Chester “Burt” Arvin, 86 Margaret Ann Arvin, 84

Chester and Margaret Arvin

Chester “Burt” Arvin, 86

Mr. Arvin was born April 2, 1926 in Lilly, IL to James D. and Irene Arvin.  In July 7, 1951, he married the love of his life and best friend, Margaret Ann Ayecock.  They were inseparable for 63 wonderful years.  Anyone who has ever made their acquaintance would agree that the two of them shared real true love and they were an inspiration to all.

Growing up poor during the Great Depression, he strived to give his children everything he never had which resulted in him becoming a very successful businessman. His two girls were his pride and joy, and he took them on many family vacations as he loved to travel. He made it to 49 of the 50 states, missing only Alaska. He took great pride in being honest and doing what was right. He loved telling stories of the old days.  His favorite story was running his trap lines as a teenager in Pennsylvania where he trapped mink and sold the fur to make money.

In 1945 Chester entered the military and was assigned to the 787th MP BN.  He was stationed in Paris, France during WWII where one of his duties was to guard German POWs.  He looked back on his time there very fondly and loved to relive those days by speaking French and storytelling.

In 1946 he left military service and returned home to continue in the family business of beekeeping.  He partnered with his brother, Roy, and began Arvin Bros. Bee Farms, which he ran until retirement in 1988.  Chester was known to be an expert in his field and was highly respected.

He loved fishing with his good friend Herman McRae, cutting up and having fun. He was always the life of the party and had a laugh that would make anyone smile.

Survivors include his loving wife, Margaret Ann Arvin of Texarkana, AR; two daughters and son-in-law, Burdena (Fred) Weidner of Winner, SD, Patricia Arvin of Texarkana, AR; one sister, Myrtle May of Palestine, TX; six grandchildren: Bobby Anderson, Nathan Weidner, Chandra Cudmore, Crystal Anderson, Tiffany Weidner and Ashley Jorgensen. Ten great-grandchildren: Matthew Anderson, Kaylea Cudmore, Dustin Blacksmith, Ethen and Alexzander Cudmore, Karsten Anderson, Natalie Clairmont, Chloe Clairmont, Greyden and Griffyn Weidner; as well as many other family members and special friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, one brother, and six sisters.

We lost our hero today.

 Margaret Ann Arvin, 84

On February 8, 2015, Margaret Ann Arvin, 84, of Texarkana, AR went to be with her man, Chester.

Margaret Ann Ayecock was born November 5, 1929, at Tillar, AR, to Miles and Mabel Ayecock.  She enjoyed playing on the basketball team at Tillar High School, and graduated there in 1947.

When working at Kresses department store in Pine Bluff, she met the love of her life, Chester Burton Arvin, and married him on July 7, 1951, for a union that would last 63 glorious years.  She joined him in his profession of beekeeping with whatever needed done—from sewing bee screens for his semi-trailer truck to extracting honey brought in from the bee yards.  Margaret was such a fast, efficient worker that Burt always said he couldn’t have accomplished what he did without her.

Margaret & Chester made their home in Foreman, AR, where they wintered their bees, but also lived near Colome, SD, each summer where they took the bees for the summer honey crop.  They had two daughters, Burdena Kay and Patricia Lynn.  Margaret faithfully packed the trunk of her car to travel back & forth each year following the bee trucks.

Margaret was a faithful mother teaching her children to kneel at night by their bedsides to pray, and regularly going with them to Sunday School at both the First United Methodist Church in Foreman, AR, and Calvary Chapel Church south of Colome, SD.  She was currently a member of SugarHill Methodist Church of Texarkana, AR.

In 1980 her first grandchild, Bobby, was born and he was the joy of her life.

After retiring in 1988, the couple parked their new RV at Burdena & son-in-law Fred’s ranch south of Winner, SD, for several summers and were nearby to help both of their girls & spoil the grandkids.  All of the grandchildren adored both Grandma & Grandpa (Pa).

