Andrew Close

photoAndrew A Close, 100, De Smet, died January 15, 2018 at the Good Samaritan Nursing Home, De Smet, SD.  He was born in De Smet, SD on January 20, 1917 to Henry and Mabel (Bloomstrom) Close.  He lived most of his entire life in De Smet, except for one year in Long Beach, CA, working in the shipyards, where he learned the art of welding, and two years in the US Army during WWII in the Philippines and Japan.

Andy married Charlotte Harvey in Milbank, SD, on June 20, 1935.  He celebrated 50 years of marriage with Charlotte, having much happiness and many adventures.

Andrew was in business with Shorty Richards for many years house-moving, digging sewer lines, and other dirt-moving jobs.  He later had his own construction business, “Close Construction”, digging basements, sewer lines, stock water dams and septic tank pumping.  You name it, he may have done it in work and play.  His son, Richard Close, joined him later on in the business.

He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his children, grandchildren, and friends.  He made many trips to Missouri to visit friends and turkey hunt there. He passed on many words of wisdom to those who knew him.  He had a special way with his dogs and his pet pigeons.

Andrew was a beloved member of the De Smet community.  He was a very long time member of the De Smet Fire Department, and a 72-year member of the De Smet American Legion.

His family and friends will always remember his quick wit and adventure stories. He had a special twinkle in his eyes and love for life.  He could always be counted on and will be missed by many.

Survivors include his current wife, Darlene; his children, son Richard (Donna) Close, De Smet; daughter Helen (Boyd) Jacobson, Viborg SD; his grandchildren, Charlie (Allison) Jacobson, Chapel Hill NC; Jeana (Todd) Austin, Viborg SD; David (Genna) Close, Lake Preston SD; Susan Close, Harford SD; eleven great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces and many other friends and relatives.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Charlotte, his parents, and sister, Goldie Carnicle.

A celebration of Life and Legacy of Andrew will be at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be directed to De Smet Fire Department, De Smet American Legion, or local charity of choice.


Kathleen Ward

ward.kathleen (2)Kathleen Ward, 86, Bryant, SD, died Tuesday, January 16, 2018, at her home in Bryant.  A funeral service is scheduled at 10:00 AM Saturday, January, 27, 2018, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Bryant, SD, with Father Richard Baumberger officiating.  Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Bryant, SD.  Visitation hours will be 5:00 to 7:00PM Friday, January 26th, with a Scripture service and Rosary at 7:00PM.

Kathleen (Kathy) Susan Bertrang Ward was born on October 20, 1931, at Watertown, SD, to Peter and Barbara Bertrang.  She attended Immaculate Conception Grade School and graduated from Watertown High School.  She received a nursing degree from Presentation College in Aberdeen, SD and began her career at Watertown Hospital.  Later, after her children were older, she worked part-time as a nurse at the Parkview Care Center in Bryant, SD.

On May 31, 1955 she married William (Bill) Ward and the couple made their home at Bryant, SD.  They were the third generation to own and manage Ward’s Store in Bryant.  Kathy took over the manager role after Bill passed in August 1985, until 1995, when she sold the business to her son, Dan, and his wife, Mary.  Recently, Kathy was a regular during noon meals helping in the kitchen and keeping up with her many friends in town.

Bill and Kathy raised seven children and were role models about family life: Patrick (Julie), Coal Valley IL; Mark (Berny) Missoula MT; Debora (Tim) Frost, Rapid City SD; Teresa (Mark) Lynch, Maple Grove MN; Dan (Mary), Bryant; Steven (Roy), St. Louis Park MN; and Rich (Nancy) Roanoke VA. The family has grown to include 20 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.  Kathy’s greatest joy was being part of each of their lives.  She would welcome them to her home with open arms and always have their favorite treat ready in the kitchen.  She followed and recognized their milestones and accomplishments, and was known as “Grandma, Granny Ward, G-ma, and G-Dub.”

