Rosemary Geraets

Geraets picRosemary Geraets, 94, of Dell Rapids passed away on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at Ava’s House in Sioux Falls. Her Mass of Christian Burial was  at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, August 3, 2018 in St. Mary Catholic Church, Dell Rapids. Interment will be in the St. Mary Cemetery. Casketbearers were her grandchildren. Visitation with the family present was from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.   The Christian Wake was at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 2, 2018 at Kahler Funeral Home. A family rosary will follow the wake.

Rosemary Schwebach was born on September 4, 1923 at Dell Rapids, SD, the daughter of John and Caroline Schwebach. She grew up in the Dell Rapids area and attended school at St. Mary Catholic School.  Rosemary worked as a nanny for many area families before moving to Denver.  She returned to Dell Rapids and married Ray Geraets on September 4, 1946 at St. Mary Catholic Church.  Once married, Rosemary and Ray made their home in Sioux Falls for five years before moving to a farm near Colman for 2 years.  Finally in 1958, they moved back to Dell Rapids.  Once back in Dell Rapids, she worked as a local waitress, in the hospital and nursing homes in town, and various other jobs.  Ray passed away in 2001. In her retirement Rosemary worked as a senior companion, a job she thoroughly enjoyed.  Rosemary was able to live on her own until her death.

Rosemary was a member of St. Mary Church and Altar Society, the American Legion Auxiliary, and the Moose Lodge in Sioux Falls.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband and several siblings.

She is survived by her children, Jackie (“Skip”) Tool of Dell Rapids, Mark (Darlene) Geraets of Custer, and Doug (Nancy) Geraets of Dell Rapids; her 8 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren; her brother, Jack Schwebach of Dell Rapids; her sisters, Barb (Vince) Ahlers of Plymouth, MN and Carolyn (Denny) Drew of Dell Rapids; her sister-in-law, Dee Salviola of Dell Rapids; her special friends, Bob and Judy Wittrock of Sioux Falls and her many nieces and nephews.

The family has requested that memorials be directed to St. Mary’s or the Ava’s House Hospice.


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Joel Stelzer

stelzer picJoel Stelzer, 62, passed away on Saturday, July 7, 2018 at his home in Sioux Falls SD. At his request, he did not want a funeral and we will be respecting his wishes.

Joel was born July 23, 1955 in Orange, CA, the son of Herbert and Beverly (Gerry) Stelzer. The family moved to Dell Rapids SD where he attended Dell Rapids High School until 1973. After high school, he began work for a water tower construction company and traveled throughout the Midwest and Southeast. You can see his handy-work in Baltic SD, Baxter MN, Pueblo CO, Paducah KY, Baton Rouge LA, Texas, Florida and South Carolina. He moved back to Dell Rapids and began work with LG Everist. He moved to Sioux Falls in 1980. While still employed with Everist, he attended Southeast Technical Institute and received his degree in HVAC/R in 1992. In 1996 he began work at Sanford Medical Center where he completed the Architectural Engineering/Construction Management program in 2002.

As a kid, Joel ran a trap-line along the Sioux River and checked it every morning before school. This love of the outdoors continued into adulthood with a passion for hunting, fishing and conservation. He went on many hunting trips for elk, antelope, deer and pheasant with his brother, Mark and/or friends Dan, Schulte and Cisco.

Joel is preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his daughter, Melissa (Clint) Schull of Piedmont; his grandchildren, Bryanna of Dell Rapids, Jade and Ethan both of Sioux Falls; his sister, Vicki Kennedy of Dell Rapids; his brothers, Mark (Kim) Stelzer of Jackson, WY and Dana Stelzer of Dell Rapids.

There will be a memorial to remember Joel in the next couple months with music, food and refreshments.


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Carol Park

park picCarol Park, 80, of Dell Rapids passed away on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at the Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls. Her Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 23, 2018 in St. Mary Catholic Church. Visitation on Friday, June 22, 2018 will begin at 4:00 p.m. in St. Mary Catholic Church. The family will be present from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. with a Christian Wake beginning at 7:00 p.m. followed by a rosary.

