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Katherine June Gehrt Hamilton

Katherine June was born June 26, 1920, to A.N. (Bert) and Cassie (Davis) Gehrt at Rushville, Neb., and she went to Heaven January 7, 2012, at the age of 91.

Katherine was raised on a farm just southwest of Rushville, along with her brother Albert and two sisters, Sylvia and Lotus. She attended a rural school south of Rushville through the 8th grade. She then attended Rushville High School graduating in 1937. She also attended Chadron State College getting her certificate to teach in rural schools. She married Leonard (Lee) Hamilton from Ellsworth, Neb. area in 1939. To this union 3 children were born, Sonja, Wendell and Caroline (Ginger).

She later taught in several rural schools in the area. She went on to teach elementary school at Pine Ridge, SD and for many years taught elementary grades at Batesland, SD, all the time furthering her education. She received her BA Degree from Chadron State College and went on to receive her Masters Degree from Black Hills State University at Spearfish, SD. She was a recipient of many teaching awards.

Katherine was a lady with a big heart. Her little home was open to anyone and everyone and there was never a shortage of guests at her house. There was always a meal on the table and she could whip up a banquet in an hour. Her hospitality was enjoyed by countless friends, relatives, teachers and kids. At canning time, her kitchen was a real busy place. She cooked constantly and was always taking food to shut-ins and elderly and those without means. She was constantly making afghans and stitchery’s for everyone and her hands were never idle.

Her motto was to never see her students or anyone without mittens or coats. She was always concerned about her nieces and nephews happiness and welfare. She was a mentor to many young teachers and students over the years.

She was a member of the Rushville Legion Auxiliary, Sheridan County RSVP, the Gordon Historical Society, and enjoyed many years as a member of her card club and also her faithful Bible Study Groups.

She was totally loved and admired by her children, grandchildren and extended family. She succeeded in keeping all her children and extended family very close knit. Dozens of family Christmases and other holidays were enjoyed at her home by all.

In her later years, she suffered many illnesses and decided to go into assisted living at Hay Springs, and later to the Countryside Care at Gordon where she resided until her passing.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Albert, sisters Sylvia and Lotus, and grandson-in-law Dave Dougherty.

Katherine is survived by her 3 children, Sonja (Chub) Wilcox Hot Springs, SD, Wendell (Monica) Hamilton Ft. Collins, Colo., and Caroline (LeRoy) Watson Gordon, 6 grandchildren, Marty (fiance’ Diane Byrd) Wilcox Rapid City, SD, Sheree’ Wilcox Clift (Tony) Rushville, Stacey Watson Kline (Tim) Gering, Jamie Watson Gordon, Gabrielle Hamilton Murdock, New York, Louise Letner, Ft. Collins, 6 great grandchildren, Winston (Kristyn) Wilcox Struthers, Ohio, Spencer Wilcox Sioux Falls, SD, Madison Wilcox Hamilton (Alex) Omaha, Rheaven Clift Rapid City, SD, Sheldon Clift Rushville, Jaima Watson McCook, Neb. – 6 great-great grandchildren, Brynna, Adelyn, Braden and Trezden Wilcox, Audriana Hamilton and Jairet Clift and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be Thursday January 12, 2012, 10 a.m. at the Wesleyan Gospel Chapel with Pastor Jason Hurd officiating. Burial will be held in Fairview Cemetery, Rushville, Nebraska.

A memorial has been established for the Gordon Countryside Care or to the Wesleyan Gospel Chapel and donations may be sent to: Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366 Gordon, NE 69343.


Mary Lou Roberts

The community of Gordon suffered a tragic loss on Tuesday, January 10, when Mary Lou Roberts was struck and killed while doing something she cherished: shopping and visiting the businesses up and down her beloved town’s Main Street. Although the shock and heartbreak is still fresh, she would want us all to smile while thinking of the last conversation we had with her and be happy in the knowledge that she left the world with no regrets and is at peace.

