Helen Wiley, 90


Helen was born on April 30, 1926, to Alva and Rosina (Gooby) Wiley on the family farm. She was the fourth of six children. Helen grew up on the family farm and attended the Wewela School through the eighth grade.

Helen and her sister Vi moved to Winner where she started her working career in the early 1940’s. Her first job was a cashier and running the Western Union Telegraph at the Peacock Café. Helen’s second job was a bookkeeper for the Westside Market and Gas Station. She then moved to the Winner Courthouse and worked in the Assessor’s Office. This was a job she loved until retirement due to health reasons. Helen was very proud of her self-taught skills and many accomplishments through her career.

Labor Day was a busy time of the year for Helen as she could always be found fixing dinner and a variety of homemade pies for family. Aunt Helen’s home was always open to family where she became a second mother to her nieces and nephews. Helen gave good advice and a lot of love to her family and friends. Helen enjoyed knitting, picking apples from her apple tree and watering her many African Violets.

In 1996, Helen moved to the Elder Inn where she enjoyed her new home and many friends. She then moved to the Winner Regional Healthcare Center until the time of her death.

Vernice Pederson, 95


Vernie was born on March 20, 1921 to Albert and Myrtle Blomstrom in Winner, South Dakota. Vernie attended Winner country school and Winner High School; graduating in 1939.

Vernie married Albert Pederson on October 21, 1941. To this union five children were born: Brenda, Doug, Linda, Kevin and Clay. Vernie is survived by her daughter Linda Roberts (Tom) of Sioux Falls, SD. and son Kevin Pederson (Lori) of Scottsdale, Az.

Vernie is also survived by 12 Grandchildren and 12 Great Grandchildren.

Vernie was preceded in death by he parents Albert and Myrtle Blomstrom, her husband Albert, daughter Brenda Mahoney, and her sons Doug Pederson and Clay Pederson.

Vernie dearly loved children, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Vernie had a strong faith and belonged to the Catholic Daughters.

For several years she enjoyed helping prepare meals on Fridays as a member of the American Legion.

The family will be directing memorials to the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Winner, SD

Bette Lou Blankenship, 79


Bette Lou Blankenship, daughter of Vincent and Ruby (Duggan) Sharkey, was born in Chino, CA on May 22, 1937. As a child she moved with her family to a farm in Tripp County, SD. Bette Lou attended country school and later graduated from Winner High School in 1955. She taught and attended college at Southern State College in Springfield, SD earning her Degree in Teaching.

Bette Lou was united in marriage with Richard Blankenship on November 30, 1958 in Mitchell, SD at Holy Family Catholic Church. The couple made their home in Mitchell. Bette Lou taught country school near Letcher, later in Ethan, SD , 25 years at Holy Spirit Elementary School, 8 years at Holy Family Elementary Schools and finally at 8 years at a substitute teacher. She retired from teaching in 2002. Bette Lou will always be remembered as “always helping everybody else first”.

Bette Lou was an active member of Holy Family Catholic Church and was also very involved in the Democratic Party. Bette Lou was award Teacher of the Year in 1986.

Sanford Bingen, 87


Sanford Bingen, 87, of Colome, South Dakota and formerly of Kennebec, South Dakota passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Wednesday, September 14, 2016.

Sanford Merl Bingen was born at Presho, South Dakota on August 20, 1929 to George and Charlotte (Croston) Bingen. He had six brothers and one sister. On October 15, 1953 he married Geraldine (Gerry) Austin and to this union four children were born.

Sanford served in the Marine Corp from 1951 – 1953 and was a lifetime member of the Colome American Legion. Sanford always said he was a “jack of all trades and a master of none”! His passion was farming and he spent many years on the family farm south of Kennebec, South Dakota.

In 1994 they moved to Colome and he worked for Grossenburg Implement in Winner, until his retirement at the age of 80. He loved fishing, camping playing horseshoes and enjoyed spending time with his family. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, a quiet gentle man and a friend to all.

Melba Schilling, 100


Melba Lucille Schilling 100, of rural Winner, SD passed away September 5th, 2016. Born October 27th, 1915 in Wagner, SD to Joseph and Bertha (Totton) Story, she was the oldest of 10 children. The family lived on various farms in Gregory, Todd and Mellette counties. At the age of 10 they lived at Hidden Timber, southeast of Mission, SD.

At a young age they lived in a sod house near O’Kreek, SD and she told of how firewood was scarce so she and her siblings spent hours picking up dried cow chips to burn to keep the family warm. They also had to carry water a great distance. Being the oldest she was always busy helping care for her brothers and sisters, doing housework and farm chores. The years never changed her love for children, and she always said “Kids keep you young”. She had a great love for horses and enjoyed riding them. At one time she was also a part of a band at Wood, SD playing the saxophone.

