Helen Raker

Helen RakerHelen Raker, Sioux Falls, SD, died January 9, 2017, at Sanford USD Medical Center. She was 95. Funeral Services were held on Monday, January 16. On-line condolences may be left at the Miller Funeral Home website.

Helen J. Raker was born October 29, 1921, to Emma and Joe Haverberg in Centerville, SD. She was second oldest of their six daughters. Helen attended Centerville Public Schools and graduated from Centerville High School in 1939. Active in the Scandia Lutheran Church youth programs and choir, she also played the piano and bassoon. After high school, she served an apprenticeship in a local beauty salon where she satisfied all requirements to become a licensed beautician. At this time, Helen met, fell in love with, and married Donald B. Raker of Brookings, SD. He was serving a one-year pharmacy internship in a Centerville pharmacy.   Helen married Don on June 6, 1943 and they made their home in Brookings, SD where Don finished his pharmacy education and began his career.

Two years later, Helen became a mother to Bob. In 1947 Don took a pharmacist’s job at Schirmer’s Pharmacy in Mitchell, S.D. While living in Mitchell, Helen gave birth to her second son Jim. In the opinion of friends, family, her sons and husband, Helen became an outstanding homemaker and a fantastic cook. In 1952 Helen and her family moved to Sioux Falls, SD when Don became a traveling pharmaceutical salesman. They joined and became involved in First Lutheran Church. She was deeply involved in mothering her two boys, by volunteering at school and by making sure the boys finished their homework and refereeing the boy’s squabbles.

Helen worked in various capacities for Norwest Bank from the late 60’s retiring in the mid 80’s. As they got closer to retirement, she and Don began making trips to Arizona to escape winters in SD. The trips began with a two-week stay in Sun City and finishing in 1999 as a 3-month trip. She took up golf and continued golfing not only in Arizona, but was active in ladies’ golf leagues in Sioux Falls well into her 80s. Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Don, in 2000. She is survived by her sister, Margaret Godsk; sons, Robert (and his wife, Karen) and James; grandchildren, Andrea Raker, Gretchen Black and Joel Raker; and great-grandsons, Drew, Colton and Greyson Black, and Mason and Axel Raker.

Dolores Docken

Dolores DockenWe are sad to report that the mother of Pastor Mark (Lois) Docken, the former Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids pastor, has passed away.  A private family service for Dolores Docken will be held at a later date.

Condolences may be sent to Pastor Mark Docken c/o Chatfield Lutheran Church, 304 Fillmore St. SE, Chatfield, MN 55923

Melvin George

Melvin George

Melvin R. George, 86, of Fairmont, MN passed away on Friday, January 13, 2017 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Care Center in Blue Earth. Burial will be Fri. morning, Jan. 20, at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery in Mpls. On-line condolences may be left at the Lakeview Funeral Home website.

Melvin Raymond George was born on March 16, 1930 in Dell Rapids, SD, the son of William and Clara (Mergen) George. Melvin attended the Chester School in South Dakota. On September 9, 1952 he entered the U.S. Army and served in the Infantry 2nd Division during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged on June 30, 1954 and returned to Dell Rapids. Melvin was united in marriage to Yvonne Mary Elsinger on April 4, 1956 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Dell Rapids. They started out in Dell Rapids and then moved to Coleman, SD, Franklin, SD before moving to Marshall, MN in 1965. They settled in Fairmont in 1997.  Melvin was a carpenter for 39 years.

Dolores McDonnell

Dolores McDonnellDolores Rita McDonnell, 86, of Dell Rapids passed away Saturday, January 14, 2017 at Golden Living Center in Madison, SD. Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11:00 AM Thursday, January 19, 2017 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Dell Rapids. Burial will be in the Trent Cemetery, Trent, SD. Visitation with the family present will be from 5:00 to7:00 PM with a Wake Service at 6:00 PM and praying of the Rosary at 7:00 PM Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at Minnehaha Funeral Home in Dell Rapids. On-line condolences may be left at the Minnehaha Funeral Home website.

