Taylor Watzel, 16


Taylor Dean Watzel was born on January 10, 2000, to Dean and Barbara Watzel in Winner. Taylor is the 2nd of 3 children.
Taylor was our energetic, outgoing, friendly young man, from his crooked little grin to his full on smile that was very contagious. Whether he had anything to say or not, there was always a grin that gave him away.
Although he was the 2nd child he took on the role of “big brother”. Taylor loved his siblings especially Tristan, he took him under his wing and made sure he was looked after. He made sure he looked after Madaline the same way. She was never far away.
Every day he would have rather stayed home to help out on the family farm and feedlot, walking side by side with mom & dad from feeding cattle to bailing hay and caring for every animal wild or tame. Taylor could always be found carrying a baby kitten in his hood or a baby porcupine in his pocket, he was always a protector. Not only was he an awesome brother, cousin and buddy he was a great role model and the “best big friend” to so many.
Taylor also went above and beyond in his school activities. He received many academic excellence awards. Taylor was involved in so many great activities. They range from 4-H, FFA, football and wrestling. He was also the best Flag Football Coach any kid could ever ask for. He loved to go to 4-H and FFA camp, to meet new friends and catch up with old friends. He also made great connections with lots of people through wrestling and football and made sure to stay in contact with them.
Taylor’s life was cut way to short….Taylor will never be forgotten but he will always live on in our hearts. In keeping with Taylor’s loving and generous spirit it was his decision to donate life so that others may live on.

LeRoy Veskrna, 72


LeRoy Emil Veskrna was born on Sept. 25, 1944 in Burke SD the son of Emil and Agnes Veskrna (Cervenka). He attended school in Burke SD, Casper, WY and graduated from Winner High School in 1963.

LeRoy joined the South Dakota Army National Guard in 1966 and was honorably discharged in 1971.

On May 17, 1969, he was united in marriage to Carol Ann Elliott at St. Isidore Catholic Church in Colome. They lived south of Colome for three years before moving into town. They were blessed with two children; LeRoy Emil Veskrna Jr. born on November 21, 1973 and Penny Jo Veskrna born on June 2, 1978.

On April 27, 1989 LeRoy’s wife passed away after a long battle with cancer. After Carol’s passing, LeRoy was left with the task of raising his two children on his own; which he took on without falter.

LeRoy worked driving truck for Bob and Geo Shippy until he started working for the Tripp County Highway Department as a mechanic. LeRoy remained at this position for 37 years before retiring. During this time LeRoy also worked evenings and weekends with his father Emil as co-owner of E&L Repair on Main Street in Colome. After his father’s passing in 1992 LeRoy planned building a new shop which, with the help from many of his friends, was completed in 1996. He then became partners with Kevin Miner and Grungy Guys Sanitation was started. This venture lasted a few years before being dissolved. LeRoy spent the remainder of his years helping friends and neighbors by repairing lawn mowers and equipment in his shop. He also drove semi-truck part time for local farmers and friends.

LeRoy was very active in the Colome Community. He belonged to the Colome Volunteer Fire Department for several years. During this time he enjoyed building fire trucks and repairing the firefighting equipment. He was also a member of the American Legion Post 146 where he served as commander for two terms. He also served on the Colome City Council for several years.

The hobby LeRoy was known best for was restoring and showing antique tractors and stationary engines. Over several years he acquired a very nice collection of tractors and engines which he took great pride in showing at Steam and Gas Shows along with his family throughout South Dakota and Nebraska over several Decades.

LeRoy enjoyed camping and fishing with his children and grandchildren and would do so every chance he could get. LeRoy was liked by almost everyone he met; it was hard to find anyone who did not like him. He was very well known in the Tripp County area. LeRoy, on many occasions stated, “I have never been in a fight in my life.” He enjoyed talking to people wherever he went and was always outgoing and kind with everyone. LeRoy especially loved spending as much time as he could with his children and grandchildren. He would drop everything to help them when they needed him even if it meant he had to go without.

Virginia Snethen, 89


Virginia Pearl (Bartlett) Snethen, 89, of Carter, SD, went home to her savior Friday, October 14, 2016, at Rapid City Regional Hospital, Rapid City, SD, with family by her side.

Virginia was born Dec. 3, 1926, to Floyd and Goldia (Audiss) Bartlett on the family farm south of Carter, SD. She was the second child of two children.