On Feb. 13, 1934, she and George Schilling were married at White River, SD and lived on the Schilling farm near Mosher, SD. To this union three daughters were born: Patricia Ann, Carol Marlene and Peggy Lee. George and Melba loved dancing and their children remember the back seat being removed from the car so they could sleep on the drive home from a night of dancing. Her favorite song was “Waltz Across Texas” by Ernest Tubb.

Their life on the farm was one of two people working together side by side. Melba loved farm life and would rather work outside in her white tee-shirt, stripped bib overalls and cap milking her milk cows, driving the tractor doing field work, and raising chickens every year to sell the eggs and cream to help provide groceries for the family. Her girls would beg her to yodel while they did the chores. There was no running water on the farm so she would haul water from Mosher, SD, four miles away to have fresh drinking water. When the pump for the stock tank broke down, it was Melba who took charge to haul water to her animals from their nearby dugout.

Family gatherings were very important to the Story family and she would always bring her big black roaster full of her famous country-fried chicken and homemade pies. Her family always requested that Grandma Melba make her wonderful cinnamon rolls and apple dumplings made with real farm cream. She was always baking something to take to someone or willing to help anyone in need. One of Melba’s fondest memories was the time she spent traveling with her very special friends, Tom and Evie Lammon. They had a small band that played in various places around the country; and she went along to care for their small son, Billy.

After her husband George passed away in 1978, and after spending over sixty years on the farm, Melba was no longer comfortable living alone. She gradually moved in with her daughter Carol and Eugene Simkins, and lived with them for over twenty years. Her life there was different than farm life; but she occupied her time by driving out to her farm for the day, shopping for groceries in Winner, washing dishes at the Winner American Legion on Friday nights, and visiting her sisters and friends.

Never wanting to miss a Labor Day celebration in Winner, she would drive herself each year, take in the parade, food and music at the Legion, visit people and maybe play some Bingo then drive home letting you know she had a great time.

At 98 Melba could still wash and dry dishes, hang clothes on the clothes line, then remove and fold them, do word search puzzles, watch “Price is Right” and the “Lawrence Welk Show” on TV, cut thousands of denim quilt blocks, cut coupons to send to the military, and play Rummy when she had someone to play with.

When she could no longer drive, she was not at peace. She always loved her vehicles and talked of the next new one she was going to buy. At age 98, Melba was still an amazing, remarkable lady. She was very agile and could climb stairs, make her bed every morning, lace her own shoes and could arrange her stacks of many, many quilt blocks in the neatest patterns. She loved sweet rolls, toast with lots of butter and jelly, ice cream and coffee with creamer. Her family will always remember how this woman loved to work. Her last years were spent wishing she could drive and wanting a job. She’d say, “I’m gonna get myself a job washing dishes in a café,” or “I’m so bored, I need some work to do.”

As Melba neared her 100th birthday, her oldest daughter, Pat, left her job at Walmart in Pierre, SD, to be the main caregiver of her mother until her passing.

Bill Meyers, 89


Bill Meyers, 89, of Gregory, died Friday September 9, 2016 in Pierre.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 17, at 11 am, at Isburg Funeral Chapel, in Pierre. Final inurnment will be at the Black Hills National Cemetery, near Sturgis, SD. Online condolences may be made at isburgfuneralchapels.com

Bill was born to William and Clara (Barinsky) Meyers September 13, 1926 in Colome, SD. He grew up on the family farm in the Colome area and graduated from Colome High School. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1944 and was honorably discharged in 1946 after serving in the Pacific in WW II.

In 1959 he married Evelyn Kucera and to this union, one child (Bill) was born. They moved to Gregory in 1964 where they raised their son and he lived until 2010. There he was an investment broker, making many friends during that time and retiring after 30 years in the business. He spent many early morning hours on the Gregory Golf Course.

Bill served one term as a State Representative in the South Dakota Legislature from 1961-1963, and was a 70 year member of the Colome American Legion.

Arthur Krick, 89


Omaha, NE- Welcomed into heaven on September 9, 2016; born to Nick and Mae Krick on April 11, 1927 in Pipestone, Minnesota. Preceded in death by his parents; his five siblings: Phyllis, Pat, Pauline, Bob and Bill; and first born son, Nicky.

After graduating from Pipestone Minnesota High School, Art joined the U.S. Marines in 1945. Upon receiving his honorable discharge, he attended Nazareth Hall, and then University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He married Lorraine Frances Endres on June 14, 1949. Art enjoyed a 37-year career with the JC Penney company throughout the Midwest, including: Hibbing, Minnesota, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, Emmetsburg, Iowa, Winner, South Dakota, and Grand Island, Nebraska. After retiring from the JC Penney Company he served as the Foundation Director for Grand Island Central Catholic where four of their children had attended. In 2003, he and Lorraine moved to Omaha and became members of St. Vincent DePaul Parish. Art was a member of Knights of Columbus (Fourth Degree), a volunteer for Habit for Humanity, and was generous with his time and talents. Of all his many gifts, his gift and example of faith were most evident.

