David Leber, 56

David Paul Leber was born April 11, 1963 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, SD to Germain (Gerry) and Linda (Shattuck) Leber. David was baptized into the Catholic Church in his first home town of Bloomfield, NE. Before moving to the farm and ranch outside of Dallas, SD in Tripp County, David was joined by two sisters, Roxane and Jennifer. David enjoyed helping on the family farm/ranch where he was later joined by two younger brothers, Jeff and Steve. David attended a one-room country school for two years before being bussed to Colome Elementary School in Colome, SD. He graduated from Colome High School in 1981. While in school, he was active in baseball, basketball, football, all-state chorus, one-act plays, and was an excellent trackster.

While on the family farm/ranch, David loved working with the cattle, the hogs, and farming as well. The neighbors would always ask how they made their corn rows so straight and how they kept their fields so clean. David graduated from Mitchell Tech in 1983 with an Associate Degree in Ag Management which tied in with his interest in agriculture. David was a hard worker and also liked to fish, hunt, and talk about his guns. The family policy was when we worked, we all worked, and when we played, we all played. Dave carried that through to his family.

After leaving the family farm/ranch, Dave worked at Assman Land and Cattle in Mission, SD for five years and drove truck for a few years prior to meeting his life partner, Lori Bosserman. On May 5, 1990, they were united in marriage. Following, they lived and worked at a family feedlot in Minatare, NE, and then moved back to the family farm/ranch in Colome, SD. In 1992, Dave and Lori moved to Wall, SD to start their own farming/ranching business while Dave worked at Johnson’s Rancher Supply for 10 years. While in Wall, they had three amazing children: Riley, now a Diesel Tech graduate from Southeast Technical Institute, Delaney, now a second-year college student, and Sidney, now a Junior in High School.

Dave and Lori were able to capitalize on the opportunity to start Leber Ag Service, LLC in Vale, SD in 2004. Dave and Lori worked the business while the kids were in school, and once the kids were home from school, they would help at the business as well. In 2008, Leber Ag Service was selected as Black Hills Small Business of the Year by BH Community Economic Development. The family enjoys helping their customers in the area as well as those in different states. Those same customers are what made Leber Ag Service successful. Dave and his family have many customers who are friends and many friends who are customers.

Dave thoroughly enjoyed trucking with their two sons and watching their daughter Delaney run track and cross country. Dave and his family didn’t let the grass grow under their feet; when they weren’t working; they were enjoying camping, boating, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, and truck shows. The family gained many friends and trophies at the various truck shows they attended.

In December 2017, Dave was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer. They made many trips to Mayo Clinic and Rapid City for surgery, treatment, and physical therapy. He used God, his family, friends, and customers to help him stay positive during his battle. He loved Independence Day and fireworks, so the Fourth of July was the perfect day for his final day on earth.
He went home to heaven at the age of 56, on Thursday, July 4, 2019, surrounded by his loving family.

Dave will always be loved and will always be remembered. Gone but not forgotten.

A celebration of David’s life will take place 1:30 pm Wednesday, July 10th, 2019 at the Countryside Church in Spearfish. Pastors Doug Clark and Mark Bosserman will officiate. . Interment will take place in the Vale Cemetery, with dinner and fellowship following at the Vale Community Center.

A memorial has been established.

Friends may leave written condolences and view a video tribute at: www.funeralhomeofthenorthernhills.com

David is survived by his wife, Lori and their children, Riley, Delaney, and Sidney, all of Vale SD; his parents, Germain (Gerry) and Linda (Shattuck) Leber of Colome SD; siblings, Roxane (Doug) Dyk of Platte SD, Jennifer (Larry) Gabriel of Whitewood, Jeff Leber of Colome SD, Steve (Susan) Leber of Canistota SD; Lori’s father, Mel Bosserman of Golva ND; the Bosserman siblings, Sherri (Joe) Bird of Craig CO, Mark Bosserman of Aitkin MN, Jason (Julie) Bosserman of Golva ND, Kim (Mike) Van Horn of Sentinel Butte ND, Kari (John Paul) Baker of Beach ND, Michael (Lara) Bosserman of Golva ND; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents; and Lori’s mother, Edith Bosserman.

