Dwight Young, 66

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After a courageous battle with cancer, Dwight Allen Young left for heaven to be with his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, niece & nephew who had preceded him, passing away with loving family & friends by his side on April 5, 2016 in Kalispell, Montana at the age of 66.

Dwight leaves behind his 3 children and 5 grandchildren; son, Dwight Young Jr. (Crystal & Dusty) of Herrick, SD., daughter, Loretta & Travis Lang (Alexa & Tristen) of Lakeside, MT and son, Heeth & Mindy Young (Jessah) of Pequot Lakes, MN.

He also leaves behind 3 brothers & sisters-in-law all of South Dakota; Weary & Sandy of Burke, Doyle & Barb of Brandon and Boyt & Theresa of Hamill, many nieces, nephews and great nieces & nephews as well as numerous extended family and friends.

Dwight was born on July 31, 1949 in Gregory, SD to Darrell and Helen (Brevik) Young. He grew up as the third of four boys. Boy oh boy, did Helen have her hands full with all of them. Dwight graduated from Burke High School in 1967 and went on to the National College of Business in Rapid City, SD where he graduated in 1970 with a degree in Accounting.
During his time in Rapid City, Dwight met and married Pamela Rae Coldwell in 1969. Together they welcomed Dwight Jr., Loretta & Heeth to this union, sadly the marriage ended in divorce.

Dwight Allen Young, to those who knew him best and even those who only knew him briefly, it was obvious that first & foremost he loved his children & grandchildren very deeply and with great pride.
He also had a great love for all of his nieces & nephews, with a special place in his heart for all of those “great” ones, frequently pointing out the importance of taking the time to spend and make lasting memories right now. “Time passes so quickly” he would always say.

Dwight loved all animals great & small and seemed to have an innate sense of what they needed and how to care for them. He always had a bit of an extra soft spot for his horses, dairy cattle, sheep, rabbits and dogs.
As the years passed Dwight thoroughly enjoyed sharing the joy of a new puppy or other small animal with all of those around him, especially the obvious delight or the sound of a giggle it would bring, especially to the elderly and the young.
He truly enjoyed being able to bring a smile and joy to others, even when many times he was suffering tremendously in silence or might himself not have had much to give.

Another great joy for Dwight was in growing and tending his plants, no not in fields of beans or corn or wheat, but in tending and sharing his gardens full of vegetables, flowers and fruit trees that treated the eyes to some of God’s beautiful wonders.
Dwight truly was one of God’s great garden keepers.

Grace Elizabeth Jensen Wise, 96

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Grace was born October 8, 1919 at Loudonville, OH to Homer and Effie (Bunting) Morris. She attended country schools until the 7th grade; she went on to graduate from Sullivan High School in Sullivan, OH.

She married Gaylord Wise in Sullivan OH in 1937 and they had one daughter, Janet.

She married John Jenson of Presho, SD in 1949 and they farmed near Presho until moving into town in 1982. John passed away in 1986. Several years after John passed away Grace went home to Ohio to visit family. While home in Ohio she was reacquainted with her first husband Gaylord. They remarried in 1995 almost 60 years after their first marriage. They spent their time in Presho and Ashland, OH until Gaylord passed away in 1999.

Grace was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Presho.

George James Pranaitis, 89

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George James Pranaitis, age 89, of Eveleth, Minn., died Sunday, May 15, 2016, at Essentia Health Virginia Care Center.  He was born August 28, 1926, in Collinsville, IL, the son of Joseph and Eva Pranaitis.  He graduated from Collinsville High School.  George was united in marriage to Fran Stone in 1948, and following her death was married to Jean Decorsey until her death.  A Veteran of the US Army, George served during WWII.

George worked as a manager for JC Penney, and was in fact hired by Mr. Penney himself.  He managed stores in Illinois, Indiana, South Dakota, and Minnesota.  He was the manager of the JC Penney store in Winner for many years.

He assisted his daughter, Debbi at Little Italy in Gilbert.  After his retirement and up until the time of his death, George worked for Green View as a maintenance man for the DNR office in Eveleth.  His greatest achievement was building 838 Bluebird houses and 2393 Wood Duck houses that were used on private and state lands and were donated to various wildlife organizations.

Paul Vaughn, 75

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Paul Randall Vaughn was born on August 25, 1940 to Lyle and Cecil (Alexander) Vaughn on the family home south of Herrick, SD near the Ponca Creek. Many adventures were had growing up along the “crick” with siblings AdaMae, Sonny, Inez, Ray, Rosemary, and the twins, Sharon and Karon.