Mary Lou was born May 26, 1929, in Chadron to Herbert A. and Mary “Mayme” E. Manning. She attended schools in Chadron and graduated from high school in 1946. During her high school years, she was a majorette, and had many, many friends, several of whom she counted among her closest friends until the day she died. She attended Chadron State College for 2 years before moving with her parents to Alliance, where she took a job at the telephone office. During that time, she met Wendell Holthus and married him on September 25, 1949. Three years later, in 1952, Wendell and Mary Lou gave birth to their daughter, Wendelyn (Wendy), and moved to Gordon, where Wendell opened the Dodd Debolt Implement Dealership. The young couple welcomed their son, Rolland Scott (Scott), to their family in 1955, and a few years later built a home on East 9th Street. When Wendell passed away in 1960, Mary Lou began her work career and supported her young family until 1964 when she married Jack Roberts and moved to the Roberts farm east of Gordon.

Mary Lou loved to work and continued to work in town while taking on the role of farm wife and mother. Mary Lou’s many employers included La Favorite Dress Shop, Waldo Texaco, Gordon Sale Barn, Saults and Son, Western Auto, Purdy’s Studio, Gordon Journal, her son Scott’s Jack and Jill Grocery Store, and Hinns Clothing. She continued her friendships and relationships with all her employers and the people she served throughout her life. After Jack suffered a stroke, they moved into town and Mary Lou devoted her life to caring for Jack. When Jack died in 2006, she turned her energies to her Church, the Library, Book Club, volunteering for the blood drive and supporting her many friends, children, and grandchildren. She was a fixture in the Grace Lutheran Church, where she helped provide food for so many funeral services that she famously told her fellow members of the Lutheran Women’s Guild that she wanted everyone to bring a sack lunch to hers. They accommodated her request by decorating the tables at her funeral lunch with True Value paper sacks – she would have loved that.

She was in great shape and in addition to working out at The Fitness Place, she could be seen walking all over town with her dog, Joe, who she adored and liked to say was almost cured of biting her friends and family. Mary Lou is survived by her daughter, Wendy Jacobson, husband Jared and their son Erik of Gordon; son Scott and wife Shannon Smith, of Boulder, Colorado; grandson Kyle Holthus of New York City, granddaughter Alison and her husband Terry Kishiyama and their son Kaion of Lyons, Colorado; and brother-in-law Bud Roberts of Gordon; along with the many, many friends and relatives throughout the community and region who will miss her smile, sunny spirit, and friendly “How ‘ya doin, kiddo?” Services were held on Friday, January 13 at Grace Lutheran Church with Reverend Richard C. Mueller officiating. Pallbearers were Kyle Holthus, Terry Kishiyama, Dan Brennan, Tom Evans, Zane Smith, and Harlen Wheeler. Interment was at the Gordon Cemetery. A memorial has been established for the Gordon Public Library, Gordon Memorial Hospital, or the Grace Lutheran Church and donations may be sent to: Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366, Gordon, NE 69343.


Dollie Pauline Novotny McDaniel

Dollie McDaniel of Redmond, Oregon, died January 10, 2012, at the age of 89. She was born August 8, 1922, to Amil and Opal (Gillam) Novotny in Hay Springs, Nebraska. Dollie attended school and worked on the family farm in Nebraska. She and Luke Caffro moved to Oregon in 1948. She married George McDaniel after her first husband, Luke, died in 1970. She held a few jobs, but was a devoted homemaker. Dollie loved to knit until her hands gave out; most everyone in the family has something she knitted. Dollie was preceded in death by her husband, George in 1974, and a son, Donald Caffro in 2011. She is survived by a son, James Caffro and Donald’s widow, daughter-in-law, Linda Caffro; grandchildren, Corrina, Donna, Louis, Marty, Mark, Robert and Kay; great-grandchildren, Aaron, Hunter, Faith, Jadon, Christena, Brian, Dakota, Bobby, Noelle, Cody, Garrett, Evan and Olivia.

There will be a graveside service Friday, January 20, 2012, at 1 p.m., at Redmond Memorial Cemetery. Please sign her guestbook at


Norma Jean Johnson

Norma Jean (Davis) Johnson was born on March 30, 1936, to William and Lulu (Spindler) Perreten in Rushville, Nebraska. She grew up in the town of Rushville, where her mother had owned and operated the Perreten Nursing Home. She graduated from Rushville High School in 1954.