Kathy’s home was a destination for everyone in the family.  Over the years it was a camp for many hunting and fishing expeditions.  She even hosted the Montana Outdoor Radio Show on several occasions as “Granny’s Bed and Breakfast.” Her garden was stunning and the harvest bountiful.  Kathy celebrated your help when adding or maintaining her garden, and she enjoyed how it brought her family together.  This garden was her legacy and she loved to share the bounty with her family and friends.  She was preceded in death by hundreds of garter snakes who perished at the end of her hoe, when they tried to take up residency in her garden.

She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and served on the Altar Society.  She was also a member of the American Legion Auxillary, Red Hat Society, Senior Citizen Center, and Women’s Club.  She was a volunteer for Parkview Care Center and the Bryant Theater.  She was also a Den Mother for Cub Scouts when her boys were young.  Aside from gardening, she enjoyed reading.  She was a great conversationalist and proficient letter-writer~ memories we can all hold close to our hearts forever.

Let everyone know she would love to hear from you; now that she can hear perfectly, its even easier for her to listen.  All you have to do is say a prayer.

Kathy is survived by her 7 children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; one brother, Bob Bertrang, FL; one sister, Jean Oie, MN; and many relatives and friends.  She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; 3 brothers, John, Matt, and Bernie; one sister, Mary Ann.

The family requests memorials to St. Mary’s Cemetery in lieu of flowers.Osthus Funeral Chapel, Bryant, SD, is in charge of arrangements.

Ronald Hein

ron hein singleRonald Frances Hein, age 72, of De Smet passed away at his own home January 7th, 2018. Ronald was born on March 4th, 1945 at De Smet,SD.  Services will be held on Tuesday, January 16th at 10:30 AM at the American Lutheran Church in De Smet. Burial will be held at a later date in the De Smet Cemetery. Osthus Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Ronald Frances Hein was born March 4, 1945 to Oscer and Eileen Hein at De Smet, SD.  After his schooling, he entered the Army on September 29, 1964 and was discharged September 29, 1967. He was employed at several local businesses, including Central BiProducts, Dakota Pork, and DeSco Windows.

He is survived by his wife, Carol, De Smet; two sons, Kevin (MaryEllen) Hein, White, SD; and Lee (Darla) Hein, Arlington, SD; three daughters, Tina Hein, Brookings, SD; Christle Scott, Brookings, SD; and Candase (Todd) DeVries, Canton, SD; 7 stepchildren, 25 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren; 7 siblings, Roger (Dixie) Hein, Enterprise, KS; Judy (Ronnie) Brown, Lake Preston, SD; JoAnne (Gene) Trenary, Erwin, SD; Connie (Petra) Hein, Kansas City, KS; Carla (George) Stanley, Brookings, SD; Connie (Rob) Karsmizki, Manhattan, KS; and Mike (Dustine) Hein, Brookings, SD; and many other family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, and several other family and friends.

Merle Engel

Merle Raymond Engel of De Smet died at the Good Samaritan Center in De Smet, SD on January 8, 2018 at the age of 92.  Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, January 10th at 10:30 AM at the American Lutheran Church in De Smet.  Visitation will be on Tuesday, January 9th from 5-7 PM at the Osthus Funeral Home in De Smet.

Merle Raymond Engel was born to Louis and Bertine (Spain) Engel on June 28, 1925 on the family farm near Esmond, SD. He attended grade school at rural Esmond and graduated from Iroquois High School. Later he completed two years at Cerritos Jr. College in Norwalk, CA.

Upon graduating from high school, he served several years in the US Army with the occupation forces in Japan.  After he returned home after the war, he married his high school sweetheart, Shirley Walters. He moved to California in 1956 and spent 16 years working for Autonetics as a supervisor.  He returned home to the family farm in 1971 and farmed for 20 years before retiring in 1990.

Merle served on the Esmond school board, Iroquois school board and the elevator board while living in the farming community.  He loved to spend the winters in the south, loved fishing, golfing, playing cards, dancing and spending time with his family and friends.  He enjoyed spending time with his coffee buddies. He will always be remembered as a loyal husband and father.

He is survived by his wife Shirley of De Smet; three daughters, Sheri Engel of De Smet, Vickie (Ken) Smith of Sioux Falls, SD, and Hallie (Andy) Tate of Mitchell, SD; 6 grandchildren; and 10 great grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents, three brothers and two sisters.