Carol Ann Park was born to Anne Mable Martin (Van Vooren) and John W. Martin at Hawarden Iowa on March 22, 1938.  In 1944 the family moved to Dell Rapids where Carol has lived since.  On September 6, 1952, Carol married Floyd (Tim) Park.  To them were born five children; Deb Allen (Richard), Floyd (JoAnn), Mike (Jeannine), Shon (deceased) and Leah Kistler (Stacey Jaacks).  Carol spent several years at home caring for the family before working as a cook for Saint Mary’s schools.  In 1976 Carol and Tim bought the Mobile gas station in Dell Rapids and converted it into T and C’s; one of the first convenience stores in the country.  Carol and Tim were natural business owners who loved people and loved to serve them.  A few years after opening T and C’s, Carol and Tim opened T and C’s Other Place on the other side of Dell Rapids.  Carol managed both businesses while Tim worked as a rural mail carrier.  In 2000, Carol and Tim sold the businesses to their son Mike who continues to operate them today.

Carol enjoyed spending time with family and friends.  She especially enjoyed having the family at home for holidays.  She was an avid reader, reading many books each year.  She enjoyed attending the school activities of her grand and great grand children and going to plays and concerts with her friends.  She loved attending the birthday and card clubs that she participated in for many years, and playing Mahjong with her friends.  Carol loved to watch the birds and grow flowers in her garden and she really enjoyed spoiling her dog Sandy.  She was, at times, a great practical joker; especially on April 1 of each year, at which time, her kids were always on their guard.  She looked forward to helping Mike at the station with the books on Fridays where she could connect with the customers again.  She also loved to cook for family and friends and enjoyed sharing homemade dishes with T and C’s customers on a routine basis.  Carol was a long time member of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church where she volunteered often to help where she could.  Carol was fun to be around and loved to be active; it was a joke that she was busier in retirement than when she worked.

She will be greatly missed by her family.  But we find great joy and peace in knowing she is with the Lord.  She is survived by Deb, Mike, Floyd and Leah; a sister-in-law, Mary Lou Brockberg of Pipestone MN; her nine grandchildren; Trevor, Holly, Ryan, Krista, Riley, Michaella, Gavin, Carson and Payton; ten great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.


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Byrne Crisp

ByrneCrispByrne M. Crisp, 93, of Sioux Falls, formerly of Dell Rapids, passed away on Saturday, June 9, 2018 at Dow Rummel Village in Sioux Falls. Her Memorial Service will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, June 22, 2018 in the Halladay-Peterson Chapel at Dow Rummel in Sioux Falls. Visitation will be one hour prior to the start of the service. A private inurnment will be in the Logan Reformed Cemetery, rural Dell Rapids.

Byrne Mercedes Haak was born on November 13, 1924 on a farm east of Dell Rapids, the daughter of Dick and Polly (Heeren) Haak. She grew up on the family farm and attended country school in the Logan Township. She graduated from Dell Rapids High School in 1943 and then attended General Beadle Teachers College. She taught for four years in the Logan Township. Byrne married Robert Crisp on June 7, 1947 in Sioux Falls. They made their home on a farm east of Dell Rapids. The couple retired in 1987 and moved into Dell Rapids in 2001.

Byrne was a member of the First Baptist Church in Sioux Falls, the Logan Extension Club and the American Legion Auxiliary. She enjoyed her 20 years singing with the Auxiliary Sextet, the Quarrytones. Byrne and Robert enjoyed traveling and visited all 50 states in the USA.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband and her brother, Clayton.

She is survived by her five children, Marsha Baldwin of Woodbridge, VA, Loren (Judy) Crisp of Sebring, FL, Ken (Debbie) Crisp of Baltic, Kevin Crisp of Dell Rapids and Candi (Brad) Grossenburg of Sioux Falls; her 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.


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Doris Sheppard

SheppardDoris obit photoDoris Elaine Sheppard, 92, passed away Friday, June 15, 2018 at United Living Community in Brookings.

Funeral services will begin at 11:00 AM Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at GracePoint Wesleyan Church in Brookings. Burial will be in Brookings Greenwood Cemetery.

Visitation with the family present will be from 5:00 to 7:00 PM Tuesday, June19, 2018 at Minnehaha Funeral Home in Dell Rapids.

Doris was born on December 19, 1925 to Seymour and Myrtle (Remme) Magness in Minneapolis, MN. She spent her childhood years in Colton, SD.