On February 12, 1956, Norma married Robert Davis. They made their home on the family’s farm North of Rushville. To this union six children were born. Robert, Ronda, Robin, Ricky, Rebecca and Rayann.

She later married Stan Johnson, and the couple ranched in Shannon County, South Dakota. Norma enjoyed gardening, bowling, playing softball and singing in the Methodist Church Choir.

In 1988, Norma moved to Taylor, Nebraska where her son resided. She worked at various jobs and was the caretaker for her children. She enjoyed visits with family, friends and watching sports on T.V., particularly baseball and the Braves. Bowling continued to be a sport that Norma enjoyed participating in. One of her greatest accomplishments was bowling a 700+ series.

Her survivors include: children Robin (Rod) Sones of Rushville, Nebraska and Rayann (Shawn) Hanks of Ainsworth, Nebraska; ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; three sisters: Hazel Musfelt of Bridgeport, Nebraska, Margaret Voss of Choteau, Montana and Betty Voss of Ogallala, Nebraska; a brother-in-law, Bill Musfelt of Hay Springs, Nebraska; and a sister-in-law Darlene Perreten of Alliance, Nebraska.

Norma was preceded in death by her parents, William and Lulu; first husband Robert; four children: Ricky Davis as an infant, Robert Davis, Ronda Ronnfeldt and Rebecca Graham; three sisters, Helen Moss, Ruth Musfelt and Laverna Huckins/Cleveland; and a brother William Perreten.

Funeral services were held January 5, 2012, at Hitchcock Funeral Home in Burwell, Nebraska with Pastor Dennis Davenport officiating. Norma’s wish was to be cremated. She will be buried at the Fairview Cemetery in Rushville, Nebraska, along side her children at a later date. Memorials may be sent to the family.


Martin Gene Stava

Martin Gene Stava was born on September 2, 1925, at Rushville, Nebraska, to Martin and Beatrice Michaelson Stava. He was baptized as an infant and confirmed as a youth at the Presbyterian Church at Rushville. He was also confirmed at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, in Rushville.

Gene attended grade school in District 14 and graduated from Rushville High School in 1942. He entered the United States Army November 16, 1945, and served eight months in Japan. He was discharged February 5, 1947. Gene was very proud of his military service and was a true patriot.

Gene was married to Mildred Schaer on June 17, 1951. They were engaged in farming and ranching eight miles northwest of Rushville on the home place which was homesteaded by his grandfather. This is where they raised their three children, Diane, Barbara, and Frank.

Gene and Mildred both liked to travel and enjoyed many nice trips together.

Gene was a member of the VFW and the American Legion Post 161, where he served as Commander and also as County Commander. Gene was a member of National and Nebraska Stockgrowers and a member of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Gene loved the prairie and one of his pleasures was driving the pastures to check on his cattle and windmills.

He was preceded in death by his father in 1967, his mother in 1990, his brother Jack in 1991, and his sister Ardis in 2008.

He is survived by his wife Mildred; two daughters Diane (Steve) and Barbara; son Frank; brother-in-law Olin Webb; grandchildren Thea, Kirk, Aric, and Katy; and great-grandchildren Rylee, Emma, Autumn, Eli, Jack, Will, and Hayden; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation was held on Sunday, January 22, 2012, at 5-7 PM at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rushville, Nebraska. Services were held at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rushville, Nebraska, on Monday, January 23, 2012, at 1 PM.

Burial was at the Fairview Cemetery, Rushville, Nebraska, with full military rites, honors, and honor guards.

Chamberlain Pier Funeral Home of Gordon is in charge of arrangments.


Christine Elizabeth Thayer Auker

Christine Elizabeth Thayer Auker, 93, died Sunday morning, Jan. 22, 2012, at the Rapid City Regional Hospital Auxiliary Hospice House.

Christine Elizabeth Sears was delivered by her grandmother, Amanda Fredericka Teede Sanders, on July 27, 1918, near Irwin, Cherry County, Neb.

