Mary Svendsen

Mary SvendsenMary J. Svendsen, 71, of Trent died Good Friday, April 18, 2014 at her home under hospice care.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM Friday, April 25, 2014 at St. Mary Catholic Church, Dell Rapids. Visitation will begin at 5:00 PM Thursday with a Wake Service at 7:00 PM at the Minnehaha Funeral Home, Dell Rapids.  Condolences may be left at

Grateful for having shared her life are her husband, Dale, Trent; children, Linda (Mike) Schmitz, Monument, CO; Donna Svendsen, Sioux Falls; Roger (Robin) Svendsen, Vermillion; Diane Bunkers, Colton; Carol (Keith) Jullie, Brooklyn Park, MN; ten grandchildren; sister, Madonna Schlotterbach, Madison; brothers, Dean Moran, Pasco, WA; and Mark Moran, Wentworth.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Peggy (Price) Larrabee

Peggy LarrabeePeggy D. Larrabee, 69, Omaha are 10 a.m. Thursday, April 17, at Spitzer-Miller Funeral Home, Pastor Jon Damaska officiating.

Burial at Riverside Cemetery, Aberdeen.

 Peggy died Sunday, April 13, 2014, at Immanuel Medical Center, Omaha.

Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.
Survivors include her children; mother, Mary Price, Aberdeen; brothers, Tim (Michele) Price, Aberdeen, Brad (Tracie) Price, Dell Rapids; and sister, Diane Brokaw, Fairview, Texas

Ruth Williams

Ruth WilliamsRuth E. Williams, age 95, of Madison, died Thurs., April 10, 2014, at Bethel Lutheran Home, Madison.

Ruth Schmidt was born Feb. 17, 1919, at rural Madison, to Clarence & Josephine (Ryness) Schmidt. She graduated from Orland High School and obtained her teaching certificate from Eastern Normal School, Madison. She taught school at Moose and Tuynman Country Schools. Ruth married her high school sweetheart Craig Williams on Feb. 18, 1939, at Salem. They farmed in Orland and Franklin Townships before retiring to Madison in 1982.

Ruth was president and 50-year member of Lake County Extension, president and member of Franklin PTA, and member of Franklin Study Club and Hustling Housewives Extension Club. She was also a member of St. John Lutheran Church, Madison, where she served on the council, and was an officer and member of the ALCW for many years. Ruth loved playing cards, collecting dolls, and going to rummage sales. She considered her six children to be her greatest accomplishment.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Craig in 2006; two infant grandchildren; a great-grandson, Zachary Kischnick; a son-in-law, Les Anderson; a daughter-in-law, Shirley Williams; one sister, Clara Frye and two brothers, Ralph and Donald Schmidt.

Survivors include three sons, Ronald of Burton, MI, Darrold (Dianne) of Dell Rapids and Steven S. (Linda) of Madison; three daughters, Eleanor (James N.) Enga of Madison, Joan (Dennis) Degen of Hartford and Carol (Glenn) Cornell of Clark; 16 grandchildren; 24 great grandchildren; three step great-grandchildren; six step great-great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Fern (Lee) Anderson of Worthington, MN; and many nieces and nephews.

Condolences and complete obituary at

Robert “Bob” Johnson

Bob JohnsonRobert Keith “Bob” Johnson, 68, of Dell Rapids died Wednesday, April 2, 2014 after bravely fighting a 7 year battle with cancer. Memorial visitation will be from 1-4:00 PM Sunday, April 6, 2014 at the Minnehaha Funeral Home, Dell Rapids.  Condolences may be made at

Bob was born to parents Kenneth and Dorothy Johnson November 24, 1945 in Sioux Falls. He grew up in Sioux Falls and they moved to the Johnson family farm near Crooks when he was in high school. He graduated from Lyons High School in 1963. He then attended SDSU in Brookings.

Bob married Carol Aasen on July 23, 1966 at West Nidaros Lutheran Church. They lived and raised their family in rural Crooks until 1999 when they moved to Dell Rapids to live on the golf course.

Bob enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren and watching their activities. He loved playing golf with his family and friends and spent much of his free time helping to make improvements to the Rocky Run Golf Course in Dell Rapids.