Dolores was born on March 3, 1930, the oldest of seven children to Emil and Mary “Opal” (Davenport) Eisenbeis in Montrose, South Dakota. She grew up in Madison, SD and attended General Beadle Teacher College. It was at this time that Dee met the love of her life, Gerald McDonnell and married him on November 13, 1950. They were married 64 years. Dee took on the role of homemaker and mother as their family grew to include seven children. She and Jerry resided in several Midwestern towns as they raised their family: Madison, Rapid City, Denver, Fon du Lac, Hales Corners, Milwaukee, Huron, DeSmet and Dell Rapids. After moving to Dell Rapids in 1972, Dee began working outside the home. In retirement, she enjoyed volunteer work. She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

Grateful for having shared her life are her children, Kathleen Matthew of Spearfish, Gary (Susie) McDonnell of Algonquin, IL, Patricia Park of Wentworth, Karen (Ken) Rahn of Madison, Colleen (Mark) Jensen of Dell Rapids and Janine (Reed) Hoffmann of Dell Rapids; 22 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; sisters, Lola (Henry) Zwart and Joy Dixon and brother, John (Kathi) Eisenbeis.

She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; son, Michael McDonnell; sons-in-law, Rodney Park and Randy Tiesen; grandson, Kurtis Lee Matthew and three brothers, Hartzel, Lyle and David Eisenbeis.

As matriarch of a large family, Dee strived to include everyone fairly. It is in this spirit that her grandchildren will have the honor of being named as casketbearers at her funeral; Bill Matthew, Jon DeBoer, Ben DeBoer, Jerry McDonnell, Danny McDonnell, Katie McDonnell, Jimmy McDonnell, Aaron Park, Mandy Park, Scott Park, Rose Park, Kenny Rahn, Sarah Rahn, Cheri Westendorf, Lori Baum, Dawn Lowman, Bridget McDonnell, Jeremy Hoffmann, Shannon DenOuden, Desirae Lovik, Erich Hoffmann and Elias Hoffmann.

Kristine (Kris) Heeren

Kristine HeerenKristine Lynn Heeren went to her heavenly home on January 13, 2017 at the age of 54. In November of 2013, Kris was diagnosed with colon cancer. She valiantly lived the following three years through multiple treatment and surgeries. In December 2016 she moved into the Avera Dougherty Hospice House. 

In 1983, she spent a year traveling throughout the US and Canada with the NAB New Day Ministry. She served on the Discipleship team where she led seminars on outreach and evangelism. This is also where she met her future husband, Clayton, who was on the music team. This led her to South Dakota where she taught for two years as a 6th grade teacher at Dell Rapids Elementary School.

Kris and Clayton were married on August 20, 1988 at Trinity Baptist in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In 1989 they welcomed their first child, Chelsea, followed by Micah in 1991 and their “bonus” child, Savannah in 2000.

Kris was preceded in death by her mother, Judith in 1969 and her father, Herbert in 2016. She is survived by her husband Clayton, daughter Chelsea Redinger (Michael), son Micah (Anna Bartscher) and daughter Savannah; one granddaughter Ellis; brother Jeff Berndt and sister Julie Berndt; several extended family members, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 7:00 PM at Central Baptist Church in Sioux Falls on Tuesday, January 17. Visitation will begin at 3:00 PM and dinner will be served from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM. A time of fellowship and dessert will follow the Celebration of Life Service. A private interment will be held at Chancellor Baptist Cemetery. On-line condolences may be left at the Heritage Funeral Home website.

Memorials may be directed to the Good News Church Journey Scholarship Fund.

Kathryn Park

Kathryn ParkKathryn J. Park, 86, of Chester, passed away on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at Prince of Peace in Sioux Falls. Her Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 21, 2017 in St. Joseph the Workman Catholic Church, Huntimer. Visitation will be in St. Joseph the Workman Catholic Church on Friday, January 20, 2017 and will begin at 4:00 p.m. The family will be present from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. with the Christian Wake Service beginning at 7:00 p.m. On-line condolences may be left at the Kahler Funeral Home website.

Kathryn was born on March 16, 1930, the daughter of Seba and Jane (Young) Foy in Centerville, SD. She grew up on a farm near Centerville and graduated from Centerville High School in 1948. She worked at the telephone office in Sioux Falls until she married Henry Park Jr. The couple married on June 5, 1952 in Centerville. From there, they made their home near Chester where they devoted their life to raising their five children while farming.

