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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Margaret Joneson

joneson picMargaret M. Joneson, 88, of Dell Rapids, passed away on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s. Her funeral service will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, May 7, 2018 at Kahler Funeral Home. Interment will be in the Dell Rapids Cemetery. Visitation with the family present will be on Sunday, May 6, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

Margaret was born on June 17, 1929 to Herman and Mary Olson. She graduated from Dell Rapids High School and attended Nettleton College. She married Myron Joneson on January 19, 1951. They lived in San Diego and Honolulu while Myron served in the Marines. Upon his discharge, they came back to farm near Dell Rapids.

Many people will remember Margaret by her kitchen, not just the quality of food that was prepared in it but also by the quantity, serving family and friends, whether planned or drop ins, at any time of day. As the wife of a farmer who was active in the community, mealtime revolved around his schedule and yet she could make it seem like that was the plan all along. She had the gift of hospitality and a wide variety of people have been blessed by it.

After her own kids were grown, she started caring for young children of other families in the neighborhood. When grandsons Michael and Brooks came along, they often spent summers at Grandpa and Grandma’s and a new generation experienced the blessings of living in Margaret’s Kitchen.

She enjoyed traveling anywhere, especially to see family; bowling, until arthritis took the fun out of it; and playing cards with anyone that could hold a hand.

Grateful to God for having been blessed by her nurturing are her son, Mark and his wife, Linda; her daughter, Mary; her grandchildren, Michael, Brooks and Ali and her sister, Evelyn Pederson.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Myron, son, Mike, daughter-in-law, Roxene, son-in-law, Bud Purvis and an infant sister, Edith.


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Lorraine Posey

Posey picLorraine E. (Holien) Posey, 96, of Dell Rapids passed away on Monday, April 30, 2018 at her home. Her Memorial Service will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, May 4, 2018 in the Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids. Inurnment will be in the Bethania Cemetery, rural Trent. Visitation with the family present will be from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel Hall at the Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids.

Lorraine Edith (Holien) was born on October 19, 1921 in West Jasper, Minnesota, the daughter of Oscar and Ida (Holter) Holien. She was baptized in Jasper Lutheran Church of Jasper and confirmed at Bethania Lutheran Church in June of 1936. She grew up in rural Jasper and attended grade school at Hermanson District #40 in Moody County. She graduated from Jasper High School in 1940 and then worked at Jasper Telephone Company and also worked as a telephone operator in Tucson, Arizona and Pipestone, Minnesota.

Lorraine married Jerome Posey on July 12, 1949 at Jasper Lutheran Church. They worked as a farm couple near Sherman, Alpena, Canton, and Jasper, Minnesota and moved to Dell Rapids in March of 1963. She was a dietary aide at the Dell Rapids Hospital from 1963, retiring in 1998.

She was active as a member of the Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids and her ELCA circle/bible study, quilting group and church for 50 plus years. She was very active in American Legion Auxiliary serving as secretary for almost 40 years. She enjoyed her 20 years of singing with Auxiliary sextette, The Quarrytones and had many happy memories of their times together. They especially enjoyed their performance at Mount Rushmore during the SD Centennial in 1989. She was chosen District Legionette of the year in 1999. She and Jerome were editors of the American Legion Post #65 newsletter for 16 years.

Lorraine and Jerome enjoyed traveling to 6 or more of his E Company WWII army reunions and hosted 2 of these reunions in Sioux Falls. May of 2004 found them and daughter Jolene traveling to Washington DC for WWII memorial dedication. They also enjoyed wonderful trips to Alaska and Maine.

She and Jolene enjoyed 10 plus years as members of the Red Rockettes Red Hat Group and made many good memories with these ladies over the years. She normally had a hat on her head and received many comments about these hats.

She was a faithful Christian lady and encouraged her family to be involved in their community and church activities as they married and started having families of their own. Many family reunions were enjoyed and she was instrumental in reminding people of the date/time place every year.

The coffee pot was always on at her house. Norwegian treats were special and she and her brother “Bud” recently enjoyed their annual lutefisk and lefse meal at her home. She also enjoyed making Norwegian wedding cakes for special birthday celebrations. She enjoyed her public TV shows Lawrence Welk, Minnesota Twins and spent this past winter putting together puzzles. She was a 60 year cancer survivor and participated in the Relay for Life for many years.

She loved her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and always had a few pictures in her purse to show to anyone she visited or came to visit her.

Lorraine passed away on Monday, April 30 at the age of 96 years. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Jerome in March of 2014 and brothers Orvin, Art and Roy; sisters Idella, Dorothy and Ruth.

Lorraine is survived by one daughter, Jolene (Gaylon) Wehde of Crooks, SD, three sons, Burdette “Boone” (Cathleen) Posey of Bruce, SD, Olin (Lynette) Posey of Trent, SD and Mark (Karen) Posey of Titonka, IA, seven grandchildren; Sarah, Laura, Nathan, Justin, Adam, Austin, Brett; seventeen great-grandchildren Dylan, Blake, Alyson, Katrina, Tyson, Ryker, Peyton, Hayley, Ruby, Reagan, Truman, Asa, Paxton, Jemma, Anna, Evan, and Seth.


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Alan Brown

browna picAlan V. Brown, 72, of Chester, passed away on Monday, April 30, 2018 at the Sanford Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls. His Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 5, 2018 in St. Joseph the Workman Catholic Church at Huntimer. Visitation with the family present from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Friday, May 4, 2018 in the church. A rosary will follow. Interment is in the St. Joseph Cemetery.