Bob was always known for being a hard worker. He raised Charolais cattle and farmed near Crooks while driving semi full time. Bob drove for 46 years and reached 5 million accident free miles before he retired. After retirement Bob and Carol spent their winters in Texas where they made many new friends.

Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Carol, Dell Rapids; a daughter, Teri (Tim) Eddy, Dell Rapids; a son, Keith (Lisa) Johnson, rural Crooks; five grandchildren, Julie, Karen and Brent Eddy; Tyler and Trey Johnson; a sister, Jerilyn Borash, Brainerd, MN; nephews, Dave (Amy) Borash and family, Brainerd, MN; Bob (Tracy) Borash and family, Detroit Lakes, MN; an aunt, Nelda Johnson, Sioux Falls; and many in laws and close friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents Kenneth and Dorothy, a brother in law, Mauri Borash, and two uncles, Lee and Melroy Johnson.

R. Craig Heldenbrand

R. Craig HeldenbrandRobert Craig Heldenbrand, 57, died Sunday, March 30, 2014, at the Southridge Healthcare Center. A memorial service will begin at 1:00 PM on Thursday, April 3, 2014, at George Boom Funeral Home in Sioux Falls.  Condolences may be left at  

Robert Craig Heldenbrand was born on May 12th, 1956 in Hawthorne, CA to Sharon (Woodham) and Boyd Heldenbrand. He attended grade school in California and Patrick Henry Junior High in Sioux Falls, SD and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1974.

Craig enlisted in the United States Marine Corp in 1976 and completed his basic training at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He achieved the rank of Lance Corporal. He served at Camp Pendleton in California until 1980.

While in the military Craig studied mechanical engineering. Craig attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls, pursuing a degree in architecture. He worked at Luverne Truck Equipment Inc. in Brandon, SD as a night supervisor.

Music held a special place in Craig’s life. He was a member of the Medicine Creek Band in Blunt, SD. He also performed with Native Soul in Sioux Falls, SD.
His hobbies included music, taxidermy, art, hunting, fishing, motorcycles, racing, brewing beer and collecting beer cans. He was a member of the American Legion.

He was preceded in death by his father, Boyd Heldenbrand, his maternal grandfather, and his paternal grandparents.

Craig is survived by his wife, Tammy Hector of Valley Springs, SD; daughter Bobbi (Dustin) Dandurand of Coolidge, AZ; stepdaughter Kayla Hector of Valley Springs, SD; mother Sharon Heldenbrand-Halbersma (Lawrence) of Brandon, SD; mother-in-law Jane Boneschans of Sioux Falls, SD; grandchildren Hayli and Jackson Dandurand and Keegan Hector; brothers, Lance (Rose) Heldenbrand of Dell Rapids, SD; Walt Heldenbrand of Sioux Falls, SD; Les (Stacey) Heldenbrand of Hartford, SD; sister Lori (Jim) Pfannes of Guadalupita, NM; grandmother, Thelma Woodham of Sioux Falls, SD; aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and many friends.

Julie (Fields) Bortnem

Julie BortnemJulie (Fields) Bortnem, 59, Arvada, CO (formerly of Dell Rapids, SD), died Feb 10, 2014. Services: Celebration of Life 1:00-4:00 PM, Mar 29 at Dell Rapids Legion Hall. Cremation Society of Colorado.

Julie Bortnem died on February 10th, 2014 in her Arvada, Colorado home. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend.

Julie Ann Fields was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on February, 11th, 1954 to Glen and Joann Fields. Julie and her five brothers grew up in Dell Rapids, South Dakota where she met David Bortnem. In December 1973, Julie and Dave were married. Julie graduated from South Dakota State University with a degree in Home Economics. After several years living in San Antonio with her husband and two sons, the family moved to Colorado. It was here that she would become one of the founding members of the Ralston Creek Sertoma Club. During her life, Julie amazed and delighted her friends with her culinary skills, often using ingredients from her own well-tended, organic garden and her abilities as a seamstress. Julie was selfless, generous, and nurturing and would lend her time, talents, energy, and compassion to both family and friends with no expectation of recognition. It was evident to all that met her that her true joy was found in taking care of her family, the definition of which was never limited to bloodline. Throughout their forty years of marriage, Dave was rarely far from Julie’s side. Together they enjoyed traveling, gardening, spending time with family and friends, and, most of all, spoiling their four grandchildren.

