Susan Mattson

mattson cd picSusan Mattson, 71, of Trent passed away on Friday, August 10, 2018 at the Riverview Manor in Flandreau. Her funeral service will be held on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. in the Trent Baptist Church.  Visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday at Kahler Funeral Home, Dell Rapids.  The family will be present from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. with a Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m.

Susan LaCombe was born on February 14, 1947 at Minneapolis, MN, the daughter of David and Louise (Bayliss) LaCombe.  She grew up in Minneapolis and graduated in 1965 from West High School.  She married James Mattson on May 6, 1967 in Minneapolis.  The couple lived in many different locations and ended up living in Hamel, MN before finally moving to Sherman, SD.  While in Sherman, the couple divorced.  She then moved to Trent and worked at the EROS Data Center near Garretson for 33 years.  She retired on December 31, 2012.

Susan was a member of Trent Baptist Church and Trent Study Club.  She also served as the secretary of the Trent American Baptist Women.  She enjoyed many trips to Camp Judson in the Black Hills.

She is preceded in death by her parents and her brother David.

She is survived by her children, Brian Mattson of Sioux Falls, Jannelle Jacobs of Trent; her 5 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren; her sisters, Marie Ziebarth of Flandreau and Marilynn Steiner of Minnetonka, MN; and her sister-in-law, Connye LaCombe of St. Paul, MN.

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Helen Stansell

Stansell, Helen photoHelen Christine Stansell, 96, of Dell Rapids passed away peacefully at home Tuesday, July 31, 2018.

Funeral services will begin at 11:00 AM Saturday, August 4, 2018 at Willow Creek Lutheran Church, rural Dell Rapids. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 PM with a Prayer service at 7:00 PM Friday, August 3, 2018 at Minnehaha Funeral Home in Dell Rapids.

Helen Christine Odde Stansell was born December 22, 1921 to parents John and Minnie (Sundem) Odde on a farm east of Hartford, SD. She was baptized at First Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls and confirmed at the Willow Creek Lutheran Church. She attended Foster School until the fifth grade when the family moved to a farm west of Dell Rapids where she attended Hanson School and then graduated from the Lyons High School in 1939.

Helen married Vincent Stansell on August 10, 1942 in Seneca, Kansas. Following their wedding, they moved to San Antonio, Texas where Vincent was stationed in the Army at Lackland Air Force Base. San Antonio was their home for three years and she was employed at Quirk and Company, a general insurance agency. From there, they were transferred to Wilmington, Delaware for a short time.

In 1946, she and Vincent moved back to South Dakota to a farm west of Dell Rapids where they raised their three children. Vincent passed away November 24th, 1986.

Helen loved the farm, being outdoors, tending the flowers, mowing the lawn, etc, but most of all she loved her family and spending time with them was very important to her. She resided on the farm until 2011 when she had health issues and lived with Nancy and Lynn for six months. While there, her house on the farm burned and she lost everything. After regaining her health, she moved to an apartment in Dell Rapids where she lived out her remaining years.

Helen was an active member of the Willow Creek Church until her later years—taught Sunday school, co-chairman of a work group, member of WELCA, Naomi circle and the Quilters. She was an avid quilter and made a quilt for each grandchild and great grandchild as well as giving away many baby quilts to friends and relatives. She was also known as the “cookie grandma” -many of the family members were sent on their way with a plate or bag of cookies she had baked. Her door was always open to anyone for a cup of coffee and at least one cookie. No one ever left hungry from her house!

Helen was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Vincent; one brother, Harold Odde and three sisters, Ann Zubke, Ruth Elverson, Evelyn Sittig; special niece, Barbara Umbreit and special nephew, Douglas Sittig.

Left to cherish her memory are her three children, John (Anita) Stansell, Nancy (Lynn) Brehm and Roger Stansell (special friend, Connie Wernke); six grandchildren; Jocelyn (Jason) Patterson, Connie (Eric) Cameron, Michelle Stansell, Shane (Theresa) Brehm, Lacey (Jake) Jensen and Skyler Stansell (fiancée’ Keiana Koepp); twelve great-grandchildren, Layton Harvey, Jonathan “Jonny” Harvey, Alexavier “Alex” Cameron, Kellen Patterson, Ireland Patterson, Vincent “Vini” Camerson , Allana Creech, Piper Patterson, Enzo Cameron, Colter Jensen, Jax Patterson and Tenley Jensen. She is also survived by sister- in- law, Myrtle Odde; several nieces and nephews and special neighbor and “angel”, LeAnne Richeal.

A special thank you to the wonderful team from Compassionate Care Hospice that gave her such tender loving care during her last three months, especially to Amanda and Ashley.

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Mary Ann Molta

Molta picMary Ann Molta, 83, of Puyallup, WA, formerly of Dell Rapids, SD,  passed away on Monday, July 30, 2018 under hospice care.  Her Mass of Christian was at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 4, 2018. St. Mary Catholic Church in Dell Rapids. Interment will be in the St. Mary Cemetery, Dell Rapids. Funeral arrangements were under the care of Kahler Funeral Home.

Mary Ann Molta was born on September 6, 1934 at Dell Rapids, SD, the daughter of Joseph and Ruth Putnam. She moved with her family at age seven to Rawlins, WY. She graduated high school in 1952 and married Carmine Molta on June 4, 1952. She worked for the federal government and as a legal secretary retiring in 1985. In 1991 her and Carmine moved to Dell Rapids before moving closer to her daughter in Arlington Heights, IL. Carmine passed away in 2012. Mary Ann moved to Puyallup, WA and remained there until the time of her death.

She is survived by her son, Tom (Kathy) Molta of Bonney Lake, WA; her daughter, Ruth Ann (Bob) Perez of Bonney Lake, WA; her grandchildren, Mike (Jenny) Molta of Bonney Lake, WA and Stephanie Molta of Dallas, TX; her two great-grandchildren, Gabriel and Melanie and her brother, Joe (Peggy) Putnam of Grand Junction, CO.


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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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