She was the third child of William Sears, Jr. and Anna Elizabeth Sanders Sears, and was welcomed by a sister, Florine, and a brother, Gene. Grandmother Amanda was a local Sandhills midwife who delivered many of her own grandchildren, as well as a neighbor boy, Harvey Thayer, who later married Christine.

Her mother became ill and died when Christine was 3 months old. Her grandparents took the children home and raised them. Christine told about a time when her father came and wanted to take the children to live with him. She remembered crying and hiding behind her grandmother’s apron. The children had such a crying fit that they stayed with the grandparents.

They were raised doing what country kids do. They milked cows, gathered eggs, gardened, help cook and clean, put up hay, took care of the livestock, and walked or rode their horses to the country school. They were blessed to have a host of loving aunties, uncles and cousins to grow up among. Christine loved music at an early age. She was fascinated with the piano and learned to play. She also sang in the Church of God choir and participated in youth group while attending Gordon High School, where she graduated with the class of 1937.

On Thursday, March 3, 1938, Christine Sears and Harvey Thayer were united in marriage by a Methodist minister in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Harvey had been working at the Ford factory in Flint, Mich., for two years. The couple made their first home in Northville, Mich., until the Ford plant closed down due to World War II. They moved back to Clinton, Neb., and lived with Harvey’s folks, Pearl and Alvin, about a year before renting land some 25 miles south of Merriman, Neb., on the Trogen place. They later moved to the Downing place southeast of Gordon, and daughter Paula was born May 22, 1944, in Gordon. The family then moved to Wood Lake, Neb., and daughter Linda was born in Gordon on Oct. 5, 1945. They lived at Wood Lake until Harvey’s father, Alvin Thayer, died in a tractor accident, after which the family moved to the Thayer ranch on the Niobrara River.

In 1948, Ben and Amanda Sanders sold the 160-acre farmland that joined the Thayer ranch to Harvey and Christine, who made their home there until the decision was made to send the girls to school in Merriman, Neb. They purchased the Lloyd Jones house in Merriman, where Harvey worked for Lessert Hardware delivering propane and installing television sets. In the 1960s they purchased the franchise to the Standard Filling Station in Merriman, while continuing to ranch on the family land.

Christine wasn’t one to stay home alone. She enjoyed being a member of the Rebekah Lodge and Extension Club, and participating in 4-H, square dancing and bowling. She purchased a new Lowery organ and took music lessons. She took a job as a telephone operator. When a position as a postal clerk became available, she was hired and worked in the Merriman Post Office. In 1968, the family moved to Kyle, S.D., where Christine worked in the Kyle Post Office, and after a move to Manderson, S.D., she was named Postmaster of the Manderson Post Office on Dec. 17, 1978. Collecting first-issue stamps became an interesting hobby. Christine retired from the postal service May 1, 1984, after 24 years of service.

Christine and Harvey celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary March 3, 1988. They retired from ranching in Manderson, S.D., after moving to Gordon, Neb., in 1994. Harvey died Dec. 23, 1994, after a battle with cancer.

On Sept. 2, 1995, Christine married an old friend, Jim Auker, who had recently lost his wife of more than 50 years. They lived in Kent, Wash., for about 13 years. After Jim’s death on Sept. 18, 2008, Christine felt it was time to come back to her family. She moved to Rapid City, S.D., and lived at the Somerset Court Retirement & Assisted Living Community until moving to Fairmont Grand Regional Senior Care in 2011.