Survivors include her husband, David; two sons, Craig (Kelley) Bortnem of Minneapolis, MN, and Travis (Melissa) Bortnem of Arvada, Colorado; four grandchildren, Cara, Aidan, Connor and Collin; mother, Joann Fields; five brothers, Gary, Bob, Brad, Mark and Kevin; as well as many other family members and friends. She was preceded in death by her father, Glen Fields.

Private interment was held at Fort Logan in Colorado. A celebration of life is scheduled for Saturday, March 29 from 1-4pm at the American Legion in Dell Rapids, South Dakota.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations are made to The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research ( or to Ralston Creek Sertoma at 11150 HURON St., No 100, Northglenn, CO 80234 where they will be directed to the club’s primary charities.

Audrey (Van Daalen) Leuning

Audrey LeuningAudrey D. Leuning, 80, of Jasper, MN, passed away on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at Riverview Manor in Flandreau. Her funeral service will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, March 24, 2014 at the Reformed Church, Dell Rapids. Interment will be in the Logan Reformed Cemetery. Visitation with the family present will be from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. with a prayer service beginning at 4:00 p.m. at Kahler Funeral Home. To leave condolences please visit

Audrey Darlene Van Daalen was born on August 12, 1933 at Egan, SD, the daughter of Wesley and Laura (Baldwin) Van Daalen. She grew up south of Egan on the family farm and attended Egan School. She graduated from Egan High School in 1951. After high school she worked at Farmers State Bank in Flandreau. She married LaWayne Leuning on September 8, 1962 in Egan, SD. The couple made their home on a farm east of Dell Rapids. Audrey always helped around the farm while the children were in school. In 1983, she became a dietary aide at Riverview Manor in Flandreau. She worked there twenty years until her retirement.

She was a member of the Reformed Church and active in the Reformed Church Women. She enjoyed bowling, gardening and socializing with her many friends and neighbors.

Audrey passed away on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at Riverview Manor in Flandreau, SD. She was 80 and preceded in death by her husband, LaWayne in 2012, her parents and her two brothers, Charles and Wesley.

Those left to cherish her memory are her children, Marcia Leuning of Brookings, Denise (Noel) Matson of Huron and Dennis Leuning of Dell Rapids; her four grandchildren, Christa of Brookings, Ashley, Tanner and Shelby of Huron; and her many nieces and nephews.

Patrick “Pat” O’Donnell

Patrick O'DonnellPatrick John “Pat” O’Donnell, 73, of Baltic died Thursday, March 13, 2014 at his home. Memorial visitation will be held Friday, March 21, 2014 from 4-7:00 PM at the Minnehaha Funeral Home, Baltic.

Patrick John was born June 29, 1940 at Graceville, Minnesota to parents John and Marjorie (Cota) O’Donnell. He grew up in Graceville and graduated from Holy Rosary Academy. After his education he moved to California and worked as a carpenter. He moved to the Dell Rapids area in 1971 and continued his carpentry work. He married Beverly Johnson March 29, 1980 at Baltic. They continued to live in the Baltic area. After his retirement he worked part time at the Eastern Farmer Elevator in Baltic.

Pat enjoyed work with guys at the elevator, hunting, fishing and playing cards with his friends and family.

Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Bev O’Donnell, Baltic; his children, Chad (Cindy) O’Donnell, Sioux Falls; Niki (Gregg) Beldin, Larchwood, Iowa; Michael Johnson, Baltic; James (Angela) Mitzel) Johnson, Baltic; eight grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; his sibling, Phyllis Jones, Brainerd, MN; Bill O’Donnell, Lake City, MN; Mike O’Donnell, Graceville, MN; and Mary Rodahl, Benson, MN; and many other relatives and friends.

He was preceded by his parents, two brothers and a sister.

Memorial may be directed to the Avera Cancer Institute.

Jerome Posey

Jerome PoseyJerome W. Posey, 94, of Dell Rapids passed away on Saturday, March 15, 2014 at the Dells Nursing and Rehab Center. His funeral service will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at the Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids. Interment with military rites will be in the Bethania Cemetery, rural Trent. Visitation will begin at 12:00 p.m. with the family present from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. and a prayer service beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at Kahler Funeral Home. Condolences may be left at

Jerome William Posey was born on August 21, 1919 at rural Alpena, SD, the son of Jesse and Flora Posey. He grew up and attended school in Alpena. He farmed with his parents for a while and then moved to Sherman, SD and worked as a farm hand until March of 1941 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served in the Hawaiian Islands and the Philippine Islands serving with the 160th infantry 40th Division Company E. His service of four years ended when wounded in battle and he was honorably discharged in July of 1945. He received the Purple Heart. In 1985, he received the Bronze Star Medal for Achievement in ground combat in the Asiatic – Pacific Theater of Operations.

