Darrell Gene Foss, 76

dad2Darrell, son of Elmer and Mary (Beranek) Foss was born March 7th, 1939. During his youth he grew up and worked on the family farm near Hamill, SD. Darrell attended and graduated from a country school located near the farm. He enjoyed working on the farm with his parents and the winter vacations they would take traveling across the United States.

On January 14th, 1958 Darrell was united in marriage to Darlene Schmidt. Through this marriage three sons were born, Michael, Kelly and Todd. Darrell and Darlene lived and worked on the family farm which they later owned and operated until their retirement in 2012. In 2014 they left the farm and moved to Winner.

Darrell was a regular fixture at the Winner Livestock Auction. He worked almost every Friday sale for nearly 50 years beginning when he was 18 years old. Darrell’s passion for hard work, farming and ranching ran deep.

Darrell spoke frequently of all the joyous times he spent with long time friends Bob Daughters and the late Darrel Orel both of Hamill, SD and his Brother-in-law the late Daniel Bolander of Winner, SD during his teen years and throughout his life.

Darrell was an avid outdoorsman and sports enthusiast. He loved hunting, fishing and camping. He enjoyed attending and watching the local high school sporting events and stock car racing. His biggest joy came from spending time with his family and friends.

Floyd Heilman, 79

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Floyd was born on January 24, 1936 in Bowdle, SD to Anton and Magdelina Heilman.  He was the youngest of 5 siblings.  He lived some of his young life with his sister Lenora and husband Pius Malsam.  Their son Bob Malsam was like a brother to him.  He went from a class of 8 in Roscoe, SD to a class of 400 in Aberdeen his senior year.  Floyd graduated from Aberdeen Central in 1955.

Floyd entered the Army in February of 1956, serving in the Korean Conflict for 18 months.  He was honorably discharged in January 1959.

Floyd married the love of his life Virginia Miller on January 8, 1966.  They were blessed with three children.  Twins, Pamela and Patricia, four years later Peggy was born.
There weren’t many people in Winner and the surrounding area he did not know or who did not know him.

Floyd worked construction for Bradbury construction of Aberdeen, John A. Carlson Construction of Winner, and Virgil Miller Construction of Winner.  He hauled propane for Westside Propane and Skelgas for many years.  He also worked at Country Pride COOP fertilizer plant, retiring in 2011.

Floyd was a very proud member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Winner.

Ivan Ewing, 90

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Ivan Dale Ewing was born near Dallas, SD on April 22, 1925 and died on October 14, 2015. He grew up and lived most of his life in Tripp County.

Ivan, also known to many as Bus or Buster, was inducted into the Army on September 22, 1943 and served as Squad Leader in the 16th Armored Division. He served in the European Theater of Operations in the 16th Tank Battalion of Headquarters Company. As squad leader Ivan was in charge of the heavy mortar squad, trained and taught battle tactics to enlisted men, supervised the work of 5 men, and was acting 1st Sargent for 3 months. Ivan was also a drill sergeant and prison guard for American prisoners at Camp Chaffee and German prisoners in France. On May 20, 1946 Ivan was honorably discharged.

On April 30, 1947 Ivan married his sweetheart, Ardath Hopkins. Together they began ranching and raising their family of four children. They were married for 68 years.

Ivan loved his ranch and worked hard to acquire it. As he looked across his land he often would say “How green is my valley.” He took great pride in the quality of his cattle, the land and even his corrals and well built sturdy loading chutes that he built with his two sons, Bob and Neil.
Ivan served on the South Dakota Brand Board and felt honored to be asked to do so. He was a leader in his community and his church, the United Methodist Church.

He frequented the sale barns and loved talking about the cattle business over a cup of coffee. At home his friends and neighbors always knew coffee was hot and ready to be served along with a few good stories, jokes, and laughs.

