Sister Verna Kelley

Sister Verna KelleySister Verna Kelley, 86, a Sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, died July 21, 2014, at Presentation Convent, Aberdeen, SD.

The Mass of Resurrection for Sister Verna will be Friday, July 25, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. in Blessed Sacrament Chapel at Presentation Convent, Aberdeen, SD. Reverend Greg Tschakert, is celebrant and homilist. A Scriptural wake service will be Thursday, July 24 at 6:30 p.m. in Blessed Sacrament Chapel. The service will be led by Sr. Verna’s brother, Deacon Richard Kelley.  Burial will be at Sacred Heart Cemetery with Spitzer-Miller Funeral Home, 1111 S. Main Street, in charge of arrangements.

Sr. Verna “Patricia” was born May 8, 1928 in Aberdeen, SD to Iva (White) and Verne Kelley. She completed her grade school education at Washington Elementary, Pierre, SD and graduated from Central High School, Aberdeen, SD in 1946. Patricia entered Presentation Convent September 8, 1946 and made her first profession of vows August 10, 1949.  Sister Verna earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Northern State University in1962 and a Master’s Degree in Administration from Northern in 1981. She taught at elementary schools staffed by Presentation Sisters from 1949 to 1999 including Mound and Anoka, MN, Miles City, MT, Mitchell, Madison, Sioux Falls, Aberdeen, Milbank and Dell Rapids, SD. Sister ministered in the Foster Grandparent program at Roncalli Primary School from 1999 to 2013. Her passion for helping others, especially children, was  evident in the many years she taught first and second grade. She wrote poetry, several children’s books including handbooks for teachers instructing children preparing for receiving the sacraments of First Reconciliation and Eucharist. She also enjoyed creating greeting cards, banners, and posters.

Sister Verna is survived by her community of Presentation Sisters, one sister, Margaret Smith, International Falls, MN, one brother, Deacon Richard Kelley, Aberdeen, SD and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, Iva and Verne Kelley, three sisters, Mercedes Volk, Kathryn Keenan, Mary Johnson, and two brothers, Vern Kelley and Reverend John Kelley.

Family members will serve as active pall bearers.

Condolences may be left at:

Ellis Alberts

Ellis AlbertsThe funeral for Ellis Alberts will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 11, 2014, at the Zion Reformed Church of Amherst, with Pastors Hal Phoenix and Don Flaherty of Ellendale, N.D., and Pastor Glenn Raynor of Hecla officiating. Burial will be in the Britton Cemetery, under the direction of Price Funeral Chapel, Britton.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the church in Amherst, with a 7 p.m. prayer service.  Ellis was called to his Eternal Home on Sunday evening, July 6, 2014, at the age of 98 years.

Ellis Raymond Alberts was born Nov. 13, 1915, on a farm near Amherst to Harmon F. and Johanna F. Alberts. He attended school at Amherst, graduating from Amherst High School in 1934. He was on the basketball team and played trombone in band. After graduation, Ellis remained on the family farm.

On Sept. 27, 1942, Ellis married Aerial June Stevens in Aberdeen. They made their home on a farm they had purchased, northwest of Amherst. Over the next few years, the couple was blessed with three daughters. Ellis loved the Lord, his family and his farm. He felt very blessed to be a farmer. He milked cows and raised cattle, hogs and chickens for many years. He was noted for planting the straightest cornrows in the country! He was also one of the last farmers in the area to check corn.

Ellis is survived by his three daughters: Claudia (Neil) Frey of Britton, Andrea “Ann” (Dennis) Blumhardt of Shorewood, Ill., Debora (Rodney) Satrang of Mitchell; 15 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; two sisters-in-law: Doris Alberts of Britton, Violet Alberts of Dell Rapids; and many nieces, nephews and their families.  Preceding him in death were his parents; his wife; four sisters: Clara Eberle, Martha Wieker, Helen Bush and an infant sister; and seven brothers: Henry, Art, Lee, Herman, Joe, Melvin and Robert Alberts.

Condolences may be directed to the family in care of Claudia Frey, 10952 421st Avenue, Britton, SD 58430.