He worked on the railroad and in 1947, he began working with his brother Elton as a farm laborer, carpenter and other jobs. He met Lorraine Holien in February of 1949 and they were married on July 12, 1949 in the Jasper Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jasper, MN. To this union was born four children, Jolene, Burdette, Olin and Mark. The family lived near Alpena, Canton, and Jasper before moving into Dell Rapids in 1963.

Jerome worked at Conoco Gas station and later owned and operated Champlin Gas Station. He worked with the Minnehaha CO-OP Oil until his retirement in 1981. He then helped his brother Elton in various carpentry jobs. He then drove school bus for the Dell Rapids school district, driving handicapped children to the Crippled Children’s School in Sioux Falls.

He was a member of the Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids, a life time member of the American Legion Post #65 serving in many offices, a life time member of the VFW and member of 40 and 8, the Senior Citizens Center where he was instrumental in getting the pool tables installed and served on the Veterans Memorial Park Committee. He and Lorraine were editors of the American Legion Newsletter for 16 years. He enjoyed his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, jigsaw puzzles and the Minnesota Twins.

His dedication to his family, his community, and his country was always on his mind. He encouraged respect and honor for the flag and our country. He and Lorraine hosted two company and army reunions in the early 1990’s and thoroughly enjoyed seeing his army buddies again.

Jerome became a resident of the Dells Nursing and Rehab on October 19, 2012.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Lorraine of Dell Rapids, a daughter, Jolene (Gaylon) Wehde of Crooks, SD; three sons, Burdette “Boone” (Cathleen) Posey of Bruce, Olin (Lynette) Posey of Dell Rapids and Mark (Karen) Posey of Titonka, IA; seven grandchildren, twelve great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, four sisters, Irma, Vinnie, Elsie and Nellie and his brother, Elton.

JoAnn VanDam

JoAnn VanDamJoAnn VanDam, 59, of Chester passed away unexpectedly Thursday, March 13, 2014.

Funeral services will begin at 2:00 PM Monday, March 17, 2014 at Chester Area School, Chester, SD. Burial will be in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, rural Chester.

Visitation with the family present will be Sunday from 2:00 to 4:00 PM with a Prayer service at 4:00 PM at First Lutheran Church in Colton, SD.

JoAnn was born May 15, 1954 in Sioux Falls to parents Marvin and Esther (Rehfeldt) Aldrich. She grew up on a farm near Franklin, SD and graduated from Chester High School in 1972. From there she attended beauty school.

Following beauty school, JoAnn married David VanDam on November 10, 1973 in Humboldt, SD. They made their home in Chester where they raised their three children.

JoAnn began working at Chester Area School in 2000. She thought of them as her second family. She made pies for the teachers on their birthdays and some sort of treats for the athletes before a game.

JoAnn was an active member of St. Jacob’s Lutheran Church, Chester Booster Club and an avid blood donor, recently receiving her eight gallon pin.

JoAnn enjoyed sharing her love with everyone around her, whether it was baking, having a cup of coffee, or just conversing while cutting your hair.

JoAnn was a devoted wife, daughter, mother, aunt and friend. Left to cherish her memory are her husband of forty years, David VanDam, Chester; three children, William “B.J.” VanDam, Madison, Heidi VanDam, Sioux Falls and Holli VanDam, Chester; father, Marvin Aldrich, Madison; mother-in-law, Muriel VanDam, Dell Rapids; two sisters, Renae (Doug) Feucht, Baltic and Marlys (Virgil) Schaefer, Colton; two brothers, Rick (Kris) Aldrich, Madison and Randy (Judy) Aldrich, Sioux Falls; as well as several nieces; nephews; relatives and friends.

JoAnn was preceded in death by her mother, Esther Aldrich; father-in-law, William (Bill) VanDam; brother-in-law, Dale Huntimer and several aunts and uncles.