Bessie B. Warejcka, 92

Warejcka 2Bessie Bette (Birger) Warejcka was born on July 11, 1923 to John and Mary (Vnoucek) Birger in rural Winner, SD. She graduated from Fairfax High School in 1941 and completed Lincoln Beauty School. She worked as a Beautician in Lincoln, NE for four years and then owned and operated the Bonesteel Beauty Shop for a year. On April 9, 1947 Bessie was united in marriage to Arthur Warejcka in Fairfax, SD. Together they farmed and raised livestock.

Bessie was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church, the Good Will Circle and the American Legion Auxiliary of Platte. She enjoyed cooking, baking, gardening, sewing and polka dances. A gifted musician, she taught herself to play the accordion and harmonica.

Berniece Hansen, 91

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Berniece Hansen, 91, of Winner, passed away on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at the Winner Regional Healthcare Center in Winner.  Funeral services were held on Monday, October 19, at 10:30AM at the United Methodist Church in Winner. Burial followed in the Winner City Cemetery.

Berniece R. Hansen was born the second youngest of seven children on April 25, 1924, in Randolph,Neb., to Levi Lookabill and Roena Larson. At the age of two she moved with her parents to a farm three miles east of Wood, South Dakota. She spent the early years of her life on the farm and often commented on the difficulties of rural life during the hard economic times of the depression and the grasshopper plague of the mid 1930’s.

Her father, Levi, often had to hitch a ride with the rural mail carrier to Winner, to buy groceries, usually staying overnight. He would return the following day with only what he could carry.  Meanwhile, the grasshoppers would be eagerly eating the clothing off of the clothesline. Since state Highway 44(which was then gravel) ran near the farm, Levi got a job grading the highway using horses to pull the grader. That job provided much needed cash which helped sustain the family during the depression. He also owned a tractor and threshing machine, and would travel the area doing custom threshing for other farmers. Berniece would often assist with preparing meals for the hungry crews that traveled the countryside providing the labor for the threshing machine.  Berniece was often asked to assist with the farm work. Rattlesnakes cruising nearby while she was herding sheep on horseback were a vivid childhood memory.

Berniece attended elementary and high school in Wood, graduating in 1942. She was a member of Wood High School girls basketball team.

On September 10, 1942, Berniece married Clair Hansen in Winner, South Dakota, and moved to the Hansen family farm founded in 1909 by J.T. and Maude Hansen near Carter, South Dakota. Together they operated the family farm and were joined by daughter Bonny(Lester) in 1944, son Jerry in 1945, and son Dennis in 1952. As the years went by, the farm and the family grew and prospered. In 1988 Clair and Berniece purchased a home in Winner, South Dakota. Clair and Berniece continued to operate the farm for 61 years until Clair passed away in 2003. Berniece lived in the home in Winner until failing health forced her to retire to the Golden Prairie Manor in March of 2015. Berniece remained active with the family farm after Clair’s passing, paying her own bills and making decisions until she passed away suddenly on October 14, 2015. Today, the farm is one of the oldest under
continuous family ownership in Mellette County.

Berniece spent her entire life caring for and seeing to the needs of her precious family. Berniece was most fond of the times remembered with friends and family, especially during the holidays. Berniece and Clair would eagerly open their home whenever the occasion arose. Christmas Eve was spent with the Lookabill family and Christmas Day with the Hansen family. There were great family dinners that always ended with a rousing pitch game. Berniece was also a charter member of the Idle-AWhile woman’s club and always looked forward to socializing with other farm wives.

In later years, Berniece and Clair enjoyed traveling. Their preferred method of travel was the organized bus tour. They always felt that they could see more sights and enjoy more activities if they traveled with others who knew the way. They also enjoyed the camaraderie of their fellow travelers immensely, especially, Frank and Alice Kriz, Sam and Pauline Adel, Dale and Helen Lookabill, Darlene and Jay Pearsall and many, many others. Their favorite trip was the first one that they booked. It was to New England and eastern Canada to enjoy the autumn colors. Eventually, they toured all 50 states and a good portion of Canada.

In addition to traveling, Berniece enjoyed collecting antique dishes and furniture, and spending time with her children and grandchildren. She would often join sister-in-law Betty Hansen on forays to other South Dakota towns in search of unusual or interesting antiques. Lately, she enjoyed giving away many of her “treasures” to her children and grandchildren, whom she enjoyed immensely. She leaves behind a substantial legacy of collectible items and fond memories.