She was a member of St. Joseph the Workman Catholic Church and Altar Society. She enjoyed the outdoors, spending her time gardening, fishing, camping, and traveling to almost every state including driving to Alaska, as well as to Europe. She enjoyed playing cards and bingo, painting and sketching, liked sharing jokes and had a special place in her heart for her dog, Rat. St Patrick’s Day was always a celebration, as her birthday was the day before and she was 100% Irish.

She is preceded in death by her son, Rodney; her three brothers, Phillip Foy, Robert Foy & James Foy; and two sisters, Vera Burns and Vivian Foy.

Kathryn is survived by her husband of 64 years, Henry Park Jr. of Chester; her sons, Randy (Pat) Park of Arlington and Tom (Janet) Park of Colton; her daughters, Lori (Mike) Paulson of Sioux Falls and Monica (Bob) Greenfield of Sioux Falls; her daughter-in-law, Pat Park of Wentworth; her 15 grandchildren: Aaron (Matthew Gaine) Park, Mandy Park, Jessica (Jafar) Karim, Jennifer (Patrick) Burke, Greg (Katie) Jones, Kari (David) Lavezzi, Kathryn Paulson, Garth (Danelle) Park, Christy (Tom) Bossman, Megan (Seth) Klentz, Scott Park, Jason (Mallory) Park, Ryan Park, Rose Park and Shannon Park; 19 great grandchildren and her sister-in-law, Eleanor Foy of Gull Lake, MN.

Stephenie (Wattier) Christensen

stephanie-wattier-christensenStephenie K. Christensen, 68, died Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at Sanford USD Medical Center. Her memorial service was held Monday, January 9. On-line condolences may be left at the George Boom Funeral Home website.

Survivors include her husband, Howard; 3 daughters, Mistie (Mike) Wehrkamp, Mandie (Gary) Tschetter and Dustie (Carlos) Christensen, all of Sioux Falls; 10 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren; her mother, Jewel Wattier, Sioux Falls; and 4 siblings, Charlotte Hanson, Sioux Falls, Jerry (Karen) Wattier, Pierre, SD, Ken (Donna) Wattier, Dell Rapids and Jim (Valerie) Wattier, Sioux Falls.

Irene (Larson) Fladmark

irene-fladmarkIrene Beverly Fladmark, 90, of Selinsgrove, passed away peacefully on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, at the Manor at Penn Village, Selinsgrove.

She was born Sept. 26, 1926, in Colton, S.D., a daughter of the late Lewis and Torbjor (Tveidt) Larson. On June 8, 1949, she married Kenneth Fladmark who survives. They celebrated 67 years of marriage.

Irene was a 1944 graduate of Colton High School and continued on to receive a bachelor of arts degree in music and secondary education in 1948 from Augustana College, Sioux Falls, S.D. Irene was a devoted wife and mother. She was an active member at First Lutheran Church and later at Sharon Lutheran Church, where she directed various choirs for many years. She loved music and was an accomplished singer and pianist. She was a member of SAI music sorority as well as a founding member of the Susquehanna Valley Chorale. She was also actively involved in volunteering for the Sunbury Hospital, SUN Home Health, and many other organizations. Irene enjoyed her family, reading, flower gardening, crossword puzzles, and entertaining.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by four children and their spouses, one sister, LaVonne Larson, of Dell Rapids, S.D.; and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Irene’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, alz.org. Arrangements are by the V.L. Seebold Funeral Home, 601 N. High St., Selinsgrove.

Brian Berg

brian-bergBrian Thomas Berg passed away on December 27, 2016 at his home in Sioux Falls, SD. A Rosary will be said at 6:45 pm Thursday December 29, followed by a scripture service at 7:00 pm at St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church. Mass of Christian Burial will be said at 10:30 am Friday at the church with burial to follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Dell Rapids. On-line condolences may be left at the Miller Funeral Home website.

He was born in Dell Rapids, SD to Donald O. Berg and Erma J. (Hansen) Berg on November 12, 1958. He grew up in Dell Rapids and attended St. Mary’s Catholic School until graduation in 1977.

