Becky Elsberry, 56

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Rebecca Ann Cooper Elsberry was born on July 22, 1958 at St. Mary’s Hospital to Myron Ralph and Mary Frances Anderson Cooper. She was raised on her grandfather’s ranch southwest of Fort Pierre. She learned her love of horses at an early age and was riding before she could walk. Becky attended Wentde Country School through the 8th grade. She graduated from Stanley County high School in 1976.

On a dare from her father, she joined the United States Army and received letters of commendation from both Basic Training and Advanced Individualized Training. She served a total of 14 years with the United States Army and the South Dakota National Guard. Becky was a proud, Paid Up For Life member of the Pike-Wagner Post #2 of Tyndall, South Dakota.

In 1984, she graduated from the Pierre School of Practical Nursing with an LPN license after passing her nursing boards. Then in 1998, with encouragement from her family , she returned to the USD School of Nursing and earned her Registered Nurses License. Earlier in 1996, she completed the Basic EMT course and worked for the Winner Ambulance Service. She had worked for ambulance services in Winner, Hot Springs, Sanborn County (Woonsocket), Campbell County (Herreid), and Tyndall. She was serving as the city’s ambulance director at the time of her death.

She began her nursing career at St. Mary’s hospital as an LPN and worked on the surgical/peds floor before transferring to Central Supply. She has worked both as an LPN and an RN at the Winner Regional Healthcare Center, as an RN at the Redfield Community Hospital, as an RN at the Linton Hospital in North Dakota, and finished her nursing career at St. Michael’s Hospital in Tyndall.

In 1989, she met Mike Elsberry and they were married in Fort Pierre on February 18, 1993. Together they have made their home in the South Dakota cities that mirror those of the various ambulance services she served. They have traveled to Korea, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Florida, and several other places of interest as well.

Becky’s hobbies included collecting Breyer horses (over 200 in all), reading, and being with family. Outside the home, she was known for her love of nursing and for working for the ambulance service. Taking care of people and serving the public were her real passions. She wanted to give a special shout out to her friends at the Tyndall Hospital and Tyndall Ambulance. She loved you all.

Becky passed away on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 in her home having attained the age of 56 years, 10 months, and 1 day.

James Joseph Dohmen, 90

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Jim was born to William and Marie (Casey) Dohmen on April 29, 1925 in Colome Township.  He grew up on the family farm and graduated from Colome High School in 1943.  Following graduation, Jim farmed with his father until he entered the service as a member of the U.S. Army.

He was wounded in Korea in April of 1951 and spent several months in military hospitals until his discharge on November 10, 1952.   He received many military commendations including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Jim took great pride in being a veteran; he was a member of the Colome American Legion, the Winner VFW, the Purple Heart Commanders, and the Disabled American Veterans.  He held various leadership positions in those local and state organizations.    He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Jim was a long-time business owner in Winner, first owning and operating Jim’s Liquor from 1955-1962, then starting a career in real estate in 1959.  He owned and operated Dohmen Realty, Inc. for nearly 40 years.  Jim served on the South Dakota Real Estate Commission for eight years.

Jim was united in marriage to Lorraine Earll Ruhkamp on March 4, 1970. There is a saying, “Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.”   Jim became an instant and very special Dad to three daughters on that day.

Jim enjoyed gardening, rooting for the Cardinals, and special times with his family- especially the Thanksgiving “Annual Meetings” when all the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren got together for several days of family fun.   In the early days, he enjoyed local, state and national politics; he was a delegate to the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.

Joyce Herman, 75

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Joyce was born to Robert and Lillian (Redding) Biggins in Wheeler, SD on March 29, 1940.  In 1949 the family moved to Winner. Joyce graduated from Winner High School in 1959.

Joyce met and married Robert Herman on October 5th 1959.  Four children were born to this union:  Danny, Tony, Marty, and Penny.  “Family is family” was her motto with faith and forgiveness as her core.  Joyce was a natural caregiver her entire life.  Never putting herself before the needs of others.  To say she was a sports fan would be an understatement.  She followed her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews all over the state.  A true lover of NASCAR and her son’s Dan and Marty racing against each other with much anxiety and pride.

Cathleen “Cathy” Coral Lyons, 55

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Cathy was born March 25, 1960 in Winner SD to LeRoy and Clarice (Klein) Chauncey.  She grew up on a farm near Hidden Timber and attended country school.  She later attended school in Mission and Winner.

She was united in marriage to Bill Lyons on Dec.2, 1976. They lived in various locations, including Texas, Nebraska, and Lakeview, South Dakota before moving to Pierre in 1989.

Cathy passed away in the care of her family at her home overlooking the Missouri River in Pierre after a three year long courageous battle with cancer.

Vera Maier, 86

A memorial service celebrating the life of former Colome and Winner resident Edith Verabelle “Vera” (Story) Maier is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, May 23, 2015 in the American Legion Hall at Colome.

