nelda, Ortha, Dortha, Melvin, Norman, and Marvin; her son, Larry (Butch) Herrmann; and grandson, Shawn Coleman.

Isabella Mernaugh, 100

Isabella “Daisy” Mernaugh, 100, of Pierre, SD died Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019 at Avera Mary House with her husband LeRoy at her side.

Isabella Fox was born on Jan. 24, 1919 on the Fox Angus Farm in Watertown, SD to Nick and Isabel Fox. Her sunny disposition earned her the nickname “Daisy” at a very young age.

Daisy grew up on the farm and left for Hastings, MN to help relatives there take care of their family. She also worked at the Smead Manufacturing Company in Hastings making envelopes. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Daisy gave up her caretaking duties and her job at Smead to join the Women’s Air Corps.

During World War II, Daisy worked in a photography lab at MacDill AFB in Tampa, FL, processing photos taken overseas by reconnaissance airplanes. After the war, she moved back to Watertown and worked at Gray’s Photo studio.

It was during this time in Watertown that she met LeRoy Mernaugh. They married in 1949 and together had five sons. The family relocated to Winner, SD in 1966 and then again to Pierre, SD in 1971, where they settled for good.
Daisy was very active in the Catholic Church and local community. She was a volunteer for most of her life on various committees, most notably the funeral committee where she was known to commandeer the volunteers in serving meals for funerals.


Daisy was a lifelong pinochle player and virtually every meal was followed by a couple of hands. She won quite a few more games than she lost. She also had a lifelong passion for flowers and gardening. She won many “Pierre’s Yard of the Week” awards.

Daisy was a longtime member of the East Pierre Women’s Club and as one of her duties, she and LeRoy managed the first schoolhouse building in Pierre, which is now located at Steamboat Park. She also spent many years caring for the small flower garden which surrounds the original steeple from Oahe Chapel, which is located at the corner of South Pierre Street and West Pleasant Drive in Pierre.

Daisy is survived by her husband of 70 years, LeRoy Mernaugh of Pierre; her five children, Ray (Glenda) of Hoover, AL, Kenny of Spearfish, SD, Kelly of Omaha, NE, Kevin (Debbie) of Corpus Christi, TX, and Paul (Lisa) of Ocala, FL; one sister, Sister Rogene (Betty) Fox of Rochester, MN; four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her brothers and sisters: Nicholas, Alfred, Mildred, Howard, and Anna Marie.

Per Daisy’s request, she will be cremated with services to be held at a later date.

Online condolences may be made at www.isburgfuneralchapels.com

Keith Songer, 74

Keith Chester Songer, age 74, of Huron, SD, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019 at the Avera Queen of Peace Medical Center in Mitchell, SD. Cremation has taken place and a memorial service with burial in Colome Cemetery will take place at a later date. Visit www.welterfuneralhome.com.

Keith Songer was born on Sept. 30, 1945 on their rural Colome home to Raymond and Hazel (Baughman) Songer. Keith grew up mostly in the Winner and Gregory areas.

Keith enjoyed working on vehicles but his favorite pastime was fishing and camping. He was known to be a pool shark as well. Keith’s greatest joys were that of having his dogs, Missy and Tinker. He enjoyed getting visits from his grandchildren the most. Keith worked as a mechanic, bee worker, truck driver, and finally retiring, due to health reasons, from Restlawn Memory Gardens Cemetery after 20 years as head groundskeeper.

He is survived by Brian (Tonya Petersen) Songer, Timothy (Kendra Bretz) Songer, Vickie (Eric Rittel) Songer, also David (Joni) Tracy, Charlotta Scheiffer, Darrell (Kari) Songer, Donald Songer, Douglas Songer, Duane (Ruth) Songer, and Carolyn (Kurt) Wallace; 27 plus 5 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren; Siblings, Wayne (Barb) Songer, Larry Songer, Geneva Songer, and Leota Story; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sons Jimmy James Songer and Daniel Songer; brothers Donald, Dale, Kenneth, Leonard, Melvin, and sisters Velda, Iola, and Charlette; granddaughter Rebecca Jo, great-grandson, Ethan, and daughter-in-law, Jodi.

Marian Burtz, 91

Marian Burtz, 91, of Winner, SD passed away on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019 at Winner Regional Long-Term Care. Funeral service will be held at the First Baptist Church in Winner, SD on Wednesday Dec. 4 ,2019 at 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow in the Winner City Cemetery.