Christine is survived by her daughters, Paula (Danny) Geersen of Martin, S.D., and Linda (Robert) Soderlin of Newell, S.D.; eight grandchildren, Calvin (Karen) Geersen of Martin, Marvin (Karla) Geersen of Rapid City, Holly Geersen of Aurora, Colo., Christy (Louis) Norris of Ewa Beach, Hawaii, Brent (Christine) Soderlin of Littleton, Colo., Felicia (Quinton) Vavra of Gillette, Wyo., Ryan (Barbara) Soderlin of Rapid City, and Stacia Soderlin of Sioux City, Iowa; 14 great-grandchildren, Cody Geersen, Amanda Geersen, Brittany Geersen, Cassidy Geersen, Darcy Geersen, Stephanie Wisner, Chrystel Fiaseu, Kyle Wells, Nicole Vavra, Katelynd Vavra, Jacob Soderlin, Jason Soderlin, Caroline Soderlin and Clara Soderlin; and four great-great grandchildren, Aden Wisner, Roman Fiaseu, Alexis Fiaseu and Dawson Cerkan.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Anna Elizabeth Sanders Sears; her father, William Sears of Payette, Idaho; her sister, Florine (Wally) Cole of Englewood, Colo.; her brother, Gene Sears, of Payette, Idaho; three half brothers, Billy Sears, Jess Sears and Rox Sears; and two nieces, Sharon Sears and Diane Sears.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 27, at Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home in Gordon. Burial will be at the Gordon Cemetery.

An online guestbook is available at


Virginia Jane Cozad Gardiner

Virginia Jane Cozad Gardiner was born at home in Martin, South Dakota, on February 5, 1924, to James and Vinetta Cozad. She died peacefully at Morningstar Assisted Living in Rapid City, on January 22, 2012.

She attended school in Martin, graduated from Bennett County High School in 1941, and attended South Dakota State College Nursing School in Brookings for one semester. During World War II, she worked at the U.S. Navy Department Bureau of Ships in Washington, D.C. for one year, and returned to marry Sgt. James Ray Gardiner on February 16, 1943, in Gordon. They lived in Manhattan, Kansas for a few months, then she returned to Martin to live while Ray served in Europe during World War II. Their son James Carl was born in 1943. In 1945 Ray returned from Europe and they ranched north of Merriman for six years. Their daughter, RaeJean Virginia, was born in 1950. The next year they bought a ranch in Lacreek Valley southeast of Martin, and lived there for more than 50 years.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law James and Cindy Gardiner of Rapid City; daughter and son-in-law RaeJean and Mark Riesenberger of Sunnyvale, California; three grandsons, Daniel and Hazavet Reglado Morales Gardiner of Zihuatanejo, Mexico; Jeremy and Lucinda Gardiner of Rapid City; and Adam Gardiner of Brooklyn, New York; three great-grandsons Garret, Camren and Zachery Gardiner; three great-granddaughters Katelyn McGhan, Cindy Gardiner Reglado, and Allison Gardiner Reglado; one sister-in-law Opal Homersham; cousin Fred and Luella Cozad, nieces Patty Davidson, Peggy and Charles Harris, Kathleen Henos, Carolyn Robbins, Robin and Jon Lyons, Gwen and Brad Miller, Charlene Palmer, Leah Hamm, Marilyn and Jim Panza; and nephews Peter and Betty Mesteth Boyer, Joe Shebal, Carl Ireland, Donald and Sandy Drobny, Ronald and Linda Drobny, and Kenneth and Maureen Homersham.

She was preceeded in death by her parents, sisters Laverne, Louise, and Bonnie; niece Barbara Shebal and her beloved husband James Ray.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday January 27, 2012, at the First Presbyterian Church in Martin, and burial will take place immediately afterward in the Martin Cemetery.

A memorial has been established for the Cornerstone Rescue Mission in Rapid City and donations may be sent to Security First Bank, PO Box 669, Martin, SD 57551.

Bennett County Funeral Service was in charge of arrangements.


Lyle Edward Eaton

Lyle Edward Eaton of Alpharetta, Ga. died at age 65 on Sunday, January 8, 2012 in Ogallala, Neb., while there to attend his mother’s funeral. Memorial services for Lyle were held at 11:00 a.m., Sunday, January 15, at the Southcare Cremation Society and Memorial Center in Alpharetta, Ga.

Lyle was born January 12, 1946 in Rushville, Neb., the son of Albert (Abe) and Ruth (Olds) Eaton. He grew up on a farm outside of Rushville, where he attended a one-room country grade school and graduated from Rushville High School in 1964.