Janice Bowar, 76

Janice “Jan” Bowar, 76, of Winner, SD passed away on Thursday, June 27, 2019 at the Winner Regional Healthcare Center in Winner, SD.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 at 10 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Winner. Burial will follow in the Winner City Cemetery in Winner. A visitation wa held on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church from 6-7 p.m. with a rosary at 7 p.m.

Jan was born Dec. 17, 1942 to Harold and Gladys (Nelson) Dotzauer, the youngest of four children. She graduated from Howard, SD High School in 1961 and the Northwest College of Commerce in Huron, SD the following year.

In 1966 she married Gary Bowar. They lived in Yankton and Sioux Falls, SD, where Chad was born in 1968. After a year and a half in Urbana, Illinois, they moved to Winner in 1971, where Amy was born in 1972.

Jan worked as the executive secretary at Southern Plains Mental Health Center for 32 years before retiring in 2007. After retiring, she volunteered at Winner’s thrift store for 11 years. She was a member of ESA for 27 years, along with being part of “The Ladies” for many years.

Jan had a lot of interests and hobbies. She had a love of music and played piano and clarinet in her younger years. She loved to go dancing with Gary. She enjoyed playing cards and games, bowling, and dabbled in golf for a few years. Reading and crossword puzzles were also activities she enjoyed.

Decorating was one of her passions, from her home to displays at the thrift store. She was a skilled cook and baker, and her popcorn balls were in high demand at Halloween. Jan loved to socialize, whether it was bridge club, having coffee with friends or shopping trips with the girls. She was an avid sports fan, rooting for the Winner Warriors, Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Cubs.

Her family was Jan’s pride and joy, from attending every school activity and event when her children were growing up to helping Gary with Tripp County Historical Society events in recent years. She loved to travel to visit her kids.

Jan is survived by her husband of 53 years, Gary; her son Chad and wife Leslie of Charlotte, NC; daughter Amy and husband Mike of Denver, CO; brothers- and sisters-in-law Joyce and Jon Graves, Joanne Ernster, Joe and Susan Bowar and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Cyril Dotzauer, sisters Shirley Clark and Marge Hopper, father- and mother-in law Joe and Doris Bowar, and brother-in-law Paul Bowar.

Betty Petersek, 88

Betty Petersek, 88, of Colome, SD passed away on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at the Winner Regional Long-Term Care Center in Winner, SD.

Funeral service were held on Saturday, June 29, 2019 at 10 a.m. at St. Isidore Catholic Church in Colome, SD. Burial followed in the Winner City Cemetery. A visitation was held one hour prior to the services.

Betty Lou Petersek was born on Aug. 5, 1930 to Marion and Art Vawser at their home south of Gregory. She was the first of three children. She grew up on the farm south of Gregory. She attended grade school at Climbing Hill south of Gregory and attended high school in Gregory SD. Later on, she got her GED from Mission.

She met and fell in love with Raymond Joseph Petersek. They were united in marriage on April 12, 1947. They were blessed with 5 children, Robert, Bev, Darlene, Rod, and Rick. Ray and Betty started their family on a small farm northeast of Gregory.

They moved to a small farm southwest of St. Charles where Rod & Rick was born. In 1961 they moved to Colome, SD where they settled. Betty could be found right alongside her husband when it came to running their ranch.

She was a member of St. Isidore Church. She was also president of the American Legion Auxiliary where she helped set up the first kitchen followed by the well known Colome Steak Night. She was a member of the Winner VFW and also a 54-year member of Court St. Maria Goretti #1584 of the Colome Catholic Daughters.

She worked as an aide at Colome Schools followed by working as a bookkeeper at the Winner Lumber Yard. She managed the Community Thrift Store in Winner, SD.

Betty loved the outdoors, working in the garden, tending her flowers, painting and crafting. She was an amazing cook. She was a little lady with a strong spirit. She loved the time she was able to spend with her and Ray traveling and camping. She loved family get togethers, her face lit up when she was able to be near family. She was a wonderful woman who meant so much to so many.

She is survived by her husband Raymond, sister Bonnie (Dale) Vogt, children: Bev (Joe) Heck, Darlene Rotter, Rod (Leslie), and Rick. She had 18 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild. In addition to her many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents, one brother, one son, and 3 grandchildren.