Paul attended grade school at St. Charles, SD and graduated from Bonesteel High School in 1958. While in high school, he was very involved in sports including basketball, football, and track. Immediately upon graduation, he attended summer school at Springfield Southern Teachers College. That fall, just turning 18 years old, he began a 17 year teaching career in the surrounding area mainly in country schools. Some of his most memorable teaching years were spent in the Iona, Carlock, and Herrick area. During much of his teaching career, summers were spent hauling small square bales to make ends meet!

On August 1, 1959, Paul along with his brothers were involved in a devastating automobile accident near Atkinson, NE. A month long hospital stay resulted, in which 14 days were spent unconscious with both jaws and his nose broken. The accident was something he spoke of often.

Paul met the love of his life, Betty Manke, at a dance in Colome, SD. They were united in marriage on November 3, 1962 and to this union one daughter, Rhonda Lou was born. Paul was baptized and confirmed into the Lutheran faith. He was a member of the St. John Lutheran Church serving as elder, usher, and various other positions. He enjoyed Sunday morning Bible studies and fellowship. His church life was very important to him.

Paul never met a stranger and enjoyed visiting and getting to know people. So in 1968, when he became a charter insurance agent with Continental General Insurance Agency, it was a perfect combination. Along with his wife Betty, Paul began the Vaughn Insurance Agency. He continued in this career until the time of his death. He built a reputation of customer service, and would try his best to ensure that his customer’s claims were met. He spent many hours on the phone negotiating with hospitals, clinics, his own insurance company, and even Medicare. During his successful career he was awarded for his accomplishments. He was particularly proud of achieving 781 weeks in the app a week club. Also notable was attaining membership in the top life insurance sales in 1991 and being named his company’s Top Health Individual Producer of the Year in 1993.

In 1995, after years of saving and planning, Paul and Betty were able to build their dream home east of Gregory. Paul thoroughly loved his house, his yard, watching the trees grow, and sitting on his porch watching the traffic go by.

Paul loved sharing a good story, playing a game of cribbage, dancing to a good old song, watching his corn and hay grow, playing a competitive game of pool, watering Betty’s flowers, spending time in his home, driving old white Cadillacs, telling stories about his 57 Ford, and enjoying anything his daughter Rhonda was involved in. Paul and Betty were known for their dazzling Christmas displays. He was an avid fan of the Gregory Polka band where he loved to hear Rhonda’s saxophone. He was proud of his son in law Tom Waterbury and would jump at the opportunity to help him any chance he had. Paul was an extremely prompt person, and being on time meant being there early.

Paul struggled with several health issues the last several years, but he continued to maintain his business. However, on Feb. 2, 2016, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Even though his body was weak, he chose to battle this horrible disease. He put up a brave fight, but lost his battle on May 16, 2016. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at the Burke Community Memorial Hospital at the age 75.

Norma Jean Fischer, 82


Norma Jean Fischer was born May 25, 1933 at Pierre, SD, to Clyde and Iva (Sass) McDonell.

She grew up at Murdo, SD, and graduated from Murdo High School. Norma attended SD State College and then was employed as a legal secretary for Porter Law Firm in Chamberlain.

She married Marvin Fischer on September 15, 1956 at Chamberlain and they were blessed with four children. They lived in Dallas, SD and Wall, SD, where they owned and operated Fischer Implement before moving to Olivia, MN, in 1977. Norma had been employed at RBA, Revile County Court House, North Central Ag, and Jackpot Junction retiring in 2001 when she moved to Willmar.

Even in retirement she kept her mind sharp such as when she earned a degree in Medical Transcription. Norma had enjoyed quilting, collecting owls, and putting puzzles together. She was also very proficient at using her computer, enjoyed Facebook, and loved socializing and spending time with her family.

Charles DuBray Sr., 51

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Charles DuBray Sr., age 51, of Rosebud, passed away on May 15, 2016. Funeral Services will be held at 12:00 PM Friday, May 20, 2016 at the Winner Ideal Community Hall in Winner. Burial will follow at the Calvary Episcopal Cemetery in Okreek. Wake Services will start at 7:00 PM Wednesday and Thursday, May 18 and 19, 2016 at the Winner Ideal Community Hall in Winner.

Charles DuBray was born to Dewey DuBray (deceased) and Wanda Standing Cloud (deceased). He had 4 brothers, Anthony DuBray, Duane DuBray, Allan Lunderman (deceased) and Dewey DuBray; and 3 sisters, Connie Rodriquez, Jenny Swallow, and Brenda DuBray.