An online guestbook and obituary is available at

Agnes (Schwebach) Sechser

Agnes SechserAgnes Ann Sechser, 96, of rural Sioux Falls, passed away Thursday, July 10, 2014 at the Dougherty Hospice House. She was born on May 6, 1918 to Philip and Catherine Schwebach at Bird Island, MN. They moved to Elkton and then to Dell Rapids where she attended country schools.

Agnes married Francis Sechser on May 6, 1947. They farmed north of Sioux Falls until their retirement. Francis passed away in 2003. She enjoyed gardening, quilting, baking, sewing, embroidering and spending time with her family and grandchildren. Agnes was a member of the Cathedral of St. Joseph and the Cathedral Club.

Grateful for having shared her life are her children: Jerry (Denise), Bettendorf, IA, Mary Ann (Dave) Erickson, Creedmoor, NC, Betty (Keith) Allison, Brookings, SD, Janice Sechser, Sioux Falls, SD, Don (Ann), Franklin, TN, Mark (Pam), Harrisburg, SD and Ed (Beth), Sioux Falls, SD; nine grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and a brother: Raphael Schwebach. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, five brothers, three sisters and a son-in-law.

Visitation will be Monday, 5 PM at Barnett-Lewis Funeral Home with a Scripture Vigil at 7 PM followed by the Rosary. Mass of Christian Burial will be Tuesday, 9:30 AM at the Cathedral of St. Joseph with burial to follow at St. Michael Cemetery. An on-line registry is available at

Kenneth Olson

Kenneth OlsonKenneth D. Olson, 89, of Baltic died Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at his home.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 AM Monday July 14, 2014 at Baltic Lutheran Church, Baltic. Burial will be in the St. Olaf Cemetery, Baltic. Visitation with the family present will be from 1-3:00 PM Sunday at the Minnehaha Funeral Home, Baltic.

Kenneth was born April 19, 1925 at Worthing, South Dakota to parents Thorval and Jennie (Swenson) Olson. He moved with his family to the Baltic area and graduated from Baltic High School. He married Cleo Haugse December 3, 1947 in Colton. They lived and farmed south of Baltic until moving into Baltic in 1997. Cleo died December 25, 2013.

Kenneth was a member of the Baltic Lutheran Church and enjoyed spending time at the farm and with his family.

Grateful for having shared his life are his children, Sheila (Larry) Skatvold, Dell Rapids; Dennis Olson, Sioux Falls; Rodney (Kim) Olson, Sioux Falls; Lynn (Lisa) Olson, Baltic; Marcia (Larry) Miller, Baltic; six grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; sisters, Dorothy (Don) Anderson, Yankton and Ruth (James) Haugen, Baltic; and a brother in law, Bud Skacnke, Baltic.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Cleo on December 25, 2013, his parents, and his sister Joyce Skancke.

Marie Brobjorg

Marie BrobjorgMarie Brobjorg, 84, of Baltic, died peacefully on July 8, 2014 from complications of cancer at her daughter’s home near Colton where she spent her last few months being lovingly cared for by her family. Funeral services will begin at 10:30 AM Saturday, July 12, 2014, at East Nidaros Lutheran Church, rural Baltic. Visitation with the family present will be from 5-7:00 PM Friday, at Minnehaha Funeral Home, Baltic.

Marie was born on October 18, 1929 to Carl and Anna (Hall) Stangeland. She grew up in the Harrisburg area and graduated from Harrisburg High School. After graduation she worked at Manchester’s Biscuit Company. She married Arnold Brobjorg on June 15, 1957, at Luverne, Minnesota. After their marriage they moved to the family farm near Baltic where they raised their four children. She was a homemaker for many years and later worked 20+ years at the Holiday Inn. Marie worked more recently at Terrace Manor in Dell Rapids where she always enjoyed visiting with the residents as well as her co-workers during coffee breaks.

Marie was a longtime member of East Nidaros Lutheran Church where she taught Sunday School for many years and was active in WELCA. Marie enjoyed taking pictures, cooking, playing cards, doing crossword puzzles, and working outdoors on her farm. But most importantly she treasured the time spent with her family and friends. She will be especially remembered for her kindhearted and easygoing manner and all around lovely personality.