Upon graduation he worked for Dell Rapids Coop Grain Elevator. He was united in marriage to Carol Lebintriet and they had 3 children, Jeff, Kayla, and Katelyn. He later managed the Canton Elevator before starting his own agronomy business. Brian and his family moved to Harrisburg. He worked for UPS and several construction companies. During this time he discovered a true love of carpentry and started his own construction company, N Drywall and Construction, LLC.

He married Constance Klinkhammer on April 12, 2012 and together ran N Drywall. He loved working alongside his wife and was very proud of the work they did together. The love was evident as he shared pictures and stories of their projects. He was an active member with the Remodelers Council and as a board member of Home Builders Association. He was awarded Builder of the Year in 2015.

Brian was very involved in his church. He was the treasurer of St. Vincent DePaul, chairman of the building committee at St. Katharine Drexel, a member of TOOLS (Teams of Our Lady), and a member of the knights of Columbus, 3rd degree.

Brian loved the outdoors and this showed through bow hunting, gardening, fishing trips to Canada, or working in the yard. Brian found a true love of cooking, discovering new recipes, and sharing them with family and friends. Brian was a true family man. He enjoyed the annual 4th of July cook off (initiated by him) with his family, showing his support of family members by attending their events and activities, and documenting those events by taking numerous pictures.

Those grateful for having shared in his life include his wife Constance Berg; his children, Jeff Berg, Minneapolis, Kayla Berg, of CA., Katelyn Hughes Rapid City, five step children Maggie (Todd) Grassel, Elk Point; Josh (Jennifer) Klinkhammer, Brookings; Ben (Kristen) Klinkhammer, Sioux Falls; Konrad (Tisha) Klinkhammer, Aberdeen Scotland; Levi (Amy) Klinkhammer, Brookings; mother Erma Berg, Dell Rapids; seven siblings Debra (James) Redder, Flandreau; Kevin (Julie) Berg, Littleton Co; Julie (Tim) Penning, Dell Rapids; Lisa (Reed) Froseth, Owatonna, MN; Jamie (Randy) Decker, Sioux Falls; Mark (Alice) Berg, Dell Rapids; Donna (Alan) Reit, Dell Rapids; three grandchildren, thirteen step grandchildren and many beloved nieces and nephews.

He was proceeded in death by his father, Donald Berg, nephew, Bob Redder, niece Chelse Berg.

Donald “Don” Gerdes

donald-gerdesDonald Lawrence Gerdes, age 77, died on Monday, December 26, 2016. Funeral services will begin at 10:00 AM on Friday, December 30, 2016 at George Boom Funeral Home in Sioux Falls, SD. Visitation will begin at 5:00 PM on Thursday at the funeral home with the family present to greet friends from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. On-line condolences may be left at the George Boom Funeral Home website.

Don was born on June 15, 1939 in Windom, MN to John and Ida (Kruse) Gerdes. In 1952 John and Ida made their home in Sioux Falls, SD, and it is here that Don was raised and received his education. Don worked for over 45 years making cardboard boxes and paper packing products in Sioux Falls, retiring in 2005.  

Don met his soul mate, Kathleen (Severson) Worm in 1974. The couple were united in marriage on July 5, 1980 in Baltic, SD. Don, Kathy and her two children, Timothy and Craig made their home in Sioux Falls.

Don was a people person who loved sharing stories and visiting with his family and friends. He was a loving husband, step-father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle and friend who will be deeply missed.  

Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Kathy Gerdes, Sioux Falls, SD; two step-sons: Timothy (Amber Fountain) Lambert and Craig (Lu Jean) Worm all of Dell Rapids, SD; five grandchildren: Jessica Lambert, Ashlee Lambert, Nicole Worm, Abby (fiancé, JP Palmlund) Worm and Taylor (Justin) Mommer; three great grandchildren: Savannah, Blake and Korbin; two brothers: Elmer (Viola) Gerdes of Brandon, SD; and Leon “Red” (Joanne) Gerdes of Sioux Falls, SD; two sisters: Marion (Jim) Bonnstetter of Sioux Falls, SD and Helen Friedrich of Colorado: beloved Shih-tzu, Mollie; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Donald is preceded in death by his parents, John and Ida Gerdes.