Vera was born October 12, 1928 at Hidden Timber, SD and died February 8, 2015 at Beemer, NE.  She is survived by two daughters, four sons, 17 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, seven great-great-grandchildren and numerous other family members, some of whom reside in the Winner, Dallas and Colome communities.

A private committal will be held at the Colome Cemetery prior to the memorial service.

James E. Heying, 83

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James Edward Joseph Heying, son of Paul and Anna (Full) Heying was born March 3, 1932 at the family farm near Hamill, SD.  Jim attended elementary school at King School and graduated from Winner High School in 1950.  He enlisted in the Army and was stationed at the Fort Leonard Wood where he married Veronica Jessie Lulf on March 14, 1953.  The couple resided in Texas until Jim was discharged from military duty in October of 1954.  The couple returned to the Heying family farm near Hamill to farm with Jim’s brother Bob.  In 1972 they moved to Mitchell where Jim was employed at Ellefson Implement and Dakota Manufacturing until taking a position with Mitchell Vocational Institute as the Welding Dept. instructor until his retirement in 1996.  Jim was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church.  His early retirement years were filled with hunting, fishing walleye on the Missouri River, woodworking, playing guitar, and drinking coffee with friends at Coborns.  Later, as his failing health kept him more inside, he spent hours reading books during his breathing treatments and watching old westerns on television.  Though unable to walk fields, Jim never missed opening pheasant season on the farm by showing up the young ones during blue rock target practice.

A very special friend, Carol Callan, was one of the motivators in Jim’s recovery from months in the hospital with pneumonia.  His concern for Carol and desire to return home brought him back to us for another four years.

Honoring Our Heroes Legacy

I’m sure we all remember our parents rousting us out of bed early on Memorial Day to decorate family graves. For many of us this was the first Monday after school got out and the last thing we wanted to do was get up before sunrise!

The process was simple — get dressed, load the tools in the car, and pick up some donuts for the trip. Once at the cemetery, we trimmed the grass, pulled weeds, washed off the headstones and placed flowers on the graves. While working on the graves, mom and dad would share the family lineage with us.

Although decorating soldiers graves with flowers and flags is an ancient custom that dates back to the Civil War, it wasn’t until later in life that I comprehended the significance of  remembering and honoring those who died while serving in the armed forces of this great country.

Our staff is honored to serve as the keepers of the South Dakota “Fallen Heroes Banners Exhibit,” and as such I can’t help but share the sentiment of a poem from Ken Carrolan that appears on the wall in the Tomb Guard quarters at Arlington National Cemetery.  It reads, “You are guarding the world’s most precious gifts, you, you alone are the symbol of 200 million people who wish to show their gratitude and you will march through the rain, the snow, and the heat to prove it.”

With pride and gratitude let us pause on this Memorial Day to remember great and brave Americans — to recognize their valor and rejoice in the blessings their bravery has secured. We know nothing of their individual thoughts and feelings as they met their fate.  But we know they died for a cause greater than self.

They paid the ultimate price for freedom, and it is our duty to keep their legacy fresh in the memories of future generations.

Oliver Wendell Holmes called this “our most sacred holiday,” and he urged that “we not ponder with sad thoughts the passing of our heroes, but to rather ponder their legacy – the life they made possible for us by their commitment and their pain.”

Please, don’t forget to honor those who served and paid the ultimate price.

Larry Zimmerman, Secretary

South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs

No Leukemia in Bone Marrow Encouraging Sign, but Not Cure

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By Dan Merritt, Winner Advocate

No leukemia in his bone marrow is a great test result from early last week for Eli Kortan of Colome, 13.

But it’s considered a “false remission,” according to his mother Shannon Kortan.

Though it would seem it’s an indication that cancer-fighting medicine is making progress towards curing the Pre B Cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) her son was diagnosed with last January.

Last week, Shannon and Eli were at “the Castle” — Sanford Children’s Hospital of Sioux Falls — which looks like a castle.

They weren’t supposed to be there as of Friday (May 8) when Shannon was contacted by phone, but it was taking longer to flush high-potency cancer medicine from Eli than expected.

He received the medicine on Monday to begin what was supposed to be a three-day treatment.

It was just one of many rounds of treatments for him that were expected to last three years from the time of his January 2015 diagnosis.

BHSU Art Program Gives Graduate the Confidence, Leadership Skills to Achieve Lifelong Dreams

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Ethan Engel’s journey hasn’t always been easy.

As graduation day nears for Ethan, he looks back on his time at BHSU, and reflects on how he’s grown over the past four years.

“It was a challenge for me as a freshman. I have a learning disability, autism, which is a complex disorder that deals with verbal communication and social interaction,” Ethan said. “For me to be out of my comfort zone and away from home, my family and my friends, it was a challenge to experience the new surroundings at BHSU and make new friends.”

Through his involvement in the art department at BHSU, Ethan’s confidence and leadership skills have grown over the years, earning him the respect of his fellow students and professors. Ethan has been the president of the BHSU Art Club for two years, helping organize art displays on campus and in the community. He also has taken the reins in his classes, such as gallery management, organizing an art show in the library and the recent BHSU Art Walk on campus.