Monthly Archives: November 2015

Kenneth Moncur

Kenneth “Hoot” Moncur, 86, of Miller, passed away Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at the Good Samaritan Society in Miller.

Graveside services will be 11:00 a.m., Saturday, December 5, 2015 at the Hillcrest Cemetery, Miller with Rev. Matt Richards officiating.

Kenneth V. “Hoot” Moncur was born July 25, 1929 to Albert “Bert” and Flossie (Renner) Moncur. He attended school in Miller and at the age of 17, started his trucking career. He served his country in Korea from 1952 to 1954. Kenneth had a love for animals, especially horses. He would hook his team up and give rides to the young and old alike.

He is survived by his sister, Keiva Rapraeger of Corvallis, Oregon; cousins: Eugene (Janice) Moncur of Miller, Lloyd Moncur of Belle Fourche, Dorothy Hall of Highmore, and Shirley Drew of Idaho.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and one brother, Hugh of California.

Reck Funeral Home of Miller has been entrusted with Kenneth’s arrangements.


Ramona J. Lagge

Ramona J. Lagge, 75, of Miller, passed away Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at the Avera Hand County Memorial Hospital, Miller.

Funeral service will be 10:30 a.m., Saturday, November 28, 2015 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Miller with Rev. Max Miller officiating. Burial will follow at GAR Cemetery, Miller. Visitation will be 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Friday, November 27, 2015 with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service, all at Reck Funeral Home, Miller.

Ramona Joan was born May 28, 1940 in Miller, SD to Emil Richard and Lillian Elda (Gross) Lagge. She attended Rosedale School and later Miller High School. She lived her entire life in Miller. Ramona was a lifetime member of Trinity Lutheran Church; loved being with her family, enjoyed nature, and walking. She resided at the Miller Plaza for 34 years.

She is survived by her siblings: Harlan (Kathy) Lagge of Webster, Linda (Howard) Haeder of Wolsey, Dorothy (Doug) Haeder of Mankato, MN, and Dennis (JoAnn) Lagge of Sioux Falls; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; maternal and paternal grandparents.

Reck Funeral Home of Miller has been entrusted with Ramona’s arrangements.

Ira T. “Pat” Howard

Ira T. “Pat” Howard, 96, of Miller, passed Friday, November 20, 2015 at the Good Samaritan Society in Miller.

Funeral service will be 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at the First United Methodist Church, Miller with Pastor Matt Richards officiating. Burial will follow at the St. Lawrence Cemetery. Visitation will be 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 24, 2015 with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service, all at Reck Funeral Home, Miller.

Pat was born Dec 9, 1918 in Mason City, Iowa to Ira T. Howard, Sr. and Fredericka (Kurtz) Howard. Pat lived in Mason City for 6 years and moved with his family to Miller SD in 1925. He attended rural school in Hand County, graduating from the 8th grade. Pat was proud of being able to attend Aggie School at South Dakota State College in Brookings in 1932 & 1933. He then returned to Miller and farmed with his father and brother, Alfred, until he married Beatrice (Babe) Lanz on Sept 10, 1941. The couple farmed and ranched in the Miller area for 64 years and was blessed to have been married for 70. In addition to his love of farming and ranching, Pat placed a high value on education. Although Pat didn’t have the opportunity to graduate from high school, he was proud of the fact that his sons and grandchildren were all college graduates.

Pat’s passions on the farm were keeping track of the cattle and crops. Even after being in the nursing home he loved a ride out to the farm so he could check how everything was progressing. Other than enjoying working on the great outdoors he enjoyed family, fellowship, food, fishing, hunting, reading, playing cards along with telling a few stories. He valued and respected his neighbors taking great pride in Greenleaf Township and the people that lived there. 