John Greer, 93

scan0003John Louis Greer was born on May 13, 1922 to John and Jennie (Orr) Greer. He was the eighth of nine children born to this union. John grew up and attended Ryan school west of Lucas, SD, eventually graduating from Lucas High School where he was involved in the Lucas school choir . He attended the Lucas Baptist Church where he was baptized.

Following high school, John operated a small farm in the Lucas area before marrying his high school sweet heart, Lora “Ellen” Nelson on April 10th , 1944. John and Ellen continued to live on this farm for a few years where they eventually had three children – Cheryl, Rodney and Roger. John and Ellen moved numerous times around the Dallas, Dixon area, operating small farms before settling in Gregory, SD in 1962. After arriving in Gregory, John opened two gas station/auto repair shops.

In his free time, John was very active in the Methodist Church of Gregory, participating in numerous bible study and men’s groups. John was elected United Methodist Layman of the Year in 1987 for his work in fellowship and evangelism within the Methodist Church.

After “retiring” John remained active in the church and Gregory Communities by mowing lawns (including the Methodist Church) and assisting his longtime friend Emmett Kotrba. John and Ellen were sextants At the IOOF Cemetery for Twenty five Years. On his “days off” he could be found watching old westerns and eating homemade popcorn. He also enjoyed spending time with Ellen making road trips to visit grandkids and occasionally fishing for catfish and largemouth bass.

When Ellen entered the Gregory nursing home John would lovingly be there three times a day for her. On one of these visits he fell while leaving and as a result of immobility he spent his remaining years in the Avera Rosebud Country Care Center, passing away on October 9th 2015 at 93 years of age.

David Ralph Freeman, 72

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David Ralph Freeman was born October 5, 1943 at his parents home, Ralph and Mary (Keckler) Freeman in Springfield, SD.  He died October 14, 2015 at Burke Community Hospital in Burke, SD at the age of 72 years.Memorial services were held Oct. 19 at the United Methodist Church of Burke with burial in the Herrick Cemetery.

His family later moved to a farm and lived with his Uncle Luther Freeman near Carlock, SD.  Dave then attended grade school at the Sioux Valley Country School-District #35 in Carlock, SD and attended high school through the 9th grade at Gregory High School and during this time he worked for several farmers in the Paxton, SD area.

In 1964 he enlisted in the US Army as a heavy equipment mechanic and sharp shooter.  His last tour of service was spent in South Korea and was discharged in 1966.
In 1967 he was working on the Herman Ranch in Draper, SD when he met the love of his life, Myrna (Miller) Labahn and they were married on April 6th, 1968.  He became the father of her two sons, Dennis and Duane (aka-Weiner) and they made their home in Draper, SD where he then worked for Max Horsley. Later they moved to the Burke area and was employed by the Gregory Country Highway department and acquired the nickname Davey, until his retirement in November of 2007. He was also a member of the American Legion Post #220 in Herrick, SD, a Fireman for the Burke Volunteer Fire Department, and devoted many hours helping build the Burke Stampede Rodeo grounds utilizing his welding skills.  After retirement Dave began the second (maybe first) love of his life of driving an 18 Wheeler until his health started failing.

Dave was preceded in death by his parents, his siblings, Donald Freeman, Dorthy McCarthy and Delbert Freeman and Brother-In-Law Keith Silling as well as several other relatives and friends.

Mary Clark, 94

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Mary was born in Lead, South Dakota Oct 27, 1920 to Syd and Vi Lang and grew up in Belle Fourche.

After graduating from Belle Fourche High School she enrolled in St John’s School of Nursing and graduated in 1941. In 1943 she volunteered for the Army Nurse
Corps and was assigned to the 91st General Hospital unit in Oxford, England during World War II. Mary said “it was her privilege to have nursed so many young, brave men.” Over the years she maintained contact with several of the soldiers she cared for who credited her with helping save their lives. Mary resumed her civilian status in November 1945. Through the GI bill she took advantage of continuing education by going to anesthesia school and passing the national boards.