Calvin Poppen

Calvin Otto Poppen, 92, De Smet, SD, died January 8, 2018, at the Good Samaritan Nursing Home, De , Smet, SD.  A funeral service is scheduled for 10:30 AM Saturday, January 13, at DeSmet Community Church, De Smet, SD.  Burial will follow at Spirit Lake Cemetery, Rural De Smet, SD.  Visitation hours are 5:00-7:00 Friday, January 12, at Osthus Funeral Home, De Smet.  Osthus Funeral Home, De Smet, is in charge of arrangements.

Calvin Otto Poppen was born September 28, 1925, on the family farm west of Spirit Lake, Kingsbury County, SD, to Otto and Sena (Fransen) Poppen.  He attended country school at Shady Lawn #8 and Willow Lake High School.  He briefly attended Huron College, but decided he needed to help his father with the farm.  He happily farmed for the rest of his life.

Calvin married Caryl Lynn Meyer on December 20, 1953, at the Presbyterian Church in Bonilla.  They spent all their married years at Lakeside Farm, just north of Spirit Lake, where they raised their family.

Calvin enjoyed farming all his life, for many years in partnership with his brother, Henry, and later with his son, Luke.  Throughout the years, he raised cattle and hogs, along with a variety of grains.  He never seemed to tire of the opportunity to till the soil, handle the livestock, and generally, just keep things running.  Outside a year with the army during the Korean War and the last four years when his health wouldn’t permit, you could find him involved on the family farm.

He was a member of the Spirit Lake Presbyterian Church his entire life and served and elder and deacon, as well as many other activities.  He was a member of Gideons, the American Legion, the De Smet School Board, and the Spirit Lake Cemetery Board.  He enjoyed hunting and fishing, and could tell many stories of both successes and failures in those endeavors! Spending time with family also provided him many smiles, especially in recent days, from grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He is survived by his children, Dirk (Susan) Poppen, Sioux Falls, SD; Luke (Janice) Poppen, rural De Smet; Susan (Dennis) Helder, Volga, SD; and Joel (Susan) Poppen, Rochester, MN; twelve grandchildren, one step-granddaughter, and eight great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife; parents; one brother, Henry; and a son, Daniel.

Mary Pollock

photoMary Alice (Combs) Pollock, age 84, of Gettysburg SD and formerly of De Smet, died Friday December 22, 2017 at Gettysburg. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday December 27 at 11:00 A.M. at Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church of De Smet. Burial will be at Saint Thomas Cemetery. Visitation and prayer service will be from 5:00-7:00 Tuesday evening at Osthus Funeral Home in De Smet, with a scriptural service at 6:30 P.M.

“Strangers are just friends we haven’t met yet.” This saying sums up how Mary Alice (Combs) Pollock treated people. Full of an amazing love and a very witty sense of humor toward all that had the privilege of knowing her.

Mary was born May 13th, 1933 in DeSmet,SD, to Everett and Grace Callahan Combs and joined eight brothers and sisters.

De Smet is where she grew up and in 1949 married her high school sweetheart Michael. They were blessed with three sons and a daughter. Mary worked many years as a nurse’s aid at De Smet Memorial Hospital where she had so many fond memories of the friends and co-workers that she worked with.

In 1973, she and Mike started a new adventure in life. They left their hometown and moved to Sturgis, SD. While in Sturgis Mary continued in the medical field working as a lab assistant and a respiratory therapy assistant, once again loving the people she treated and worked with.

Mike and Mary moved back to their old stomping grounds southeast of DeSmet in 1977 to the family farm, only to succumb to floods and rising waters,and lost farmable land. Hence M&M Marina on the banks of Lake Thompson! The next few years were full of blood, sweat, and tears; along with friendships, love, and lasting memories that made those years the best days of their life. In 1998 they sold their place to South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks and motored back to Sturgis for retirement.

Having worked all her life, she wasn’t quite ready for the retirement life so the next decade was spent working as a Hostess at Phil Town in Sturgis. In 2015 after their health was failing, Mike and Mary moved to Avera Oahe Manor in Gettysburg,where her beloved husband of 68 1/2 years still resides.

