Monthly Archives: January 2016

Ruth Skinner

Ruth Skinner, 92, Miller, passed away Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at the Golden Living Center in Redfield.

Private family services will be held at a later date.

Ruth was born on October 3, 1923 near Confluence, PA. She was the oldest of four children born to Russ and Floda Hall. Ruth married Earl Skinner in 1941 and they were together and until his death in 1993. Throughout their married life they lived in Pennsylvania, Iowa, South Dakota, Virginia and Alaska.

Ruth enjoyed music, playing cards and spending time with her grandchildren, adopted grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Survivors include a sister, Edith Hall of Youngsburg, Ohio; five children, Russell (Elaine) Skinner of Rapid City, Kenneth (Kate) Skinner of Stockton, Missouri, George (Carla) Skinner of Harrisburg, Nancy (Bob) Blaedorn of St. Lawrence, and Janice (John) Smith of St. Lawrence; 10 grandchildren; and 22 great grandchildren.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Earl Skinner; and her sisters, Genevieve Tressler and Edna Kinnaman.

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


Richard Foust

Richard Foust, 67, of Miller, passed away Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at his home.

Visitation will be 12:00 to 2:00 p.m., Sunday, January 24, 2016 at Reck Funeral Home, Miller. Burial will be at G.A.R. Cemetery, Miller, at a later date.

Richard was born December 31, 1948 in Miller, South Dakota to Richard Wilson and Minnie (Wheelhouse) Foust. He was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church. In 1967, Richard graduated from Miller High School. He attended the University of South Dakota, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree. He ventured to California, working for a various companies before retiring as Sales Manager at Burton Electrical Engineering. In the Summer of 2010, he returned to Miller.

He is survived by his sister, Linda Gortmaker of Huron; brother, Dennis (Amanda) Foust of Belle Fourche; one nephew, Doyle Gortmaker of Huron; and one niece, McKayla Foust of Belle Fourche.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Minnie Foust; baby sister, LaRita Foust; and numerous aunts and uncles.

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

Lucille Roduner

Lucille Roduner, 89, of Miller, passed away Wednesday, January 20, 2016 in the comfort of her winter home in Mesa, Arizona.

Funeral service will be 11:00 a.m., Thursday, January 28, 2016 at the First United Methodist Church, Miller. Burial will follow at G.A.R. Cemetery, Miller. Visitation will be 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 27, 2016 with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service, all at Reck Funeral Home, Miller.

Lucille was born in Menno South Dakota on the family farm on May 31, 1926, to Emil and Elsie (Ulmer) Wagner. She grew up in Menno where she attended a rural school and later graduated from Menno High School.

She married Milbert Roduner,also of Menno, and they had one daughter, Patty (Roduner) Waring.

In 1945, they moved to Miller S.D., where they had a successful farming business for over 50 years. They had a true passion for farming and of course loved John Deere green. After a hectic farming season, they enjoyed spending the winters in Florida and then Mesa, Arizona. The time spent in Arizona was packed with Morning coffee with her friends, enjoying the beautiful weather and challenging Patty, Tammy and Nicole to games such as; marbles, Yahtzee, dominos or cards.

Lucille was an amazing grandma and Oma to her grandkids and great grandkids. She was there for every special moment of Tammy and Nicole’s lives. She enjoyed spending time with Keely and Landen and would spend the day playing Uno and spoiling them with fun toys and shopping sprees but maybe the best memories are her sitting in the chair cuddled up next to one of her great grandkids.

Lucille also enjoyed exploring the world with Milbert in places such as New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, London, Portugal, and Puerto Rico. She also traveled on a cruise to Alaska and took a trip to Mexico for her granddaughter, Nicole’s wedding. She also enjoyed reading, ceramics and Phoenix Suns basketball. On a nice day, Lucille could usually be found in her garden tending to her many vegetables and flowers both out on the farm and in town. She was a member of the United Methodist Church in Miller.

She is survived by her daughter Pat Waring of Mesa, AZ; granddaughters: Tammy Waring of Chandler, AZ; and Nicole Gould (Jeff) of Redondo Beach, CA; and great grandchildren Keely and Landen.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Elsie and Emil Wagner; brother, Donald Wagner; son-in-law, Robert Waring; and nephew Lynn Wagner.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like memorials to the charity of your choice.

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

Deloris Danburg

Deloris Danburg, 87, of Miller, passed away Friday, January 15, 2016 at the Good Samaritan Society in Miller.

Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at the First United Methodist Church, Miller with Rev. Matt Richards officiating. Burial will be at G.A.R. Cemetery, Miller, at a later date. Visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at the church.

Deloris was born September 14, 1928 in Redfield to Chester and Jennie May (Carl) Root. She lived with her family in Rockham until 1944 when they moved to Miller. Her father passed away shortly thereafter and Deloris quit school to help her mother around the home. On March 5, 1946 she married LeRoy Danburg. They lived in Midland Township where they farmed together and in 1962, moved to Miller.

Deloris worked at the Coral Lanes Bowling Alley, managed the restaurant at the Miller Livestock Salebarn, then was employed with LeRoy by the Miller School District as a custodian for twenty-one years.

Playing bingo and pinochle were some of LeRoy and Deloris’s favorite pastimes. You could always find her outside working in her flowers. They both loved to travel and visit with friends and family. Whenever you stopped in, the coffee pot was always on.

Grateful to have shared in her life include her daughter, Becky (Lyle) Resel of Wessington; four sons: Chet (Karen) Danburg of Carson City, Nevada, Steve (Carolyn) Danburg and Randy Danburg, both of Miller, and Terry (Lori) Danburg of Wessington; 12 grandchildren; 33 great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; sisters-in-law: Lenore Ufen of Miller and Derla (David) Simons of St. Lawrence; and a host of nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, LeRoy; parents, Chet and May Root; stepfather, Emil Weber; two grandsons: Chet and Todd Danburg; sister and brothers-in-law: Ray and Rose Danburg, Ralph and Dorothy Freimark, Phyllis and Greely Losey, and George Ufen.

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

Phyllis (Arbogast) Scott

Phyllis Scott, 89, of Highmore, passed away Monday, January 4, 2016 at Avera Hand County Memorial Hospital in Miller.

Funeral services were held at 10:00 a.m., Friday, January 8, 2016 at the United Methodist Church, Highmore with Rev. Kori Lehrkamp officiating. Burial followed at G.A.R. Cemetery, Miller. Visitation was held from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., Thursday, January 7, 2016 at Luze Funeral Home, Highmore.

Phyllis was born on March 26, 1926 in Miller, SD to Louis and Mary Arbogast. She attended rural school in Cedar Township and high school in Ree Heights. She married James Scott in May of 1944 and to this union three sons were born; Robert, Lee and Loren. Phyllis obtained her teaching degree and later received her Master of Science in Education where combined she taught students or was their principal for 36 years!

Phyllis was involved in countless organizations. Most recent and closest to her heart were PEO, red hats society, and retired teachers of South Dakota. Phyllis was also involved in league bowling into her 80’s!

Survivors include her son: Bob (Sharon) of Rapid City; son: Lee of Miller; granddaughter: Tracy of Minnesota; granddaughter: Tessa (Bob) of Rapid City; grandson: Dan (Amanda) of Iowa; and grandson: Doug (Mia) of Sioux Falls; 15 great grandchildren; 4 great-great grandchildren; sister-in-law: Avalon Arbogast of Omaha and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Louis and Mary Arbogast; her husband: Jim Scott; brother: Chuck Arbogast; son: Loren Scott; grandson: Shannon Scott and great grandchildren: Emmaline, Raymond and Mitchell.

Memorials will be donated to the Chapter T PEO in honor of Phyllis.

Luze Funeral Home of Highmore has been entrusted with Phyllis’s arrangements.

Tara (Hunt) Koeck

Tara Koeck, 42, of Ree Heights, lost her hard fought battle with cancer on Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen, surrounded by her husband, children, and mother. She believed till her last breath, she would beat cancer, sadly it was not to be.

Memorial Mass will be 10:00 a.m., Monday, January 11, 2016 at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Miller with Father Chester Murtha, celebrant. Visitation will begin one hour prior to the service.

Tara Marie Koeck was born July 27,1973 in Huron SD to Scott and Fran (Speirs) Hunt. She lived in Scottsbluff, Nebraska for a few years before moving to Gillette, Wyoming. where she attended grade school and high school, graduating in 1991. After graduation she spent time at Hart Ranch with her grandparents Keith and Geri Speirs before moving to Miller with them where she met and married the love of her life, Joe Koeck, on August 12, 1994. She lived and raised her five children with Joe on the family farm in Ree Heights until her death.