A visitation was held on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019 at the First Baptist Church in Winner from 6-7 pm, with a prayer service beginning at 7 pm.

Marian Ruth (Best) Burtz was born Feb. 23, 1928 to Lloyd and Minnie (Horstman) Best at their home across the Tripp County line in Mellette County. Her sister, Dorothy joined the family 22 months later. She lived a full life before she was called to her heavenly home on Nov. 29, 2019.

Marian attended grade school and high school at Witten, SD, graduating in 1946 from Witten High School.

On Sept. 14, 1946, she married the love of her life, H. Earl Burtz. They were married at the Baptist parsonage in Witten, SD with Rev. Curtis Gatson officiating. To this union 3 children were born, Allen, Linda, and Malon. They shared everything for 57 years until Earl was called home to be with his Lord in March 2003.

Marian was a caring, nurturing person always putting other people and their needs first. Her home was always open to family and friends. There were very few years that she and Earl were alone in their home. From extended family, to high school students who stayed with them during the week, there were always extra people in their home whom she welcomed. She found great joy in being a good hostess.

For several years, Earl and Marian owned and operated a dairy farm just west of Winner. People asked to buy farm fresh whole milk and so began many years of her selling milk right from the bulk tank in the barn into containers that they brought. Cars lined up, sometimes 10 deep waiting for their turn to buy gallons of milk. To this day, many fondly remember Marian as “The milk lady”.

Marian had a passion for growing iris, violets, and a big garden. She spent hours canning her produce from the garden and sharing with others. When she was first married, she had very little cooking experience, but as time went on, she became an excellent cook and fed many people throughout the years.

Marian lived her entire life in the Witten and Winner communities. She moved into Winner Regional Long-Term Care in December of 2016 after a fall in her home. She enjoyed all the people whom she met while living there and always appreciated everything that was done for her. She spent numerous hours cutting clippings from the newspaper and then pasting them in scrapbooks. Her faith and her family were what she valued the most.

Marian is survived by her 3 children: Allen, Linda (Neil) Schroeder, and Malon (Alona) all of Winner, SD. Also, 9 grandchildren: Justin (Julie) Burtz, Nathan Burtz, Emily (Noe) Hernandez, Brad (Susie) Schroeder, Kimberly (Ross) DeMers, Jeremy (Rhonda) Schroeder, Bruce, (Kira) Schroeder, Dan (Angie) Burtz, and Heather (Justin) Heying; 20 great-grandchildren, 4 step great-grandchildren, and 4 step great-great-grandchildren.

Preceding Marian in death were her parents, Lloyd and Minnie Best, Her husband of 57 years, Earl, her sister Dorothy Still, and her daughter-in-law Pam Burtz.

Darlene Simunek, 83

Darlene was born March 4, 1936 in Gregory SD, the daughter of Martin and Anna Rezac. She attended schools in the Gregory area, and when she wasn’t learning there, she was at home discovering some of the many skills she would need to raise a large family.

Darlene was a master in the kitchen and quickly became one of the best cooks this side of the Missouri, and probably the other side too. While in Gregory, Darlene met the new kid in town Floyd Simunek, and the two quickly fell in love. They were married on April 19, 1952, and a short time later started a family. They eventually moved to Colome where they continued to farm and ranch. Darlene and Floyd were blessed with 11 children, many of whom worked alongside them on the family farm.

Darlene was the CEO of the house, making sure everything was running smoothly. She often spoke of her dream of being a business woman, but was so humble she didn’t realize that she was a financier, a master chef, a teacher, a doctor and nurse, a psychiatrist, a hospitality manager, and so much more – far exceeding what many business women do in a routine week.

After 28 years in Colome, the family moved to the Black Hills, settling in the Hot Springs area while maintaining a small ranch and garden near Buffalo Gap. Darlene also helped run a family campground and pawn shop, all while teaching her children and grandchildren her cooking skills and family recipes. There was no better day in the Simunek household than when Darlene was making chicken noodle soup, as everyone got in on the act – both making and devouring the culinary treasure.

In addition to cooking, gardening, a cold beer, and the farm life, Darlene enjoyed music and dancing, especially if it was a good polka tune. Her heart was happiest when she had a house full of family. The holidays were always at Mom’s/Grandma’s and although chaotic and loud, she wouldn’t have it any other way. Darlene will forever be remembered as a kind soul, loving all of her children and their spouses, her grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.