Alan Vern Brown was born on February 22, 1946 at Madison, SD, the son of Vern and Ruth (Klassy) Brown. He grew up north of Madison and attended Downs Country School through the fifth grade before he moved with his family to a farm near Wentworth. Alan attended Chester Area School and graduated in 1964. After high school, he enlisted in the Army National Guard. He married Rita Klamm on June 1, 1968 at St. Joseph the Workman Catholic Church at Huntimer. They settled in the Chester area before moving to the farm in 1979. In 1992, the couple moved into their home in Chester.

Throughout his life, Alan worked for Lidel Construction, the Baltic Elevator, Gullickson and Dearduff Automotive, The Chester Farm Service, and Chester Hardware. In 1979, Alan started farming with his dad, Vern, until Vern passed away in 2010. Since then, Alan had farmed full-time while also doing custom farm work.

Alan was a member of St. Joseph the Workman Catholic Church in rural Colton, SD.

His passion in life was his wife of nearly 50 years, his daughters, and farming. He will be remembered for his love of a competitive card game, his big, welcoming smile, which helped him make friends with anyone, and his bias for John Deere Green. Alan was a true kid at heart, he adored his grandchildren and was often found playing hide-n-seek or schooling them in a good old game of thirty-one. He thoroughly enjoyed traveling with Rita to their grandchildren’s sporting events and activities, and rarely missed an event. Alan loved people, enjoyed talking about farming, and meeting his friends for breakfast and morning coffee; which was often followed by lunch.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Alan is survived by his wife, Rita of Chester; his daughters, MeLisa (James) Elijah of Lake Sinai and Shelly (Jon) Bacon of Lyons, NE; his four grandchildren, Haley Jo (Heath) Bacon, Aaron Elijah, Lexie Bacon, and Caleb Elijah; his brothers, Ivan (Sue) Brown of Yuma, AZ and Lynn (Charlotte) Brown of Sioux Falls; his sister, Jeannie Brown of Worthing, his extended family, and many, many friends.


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Duane Westergaard

WestergaardDunaeObitDuane Dale Westergaard, 84, of Brandon passed away Wednesday, April 25, 2018. Memorial services were held at 11:00 AM Monday, April 30, 2018 at Faith United Church in Brandon. Burial will be in the Dell Rapids Cemetery.

Visitation with the family present was from 3:00 to 5:00 PM followed by a prayer service at 5:00 PM Sunday, April 29, 2018 at Minnehaha Funeral Home in Dell Rapids.

Duane was born November 9, 1933 to parents Soren and Marthea (Estergaard) Westergaard at Egan, SD. He was raised and received his education in Jasper, MN. He and his family attended Bethania Lutheran Church, rural Trent, SD. Duane attended SDSU, then served in the US Marines from January 12, 1954 to June 18, 1955. After the service, he attended the University of Minnesota studying agriculture and horticulture.

Duane met Shirley Wahlberg at church while they both were attending college in Minneapolis. They were married in 1970 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. The couple resided in Minneapolis, California, Sioux Falls and finally in Brandon.

Duane worked in the agriculture and horticulture industry. He was employed by Champion Products for many years where his superiors said he was an excellent employee with many talents in all facets of his job.

Duane’s children were very much loved by him. He was always active in their lives. Duane was always involved in the church throughout his life. He enjoyed working on cars and equipment as well as watching and attending sporting events. Duane was and is truly loved and will be missed as a husband, father, grandfather and brother in Christ.

Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Shirley, Brandon; adopted children, Lisa Diaz, Sioux Falls, Chad Westergaard, Brandon, Sara Young, Sioux Falls and Mark Westergaard, Sioux Falls; nine grandchildren; three sisters and a brother.

Duane was preceded in death by his parents.

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Eric Zorr

zorr picEric Michael Zorr, 43, of Sioux Falls, SD, formerly of Austin, TX; Richmond, VA; and Dell Rapids, SD, passed away unexpectedly, Thursday, April 19, 2018, at his home of natural causes. His Memorial Service will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 in the Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids. Visitation with the family present will be from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at Kahler Funeral Home, Dell Rapids.  (

Eric was born November 13, 1974, in Minneapolis MN to Tom and Barb Zorr. He was a much loved and active child. During his early years, the family lived in Crystal and Long Lake, MN before settling in Dell Rapids in May of 1990. He graduated from Dell Rapids High School in 1993, where he was active in many school activities, particularly drama, art and journalism. He attended SDSU and Virginia Commonwealth University, majoring in art. Although he never completed his degree, Eric was a passionate and prolific artist for the rest of his life.

Eric found his calling serving his customers and his “regulars” as a bartender at many locations in each of the cities he lived in. Eric could talk to anyone about a wide variety of subjects, from alternative rock to jazz, sports to politics, and almost anything in-between. His varied tastes and experiences allowed him to connect to almost anyone from any walk of life.

He was beloved by his family, co-workers, and his many, many friends from around the country. He deeply adored his nieces and nephews, and spent a lot of time with his family, particularly his parents, since returning to the Sioux Falls area, after many years living in Austin, TX. His loss has left a void in the lives of those who knew him that can never be filled.

Eric was preceded in death by his sister Rhonda, brother Joseph, maternal grandfather (Joe Chancellor), and paternal grandparents (Ray and Marie Zorr).

He is survived by his parents, Tom and Barb Zorr of Dell Rapids; his brothers, Tim (Valerie) of Akron, IA, and Todd (Melanie) of Omaha, NE; his sister, Amanda (Scott) Plummer of Aberdeen, SD; four nieces, Mara, Jenny,  Olivia and Abby; four nephews, Marcus, Caiden, Jack and Asher; his grandmother, Blanche Quincey of Dell Rapids and countless friends and relatives who loved him.

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Jean Johnson

Jean E. Johnson, 92, of Dell Rapids, passed away on Monday, April 9, 2018. There will be no services at this time.

Jean is survived by her children, Jean Wallick, Ken Johnson and Joyce (Frank) Farinelli of Dell Rapids.

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