In 1947 while working at McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls she met the love of her life, Al Clark and they were married on January 12, 1948. They moved to Rapid City where they raised two sons, Steve and Mark Clark. Mary worked as a nurse anesthetist at St John’s Hospital and her husband Al was a radio and TV personality for KOTA. In 1959 they moved to Winner where they purchased KWYR radio and Mary worked as a nurse anesthetist and administrator for the Baptist hospital.

Over the years in Winner she was active in the community and her compassion for her patients was frequently recognized by those in the medical profession and the patients themselves. In 1976 after her husband Al suffered a heart attack and had open heart surgery they transitioned to a residence in Scottsdale, Arizona, to enjoy golf, and a warmer climate. Al passed way in 1984 and Mary remained in Arizona with the many friends she had acquired. She had a passion for her dogs over the years and was a supporter of the Humane Society as well as VFW. She was able to visit Washington DC to visit the World War II Memorial and meet with Senator Mc Cain and attend a 50 year 91st General Hospital Reunion in Oxford, England. Mary enjoyed running, morning swims, movies, bridge, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Suns until she was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease. In 2009 it was necessary for her to have 24 hour care and she moved to residential home in Scottsdale with several other Alzheimer’s patients. She had excellent care givers in her final years as well as visits from friends and family.

Mary was an amazing woman with a kind heart and sweet soul. She lived a full and vibrant life and for that we are so grateful!

Donna Trego, 84

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Donna Dee Trego was born March 24, 1931 in Gregory, South Dakota. She was the daughter of Arthur and Maude (Cline) Kortmeyer. Donna lived in Gregory, Naper, Nebraska and moved to Winner at the age of 12. Her father, Art, was a butter maker at the creamery in the early years. Later he became an expert in the construction business.

Donna was raised with two brothers, Jack and Harry Kortmeyer, and one sister, Beverly (Bob) Biggins.

Donna attended Winner High School where she began lifelong friendships that she cherished until her passing. Outside of two years in Vermillion, South Dakota, she lived her adult life in Winner.

Donna married Robert Trego, the love of her life, in 1948. From this marriage four children were born, Bruce (Elizabeth) Trego, Vacaville, California, Jackie (Larry) Ertz, Winner, Jim (Tammy Meister ), Colorado Springs, Colorado and Cindy (Jeff) Beringer, Yankton, South Dakota.

Always a servant at heart, Donna was active in many clubs and organizations. She was a 66 year member of the American Legion Auxiliary. She was also a member of the DAV Auxiliary, Friends of the Library, Southern Plains Behavioral Health Services, Winner United Methodist Church, and the Agape Circle Tripp County Volunteers.

Donna worked in the Tripp County Treasurers Office for 23 years and proudly served two terms as the Tripp County Treasurer until her retirement in 1996. Her post retirement years were spent enjoying the company of her children, grand children and many, many friends.

Betty Swedlund, 69

Betty Lou (Kerner) Swedlund was born in Gregory, SD on April 18, 1946 to Emil and Mary (Beavers) Kerner. She was the second of five children. Betty grew up in Valley Township, Tripp County and graduated from Gregory High School in 1964. She married Keith Swedlund on July 9th, 1965, and they made their home together on a ranch along the White River. To this union, three children were born: Brian in 1966, Tisha in 1969, and Tara in 1981. Betty also worked as a waitress at Hutch’s Cafe and Lounge in Presho for forty-three years, where her great joy was having conversations with regulars and with people from all parts of the country who stopped.

Betty was a hardworking, loving, caring Mom, Grandma and Great-Grandma who was very dedicated to her family. She loved to travel and help out on the ranch with her husband Keith, with whom she recently celebrated fifty years of marriage. She took great joy and pride in caring for her yard and flower gardens. Betty attended St. John’s Lutheran Church in Witten and later transferred to Trinity Lutheran Church in Winner.