Chuck also has 3 uncles, Wiley DuBray of Ideal; Chuck Floyd of Rapid City, and Ted Standing Cloud of Rosebud.

Charles has 2 children, son Charles Dewey DuBray, Jr., and Charlene Iris DuBray, and 3 grandchildren, Charles Dewey DuBray III, Sophia DuBray, and Benjamin DuBray, who live in Winner. Charles lived in Winner from 1984 to 1998 when he returned to live in Rosebud, where he passed away in his sleep on May 15, 2016.

Alfred LaVern Bettcher, 66

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Alfred LaVern Bettcher, 66, of Winner, South Dakota passed away on Sunday, May 15, 2016 at his home in Winner. A memorial service was held on Friday, May 20, 2016 at 10 a.m. at the Mason Funeral Home in Winner. A private family burial will be held at a later date.

On May 2, 1950 Mr. and Mrs. Albert Bettcher were blessed with a handsome baby boy “LaVern”. LaVern was born in Valentine Nebraska. He grew up in the Winner and Carter area. LaVern lived on the family farm where he helped his parents.

On August 17, 1978 he married Sharon Paulson where they lived in the Carter area for three years. After that LaVern and Sharon moved to Winner until his time of passing. LaVern and Sharon had no children together but had several step children: Randy, Ray, Marti and Precious.

LaVern was very kind hearted. He cared for and loved his children and grandchildren.

Timothy Roubideaux, 60

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Funeral services were held May 16 at the Episcopal Church in Winner. Burial followed at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Wood.

Tim Roubideaux was born on November 7, 1955 in Mosher, SD to Charles and Virginia (Williams) Roubideaux. He was raised in Winner and attended school in Winner and worked various jobs throughout the area. He also attended Mitchell Vo-Tech and earned a Certificate in Welding.

He enjoyed family gatherings, powwows, watching softball games, working on cars, reading and most of all he enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and children in whom he took great pride in. He will be greatly missed by many.

Clifford Klein, 93

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Clifford Klein of Hidden Timber passed away April 12, 2016, at Pine View Good Samaritan Center in Valentine, NE. He was 93. Celebration of Life will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, Winner, SD, on May 21 at 10:30 a.m.

Clifford Klein was born at home near Valentine on June 14, 1922, to Coral (Hobson) and George Klein. The family moved to Todd County, SD, shortly thereafter and lived on rented farms before finally settling on Rock Creek, south of Hidden Timber.

Clifford attended country school and graduated from Mission High School in 1938. Following graduation, he began farming and ranching with his father and brother Lawrence. In early 1945, Clifford volunteered for military service in place of his drafted brother and chose the Marine Corps. His military service included a tour of occupied China where he earned the rank of sergeant as a telephone man. Following his military service, he returned to the family farm. In the fall of 1949, he re-connected with JoAnn Kositzky of Winner, SD, the sister of his good friend Paul, at a dance on Dog Ear Lake. They were married Sept. 30, 1950, in Winner, and moved into the home he built for them on the farm.

JoAnn and Clifford raised three sons: Robert, Jim, and Milton. They were particularly proud when all of their sons and grandchildren received their college degrees.

Clifford became a supervisor of the Todd County Conservation District, a position he held for over 30 years. During that time, he served on the South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts’ board of directors, as vice president, and as president. He was also a member of Trinity Episcopal Church, was a 32nd degree Mason at the Mission Masonic Lodge, and American Legion Post 90.

Clifford was happy to help his family with their building and electrical wiring projects. He helped to build or remodel homes for his sisters, in-laws, and for his sons. Clifford loved his work on the ranch. He often told folks he’d rather drive a tractor or ride a horse than anything else. He took pride in being able to plant corn in straight rows and was proud of the improvements the Kleins made in their land and cattle.

Clifford and JoAnn traveled to Europe to visit Milton during his Army service. They also enjoyed travelling in the United States, sometimes on conservation business, sometimes to visit family.

Clifford never met a stranger and would strike up a conversation with anyone he met. In his seventies, a series of strokes affected his speech, a real blow to a person who loved to talk. During his later years, he was debilitated by worn-out joints and bones from decades of hard work and unforgiving farm equipment.

In 2006, Clifford and JoAnn moved to Cherry Hills Assisted Living in Valentine. JoAnn passed away in December of 2007, and Clifford later moved to Pine View Good Samaritan where he passed away April 12, 2016.