Survivors include two daughters and son-in-law, Burdena (Fred) Weidner of Winner, SD, Patricia Arvin of Texarkana, AR; one sister, Artie Halford, of Dumas, AR; one brother, Terry Ayecock, of Tillar, AR; sister-in-law Margaret Ayecock-Frank; six grandchildren:  Bobby Anderson, Nathan Weidner, Chandra Cudmore, Crystal Anderson, Tiffany Weidner, Ashley Jorgensen; and ten great-grandchildren: Matthew Anderson, Kaylea Cudmore, Dustin Blacksmith, Ethen and Alexzander Cudmore, Karsten Anderson, Natalie Clairmont, Chloe Clairmont, Greyden Weidner, and Griffyn Weidner; as well as many other family members and special friends.

She was preceeded in death by her loving husband by only three days; her parents, two brothers, and three sisters.

Mildred “Millie” Kaiser, 90

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Mildred “Millie” Kaiser, 90, of Winner, SD passed away on Monday, January 26, 2015 at the Winner Regional Long Term Care Facility in Winner.  Funeral service was held on Friday, January 30, 2015 at 10:00a.m. at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Winner.  Burial followed in the Winner City Cemetery.

Mildred, known to many as (Millie) was born January 4, 1925, on the family farm south of Colome, SD, to Frank and Bertha Bertram. She had 5 sisters and 8 brothers. Mildred was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church in Colome, SD. Millie attended Colome High School until she had to quit and help with the farm and family. She later took a job south of Colome, SD working on a farm where she met Albert Kaiser. They married September 11, 1943 and settled into rural life near Millboro, SD where they farmed and milked cows. Three children were born; a daughter, Betty, son Gary, and the youngest daughter, Norma. They later bought a farm 9 miles S. of Winner, SD. Gary then took over the farm in 1969 when Albert and Millie moved to Winner. Albert died in January, 1970.

Sedonia Wagner, 93

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Sedonia was born on September 9, 1921 at home on a farm near Colome, SD to Lawrence and Marie (Spacil) Stritecky. She attended rural schools in Tripp County and attended Winner High School, graduating in 1940.

An adventurous young man swept her off her feet and she and Lawrence Wagner were married in Colome on June 18, 1940. They purchased Sedonia’s parents’ farm south of Winner in 1942, where they lived until 2006 when Sedonia suffered a major stroke. Following the stroke, she joined Lawrence at the Elder Inn. She moved into Winner Regional Long Term Care in August, 2010.

Sedonia was active in church and community. She was a lifetime member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, the American Legion Auxiliary, Catholic Daughters of the Americas, past member of Immaculate Conception church choir and Eucharistic minister, board member of Winner Senior Citizens, and Wilson Extension Club.

Lawrence and Sedonia shared many interests including square dancing and ballroom dancing (they danced the polka at their 65th wedding anniversary), attending Western Fraternal and ZCBJ Lodge meetings, supporting the Tripp County Democrats and Tripp County Historical Society.

Lawrence and Sedonia were instrumental in establishing the Tripp County Rural Water District. In recognition of their contribution of the land for the first well, a scholarship has been established in their name. The family was honored as the 1996 Farm Family of the Year by the Winner Chamber of Commerce.

Chalene Smith, 54

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Chalene “Cheri” (Dubel) Smith, age 54 of Gillette, Wyo., passed away from an ongoing battle with breast cancer on Friday, Jan. 23,  at Close to Home Hospice House in Gillette, Wyo. Chalene (Dubel) Smith was born on Aug. 17, 1960 in Winner, to James and Norma Dubel. She graduated from Casper College with a degree in computer programming. Upon completing college she moved to Gillette, and accepted a position as a computer programmer with the Campbell County  in Gillette where she worked for more than 10 years. She also worked for coal mines in the area, she worked a short time for the post office, 5 years at Razor’s Edge, an office position for P&H Mining, she also worked for Flightline and other various jobs, and finally at Global Heat Transfer for a couple years. Cheri had a superior work ethic.