Mary will be forever remembered by her family; husband, Mike, Gettysburg, SD;  Daughter Laurie (Steve) Robbennolt, of Gettysburg; grandchildren: Amber(Andy) Mikkelsen, Megan Fischer,Tyler (Kelsey) Fischer, Michael Fischer, all of Gettysburg. Katelyn(Christopher) Ampe,of Rochester, MN, Blake Robbennolt of Marshall MN, Kelcey Robbennolt of Marshall, MN; Jeffrey(Brianna) Pollock of Dallas TX, Nastacha Pollock of Austin TX; nine great grandchildren: Neva, Olivia, Isabelle, Camdon, Nash, Charlie, and Daxton, all of Gettysburg, Chandler and Reagan of Dallas Tx; One brother, Frank Combs of NM; sister in law Verlyn Pollock of Cheyenne WY, and many nieces and nephews.

Preceding Mary in death are her three sons, Michael Duane, Jerome “Jerry” Alan, Donald “Donny” Eugene. Son-in-law Donny Fischer. Grandson DJ Fischer. Parents, brothers and sisters.

Eileen Wolkow

wolkow, eileenEileen Wolkow, 66, De Smet, SD, died Saturday, December 9, 2017, at De Smet Avera Memorial Hospital.  A funeral service will be held at 10:30 AM Friday, December 15, 2017, at American Lutheran Church, De Smet, with Reverend Randy Koeller officiating.  Visitation hours are 5:00-7:00 Thursday, December 14, 2017, at Osthus Funeral Home, De Smet.  Burial will be at De Smet Cemetery, De Smet, SD.

Eileen Marie (Weerts) Wolkow was born May 5, 1951, to Elmer and Ella (Behm) Weerts.  She grew up on her family farm near Bancroft, SD.  She attended Bancroft Public School through her junior year, when the school closed.  She graduated from De Smet High School as valedictorian in 1969.  After high school, she attended Augustana College, DSU, and SDSU, obtaining degrees in Accounting and Business Management.

She married her high school sweetheart, Delmer Wolkow, on January 1, 1971.  To this union, three sons were born: Mathew, Michael, and Nolan.

Eileen worked 3 years as the City Finance Officer for the City of Wessington and 26 years as Finance Officer for the City of De Smet.  During that time, she served on the De Smet Memorial Hospital Board for 20 years, six of which she served as De Smet’s representative on the Huron Regional Medical Center Board.  She also served in numerous other community committees through the years as the city’s representative and was a long-time member of the Chapter R-PEO and De Smet Community Women.

In 2003 Eileen was honored as the South Dakota Municipal League Finance Officer of the Year.

She was a long-time member of American Lutheran Church, where she taught Sunday School and served as a WELCA Officer.

Eileen loved her family with all her heart, and loved spending time with each of her grandchildren.  She enjoyed cooking and baking for her family, especially her famous chocolate chip cookies and homemade salsa.

Survivors include her husband, Delmer; her sons, Mathew (Betty) Wolkow, Double Oak, TX; Michael (Lori) Wolkow, Courtland MN; and Nolan (Leah) Wolkow, Alexandria MN; her grandchildren, Whitney, Logan, Matalyn, Elizabeth, Nathan, Jonathon, Brady, Jaymeson, Colby, and Isabella Wolkow; her mother, Ella Weerts, De Smet;  her siblings, Eugene (Mary) Weerts and Erland (Marlys) Weerts, Bancroft; Eunice (Kent) Kapplinger, Fargo ND; and Evie (Dick) Cottam, High Point NC;  her siblings-in-law, Delores Gilbertson, Arlington SD; Judy Wolkow, De Smet; Darlene (Ted) Crisman, Custer SD; Dorothy (Ed) Holter, Troy MN; and DeAnn Kruempel, Logan IA; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her father, Elmer; father and mother-in-law, Harrison and Mabel Wolkow, and her brothers-in-law, Don Wolkow, Lowell Gilbertson.