Grateful to have shared in Pat’s life are his two sons: Richard (Jane) Howard of Brookings and Terry (Marsha) Howard of Miller; five grandchildren: Lorelle (Clayton) Deuter of Mitchell, Rachelle (Chris) Engbrecht of Brookings, Chris (Amy) Howard of Miller, Jacque (Jeremiah) Story of Silverdale, Washington, and Lance (Abigail) Howard of Brookings; seven great grandchildren: Jaden and Seth Deuter, Alana and Maya Howard, Natalie, Landon, and Madelyn Story, with an eighth on the way.

He was preceded in death by his wife: Beatrice (Babe) Howard; parents; two brothers: Harold and Alfred; and six sisters: Verla, Marie, Marion, Susie, Edythe, and Maxine.

The family request memorials be directed to the Hand County Hospital building fund, c/o Hand County Health, Wellness, & Community Foundation, PO Box 121, Miller, SD 57362.

Reck Funeral Home of Miller has been entrusted with Pat’s arrangements.

Michael Simons

Michael Simons, 32, of St. Lawrence, passed away Thursday, November 12, 2015 at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls.

Funeral Mass will be 10:30 a.m., Monday, November 16, 2015 at the Miller Armory with Father Chester Murtha and Captain Father Bob Lacey, celebrants. Lunch will follow at the Miller Community Center. Burial will be 3:00 p.m., Monday, November 16, 2015 at the Morningside Cemetery, Ree Heights with full military honors. Visitation will be 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., Sunday, November 15, 2015 with a 4:00 p.m. prayer service at the St. Lawrence Community Church with Pastor Scot Tutt officiating.

Michael Dale Simons was born in Miller, SD, on January 15, 1983, to Dale and Lorelei (Heida) Simons. He grew up on the farm northeast of Miller and most of his early years were spent outdoors exploring with his sister, Anna, and playing with cousins Monica and Melanie. A large portion of his time was probably spent hanging upside down from a green gate while dad fed the cows.

He graduated from Miller High School in 2001, where he stood out as an athletic, kind, artistic young man. He excelled in football, wrestling, track, music, and drawing – however, all Mike ever really wanted to be was a soldier. Following in his grandfather and father’s steps, he enlisted in the Army National Guard unit in Miller, SD, his junior year of high school. He, along with his uncle Dean and great-uncle Myron, was activated at the beginning of the Iraq war and mobilized to Ft. Campbell, KY, February to May 2003, and later deployed to Iraq from December 2003 to February 2005. He later deployed again, with his uncle, to Iraq at the close of the war, from June 2011 to June 2012. Between these deployments you could find him building homes alongside his uncle Duane, and traveling, hiking, and camping with friends and family. He was proud to be present at his sister’s graduation from basic training in 2009.

Mike picked up playing the guitar during his time overseas and was quite talented and entertaining. However, his military service took a severe mental and physical toll on his body, and returning to civilian life proved difficult for him, most notably after his last deployment. His family is grateful that the last few weeks of his life he was very well, and was able to personally connect with many of the people he cared about. We do not know the exact moment he left us, but we were able to say our goodbyes on Veteran’s Day, which is only too appropriate. Surrounded by his biological and military families alike, Mikey was drafted into God’s Army shortly after midnight, on November 12th, 2015. As he requested, his body will be laid to rest in Ree Heights, next to his brother in arms, Alex.

Awaiting him in heaven were his great-grandparents, Bernard and Berniece Simons; grandfather, Gerrit Heida; uncle, Randy Evans; and his older sibling that he never got to know here in this life.

He will be missed by every single person that was blessed to know him. Our soldier finally gets to come home from the war.

We ask that any memorial be given in one of the following ways: Michael’s classmates have set up a “Go Fund Me” donation site in his memory, if you would like to donate and support NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) of SD please visit: or the The PTSD Support Group in Miller has an account set up at American Bank & Trust, Miller, SD. Please memo donations “In memory of Mike Simons”.

Reck Funeral Home of Miller has been entrusted with Mike’s arrangements.