Grateful for having shared her life are her children: Gloria (Joe) Schaefer of Eagan, Minnesota, Mark Brobjorg of Baltic, Sherrie (Tom) Welbig of Dell Rapids, and Terry Brobjorg of Baltic; eleven grandchildren: Christopher (Riley) Schaefer, Ashley (Joe) Henderson, Bryan Schaefer, Miranda Welbig, Sara Brobjorg, Brennan Welbig, Alyssa Schaefer, Taylor Brobjorg, Kenton Welbig, Joey Brobjorg, and John Brobjorg; three great-grandchildren: Kenson, Lexyn, and Tavyn Henderson; and two sisters-in law: Maurine Brobjorg of Pipestone, and Helen Brobjorg of Baltic.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Arnold; parents; brothers, Alan Stangeland and Orville Rust; and sisters: Lorna Evans and Corrine Thomas.

Candy Warwick

Candy L. Warwick, 62, Sioux Falls, died Tuesday, July 1, 2014, at home from natural causes.

Memorial services will be held Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 1:00 pm, at Heartland Funeral Home with Pastor Lee Green officiating.

Candy is survived by her husband, Dick; daughters, Crystal Kuhnert, Sioux Falls, Jenny Warwick, Sioux Falls, and Shannon Warwick, Dell Rapids; and one son , Steven Kuhnert, Sioux Falls; 11 grandchildren; two brothers and many nieces and nephews.

Full obit

Robert “Bob” Burrell

Bob BurrellRobert “Bob” Sheldon Burrell, 74, of Pierre, SD, passed away on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at Avera Mckennan Hospital in Sioux Falls. His memorial service will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, July 7, 2014 at the United Methodist Church, Dell Rapids. Visitation will be one hour prior to the start of the service. A private committal service will be held in the Dell Rapids Cemetery.  Condolences may be left at

Bob was born on February 26, 1940, the son of Robert and Kareen (Hacklander) Burrell at Montevideo, MN. He moved with his family to Dell Rapids in 1942. He grew up and attended school in Dell Rapids, graduating from Dell Rapids High School in 1958. After high school he attended the University of Nebraska and then graduated from Northern State University. He later received his masters degree from the University of South Dakota. He did his student teaching at Molbridge, SD and started his teaching career at Elkton, SD. He later taught math and science at Watertown, Pierre, Broadus, MT and Faith. He retired in 1998 and began a career in carpentry.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing, back packing and hiking in the mountains with his dog, and all outdoor activities. Throughout his many years of teaching he mentored many young adults and he always had a special love for dogs.

Bob is preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his brother, Bruce (Judy) Burrell of Brookings; his sister, Barb (Merle) Davis of Dell Rapids; his nieces and nephews, Barry (Dawn) Burrell of Brooklyn Park, MN, Patty Burrell of Framingham, MA, Pam (John) Wells of Colorado Springs, CO, Brad (Tara) Burrell of Castlewood, Kari (Rob) Karst  and Jill Hansen both of Dell Rapids; his many great nieces and nephews and his dog, Libby.

Benjamin “Benny” Dearduff

Benjamin DearduffBenny Dearduff, age 71 of Sioux Falls, SD, died Sunday June 29, 2014 at Sanford Medical Center. Funeral services will be 1:30 pm Thursday, July 3, at Miller Funeral Home 507 S. Main Avenue, with burial to follow at Woodlawn Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the Salvation Army.

Benjamin Lee Dearduff was born in Sioux Falls, SD, on November 27, 1942, the son of Roger and Alice (Erickson) Dearduff. He joined the Army after graduation from Washington High School in 1960. He spent one year stateside and two years in Germany before being honorably discharged in 1963. He then worked in construction building house and as a tavern co-owner until 1965 when he became employed at the State Penitentiary where he worked until his retirement in 1997. He married Linda Evans in 1965. They were divorced in 1976. Ben married Nancy Anfinson on October 14, 1978.