Bette Jean Wilkinson

photoBette Jean Wilkinson, 92, died peacefully at the Good Samaritan Home in De Smet, SD, on November 29, 2017.  A funeral service is scheduled at 10:30 AM on Monday, December 4, 2017, at the American Lutheran Church, DeSmet, with Pastor Randy Koeller officiating.  Burial will follow at DeSmet Cemetery.  Visitation hours are 5:00-7:00 PM on Sunday, December 3, 2017, at Osthus Funeral Home, De Smet.

Bette Jean Wilkinson was born January 29, 1925, to Helmer and Berdine Halvorson at Tracy, MN.  She graduated from Lennox High School in 1943 and entered Sioux Valley Nursing School in 1946.  On December 26, 1947, Bette married Ellsworth F. “Wilkie” Wilkinson.  To this union, four children were born: Barbara (Robert) Satter, William (Mary Lynn) Wilkinson, Edward (Sally) Wilkinson, and Todd (Jean) Wilkinson.

Bette worked as a registered nurse for many years at DeSmet Memorial Hospital, raised her family, and later began working at Wilkinson & Wilkinson Law Firm, where she retired at the age of 78 because of macular degeneration.

Bette was a faithful member of American Lutheran Church of De Smet, the Eastern Star, and the De Smet American Legion Auxilliary.  She loved to be outdoors gardening, golfing, hunting pheasants, spending time at her lake cabin, and doing yardwork.  She was a dedicated De Smet Bulldog fan and Augustana Viking fan, and she followed the Minnesota Vikings and Twins.

But her greatest love was her family.  She enjoyed attending her grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s activities and birthday parties.

She is survived by her four children; Barbara (Robert) Satter, Irene, SD; William (Mary Lynn) Wilkinson, De Smet;  Edward (Sally) Wilkinson, Erwin, SD; and Todd (Jean) Wilkinson, De Smet; thirteen grandchildren; 41 great-grandchildren; her sister, Mary Ann (Joel) Prince, Knoxville TN; her sisters-in-law, Doris Halvorson, El Dorado Hills, CA; and Evelyn Wilkinson, Sioux Falls, SD;  and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Ellsworth; and her brothers, Helmer Jr. “Butch” and Donald.

The family wishes to thank the staff of the Good Samaritan Home, De Smet, and Compassionate Care Hospice for the wonderful care given to Bette.

William Muser

IMG_3810 (2)William Muser, 59, De Smet, died Friday, November 24, 2017, at Avera De Smet Memorial Hospital, De Smet, SD.  A funeral service is scheduled at 10:30 AM Friday, December 1, 2017, at De Smet Community Church, with Reverend Devin Hebeisen officiating.  Burial will be at De Smet Cemetery.  Visitation hours are 5:00-7:00 PM Thursday, November 30, 2017, at Osthus Funeral Home, De Smet.

William Muser, 59, was born October 28, 1958, to Lyle Muser and Donna (Carlson) Muser at Volga, SD.  He grew to adulthood near Erwin, SD, attending school through the 6th grade at Erwin, and 7-12th grade at De Smet, where he graduated in 1977.  He joined the National Guard after high school and served from 1977-1984.  He also farmed with his father during this time.

On October 6, 1979, he was united in marriage to Juanita Lebahn at Oldham, SD.  The couple had four children.

In 1983 he started work for Kingsbury County Highway Department, and in 1995 he drove truck for Coast to Coast for 2 years.  Then, he drove truck for John Doyle and worked at CMI for ten years, until he started to work for Bales Livestock.  The last three years, he worked for Cooks Waste Paper and Recycling of Brookings.

He loved his family and his grandchildren, the outdoors, and raising cattle on his hobby ranch.

Survivors include his wife, Juanita, De Smet; one son, Wayne (Donna) Muser, Harrisburg, SD; three daughters, Amanda (Steve) Parteka, Audubon, MN; Paula (John) Pettigrew, Aberdeen, SD; and Tina (Tyler) Welbig, Harrisburg, SD; his mother, Donna Muser, De Smet; three sisters, Kathy Lubinus, Platte, SD; Susan (Ken) Dolph, Christianburg, VA; Marlene (Randy) Knutson, Miller, SD; eight grandchildren, Abraham, Natalie, Ella, Noelle, Alaina, Quinn, Tatum, and Alexis; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father, Lyle Muser, and his grandparents.