Doris married Donald Sheppard on May 29, 1942 in Luverne, MN. The newlyweds lived in Sioux Falls, where Don worked at John Morrell & Company and the young bride learned to cook. They later moved to Colton, SD where Doris clerked for years in the local grocery store, a job she loved because she could visit with and serve people. Doris was involved in Eastern Star and served as the youngest worthy matron of her Colton chapter.

After several moves, they located on a farm northwest of Flandreau, SD. In retirement, the couple moved to an acreage northeast of Trent, SD. She enjoyed attending Christian Women’s Connection and hosted many prayer coffees.  Doris’ special loves were following her grandchildren in their variety of activities, attending antique auctions, cooking for her family, hosting holidays and keeping her lawn neatly mowed. This Norwegian grandma was proud of her heritage and kept the traditions alive with making lefse and other Norwegian dishes.

Grateful for having shared her life are her three children, Sandra (Eddie) Carpenter of Jacksonville, IL, David (Cynthia) Sheppard of Egan, SD and Sonja VanHolland of Volga, SD; nine grandchildren, Devon Carpenter, Tyler Carpenter, Camber Carpenter, Brendan Sheppard, Charissa Covey, Justin Sheppard, Dillon, Mason and Gavin VanHolland and twelve great-grandchildren, Claire, Luke, Morgan, Rhegan, Quin, Charles, Marlowe, Campbell, Brody, Bailee, Boone and Menai.

Doris was preceded in death by her husband, Donald; parents and two brothers, Kenneth and Gordon Magness.

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Shirley Westergaard

Westergaard Shirley obit photo 2Shirley Irene Westergaard, 72, of Brandon passed away Monday, June 11, 2018 at Avera McKennan Hospital. Memorial services will begin at 1:00 PM Friday, June 15, 2018 at Faith United Church in Brandon. Burial will be in the Dell Rapids Cemetery.

Visitation with the family present will be from 5:00 to 7:00 PM Thursday, June 14, 2018 at Minnehaha Funeral Home in Dell Rapids.

Shirley Irene was born December 14, 1945. She was adopted to parents Arthur and Evelyn (Samuelson) Wahlberg. She was raised and educated in Minneapolis, MN, graduating from Roosevelt High School. She received her Master’s Degree in Music from the University of Minnesota.

Shirley married Duane Westergaard at Bethany Lutheran Church in Minneapolis in 1970. The couple met at church while attending college. They lived in Minneapolis, California, Sioux Falls and finally in Brandon. She was a devoted wife and mother.

Shirley was a well-known professional piano teacher and was loved by her students. She was a faithful servant of God her entire life. She also liked to travel, often stopping to see family and friends. She never got tired of sightseeing and trying out new restaurants. Shirley will always be missed and loved by all who knew her.

Grateful for having shared her life are her four adopted children, Lisa Diaz, Sioux Falls, Chad Westergaard, Brandon, Sara Young, Sioux Falls and Mark Westergaard, Sioux Falls; nine grandchildren; two great-grandchildren as well as many other relatives, friends and piano students. She was preceded in death by her husband, Duane; parents Arthur and Evelyn (Sammelson) Wahlberg and brother, Bruce Wahlberg.

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Bonnie Henry

Henry picBonnie L. Henry, 67, of Dell Rapids passed away on Friday, June 1, 2018 at the Dells Nursing and Rehab Center. Her Funeral Service is at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, June 4, 2018 in the Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids. Rev. Dr. Jeff Sorenson will officiate. Casketbearers are Gary Belfrage, Jerry Berg, Jim Berg, Casey Berg, Austin Henry and Jack Henry. Visitation is on Sunday, June 3, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the church with a time of sharing at 7:00 p.m. Funeral arrangements are under the care of Kahler Funeral Home.

Bonnie Berg was born on April 4, 1951 at Milbank, SD, the daughter of Stanley and Cecelia (Boyle) Berg. She grew up and attended elementary school at Stockholm, SD. She attended South Shore High School graduating in 1969. After high school she attended Dakota State College in Madison, SD. She married George Henry on July 29, 1972 at South Shore. The couple made their home in Parker, SD for two years before moving to Castlewood, SD for three years. In 1977 they moved to Dell Rapids, SD. Bonnie worked as the office manager for Dearduff Chevrolet until the business was sold. She then worked as a bookkeeper and office manager for Pfeifer Implement in Sioux Falls until her retirement in February of 2016. In May of 2016 Bonnie had a stroke. She became a resident of the Dells Nursing and Rehab Center in June of 2016.