She was always willing to lend a hand to family and friends. Whether it was a warm bed, a hot meal, or a thoughtful gesture, Darlene opened her home and heart to many. She will be dearly missed by the countless lives she enhanced.

Thankful by those whose lives she shared, Darlene is survived by ten children, Belinda (Jack) Gunvordahl of Burke, SD; Steve (Carla) Simunek of Hot Springs; Diane Simunek-Batai (Frank Batai) of Orlando, FL; Perry (Patty) Simunek of Gillette, WY; Sandy (George) Portz of Pierre, SD; Kelly (Diane) Simunek of Hot Springs; Marcia (Mark) Kazmer of Spearfish, SD; Scott (Keri) Simunek of Hot Springs; Lori SimunekStevenson (Tim Stevenson) of Los Angeles, CA; Floyd Jr.”Chris” (Kelly M.) Simunek of Rapid City, seventeen grandchildren and twenty-eight great-grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren.

Darlene was preceded in death by her parents, husband Floyd, a daughter, Tammi, a great-grandson Roper, and siblings Delores, Martin, Howard, Leland, and JoAnn.

Mass of Christian Burial was held 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3 , 2019, at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church. Following Mass, Internment was held at Evergreen Cemetery in Hot Springs.

Arrangements have been placed in the care of McColley’s Chapel of the Hills in Hot Springs. Written condolences can be made at www.mccolleyschapels.com.

Vernon Carpenter, 91

Vernon Carpenter, 91, of Winner, SD passed away on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019 at the Winner Regional LongTerm Care Center in Winner, SD.

Mass of Christian burial was held on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Winner, SD. Burial was at 2:30 p.m. at the Pleasant Ridge Cemetery in Armour, SD on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019.

Vernon Joe Carpenter, born Jan. 11, 1928 and passed away on Nov. 24,2019 at Winner Regional Long-Term Care at the age of 91.

He was married to JoAnn Kathryn (Lammers) Carpenter. They shared 66 years of marriage.

Born near Wister, Okla., he was the son of Alkali (Doc) Carpenter and Lula (Wilson) Carpenter. He graduated from Oklahoma A&M, now Oklahoma State University, in Stillwater, Oklahoma with a degree in vocational agriculture. After graduation he was employed as a vo-ag teacher and also loved refereeing high school football and basketball in Nebraska and South Dakota.

On Aug. 22, 1953 he and JoAnn were married.

After several years of teaching he joined the Ralston Purina Company as a district sales manager where he was employed for 24 years until his retirement.

He enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening, and playing cards throughout his life. During his retired years he took particular enjoyment in traveling with his grandchildren and sharing his favorite hobbies with them.

He is survived by his wife JoAnn, Winner, SD, a younger sister Margie (Leo) Christ, Newton, KS, his daughter, Mary Carpenter (Dan Flynn), Winner, SD, His son Mark, Mill Spring, NC, his grandchildren Grant (Erin) Flynn, Tristan and Sean, Pierre, SD, Katie (Jessie) Harris, Ayden, Lucia, Jesse, Mylah, Telon, and Tobias, Winner, SD, and Jamie Flynn, Tucson, AZ.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his siblings Ona Wiggington, Robert Carpenter, Ola Martin, Luella Todd, Frank Carpenter, and Oman Carpenter.

Jim Wagner, 76

Jim Wagner, age 76, passed away Oct. 23, 2019. He was surrounded by family He was a resident of Wesley Woods Manor, Hewitt , Texas.

He was born Feb. 20, 1943 to Ed and Emma (Vavra)Wagner. Growing up he played sports and worked in the family store Wagner’s Market. He graduated from Colome High School in 1961. He married Faye(Clark) in 1966 in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. He finished collage and taught school in Bonesteel, S.D. They moved to Montana for several years . They returned to Colome and ran the family grocery store Wagner’s Market and Locker. Later moving to Florida and worked with troubled teens . They worked at earning their GED while at Florida Youth Challenge Academy. While working there he received the Florida Distinguished Service Metal and the Florida Commendation Medal.

Jim loved working with the youth whether is was coaching baseball, track, community service or education. He wanted for someone to learn one thing each day. He also enjoyed playing cards and golfing. In 2012 they moved to Waco, Texas, where they retired.