Joe Assman, 92

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Joe Assman, age 92, of Winner, passed away on May 9, 2016 at the Winner Regional Long Term Care Facility.

Mass of Christian Burial was held at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 12, 2016 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Winner. Burial followed at the Winner City Cemetery.

Joe Assman was not your average Joe. Although a remarkable life of 92 years is difficult to summarize in a few short paragraphs, Joseph James Assman was born August 9, 1923 to Isabelle (Coyle) Assman and William Assman. He was the last survivor in his family of eight. Older siblings were Ed, Bill, Don, Clarence, Margaret, and younger siblings were Nick and Isabelle. Growing up during the depression he learned to work hard and make wise business decisions like others of his generation. He attended St. Mary’s Catholic School and graduated from Winner High School in 1941. He was very proud that he was a golden glove boxer and was called “Winner’s Joe Lewis”.

Shortly after graduation he moved to Todd County to run his father’s cattle operation. He eventually bought a quarter of land where Assman Implement currently is located and he continued to add to his farming and ranching operation. He met a blonde, blue eyed beauty in 1945 that was working at the Todd County Conservation Office by the name of Esther Elizabeth Einspahr. The romance blossomed and they were united in marriage on October 18, 1947 at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Mission, SD. Tragedy struck early in their marriage with the loss of their first child, Jean, who died at birth. They were blessed with sons Greg, Chris, Ed, Brad, Dave, and tragedy struck again with the loss of another daughter, Kimberly, she was followed by Mike, Mary Beth, and Gordon. In 1965, a devastating farm accident occurred and took the life of Gordon at the age of 21 months. Joe and Esther’s strong Catholic faith helped them endure and accept his loss. In memory of Gordon, there is a large rock as a memorial of his life at Assman Implement, where the accident occurred.

Joe’s nickname was “Sparky” which was shortened by his kids as he would often tell them that “he was the sparkplug of the operation”. That was often heard when the boys had a late night on the town and were not very energized the next morning and were not getting out of bed as early as expected. Joe was a very optimistic, cheerful, friendly, generous, and gracious person and he loved babies and children. He was always patient, rarely critical, and was able to transition the management of his operation to us kids, which is sometimes difficult for men of his generation. He had strong family values and during the 1980’s we experienced financial difficulties with high interest rates and low commodity prices. There was a lot of family stress and problems and he gave us a copy of a letter his father had written to him and his siblings in 1941, it was a parable of the six sticks: “A man had six sons, who were always quarreling. They left their work and studies to quarrel among themselves. Some bad men were looking forward to the death of their father to cheat them out of their property by making them quarrel about it. The good old man one day called his sons around him. He laid before them the six sticks that were bound. He said “I will pay a hundred dollars to the one that can break this bundle.” After a long but vain trial, they said it could not be done. “And yet my boys,” said the father “nothing is easier to do.” He then untied the bundle and broke the sticks one by one with perfect ease. “Oh” said his sons, “it is easy enough to do it, and anyone could do it that way.” Their father replied, “As it is with these stick, it is with you my sons. So long as you hold fast together and aid each other, you will prosper, and none can injure you. But if the bond of union is broken, it will happen to you just as it has happened to these sticks, which lie broken on the ground.”

One of Sparky’s accomplishments was becoming a Case dealer in 1969. Although the location was not an ideal business climate, he was able to make a success out of it in spite of the location. In 1983 the dealership won top sales west of the Mississippi and won a Chrysler convertible car and a trip to Hawaii. Years later Joe asked the dealer rep “why would you ever allow a dealer in our location” he replied “I never figured you would have made it but they were having a contest for who could sign up the most dealers and they were giving away a free color TV to the rep the that signed up the most dealers and I wanted that TV.” He was lifelong member of the 4th Degree Knights, an active member of the Republican Party, and a former Todd County Commissioner. He was also very proud of his family and all their accomplishments and appreciative of his employees.

Joe made a great life for himself and his family and he remained optimistic, cheerful, and complimentary up to the end. We are so grateful for the wonderful staff at the Winner Regional Long Term Care and the excellent care he received. Several of the staff have told us “when I am having a bad day, I go see Joe and he makes my day brighter.” He never complained of the pain and remained positive in spite of being in the nursing home for over two years after undergoing a major cancer surgery. He was preceded in death by his parents William and Isabelle, brothers Ed, Bill, Don, Clarence, Nick, sisters Margaret and Isabelle, infant daughters Jean and Kimberly, infant son Gordon and his beloved dog Toby.