We are truly lucky that God gave us her. She did a good job here but her mission is now complete and fulfilled the way he wanted her to do it. Now those who mourn her look forward to until we meet again.

As Betty has said, she was a “Jack of all trades, but a master of none.” Her family would have to agree she was truly a jack of all trades, but in our hearts, she was the master as well.

Thank you to all who made this occasion wonderful!

Evelyn Boortz, 89

Evelyn Marie Boortz was born Sept. 5, 1929 to William and Mary (Brunsch) Kahler in Tripp County South Dakota. She was the youngest of five children. Evelyn was baptized at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church south of Colome on Dec. 8, 1929 and was confirmed at St. Paul’s on Aug. 31, 1942.

She graduated from the 8th grade of the Progressive School and attended two years at Colome High School.

On Dec. 26, 1949 she married Ivan Boortz at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Gregory, SD. Ivan and Evelyn bought a farm south of Gregory. Jackie Lynne was born Feb. 1953 and Patty Jo was born April 1955. They later moved to Sioux City, IA where Ivan attended barber college.

From there they moved to Rapid City, SD. After a short stay they moved to Winner, SD in 1958. Michael Ivan was born in June of 1959. Evelyn worked 13 years at the Westside Grocery Store and 12 years at the Rexall Drugstore. She then worked as a unit secretary at the Winner Baptist Hospital for a few years.

Evelyn was active at Christ Lutheran Church helping with Sunday School, VBS, and LWML. She was also involved with the VFW of which she was a lifetime member and held different offices in the auxiliary including president and secretary.

In 1981-82 she was the state VFW Auxiliary president and later was the National Council Woman for SD, ND, and WY.

After Ivan passed in 2005, she moved to Edgemont, SD to be closer to Jackie and Mike who also lived there at the time. She loved her children and their spouses and the grandchildren and their spouses and her great grandchildren along with her many nieces and nephews.

Evelyn volunteered for different groups in Winner and after moving to Edgemont she became involved with the American Legion Auxiliary and was the chaplain for the group. She was very patriotic and loved and supported our nation’s veterans.

Evelyn and Ivan loved to travel and most of all to go fishing especially to the Missouri River to fish for walleyes. She made a great pheasant dish and was well known for her homemade ice cream, waffles, whole wheat buns and banana bread.

She was diagnosed shortly after her 80th birthday with a cancerous tumor on her vocal chords. After radiation treatments she was cancer free until Feb. 2013 when she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. After the hysterectomy she was again cancer free until earlier this year.

She was in a lot of pain and was looking forward to the day when the Lord would come and take her by the hand and lead her home. The last thing she said to her daughter Jackie on Friday June 21 was, “If I am not here tomorrow, tell everyone I love them and God bless them.”

Evelyn was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, Ivan Boortz, her parents, and Ivan’s parents, her sister and three brothers, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-laws, 5 nephews and 2 nieces.

Grateful for having shared her life are her son Michael and his wife Donna Roebuck of Hermosa; daughters, Jackie and husband Gary Martin of Edgemont; and Patty and husband Dan Henschen of Fremont, NE; and their children Lydia and husband Quinn Tirrel and their children Elijah, Evelyn, and Emelia of Omaha; Jacob and wife Sara Henschen and son Benjamin of Valparaiso, IN; and Joel and wife Jessica of New Orleans, LA; and many wonderful nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Memorial Services were held 11 a.m., Friday, June 28, 2019, at Chamberlain McColley’s Funeral Home in Hot Springs, SD.

Arrangements have been placed in the care of Chamberlain McColley’s Funeral Home of Custer, SD.

Leonard Bettcher, 94

Leonard Bettcher, 94, of Winner, SD passed away with family by his side on June 21, 2019 at Avera Majestic Bluffs Care Center in Yankton, SD.

The funeral was held on Friday, June 28, 2019 at 9 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Winner, SD. Burial followed at the Black Hills National Cemetery, located east of Sturgis, SD, at 2:30 p.m. (MT).

Leonard was born on Jan. 20, 1925 to August and Christina Bettcher. He was the 6th born out of 7 children in a wagon on the way to the doctor’s office in Carter, SD. He attended The South Crystal Springs school south of Carter.