Tara loved camping, fishing, cooking and caring for her family. Her love of cooking led her to own and operate Bob’s Drive-In for many years, she had many loyal customers and friends at Bob’s and was heartbroken when her cancer treatments kept her from continuing to stay open.

She was survived by her husband, Joe of Ree Heights; two sons: Alan (Deidee) Koeck of Parkston and Ryan Koeck of Ree Heights; three daughters: Leanne, Lisa and Alicia Koeck of Ree Heights; mother-in-law, Agnes Koeck of Miller; mother, Fran Blair of Ree Heights; sister, Valerie Schaefbauer of Rapid City; aunt, Cindy (John) Arland of Miller; brothers and sisters-in-law: Paul (Sheri) Koeck of Saint Lawrence, Jerry (Judy) Koeck of Miller, Tim (Lori) Koeck of Ree Heights, Sheila Tople of Plankinton, Sharon (Alan) Kingsley of Sioux Falls, Diane (Jim) Beidler of Faulkton, numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins, nieces and nephews.

Tara was preceded in death by her father, Scott Hunt; baby sister, Jill Suzanne Hunt; father-in-law, Francis Koeck; stepfather, Stephan Blair; maternal grandparents, Keith and Geri Speirs; paternal grandparents, Russell and Florence Hunt; great grandparents, Hank and Alice Timm.

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

Erma (Eads) Bertsch

Erma Bertsch, 79, of Huron and formerly of the Tulare and Miller area, passed away Monday, January 4, 2016 at the Violet Tschetter Memorial Home in Huron.

Funeral service will be 2:00 p.m., Monday, January 11, 2016 at the First United Methodist Church, Miller with Rev. Matt Richards officiating. Burial will follow at the St. Lawrence Cemetery. Visitation will be 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., Sunday, January 10, 2016 with a 4:00 p.m. prayer service, all at Reck Funeral Home, Miller.

Erma Jean Eads was born October 24, 1936 to H. Ray and Mable (Hoffman) Eads at Miller, SD youngest of three children. She married Eldon Bertsch July 16, 1958 at Huron, SD. They lived in Miller until 1962, when they moved to a farm north of St. Lawrence and in 1965 they moved to her parents’ farm north of Vayland.

Erma loved the farm, children and animals especially dogs. She also liked to crochet. Besides raising five children and helping on the farm she worked four years at James Valley Nursing Home in Redfield prior to working 25 years at the Redfield State Hospital and school from which she retired in 1998. She remained on the farm until moving to an apartment in Huron in December of 2010. She made some great friends at the apartment complex and enjoyed her time there immensely.

Survivors include three sons: Paul (Marla) Bertsch of Lake Preston, Monte (Ann) Bertsch of Keene, Calif., and Mark Bertsch of Huron; two daughters: Charlene Kittelson of Yankton and Anita Bertsch (Frank Bargas) of Cortaro, Arizona; five grandchildren: Leann (Steven) Peterson, Matt Bertsch, Patrick Bertsch, Katrina Bargas, and Katelyn Bertsch; and two great grandchildren: Shaelah and Kaylee Peterson.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sister; Grace, brother, Vernon; infant daughter, Julia; and husband, Eldon.

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

Arlene Moncur

Arlene Moncur 81, of Miller, passed away Saturday, January 2, 2016 the Adagio Gardens Assisted Living in Phoenix, Arizona.

Funeral service will be 1:00 p.m., Saturday, January 9, 2016 at the First Presbyterian Church, Miller with Rev. Max Miller officiating. Burial will follow at G.A.R. Cemetery, Miller. Visitation will be 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Friday, January 8, 2016 at Reck Funeral Home, Miller.

Arlene was born on February 10, 1934 in Colman, SD. She was the oldest of two children born to William (Bill) and Nettie Andersen. She attended country school and High School in Colman and graduated from South Dakota State University with a major in English (Secondary Education) and a minor in Physical Education.

She moved to Miller with her first husband, Jim Knudsen. They had a daughter, Kristi, in 1961. She was widowed in 1962. She married Roger Moncur in May of 1966. In 1970, Arlene had twins, Staci and William (Bill).

She taught high school English in Miller for over 20 years and touched the lives of many high school students. Arlene was also active in P.E.O., Hand County 4H, and various local clubs and committees. She was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Miller and taught Sunday School there for many years.