Grateful for having shared his life are his granddaughter, Whitley Jo Dearduff, Denison, IA; his brother, Roger (Judy) Dearduff, Dell Rapids, SD; his sister in-law, Barb (Steve) Hayes, Sioux Falls; his brothers in-law, Roland (Rita) Anfinson, Pringle, SD, and Ricky (Sandy) Anfinson, rural Sherman, SD.

His parents, his sister Janice, his stepfather Harold Graning, his stepsister Jean Peters, his son Montie, and his wife, Nancy, preceded him in death.

Ralph Lauritzen

Ralph LauritzenRalph Lauritzen was born August 17, 1928 in Viborg, SD to parents Holger and Marie (Smith) Lauritzen. He passed away on June 28, 2014 at Pioneer Memorial Hospital in Viborg, SD at the age of 85 years, 10 months and 11 days.

Ralph attended Viborg Public Schools, graduating in 1946. He then worked in the oil fields in California and on road construction in South Dakota. He served in the United States Air Force from 1951 until being honorably discharged in 1954. Ralph married Marilyn Nelson on February 12, 1956. The couple made their home in the rural Centerville area where Ralph farmed and raised feeder cattle for 50 years. He was baptized and confirmed at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Viborg and was currently a member of Scandia Lutheran Church in Centerville. He was also a member of the Viborg American Legion. He enjoyed dancing and in his younger years was a motorcycle enthusiast, having traveled extensively on his Harley and Indian bikes. Ralph’s occupation, hobby and passion was the farm. He loved working the land, raising cattle and just being on his farm place.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Helen Johnson.

He is survived by his wife Marilyn Lauritzen of Viborg; daughter Michelle (Edward) Burke, Brookings and son Craig (Christi) Lauritzen, Dell Rapids; 4 grandchildren, Rachel and Lauren Burke and Megan and Allison Lauritzen; step grandson Jadin Wendland; and many other relatives and friends.

Funeral services will be 10:00 AM, Thursday, July 3, 2014 at Scandia Lutheran Church, Centerville, with burial at Riverview Cemetery, rural Centerville. Visitation will be Wednesday from 6PM to 8PM at Wass Funeral Home in Centerville.  Condolences may be left at

Judy Lottman

Judy LottmanJudy Jane Lottman, 67, entered into eternal rest on June 28, 2014 at her home surrounded by her family. She was born on January 21, 1947 in Sioux Falls, SD to Roy & Myrtle (Heasley) Kirbach. She grew up in Sioux Falls and graduated from Washington High School.

She married Eugene Lottman on March 17, 1972 at East Side Lutheran Church. Judy worked at Wal-Mart for 19 years in the maintenance department.

During her free time she was an active mentor at Hayward Elementary School and an active member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church. She loved to do ceramics, play bingo, bake pies and decorating cakes, and spending time with her family.

She is preceded in death by her husband Eugene Lottman and her parents Roy and Myrtle Kirbach.

She is survived by a son, Jason Lottman, Sioux Falls, a daughter Christy Lottman (Kevin Kidd), Sioux Falls; three grandchildren, Jordan, Preston and Parker; two step children, Shawn Lottman, Dell Rapids, Bobbie Lottman, Sioux Falls and five step-grandchildren, Hailey, Kira, Emma, Colin and Paige; sisters Donna (Pete) Taylor, Sioux Falls, Gloria (Pete) Moulton, Sioux Falls, Joyce (Doug) Lottman, Sioux Falls, brothers John (Milly) Kirbach, Sioux Falls, Arthur Junior Brown, Sioux Falls; sister-in-laws, Linda (Dale) Tracy, Wentworth, Judy (Sonny) Gebhardt, Sioux Falls, Gloria Haugse, Fergus Falls, MN; brother-in-laws, David Lottman, Sioux Falls, Terry (Charlotte) Lottman, Sioux Falls, Kenny (Jan) Lottman, Sioux Falls, Daryl Lottman, Thermopolis, WY and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will begin at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday July 2, 2014 at Heritage Funeral Home. Visitation with the family present will be from 5:00 to 7:00 pm Tuesday at the funeral home.