Shortly after graduation he married Kathryn Gottier. From this union 2 children were born, Lori in 1964 and Lance in 1966. Lyle and Kathy moved to Omaha, Neb. where he attended an IBM computer school. Shortly after Lyle completed his schooling they moved to San Jose, Calif. where he was hired by the First National Bank of San Jose, which later became the Bank of the West. He worked there until 1976. Lyle and Kathy divorced in 1976 and Lyle moved to Fremont, Calif. He worked for PLM in downtown San Francisco. Lyle loved working in the city. Here he became an avid San Francisco 49rs fan.

Although Lyle loved San Francisco and city excitement, he tired of his work and left PLM in l984. He soon took a job with an auto auction in Fremont, Calif. where he met Joan Friesen. He and Joan moved to the Chicagoland area of Ill. in 1985 where his sister lived. Lyle and Joan were married in 1986.

In Ill. Lyle was employed by Unisys and was later transferred to Ga. He and wife, Joan with her son, Tony moved to Alpharetta. He worked for Unisys until his early retirement in 2005. Lyle needed something to do, and found a job with a wonderful company, Mohawk Industries. He loved the company and working with the people there. He was employed by them at the time of his death.

Lyle was passionate about all sports, particularly football and his beloved San Francisco 49rs. He had a life-long love of motorcycles, his last one a big blue Harley Davidson. He and Joan together made several trips on the Harley around Ga., Fla. and S.C. They enjoyed those trips tremendously. Lyle became ill in 2009 and soon was unable to ride his Harley, but he kept it in the garage where he would gaze on it and dream of all the trips he would have liked to have taken with it. He also enjoyed working in his beautiful yard which, because of his efforts, became the envy of the neighborhood.

Lyle is survived by his wife, Joan, of Alpharetta, Ga., daughter, Lori, of Tracy, Calif., son, Lance (Diana) of Manteca, Calif., sister, Margaret (Whitey) Cutkosky of Ogallala, Neb., step daughter, Tammy Silvey and step son Tony Friesen both of Alpharetta Ga., 4 grandchildren, 6 step grandchildren, several aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends.


Leo "Bud" Lawrence

Leo “Bud” Lawrence, Sr., 84, of Porcupine, died Sunday, December 4, 2011 at the Hot Springs Veterans Administration Hospital.

Among survivors, is his wife, Virginia Lawrence, Porcupine, S.D.; two sons: Leo Lawrence, Jr. of Buhle, Idaho; Paul Lawrence, Phoenix, Ariz.; step-son, Vernal Wright of Mt Airy, Md.; two daughters: Caroline Lawrence, of Hot Springs, S.D. and Loretta Dye of Harrisburg, Neb.; step-daughters, Linda Herzburg of Lawrence, Kan. and Liz Gogue of Sioux Falls, S.D.; 26 grandchildren, 29 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren.

A visitation was held Thursday, December 8 at Edstrom & Rooks Funeral Service Chapel of Tranquility, with a Christian prayer service. Funeral services were held Friday at Edstrom & Rooks Funeral Chapel, with the Rev. Claude Vershure officiating. Internment with military rites was at Pine Lawn Memorial Park in Rapid City, S.D.

Funeral services were in the care of Edstrom & Rooks Funeral Service at Serenity Springs of Rapid City.

Friends may sign his online guest register and offer condolences at,


Greta Eliese Rich

Greta Eliese Rich

Greta Eliese Rich, 79, of Sumner, Iowa, died Saturday morning, December 10, 2011, at the Hillcrest Home in Sumner of natural causes.

Greta was born on October 20, 1932, at home in rural Hay Springs, Nebraska, the daughter of Fritz and Nannie (Peterson) Diers. She was baptized on November 13, 1932 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Rushville Nebraska and confirmed on Palm Sunday 1946, at St. Peter Lutheran Grove Hill. Greta attended grade school in Wisconsin until 1944, when her family moved to Iowa. She continued her schooling at Franklin #1, rural Sumner, and graduated in 1950 from the Oran High School. Greta then attended Wartburg College in Waverly, graduating in 1952, where she received her two year teaching degree. She taught grade school in LaPorte City, Oran, Readlyn, Tripoli and Sumner. On June 18, 1953, Greta was united in marriage to John (Jack) Rich at St. Peter Lutheran Church at Grove Hill rural Sumner. In 1984, she finished her education at Wartburg, receiving her B.A. in Education. Greta taught school for over forty years, and then worked for AEA, retiring in 1999. On August 28, 2006, Greta became a resident of the Hillcrest Home in Sumner, where she has made her home for the past years.