Survivors are his loving wife Faye of 53 years. To this union were 2 children, Troy ( Evelyn) Wagner, La Vernia, Texas and grandchildren Andrew and Sherrylynn,. Daughter Shannon ( Tom) Grimmond Sioux Falls, S.D. grandchildren Krisha ,Joey, and Mikey. Siblings Ed Jr. wife Glenda, Starke, Fl. Dave wife Nelda, Judy husband Rod Smith , Lake Havasu City, Az. One aunt Adeline Vavra Winner, numerous nieces and nephews and cousins.

Jim joked we should have started with the grandchildren they are more fun.

He suffered from Alzheimer’s for several years spending the last two years at home. He developed an upper respiratory infection which he couldn’t recover.

Jim’s body was cremated and a celebration of his life will be held at a later date in Colome.

Russ Phillips, 53

Russ Phillips, 53, of Winner, SD passed away on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 at his home in Winner, SD. Mass of Christian burial was held on Monday, November 25th, 2019 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Winner, SD. Burial followed at the Winner City Cemetery in Winner, SD.

A visitation was held on Sunday, November 24th, 2019 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic church in Winner, SD with a Vigil service.

Russ Phillips took his final checkered flag on November 20th 2019 after a four-month hard fought battle with cancer. Russ will be remembered for his convincingly quick wit, never-ending humor and pranks. His generous and giant heart was felt by all.

Russell Todd entered the world on December 7th 1965 in Winner, SD. Proud parents Dennis (Denny) and Carol (McIntosh) Phillips decided Russ was so perfect they need not have anymore. He was baptized in April of 1966 at Trinity Lutheran Church. Russ graduated from Winner High School in 1984 and went on to graduate from the National School of Business in Rapid City, SD where he received a degree in business in 1986. In October 2019 Russ became a member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Winner, SD.

Hard work was a virtue for Russ and he started working at a young age. From the time he could walk he worked with his dad at the Car Care Center. He also worked at the Phillips 66 station with Arlyn (Harold) and Brenda Klundt. This provided him the opportunity to perfect his prank playing. Next, he became the chip man delivering chips for Old Dutch. Along his route he met the love of his life, Lorna.

They were married on May 21st, 1994. They were blessed with two children Megan Marie and Cole Hunter. Following his chip days, he worked for a short while at the Soil Conservation, before finding his perfect fit and second family. Russ started at the Tripp County Water User District as a Water Operator in 1995. He was promoted to Manager in 2006 and was awarded Manager of the Year in 2017. He served in this position until his final day.

The two loves of his life were his family and his race cars. It depended on the day which one got first place. Russ held numerous wins on South Dakota racetracks over his 25 years of racing and passed on the love of racing to his son Cole. During these years he met many lifelong friends and created many memories and stories that he cherished till the end.
Russ cherished a simple life filled with family, friends, racing, plenty of hot tub time, and of course Bud Light. Many are left to carry on his stories including loving wife Lorna, children Megan (Mike) Cahoy, Cole (Taylor) Phillips, granddaughter Maycee Cahoy, a special “second “ son Austin Klundt (Hailey, Evan, & Sylvia), parents Denny and Carol Phillips, his in-laws Tom and Nancy Esterling, brother-in-law Matt (Christie, Andrew, & Charlie). Many aunts, uncles, and cousins. The Tripp County Water User District family, employees, and Board of Directors & their families. His extended racing family and many friends.

Meeting him in heaven will be his paternal grandparents Ralph and Elsie Phillips, his maternal grandparents Riley and Rose McIntosh, great aunt and uncle James and Clara Musilek, Lorna’s grandparents Erwin and LaVerna Esterling, Wayland and Kess Dempster.

Joan Stetson,

Funeral services for Joan Stenson, 88, Colome, were held Nov. 22 at the Methodist Church in Winner. Burial was in the Colome Cemetery.
Stenson died Nov. 16 at Ava’s House in Sioux Falls.

Joan Joyce (Bowden) Stenson was born Jan. 24, 1931, in Tekamah, Neb., to Pearl Edith (Quick) and Clarence Miles “Mike” Bowden. She joined an older half-brother William Bowden. As a child she attended public schools in Nebraska while her father sought construction work during the Depression.

In 1941, Joan’s sister Carol Faith (Bowden) Moyer was born and the family settled in Lincoln. She attended high school in Lincoln, Neb., and later moved to South Dakota, graduating from Winner High School in 1949. Joan enjoyed her high school years in Winner and was active in cheerleading and served as a member of the homecoming court.