Bonnie loved playing golf and cards with her many friends, reading, camping and spending time with her four grandchildren. In the past two years, Bonnie was incredibly tough and never lost her sense of humor. She was able to get out of the nursing home many times to attend grandkid events and to go home and to Nate and Tammy’s house which she enjoyed.

She is preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Mike.

Bonnie is survived by her husband of 45 years, George of Dell Rapids; her son, Nate and his wife, Tammy of Dell Rapids; her grandchildren, Austin, Jack, Maddie Jo and Ry Guy all of Dell Rapids; her three brothers, Jerry (Mary) Berg of Brookings, Jim (Sue) Berg of Stockholm and Casey Berg of Watertown.

The family wants to recognize the incredible staff at the Dells Nursing and Rehab Center for all of their loving care for Bon. It was deeply appreciated.

To honor Bonnie’s memory, the family ask that friends wear baseball jerseys or golf attire to the funeral on Monday.

The family asked that memorials be directed to the Dells Nursing and Rehab Center.


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Pastor Earl Johnson

johnson picPastor Earl D. Johnson, Dell Rapids, surrounded by his family, passed away late Thursday, May 24, 2018 at the Bethany Home in Brandon after a long battle with several illnesses.  Visitation is on Monday, May 28, 2018 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids. His Funeral Service is at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 in the Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids. Interment is in the Willow Creek Cemetery, rural Dell Rapids. Earl’s nephews and nieces will serve as his casket bearers. Pastor Eldon Thurow will officiate. Tim Schreck will play the organ. Funeral arrangements are under the care of Kahler Funeral Home.

Earl was born on July 18, 1940 on the family farm near Trimont, Minnesota, to Arne and Ragnal Johnson.  On the farm Earl lived with his parents, six siblings and a grandmother.  Early education was at Pleasant Hill #115 country school nearby, then to Truman High School, Truman, Minnesota in seventh grade.  He graduated in 1958.  For three years Earl farmed with his father, then decided on attending Concordia College, Moorhead.  It was there that the Spirit pushed and prodded and he went to Luther Seminary in St. Paul after his graduation from college, with plans on becoming a pastor.

In the meantime he met his “Beautiful Brown Eyes,” Linda Christensen from Forestburg, South Dakota.  They were married June 24, 1967 at Forestburg Lutheran Church.

After the first two years of seminary training, Earl was fortunate to serve his year of internship in a mission church at Royal City, Washington.  Returning to seminary, he graduated in 1970.  While studying, he also had a small house painting company, specializing in “big houses no one else wanted to paint.”  Linda taught elementary music in several schools during those years.

Earl’s first Call was to Trinity Lutheran, Fowler, Colorado, on the Arkansas River.  It was a terrific church for a rookie pastor.  While there Carl Arne and Elizabeth Rae were born in nearby Pueblo.  American Lutheran in Gothenberg, Nebraska was his second Call, as Associate Pastor, in 1975.  Two years later he was asked to start a mission congregation in LaSalle, Colorado.  Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran slowly grew, meeting in an old school band room.  Son Andrew Mark was born in nearby Greeley.

Ulcerated vocal cords cropped up, necessitating a move to a more humid climate.  In 1983 Earl accepted a Call as Associate Pastor in the Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids and rural Willow Creek Lutheran.  A year later he became Administrative Pastor.  Earl served in this position for the next eight years.  In 1985 he worked with three lay women from the community to organize the local Food Pantry.  He and three others met at Volga Lutheran in 1984 to work with the Family Farm Organizing Research Center from St. Paul.  After several meetings the grass roots movement Dakota Rural Action was formed.  He served several years as the first Director of the Dell Rapids Community Foundation, established in 1998.

In 1992 Earl resigned from LCDR due to worsening vocal problems.  After reconstructive surgery at the Mayo Clinic he was able to continue as pastor in 1994, serving Benton Lutheran, rural Crooks.  A merger with Willow Creek occurred in 2000.  Thus, he was installed at Willow twice!  Within a 30 mile radius Pastor Earl Johnson preached in 21 churches plus 12 more elsewhere in the state.  Some of these were interim churches he served upon “retirement” in 2005.