Harold Koenig, 68


Harold Lee Koenig was born in Tripp County, Winner, South Dakota, to William H. Koenig and Laura K. Davies-Koenig on April 14, 1948.   Koenig died on Sept. 7.

He grew up north of Witten, South Dakota, one of nine siblings. He attended school and graduated from Witten High School in Witten, SD. Upon graduation he enlisted in the United States Army and was Honorable Discharged as a SP4 on April 9, 1974. He was a Vietnam Era Veteran and disabled while serving his country. Harold was a Paid Up For Life member of the American Legion Post #240 for 43 years, serving in many offices and post activities. He took great pride in his service to his country and the City of Martin. Along with Legion duties, he was active in the Martin Volunteer Fire Department and Bennett County Fair activities.

Harold had many business ventures from a café, tire repair service, and scrap iron business. He was employed for many years driving the service truck for the Farmer’s Union Cooperative in Martin and the State Department of Transportation and as a yard man for the Martin Livestock Auction.

Alice Lorraine Palecek, 88


Alice (Lorraine) Ellwanger was born January 19, 1928 on a farm near Dallas, South Dakota to George and Margaret (Gall) Ellwanger and passed away on August 28, 2016 at the Philip Nursing Home in Philip, SD after battling a prolonged illness.

Lorraine grew up on a farm where she helped with raising her younger siblings and helped with household and farm chores. After high school she worked at the Winner Laundry and Dry Cleaners. When her children were older she began working for the JC Penny store in Winner, where she worked for 28 years until retirement. Lorraine devoted herself to spending time with her family. Her hobbies included: baking, cooking, canning, gardening, walking, and preparing food for her family, often sending treats home with them. After her retirement, she enjoyed spending time working at the First Christian Church Rummage House in Winner, exercising with friends at the Winner Senior Center and league bowling. She was a member of the First Christian Church and the Christian Women’s Fellowship (CWF).

On January 17, 1948 she was united in marriage to James (Jim) Palecek and to this union, 5 children were born.

Lawrence Kauer, 72


Lawrence Charles (Larry) Kauer was born April 24, 1944 at Winner, SD, the eldest of 5 children of June (Mills) and Robert Kauer. He attended school at Pahpesto grade school, St. Mary’s Catholic school and Witten schools, graduating from Witten High School in May 1963.

In November 1964 Larry was united in marriage to Carol E. Skalicky in Winner, SD. To this union one daughter, Wendy Jo, was born in 1967.

Larry proudly served his country, enlisting in the U.S. Air Force in May 1966. He served in Vietnam as a munitions specialist from Sept 1967 to July 1968 and was honorably discharged from military service in March 1972.

Upon discharge he and his family returned to Winner. A self-trained, highly skilled diesel mechanic, Larry spent years supporting farmers, ranchers, and truck drivers with their fuel delivery, mechanic needs and tire repairs through various businesses he owned or managed in Winner. Every customer he served became a friend and his passion for his work was evident in every repair or fuel delivery he ever made. He also shared his love of “everything diesel” while working road construction and driving semi-truck himself. From local day trips with the Rapid City Regional Mobile CT-scan to cross-country long hauls, he was an astute driver and could make driving the highways and maneuvering the ports of Los Angeles look as easy as the open prairie. His daughter and grandson, Trevor, were fortunate enough to learn this first-hand on a cross-country haul they took with him.
Larry and Carol relocated to Rapid City for several years, fulfilling a long-time desire to enjoy all that the Black Hills has to offer. Together they spent countless hours amongst the trees and loved to ride 4-wheelers and snowmobiles with family and friends. While in Rapid City and a short time in Pierre he made many additional lifelong friends.

After losing Carol to cancer in 1997 and his failing eyesight which cut his long-haul career short, Larry relocated to Winner – proving you can come home again. He never spent an idle day, always finding something to tinker with or spending time caring for the animals….his, anyone’s and everyone’s animals. His love of animals spoke highly of his gentle, compassionate spirit. Most especially, he tirelessly cared for and loved the horses at his brother Tom’s. He was always eager to take children riding in the corral, it was his absolute joy. Larry had a heart for helping others that can’t be compared. Any family, friend or community project brought him right there to lend a hand, a tractor or a skid loader. He never met a stranger, spent hours with his coffee groups, and always had an inquisitive mind to be looking for ways to enhance the way things worked. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the pride of his life.