Florence Diekhoff

Florence Diekhoff, 95, of Miller and formerly of Wessington, passed away Monday, August 1, 2016 at the Avera Hand County Memorial Hospital in Miller.

Funeral service will be 2:30 p.m., Friday, August 5, 2016 at the First Presbyterian Church, Wessington with Pastor Janice Palmer officiating.  Burial will follow at the Wessington Cemetery.  Visitation will be 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Thursday, August 4, 2016 with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service, all at Reck Funeral Home, Miller.

Florence Ruth Zaboski came into this world on November 27, 1920, to Michael and Mary (Gutkoski) Zaboski in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  She graduated from high school in Wilkes-Barre.  She went on to attend Wyoming Seminary and was subsequently employed by Safeway Foods.

In 1943 her brother Edward was working in Baltimore for Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company and he introduced her to this South Dakota farmer, Kenneth Diekhoff.  He swept her off her feet and on December 11, 1943, they were married in Baltimore.  In 1946, with a new baby they traveled from Pennsylvania to Wessington, South Dakota where they farmed and ranched together.  It was quite a culture shock for her coming from a home with running water, indoor plumbing, and electricity to none of these amenities.

She had a passion for gardening and flowers and a tremendous fear of snakes, which luckily there was generally a farm dog to come to her rescue.  When the gardening and canning was done and she had time, she enjoyed knitting, crocheting, and taking care of her family and home.

She was witness to a great many inventions and much change during her 95 years.  For her an important one was the computer.  She truly enjoyed keeping in touch with her Pennsylvania and California families.

When Ken passed in 2001, she had another life changing event.  Her “pink” house was moved from the ranch into Miller.  And in 2008, three of her favorite people made their home with her.

Flo is survived by her two daughters, Ellen (Russ) Ballard of Buffalo Gap, SD and Becky (Rich) Nelson of Miller, SD; two grandchildren, Sean Brown and Jennifer Nelson; three great granddaughters: Samantha, Kathryn, and Larissa Brown; two great grandsons: Dayken and Davin Bossert; two sisters: Marie Hatcher and Loretta Schaal; two brothers: Michael “Bud” Zaboski and Bernard (Elsie) Zaboski.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Ken; one brother; two brothers-in-law; and two sisters-in-law.

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

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