Following high school she moved to Omaha with her good friend Kate and worked as a cashier in a department store. It was there on a “blind date” she met Randal Stenson who she would marry on Aug. 22, 1953. Initially, the couple lived in Colome, later moving to the family farm outside of town. Her life would soon become full, becoming a mother to DeEtte the following summer and welcoming sons Craig and Brett in 1955 and 1956, respectively.

In 1966, the family became complete with the addition of a daughter, Randi Jo. As a wife and mother she was active in the community and in her husband and children’s lives, serving as a Cub Scout den mother, in the PTA, American Legion Auxiliary, as a member and later worthy matron of the Eastern Star, and the local bridge and birthday clubs. Joan was also a member of the First Christian Church, but would later attend the United Methodist Churches in Colome and Winner.

Joan and Randal raised their family and farmed/ranched outside Colome. Joan primarily worked in the home, but would later work alongside her husband in the realty/appraisal business in Winner. The couple stayed busy. Joan’s life revolved around family, faith, and Democratic politics. She actively supported her kids as they graduated, married, and began families of their own. Joan and Randal enjoyed traveling, visiting their children in different parts of the country, attending family reunions on both sides, and hosting the Annual Stenson Family Hunt. Throughout her life, Joan was the consummate hostess, her house served as a veritable bed and breakfast for both immediate and extended family and friends.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Bill and her husband of nearly 61 years, Randal.

She is survived by her children DeEtte (Dan) Lombard, Craig Stenson, Brett (Stephanne) Stenson and Randi Jo Stenson; her grandchildren Danielle (Jason) Bonsack, Lakin (Tanner) Trigg, Colin Stenson, Sean Stenson, Samantha Stenson, Ashlee (Alex) Swanson, Seth Stenson, and Jakob Steffy; and her great grandchildren Judson, Delanie, Weston, Emersyn, Macon, and Keller Bonsack. In addition, Joan is survived by her sister Carol Moyer, her sister-in-law DeEtte Elliott and her brother-in-law Doug (Jeanne) Stenson.

Matthew Weidner, 32

The memorial service for Matthew Weidner, 32, Aberdeen, SD, formerly of Winner, SD, was held 10:30 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, at New Life Fellowship, with Pastor Rodney Johnson officiating. Matthew died Saturday, Nov. 16, in Winner, SD.

Matthew Weidner was born on March 11, 1987, to Ron and Mavis (Stone) Weidner in Winner. His family moved to the farm south of Winner while Matt was young. He loved sports, horse races, shooting off fireworks, and playing Pitch with his Grandpa Jack. He was a proud Boy Scout and active in 4-H, and went on to be a camp counselor and eventually Program Director at Camp Bob Marshall.

After graduating from Winner High School in 2006, he went to Presentation College in Aberdeen where he earned his bachelor’s degree in social work. It was there that he met Heather Rau. Matt and Heather were united in marriage on May 29, 2010, in Aberdeen. They lived in Hot Springs for a few years before moving back to Aberdeen, where Matt earned his master’s degree in school counseling through NSU. He currently worked at Central High School with the ESL program (English second language) and at Pizza Hut.

Matt’s faith was an important part of his life. After he was confirmed, he was very active in youth group. He later went on two mission trips to Mexico where his life forever changed when he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. His faith became stronger and his desire to help others became a priority. Matt was baptized at Calvary Baptist Church in Hot Springs and attended New Life Fellowship in Aberdeen.

Matt will forever be remembered because of his strong love for all people. He had fun bantering with those around him, especially when they had opposing views. Whether it was church league softball, deer hunting with his family, or playing poker, board games, and video games with his friends, he loved being around people. But above all else, he loved being a daddy.

Grateful for having shared Matthew’s life are his wife: Heather Weidner, Aberdeen; his children: Annabelle, Theodore Jackson ‘TJ’, Trinity and Simeon Weidner; his parents: Ronald ‘Toad’ and Mavis Weidner, of Winner; grandma: Jackie Stone; brothers: Robert (Brianne) Weidner and Jeffrey Weidner; his nieces Millie and Ella Weidner; his parents-in-law: Kevin (Cindy) Rau; brother-in-law: Matthew Rau; cousin/sister-in-law: Sanessa Lindemann; and many loving uncles, aunts and cousins.

Preceding Matthew in death are his grandpa Robert Weidner, grandpa Alvin Wilken, grandma Elleanor Wilken, grandpa Jack Stone.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials.
www.spitzerfuneralhome.com