Her family homesteaded near Martin, SD and after seventh grade moved to Custer, SD. She worked in the shipyards in Seattle, WA, during WWII and moved back to Custer where she finished high school and graduated in 1947.

She graduated from Watertown Beauty Academy in Watertown, SD in 1948. She returned home to Martin where she opened up her own beauty shop.

Virginia married Keith Snethen in May of 1954 and settled down on the farm near Carter where she lived and raised her nine children.

She was active in her community. She was a life member of the VFW, American Legion of Winner, a member of the local Extension Group and she served on the Todd County Election Board. She actively participated in her local church, Carter Gospel Fellowship Church.

She enjoyed many crafts, such as sewing, painting, gardening, canning, and spending time with her family. In her later years she enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Gary D. Sell, 80

Gary D. Sell 80 of Springview, Nebraska passed away October 11, 2016 at his home with family at his side, after a courageous battle with cancer. Gary was born January 20, 1936 at Winner, South Dakota to Henry and Theresa (Gehlsen) Sell. He grew up in Todd County, South Dakota, the youngest of five children, along with his sister, Delores Holmes, and brothers Gerald, Donald, and Howard. He attended school in Todd County.

Gary married Bobbie Pettit on April 24, 1958 in Winner. To this union were born nine children; Cindy, Connie, Ryan, Debra, Dave, Merrit, Brett, Kaye Lynn, and John. He ranched in South Dakota and Nebraska throughout his adult life. He was a police officer in South Dakota, and served as the Keya Paha County, Nebraska sheriff for twenty-eight years. After his retirement as Sheriff, Gary worked part time for the Brown and Rock County Sheriff departments. Gary enjoyed woodworking as evidenced by the many items he made for family and friends. He was also very proud of the casket he crafted of this final resting place her on earth.

Kevin Kidwiler, 55


Kevin Kyle Kidwiler was born June 26, 1961 in Winner, South Dakota to Dennis and Betty (Totton) Kidwiler. Kevin spent most of his early years in Winner, graduating from Winner High School in 1979.

He entered the United States Marines in 1989, being discharged in 1994. Following his stint in the Marines Kevin lived in North Carolina and Arizona for short periods of time. In 1995 he returned to Winner where he spent the rest of his life. He worked for several construction businesses before going to work for Gene at Winner Seed in 2011 and worked there until the cancer made him unable to continue.

Kevin loved to hunt, fish, garden, and take care of his yard. In 1996 the pride of his life was born. He enjoyed doing things with Kelly like helping him at a Scouts Pinewood Derby and especially took great pride in watching Kelly play football throughout high school and as defensive lineman for Dakota Wesleyan University.

Mike L. Kash, 79


Mike L. Kash was born March 19, 1937 at Yates Center, Kansas to Mike and Myrtle (Meyers) Kash. He and his family moved back to the southwest corner of Tripp County in 1938, where he attended Beaver Creek School up until the 8th grade. At this time he worked for area neighbors. From there he proceeded to purchase the home place and start building his ranch into what it is today. He thoroughly enjoyed being able to make his next deal whether he was buying or selling. He attended many livestock sales where he purchased many pigs and calves or just socialize with the crowd. He was always ready to make his next deal of purchasing land, rolling the dice, matching for 5 or attending the local casino. He liked to drive his John Deere tractors and preferably a “Ford” pickup!
Mike married Kathleen Kulbel on Sept. 30, 1972 in Hamill. To this union 2 daughters were born: Betty Anne and Marie Lee.

Arliss Iron Heart, 69


Arliss Lee Iron Heart was born Feb. 21, 1947 and passed away on Oct. 9, 2016 at the Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls.

Arliss was born to Sherman Crowe Sr and Vera Calls Him at the Old Fort Thompson hospital. She spent her younger years growing up in the Fort Thompson and Bull Creek areas. She attended school at a country school, then Pierre Indian Learning Center. She attended high school at Albuquerque, NM where she learned the Lakota language.

Arliss enjoyed playing competition games like aggravation, Yahtzee, and card games and in her younger years played kick ball with her kids and their friends along with other active games. Arliss always had neighborhood kids at her house or always took in other kids.

Arliss married Calvin A. Old Lodge in 1969 in this Union they had: Duane Old Lodge, Dion Old Lodge, Vietta Old Lodge-Hardy, Arlette Red Feather, and Yvette Iron Heart. She later adopted Christopher and Janice Red Horse and her Hunka son Benjamin Iron Heart. There were numerous children who thought of her as mom, and she loved every one of them.