Arlene enjoyed reading, music, golf, playing bridge, dancing of many varieties, and spending time with her family. She spent the past 30 years wintering in Arizona near her children, grandchildren, and many good friends.

She is survived by her sister, Janice Ruelle (Dick) of Mesa, Arizona; her three children: Kristi Lee (Tom) of Chandler, Arizona, Staci (Rob) Reimers of Mesa, Arizona, and Bill (Kelly) Moncur of Phoenix, Arizona; three grandchildren: Lilyana Lee, Annika Reimers, and Carson Reimers; and many friends.

Arlene was preceded in death by her parents; and her husbands, Jim Knudsen and Roger Moncur.

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

Neal Johnson

Neal Johnson, 62, of Miller, found triumphant peace with the Lord on Friday, January 1, 2016 at the Avera Hand County Memorial Hospital, Miller, after courageously battling cancer.

Funeral service were held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at the First Presbyterian Church, Miller with Rev. Brian Jones officiating. Visitation was held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 5, 2016 with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service, all at the church.

Neal’s Story: A Tale in Love, Life, and Laughter.

Neal Aaron Johnson was born November 24, 1953 to Wallace and Darlene Johnson in Miller, SD.

Though his 62 years on Earth are denoted by a dash, Neal’s life will forever be measured by far more.

A rancher, fisherman, and hunter, Neal lived his life fully with a strong head and a soft heart. He was a competitive soul with a tenacious drive for quality and toughness—traits you could see whether he was driving a race car, building a cow herd, or fighting cancer.

You could count on his truth even when it hurt, and you could count on his love even when he couldn’t express it.

To his parents, Neal was a dedicated son carrying on a family tradition. To his older brother Craig and younger sisters Brenda and Kim, Neal was a protector and an instigator, often reminding them he “smiled because he was their brother and laughed because there was nothing they could do about it.”

After attending country school in South Hand and graduating from Miller High School in 1972, Neal enrolled at SDSU. He returned to the family farm after one semester. Neal once said, “This ranch is where I’ve always wanted to be. My goal from the beginning has been to be on the land and share what we’ve built with kids and grandkids.”

He was not meant to build a future alone, and on March 22, 1975, Neal married Janet Holt in Orient, SD. He dubbed his wife the best help around and called her patience—with both him and animals—“simply amazing”. For just over 40 years, the pair worked alongside Wally and Darlene to create a legacy for their family. Over all their other success, Neal called the couple’s three girls, Stephanie, Melissa, and Ashley, “their greatest accomplishment.”

Neal’s boisterous laugh, dry humor, and contagious smile will be missed. His gruff voice when you’d done wrong will be remembered. His appreciation for life’s finery will be cherished. His affinity for a good joke, buttered lobster, a wild beard, wind pants and untied tennis shoes will never be forgotten.

The void left by Neal’s absence will be felt deeply by all who continue to love him, including: parents, Wally and Darlene and wife, Janet; daughters: Stephanie (Matt) Cavenee of Bonesteel, Melissa (Ryan) Hegg of Madison, and Ashley Johnson of Watertown; grandsons, Cole and Mark Cavenee and Sawyer and Kale Hegg; brother, Craig (Louise) Johnson of Sioux Falls; sisters, Brenda (Neil) Duxbury of Wessington and Kim (Jim) Petik of Keldron; uncles and aunts Lowell and Donna Droz of Miller, Mark and Bernadine Johnson of San Diego, Raymond Graham of Wichita, Carroll Morford of Highmore, and Betty Johnson of Kansas City; brothers-in-law, Theron Holt and Warner Holt of Orient and Lyle Nichols of Palisade, CO; sister-in-law, Mary (Bob) Roesler of Hotchkiss, CO plus many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends.

Awaiting Neal in Heaven were his paternal and maternal grandparents; uncles and aunts: Clemmet and Vivian Johnson, Earl Johnson, Margaret Morford, Jerrold and Irene Johnson, Harold Johnson, Mary Graham; special cousin, Laura Eskandarion; parents-in-law, Sheldon and Mabel Holt; and sister-in-law, Phyllis Nichols.

In his own words, Neal reminds us not to get lost in the sorrow of death but to live in the hope of life: “Calving has to be my favorite time of year. It’s a new beginning. Things aren’t always good. Sometimes, bad stuff goes down. But, seeing those baby calves hit the ground reminds me there’s always a new day, a new start and always something to be grateful for.”

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