She married Kurt Smith on September 16, 1989. He was the love of her life, and her broken heart was never the same after his departure to heaven. The couple had numerous dogs over the years which were like their children. She took pride in her customer service and showing her younger peers a good work ethic; and how to work with values and integrity. She always strived to make her employer a success. She loved walking her dog Lexi;  who is missing her. Cheri is survived by her sister; Becky (Brian) Kjensmo of Park City, MT, brothers; James (Nancy) Dubel and Larry Dubel  of Gillette, WY, aunt; Maxine Harter of Sturgis, SD, niece; Amanda (Chad) Herman of Gillette,WY, nephews; Zachary Dubel of Douglas, WY, Chris Dubel and Zackery Stevens of Gillette, WY, along with numerous cousins, great-nephews and a great-niece. She is preceded in death by her husband; Kurt Smith, her parents; James and Norma Dubel, cousin; Tim Harter of Michigan and grandparents.  The family welcomes all to attend the service and celebrate Cheri’s life. to thank Close to Home Hospice and their staff for all of the help, caring, and understanding. Donations may be made in Cheri’s name to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Memorials and condolences may also be sent in the families name to Gillette Memorial Chapel 210 West 5th Street, Gillette, WY 82716 or via website:

Arthur (Art) Zimbelmann, 85

Art ZArthur (Art) Zimbelmann was born July 26, 1929 on the family ranch near Hamill, the second child of seven to Henry and Clara (Korb) Zimbelmann. Art grew up on the ranch learning to work with cattle and ride horses. He developed a love of hunting and fishing during these growing up years.

Art went to the country school right behind their ranch until he finished the eighth grade. He worked on the ranch with his dad until he was called into service during the Korean War. Art proudly served his country in the Army from 1952 to 1954. It was only recently that Art talked about his time in the Tank Company of the 223rd Infantry. Art came back to work the ranch after his honorable discharge in January of 1954.

Art met Joan Fischer at a dance and on June 28, 1958 they were married. They had three boys: Arvis, Arden, and Gary.

Bernard Lee Baxa, 60

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Bernard Lee Baxa  passed away on Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 at Avera Gregory Hospital at the age of 80 years old.

Funeral services were held on Feb. 3 at the Burke Civic Center. Burial was in the Herrick Cemetery.

He was born on September 23rd, 1934 in Dixon, SD in the farmhouse of his parents John and Nettie (Konop) Baxa. He has two older siblings, Ruby (Baxa) Stevicks and Duane Baxa. Bernie went to school in St. Charles, SD until his sophomore year and then finished high school in Burke, graduating in 1952. After graduating, Bernie worked on the family farm and also did custom farm work for other famers in the area. Bernie was baptized, confirmed, and became a member of The Herrick Lutheran Church.

On May 14, 1954 Bernie married his beautiful bride of 60 years,   Marilyn Tietgen. Together they had six children: Janet (Steve  Bailey) of Bonesteel, SD; Dan (Cheryl) of Herrick, SD; John (Linda) of Hohnville, LA; James (Sue) of Canistota, SD; Julie (Bruce Otto) of Canistota, SD; Jolene (Mark Ward) of Spring Creek, NV.

In 1958 Bernie started working for Gustinson Construction building bridges. In 1960 Bernie and Marilyn moved to Herrick from their farm south of town. They bought “Todd’s Recreation” in 1973, now known as Bernie’s Inn. Bernie always took pride in working hard to provide for his family.

Gaye Hambek, 73

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Gaye Hambek  was born on July 18, 1941 south of Colome, SD in her grandparent’s home. She was born the oldest of three girls to Carl and Rita (Amick) Stroschine.

Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, January 13 at Grace Fellowship Church in Spearfish.  Interment followed at Rosehill Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established to benefit the Spearfish Ambulance Service and Northern Hills Relay for Life.

Mervin John Higgins, 85

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Mervin John Higgins was born July 20, 1929 to John and Ada (Brown) Higgins at Brocksburg, Nebraska.  He died January, 20, 2015 at the Gregory Community Hospital at the age of 85 years.

Funeral services were held Jan. 23 at Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Butte, Neb with Father Andrzej Wyrostek officiating. Burial was in the Catholic Cemetery at Naper.