At the age of 11, in 1936, the family moved to the Dallas area, where he finished grade school. He ended up receiving his diploma from Gregory High School.

In 1950, moved to a farm with two of his brothers, Richard and Verloyn, and parents, which was located half a mile north of Jordan Corner. His brother Richard and Leonard engaged in farming together at this time.

Around 1955, he attended school in Pueblo, Colo., to learn telegraphy and the morse code. Then, went to Iowa and worked for the railroad as a telegrapher for a short time. He loved to hear train whistles blow.

In 1958-59, he worked for the Winner Police Force as a police officer. Also, in 1960-61, he worked with the Winner Post Office as a mail carrier but due to his military injury was unable to stay with this position. While pursuing these other occupations, he still continued to farm with his brother, Richard, and retired from farming in the early 1980s.

He married Ruby (Van Matre) Heinzman July 3, 1965. To this union, two children were born, Leon and Michelle, three step-children Roger, Michael, and Denise. They lived on a farm ½ mile north of Jordan Corner and later two miles west of Winner. Divorced in June 1977.

Leonard was a proud member of WWII and was part of Co B 72 Military Police Co. At the age of 17, he was drafted and entered into the service at Fort Snelling, MN on July 27, 1944.

To start his journey, Allen, his brother, drove him to the railroad depot in Gregory, SD where they said their goodbyes. He was well on his way to the service at Fort Snelling, MN where he picked up his military belongings.

Later, boarded a train and headed to Campwalders, TX where he completed seventeen weeks of basic training. Then, shipped overseas to EIO Eastern Theater Marse France. From there, right straight to the frontline.

While fighting up at the frontline, motor shells were coming in and upon these exploding, shrapnel hit his left foot, which caused him to fall down. As he was being taken away on a stretcher, more shells came in, blowing the stretcher and him off the jeep and knocking him out, later waking up at the Aide Station.

After being treated at the Aide Station, he was put on an ambulance and taken to the 403rd hospital, where quite a bit of time was spent, later returning home.

He was honorably discharged June 22, 1946 at Camp McCoy, Wis. and is a recipient of the Purple Heart, Army of Occupation Ribbon (Germany), Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Theatre Service Medal, and Bronze Star Medal.

He often told his family about his time fighting in WWII. This particular memory was very meaningful to him. When fighting at the frontline, he opened up a small Bible that was given to the soldiers. When this Bible was opened, it was opened to Psalm 23.

As he described as the darkest of nights, a light shined down upon this Bible, making it possible for him to read this Psalm and giving him comfort.
God was a very important part of his life.

Leonard was a big influence on his children and grand-children, as he always encouraged them to be in God’s word and go to church.

He was a lifetime member of the American Legion and VFW and also enjoyed helping serve lunch at the American Legion on Labor Day in Winner.

He had a love for gardening and had a garden every year, until age 91. Local farmers would stop by and enjoy fruits and vegetables out of his garden.

Every year, Leonard would put up many jars of canned pickles using his own recipe. His family and Leonard always enjoyed this time of the year as they got to enjoy buttered bread with a pickle inside, so good! He was proud of his pickles and shared many with friends and family.

Some of the things Leonard loved were: attending church on Sunday, taking drives, vacationing (favorite spot being Mount Rushmore and seeing the faces), the state of Arizona and always wanting to reside there, coloring Easter eggs and never felt too old for this, eat out, go for coffee, sit outside under the shade tree and eat muskmelon and watermelon, flying the American flag on the farm, picnicking at the Valentine City Park, parades, camping, fishing and lending a helping hand.

Leonard enjoyed spending time with his children, grand-daughters (he was always so proud of all their accomplishments) and a very special companion, Princess (his dog).

Leonard is preceded in death by his parents August and Christina Bettcher; 2 sisters Ida (Frank) Vedral and Martha (Sam) Hauff; 3 brothers Allen (Ruth), Alfred (Frieda) and Richard (Teresa).

He is survived by his son Leon and daughter Michelle (David) Smith; 3 step-children Roger (Roxann) Heinzman, Michael (Anja) Heinzman, Denise (Jerry) Olson; brother Verolyn (Linda); 4 grandchildren MaCallie, Melissa, Shambraea, and Ally; 8 step-grandchildren Raelen, Randa Cheryl, Scott, Steven, Anna, Joshua and Justin; many nieces and nephews and lots of friends.