Greta was a faithful member of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Oran, where she was active in many church activities, especially teaching Sunday school and singing in the church choir. In her spare time she enjoyed gardening, music, and sports. She coached girl’s basketball and softball at St. Paul’s Lutheran School – winning several championships. But most of all Greta loved spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.

Greta is survived by her loving husband of over 58 years, John Rich of Sumner, Iowa, her three sons and their wives, John (Barbara) Rich Jr., of Sumner, Gilbert (Deb) Rich of Sumner, Martin (Lori) Rich of Jesup; eleven grandchildren; six great grandchildren; two brothers, Julius (Erna) Diers of Sumner, Gerhard (Ruth) Diers of Cedar Rapids; one sister, Barbara (Frank) Welch of Phoenix, Arizona; and a step-brother, George Herbner. Greta was preceded in death by her parents; her step-mother, Gertrude; a son, Carlton Rich; a grandson, Brandon Rich; a sister, Hildegard Jesse; and two step-brothers, David and Gerald Herbner.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, December 19, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Oran, with Pastor Sandra Burroughs officiating. Burial will be in St. Peter Lutheran Cemetery, Oran. Public visitation will be held on Sunday, December 18th from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Kaiser-Corson Funeral Home in Readlyn and also for an hour prior to services on Monday, December 19th at the church. Memorials may be directed to St. Peter Lutheran Church – Oran, Hillcrest Home in Sumner or the Cedar Valley Hospice. Online condolences for Greta’s family may be left at www. Kaiser-Corson Funeral Home in Readlyn is assisting the family. 319-279-3551.


James Earl Reid

James Earl Reid, 94, of Hulett, Wyo., died Tuesday, December 6 at the Weston County Medical Hospital.

James was born November 29, 1917, in Rushville Neb. to Edwin and Olive Reid. At the age of 2 weeks, his mother Olive passed away due to influenza. Edwin Reid married Clara Barth shortly afterward, and James grew up knowing Clara as his mother with the utmost admiration for her. He spoke of days of hard work and hard times on the family farm outside of Rushville, Neb. He attended the Sheridan County Public School, Rushville Neb. and graduated June 22, 1931.

James followed his adventurous side and he found himself in Chicago, Ill. working for his brother in law trimming trees for ATT. He was drafted into the Army, on June 30, 1941. Shortly thereafter, he met the love of his life, sweet Lorraine (Rado). After a short courtship and while he was on furlough, they traveled to Dubuque, Iowa where they were married on April 2, 1942.

James continued his military service with the 56th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop Mechanized, on the U.S. southwestern border. During his years of service, he attended saddler’s school and trained officer’s horses. He was honorably discharged on October 16, 1945, at Fort Bliss, Texas.

As he returned to civilian life, he worked on a dairy farm, while building a house for his growing family. Soon he found himself in a manger position with Hicks Gas in Lake Villa, Ill. During his career in the gas industry, he became well respected by his peers. When he was diagnosed with kidney cancer, he decided he needed provide a secure income for Lorraine and their family. He began building The Reid Motel in Hot Springs, S.D. at which time Hicks Gas sent James to Mayo Clinic, where he was correctly diagnosed with kidney stones instead of cancer. Many weekends were spent working on the motel until completion in the spring of 1968, when the family moved to Hot Springs.