She later married Franklin D. Iron Heart Sr. in 1991 where she then added 10 step-children to her family: Franklin, Jr., Francine, Michael, James, Kimberly, Faron, Francis, Geraldine, Kendra, and Frieda Jane. Together they raised 4 grandsons Austin Crowe, Diedrick Old Lodge, Kaleb and Warren Iron Heart. They were also very helpful in the upbringing of their great-grandchildren Marlee Peneaux-Old Lodge and Dominic Old Lodge.

Michael Carl Diez, 62


Michael Carl Diez, age 62, Henderson, Nev., formerly of Winner, passed away October 14, 2016 after battling brain cancer.

He was born March 2, 1954 to Carl and Rose Diez in Winner, SD. He attended University of South Dakota at Springfield, receiving an associates degree in construction. Mike was field foreman for Framecon Construction at the time of his death.

He is survived by the love of his life, June Diez and sons Adam and Trevor Diez who were the light of his life and his pride and joy. Mike loved coaching baseball, playing his bass guitar, riding his Harley and boating on Lake Meade. We will miss his calm, tender, sweet and thoughtful way of being. The world has lost a good man and it is a better place because he was here.

Dawn Michelle Knoepfle, 45


Dawn died Oct. 9, 2016 surrounded by her family at Mayo Clinic Hospital, St. Mary’s Campus in Rochester, MN.

Dawn Michelle Connot Knoepfle was born September 21, 1971 in Winner to Melvin and Rosemary (Shoemaker) Connot. Dawn grew up on the family farm in Tripp County. She attended Sully School, and later Winner Public Schools, graduating in 1989. Following some college, she joined the work force.

On October 17, 1997, she married Marlo Knoepfle, and welcomed his daughters, Victoria and Andrea into her heart. Dawn was compassionate about all animals, especially her beloved cats. She enjoyed camping trips, and later motorcycle rides with Marlo. The Aberdeen Relay for Life was her special project for several years.

Ida Karlin, 101


Ida Karlin joined Jesus on Monday October 10, 2016. She was born on June 27, 1915 at home in rural Tripp County South Dakota to Wilhelm and Wilhelmina Banek.

Ida Karlin joined Jesus on Monday October 10, 2016. She was born on June 27, 1915 at home in rural Tripp County, South Dakota to Wilhelm and Wilhelmina Banek.

She was baptized and confirmed into the Lutheran Church. She attended country schools through 8th grade. In 1928 her family moved to Mellette County for a better opportunity. She attended 9th grade in Norris, South Dakota. She finished her high school education in Winner, South Dakota graduating in 1933. She next attended Springfield Normal School later becoming South Dakota State Teachers College where she received a one year Teaching Certificate allowing her to teach in rural schools. She taught a number of rural schools until she married her childhood sweetheart John Karlin in 1939.

They had 2 daughters and a son. She was a faithful member of St. John Lutheran Church. She was a Sunday School teacher and was loved by her students. She was also a member of the Lady’s Aid Society and LWML.

Ida returned to teaching in 1956 at the Surprise Valley School in Mellette County. She continued teaching in the Todd County School System and worked toward her degree in Education at Southern State Teacher’s College in Springfield, South Dakota, where she obtained her Bachelor Degree in 1971. Ida retired in 1976 and returned to the farm.

John and Ida retired to Winner, South Dakota in 1978 and began their new life. They both became active in the Senior Center making new friends. Ida served as Committee Chairman that established Golden Age Meals at the Center.

In 1979 Ida obtained her EMT Certification, was a member of Tripp County Genealogical Society, was a member of Kitchen band at the SR. Center, assisted with the Library Book Cart at the then Baptist Hospital and Christ Lutheran Church.

During retirement they traveled extensively. After John’s death Ida spent time with Agnes Marie in Willits, California and winters in Pensacola, Florida with Eunice. She became part of Grace Lutheran in Pensacola participating in OWLS (Older Wiser Lutherans) and Craft Club.

Ida loved attending the coronation at Winner Homecoming and participating in the roll call portion.

She rode in the Homecoming parade in 2015 at 100 years of age.

She loved gardening, her flowers and grew violets. The fruits of her labor whether vegetables, fruit, or flowers gave her great joy. This love was installed in her Children.