Kenneth Foley, 97

Kenneth (Ken) M. Foley, age 97, of Sioux Falls died Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at the VA Medical Center in Sioux Falls.

Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 21, 2019 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Sioux Falls with burial at St. Michael Cemetery, Sioux Falls, SD.

Ken was born on Dec. 16, 1921 in LeMars, IA to Thomas J. and Theresa M. (Peters) Foley. He moved with his family to Colome, SD where he grew up and graduated from Colome High School. Following graduation he entered the US Navy where he served for eight years.

Ken married Carol A. Fuhrman and to this union 6 children were born.
Ken spent 37 years as district supervisor for Getty Oil Company in the Skelgas Division. He retired in 1983. Carol preceeded him in death on Jan. 16, 1989. Ken was united in marriage to Dolores L. Vickery on June 30, 1990 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sioux Falls.

Ken was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church; Moose Lodge; Elks Lodge; United Commercial Travelers, a lifetime member of the American Legion, VFW, DAV and Knights of Columbus. He also served as a member of the Military Honor Guard honoring his fellow soldiers. Ken received special awards including a 60 Year Award from the American Legion and a 50 Year Award from the Knights of Columbus.

Ken’s hobbies included, golfing, pool playing, traveling, hunting, fishing and antique automobiles.

Thankful for having shared in his life are his wife, Dolores Foley, Sioux Falls; 6 children, Kaye (Larry) Jurgens of Aberdeen, Mike (Donna) Foley of Sioux Falls, Pat (Jamie) Hogan of Hockley, TX, Linda (Bob) Askren of Sioux Falls, Larry Foley of Wichita, KS, Deb (Ken) Bussmus; 5 step-children, Warren (Jule) Vickery of Sergeant Bluff, IA, Bob (Barb) Vickery of Aurora, CO, Mary Vickery of Sioux Falls, Larry Vickery of Sioux Falls, Jim (Sharon) Vickery, Wimauma, FL; a special cousin, Betty Talbott of Sioux Falls; 25 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren and 9 great-great-grandchildren.

Ken was preceded in death by his first wife, Carol; his parents, Thomas and Theresa Foley and sister, Darlene Nielson.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the American Legion Building Fund and The Banquet.


Craig Tuttle, 39

Craig Anthony Tuttle, age 39, passed away on Thursday, June 6, 2019, at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, LA.

He was born on June 16, 1979 in Bedford, Texas, the son of Robert Tuttle and Eva Nino Pantle.

Craig graduated from Winfern High School in Houston, Texas and attended the University of Texas San Antonio.

Craig had a uniquely fun personality and seemed to get so much joy out of making people smile. He loved spending time with family, especially during his trips to Peru. He also enjoyed his time spent fishing and hunting whenever he could, but found added joy when he could do so in South Dakota. He loved to play golf, to watch live sports or on TV, and his favorite teams were the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks.

Craig had a generous and caring heart that seemed to touch everyone he met. Those he loved and those who loved him have truly been blessed with a special gift during his time here on earth. While his loss to those he loved will be felt immensely, we have assurance that we too will soon be with him and the Lord in Heaven. What a glorious day that will be!

He is survived by his beloved wife, Penny Reeves; his father, Robert Tuttle; his mother, Eva Nino Pantle; his brother, Jeremy Pratt; his sisters, Heather Padraza, Sierra Tuttle and Emily Tuttle; step-father, William Pantle and step-mother, Lourdes Tuttle.

He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Kenneth and Wanda Tuttle; maternal grandparents, Eva Palacios and Santiago Nino; and cousin, Cody Stenson.

A celebration of Craig’s life will be held at the Holiday Inn Express Community Room in Winner on Saturday, June 29, 2019, beginning at 10 a.m. where there will be a time of family sharing followed by a reception. Craig’s ashes will be scattered on the South Dakota prairies of the Brad and Shawn Tuttle ranch following the celebration of his life Saturday.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Craig Tuttle Memorial Fund.

Cheryl Crawford,71

Cheryl Jean Crawford, 71, of Tucson, AZ died peacefully on May 30, 2019, after a lengthy illness.