James joined his family in 1969, and he became a real estate broker and carpenter. He enjoyed being an active member the Elks Club and Legion. The family lived in Hot Springs until the spring of 1983, when they moved to Hulett, Wyo. He began a new career at the age of 70 with his son, John, in the logging industry. In April 1984, Lorraine became very ill; she died on June 13, 1984, after a short battle with cancer. James mourned her loss for 27 years. After losing Lorraine, he started building a house 15 miles west of Hulett in October of 1984. He moved into the house and finished it while residing there. That summer he built a shop and started his wood working business. He kept busy with his chores, feeding the chickens, a couple of pigs, and the horses at the Reid Ranch.

He continued to build furniture until he was 91, when he was diagnosed with macular degeneration. With this handicap, he needed to find another occupation, so he started splitting firewood. Some of the wood was split so small it resembled toothpicks, but it was burned anyway and it kept everyone warm. James also raised a family of dogs who kept him busy, safe and entertained.

Over the years James counted on the daily love and companionship with his children and grandchildren, enjoying many walks, talks, laughs and tears. On Oct. 17, James was moved to an assisted living center due to early stages of Alzheimer’s. In January 2011, he fell and broke his back. After being hospitalized for 5 weeks at Fort Meade VA Medical Center he was transferred to Weston County Medical swing bed unit to start the long road to recovery on Feb. 17, 2011.

Even on his most trying days he continued to fight to get better. This is where he won the hearts of all the nurses/ senoritas. In May 2011, he was moved into the Manor as a full time resident. It took him just a short time to start to socialize and build friendships, with staff and residents alike. James enjoyed his 94th birthday party with family and friends at the Manor. James enjoyed every day and was known by all as a gentleman with an eye for beauty. He expressed his gratitude to each and every person who helped to make every day easier for him.

Survivors include: sisters Lois Jungck, Dinah Keeley, and Anna Wimer; brother, Bud Reid; sisters-in-law Mary Rose Reid and Eleanor Reid; daughters Cheryl Goodwill, Lynnette (Don) Linders, Mary Catherine (Clara Belle)Rogers; sons James (Lynn)Jr. Reid, Kim (Elaine)Reid, John (Justine) Reid; 22 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren.

Services were held Monday, December 12, 2011, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Rushville with Pastor Wittrock officiating. Burial was at Fairview Cemetery.

Pallbearers were John Reid, Chad Reid, Tessa Burch, Trevor Burch, Jim Rogers, Joe Rogers, Todd Linders, Scott Linders, James Reid Jr., Eric Reid, Kim Reid, and Mitchell Reid A memorial has been set up for the Weston County Manor, 1124 Washington Blvd, Newcastle, Wyo. 82701.


Sidney T. Witt "Ta Sunke Gleska Ihakikta"

Funeral services for Sidney T. Witt “Ta Sunke Gleska Ihakikta”, 72, of Rapid City, S.D., were held Saturday, December 10, 2011, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pine Ridge, S.D. with Father Dan Gannon, S.J. & Deacon Gerald Bush officiating.

A one night wake service was held Friday, December 9, 2011, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pine Ridge, S.D. Traditional Lakota Services were provided by Mr. Wilmer Mesteth. Burial was at St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery in Wanblee, S.D.

Immediate Survivors: Wife: MaryAnn Witt of Pine Ridge, S.D.; Children: John Witt of Pine Ridge, S.D., Kelly Witt of Rapid City, S.D.; Stepsons: Fred Lawrence, Mike Lawrence, and Rob Lawrence, all of Pine Ridge, S.D., and Brian Deans of Slim Buttes, S.D.; Step-Daughter: Rhea Mora of Slim Buttes, S.D.; Brothers: Lawrence Witt of Tahoka, Texas, Nelson Witt of Waldport, Ore., Patrick Witt of Canistota, S.D., Jerome Witt of Batesland, S.D., Lyle Witt of Hot Springs, S.D., and Russell Antoine of Rapid City, S.D.; Sisters: Eugenia Bettelyoun of Wanblee, S.D., Sandra Witt of Salem, Ore., Beck Benton of Pine Ridge, S.D., and Caroline Koon of Big Fork, Mont.; 26 Grandchildren; Great Grandchildren:11; 1 Great-Great Grandchild; and numerous nieces, nephews, and other grandchildren.

Sioux Funeral Home of Pine Ridge, SD is in charge of arrangements.

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