Grateful for sharing his life are his wife Linda, son Carl and Kathy – Tyler, Cole, Trevor of Sioux Falls, daughter Elizabeth of Dell Rapids, son Andrew and Becky – Noah, Gavin, Emma, Olivia of Tea, as well as his sisters and brothers, cousins, nieces and nephews.

Oh, and Earl had a hole-in-one.

Earl requested his memorials benefit the ELCA Disaster Aid for Refugees and also the building funds at both Lutheran Church in Dell Rapids and Willow Creek Lutheran.


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Richard Anderson

RichardAndersonObitRichard David Anderson, 83, of Dell Rapids, SD passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Thursday, May 17, 2018.

Visitation with the family present will be from 4:00 to 6:00 PM with a Prayer Service at 6:00 PM Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at Minnehaha Funeral Home in Dell Rapids.

David was born on April 22, 1935 in Yakima, Washington to Ernest and Katherine Anderson. He grew up in Dell Rapids, SD and graduated from Dell Rapids High School. He graduated Southern State Teachers College with a BS in secondary education in Springfield, SD. He was a Master Electrician and self employed for several years. He served our country as a Corporal in the US Army.

David was an intelligent and extraordinary thinker with a sharp whit and unique outlook on life. He was very creative and inventive. He loved working on projects and tinkering in his shop. His favorite activities were being in the outdoors hiking and camping in the great Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

He lived for the simple pleasures and the love of his children. He would always say how his children were the greatest joys of his life.

David is survived by his three children, Maria (Mark) Crisp of Dell Rapids,
SD, Kim (Todd) Dybedahl of Sioux Falls, SD and Steve Anderson of Renner, SD; nine grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; great-grandchild on the way; sisters, Barb (Dick) Trevithick, Colorado and Norma (Ken) Ferguson, Missouri and sister-in-law, Connie Huddleston Anderson, Virginia as well as numerous other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Michael and brother, Roger.

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Willis Neels

Neels, Willis obit photoWillis Lee Neels, 76, of Dell Rapids, SD passed away Saturday, May 5, 2018 at Avera Dougherty House Hospice in Sioux Falls. Funeral services will be at 10:30 AM Thursday, May 10, 2018 at Reformed Church in Dell Rapids. Burial will be in Logan Reformed Church Cemetery, rural Dell Rapids. Visitation with the family present will be from 5:00 to 7:00 PM Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at Minnehaha Funeral Home in Dell Rapids.

Willis, better known as Willie, was born on February 23, 1942 in Oskaloosa, Iowa to Leonard and Margaret (Stouwie) Neels. He grew up in Pella, Iowa. On June 10, 1960 Willis married Dorothy Poortinga in Otley, Iowa. In 1974 they moved to Sioux Falls, SD and later moving to Dell Rapids, SD in 2010.

He attended Pella Christian School until the 9th grade. He then went to work at Rolscreen in Pella, Iowa for a brief time until deciding to go into his lifelong profession of driving truck. His love for truck driving took him into different types of trucks. He was a bulk milk truck driver, over-the-road driver and hauled gas for Thermo Gas. The last 7 years as a local truck driver hauling wood to Larson’s in Brookings, SD. He was forced to quit driving truck in August of 2016 when he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

Willie was an avid bowler. He participated in many National bowling tournaments throughout the United States. Camping with his grandkids was the joy of his life. His love for camping took him and Dorothy on many excursions with them. In his younger years he was a softball fast pitcher. Willie was involved in church in many ways. One of his enjoyments was being a youth leader, for 5 years, which used his profession of truck driving to take 19 kids and sponsors to Rocky Mountain High church retreat.

Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Dorothy; daughter, Rhonda (Randy) Pierret; son, Ron Neels; daughter, Ronitta (Dennis) Sandahl; seven grandchildren, Regan (Brian) Anderson, Brandi (Jerod) Matthews, Chelsea Sandahl, Tricia Neels, Mark Pierret, Jessica Sandahl and Karisa Neels; five great-grandchildren, Jaydn Anderson, Mylie Anderson, Makenzie Anderson, Beckett Matthews and Elsie Pierret; sister, Loretta Thomas; brother, Roger Neels as well as nieces; nephews; relatives and friends. Willie was preceded in death by his parents.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials are directed to Prairie Cancer Center, Avera @ Home Hospice or Avera Dougherty House Hospice.

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