Cheryl was born to Walter and Irene (Fuhrer) Burke on April 10, 1948, in Gregory, SD. She was raised in Winner, SD and graduated from Winner High School in 1966.

She was married to Lawrence Crawford for 17 years and three children were born to this union. She felt blessed to be able to stay home with her children when they were young and was always active in their activities.

In 1989, Cheryl graduated from Black Hills State University with a degree in elementary education. She lived in South Dakota until 1994 when she moved to Arizona with her family. She was a beloved 3rd grade teacher at Curiel Primary School in Eloy, AZ for 18 years. Cheryl felt that teaching was a way of life for her, not just a job. She was disappointed when health problems forced her to retire in 2012.

In addition to teaching, Cheryl loved traveling and spending time with her family. She is survived by her daughter, Lori (Dana) Adams; her son, Robert Crawford and her granddaughter, Amanda Adams. She will also be missed by many friends and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents and an infant son, Corey Crawford.

A service of committal and burial will take place at Winner Cemetery in Winner, SD on July 1, 2019 at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Catalina Lutheran Church, 15855 N. Twin Lakes Drive, Catalina, AZ 85739, or to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Pamela Burtz, 71

Pamela Burtz, 71, of Winner, SD passed away on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at the Winner Regional Long-Term Care Facility in Winner, SD. Funeral service was held on Monday, June 17, 2019 at 10 am at the First Baptist Church in Winner. Burial followed in the Winner City Cemetery.

On Thursday, June 13, 2019, Pamela Dayle (Jordan) Burtz, loving wife and mother to three children, lost her long battle with Alzheimer’s at the age of 71.

Pam was born Jan. 26, 1948 to Theron (Sam) and Norma (June) Jordan. Pam was an only child but grew up surrounded by the love of her cousins and friends.

In 1965, she was crowned Homecoming Princess of Winner High School and later attended college at Northern State University. She spent time as a country school teacher and later dedicated time and love to her clients at the South Central Adjustment Training Center.

In 1971, Pam wed the love of her life, Allen Burtz. To this union they we blessed with 3 children and 5 grandchildren. Pam was vivacious, quick witted, and compassionate. Through the ups and downs of 48 years, Allen never left her side, even as she slowly forgot the world around her.

Pam was the lady who would talk to strangers standing in line at the grocery store, the lady who took 8 hours to pick out a couch, and the lady who threw her entire self into her children. She never missed a ball game, theater performance, horse show, or school event. She braved the road teaching her kids to drive, and she made sure they always had a good book in front of them.

Pam was a gifted piano player from a young age and volunteered her talents to the First Baptist Church for many years. She loved gardening, reading, volunteering, and playing Pitch with her friends. She also was an excellent baker with a wide range of culinary tastes.

Pam was known for having a way with words. She wrote yearly Christmas cards that were always eloquent and creative. Pam had a sharp wit and a quick tongue (usually directed toward Allen) and always knew how to make you laugh.

Pam is preceded in death by her parents Sam and June Jordan.
She is survived by her husband Allen; son Justin (Julie) and their children Leighton and Bennett of Denver, CO; son Nathan and his children Dalton, Sylvia and Sierra of Rapid City, SD; and daughter Emily (Noe) Hernandez of Las Vegas, NV.

Mike Winckler, 72

Mike Winckler, 72, of Winner, SD passed away on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at the Winner Regional Healthcare Facility in Winner, SD.
Funeral service was held on Friday, June 14, 2019 at 2 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Winner, SD. Burial followed in the Winner City Cemetery.

Myron Mark (“Big Mike”) Winckler was born on March 7, 1947, to Hubert and Edna (Fischer) Winckler, in Scotland, South Dakota. He was the third of nine children born to the Winckler family – who farmed near Tyndall. He learned to plow at the age of eight – helping the family do the work that needed to be done.

Mike was proud to share that he was top of the class in most, if not all, of his elementary school years – however, he was the only student in the class. He attended rural schools through 8th grade and then attended high school in Tyndall, South Dakota, graduating in 1965.

He entered the Army in January of 1966 for a total of three years – which included a one-year tour in Vietnam. In basic training, he was at the top of his class, athletically, of over 20,000.

Upon his honorable discharge, he utilized the GI bill to enroll in Southern State College in Springfield, South Dakota – at which he played football as the star kicker “Golden Toe”. With a major in physical education and a minor in psychology, he became the first in his family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

While in transition between the Army and college, he made the best decision of his life, to ask Barbara Jean Bambas to marry him. They were engaged in February of 1969 and married on July 24, 1969 –almost 50 years. They danced beautifully – at weddings and other events – and ultimately, through life. To this union, two children were born – Alicia Jean in 1972 and Mark Raymond in 1978.

Shortly after graduation, Mike and Barb moved to Colome, where Mike began his career as a teacher and coach. A few years later, they moved to the big city – Winner. From there, he had a diverse career – spending the bulk of his time in two different roles – Owner, Manager of the old Husky House Café- and in a role helping others gain employment – first through the Job Service and then via Green Thumb and Experience Works – with a few other positions in between.

Mike believed that you worked to live, not lived to work – as such, he was a stellar role model. He had many passions outside of work – most of them revolved around socializing with others, enjoying the outdoors, and demonstrating reliably how to tell a great story. Although the basis for them was almost always true – he just remembered them bigger than most.

Mike loved Winner sports – and he loved joining his good friend announcing high school football games. He just knew that his specialty of color commentary was among the best in the nation – and that ESPN would be calling soon.

Many an hour was spent card playing and then after – solving the world’s problems while highlighting how very few of his card playing buddies (and especially his best friends and family) knew how to play correctly. At Dick’s, he was very proud of the self-proclaimed and friend-awarded role that he held as “Chairman of the Board”.

In his younger days, he absolutely loved fast pitch softball and then, later, slow pitch softball. For the historians, he was on the Roy’s Bar team (from Tyndall), Conkling Distributing (from Yankton), and the Burke Buzzards. Back in the day, these were elite teams…and Big Mike loved to talk about it. Slow pitch came later – with the best part being the beers with friends following.

But, his true passions were hunting and fishing. Mike loved the challenge of the hunt – deer, pheasant, duck, geese, and grouse. And, he was a terrific guide – taking hundreds of hunters to his secret and most productive spots and showing them a great time – and many became his friends. He was a very good shot – in fact, the birds couldn’t get away. Sometimes, when he was impatient or frustrated with others, he might even sneak in a shot and help them believe that they succeeded in getting the bird.

He loved fishing – his psychological healing. Buying a boat was a big deal. Walleyes were afraid of him. He had several proud angler awards – and had proof – the certificates hanging is his gun room.

Something many didn’t know – he always helped people – whether as a volunteer firefighter in his younger years, by giving out fish and wild game that he acquired and cleaned to those in-need, or by slipping a person some financial support, quietly.

Mike never met a stranger – whether or not he knew anyone when he arrived at an establishment, he always left with friends. Mike was described as the “life of the party”, a “great storyteller”, and a “great friend”. Many of his closest friends felt as he wanted them to – like family. Now, that didn’t always mean that conversations were joyful, but they were real. He never missed an opportunity to share his perspective and make his opinion clear – especially if he thought one of his friends could do more or better.

Mike loved his family. He held very high expectations for his children and beamed with pride when they met them.

He is survived by his wife of almost 50 years, Barbara Jean (Bambas) Winckler, his daughter Alicia Jean and her son, Lucas Edward, Lucas’ father Gary Hansen; his son, Mark Raymond, wife Melissa (Grossenburg), and their three children, Norah Blanche, Jacob Marcus, and Sullivan Charles; and Mike’s siblings – Norma (Bob) Bender, JoeWayne (Elaine) Winckler, Arla (Vern) Dangel, Jarvis (Marilyn) Winckler, David (Sue) Winckler, Merlin (Lisa) Winckler, and Larry (Barbie) Winckler; and special cousins Jerry (Jan) Winckler.

After a long illness and one hell of a fight, Mike passed away on June 8, 2019. He was preceded in death by his parents, Hubert and Edna Winckler, an infant brother, Leland Dale, several of his best friends, and many uncles, aunts, cousins and his in-laws, Raymond Bambas and Genevieve “Jenny” (Wysuph) Bambas.