Kurtis Reitsma

Kurt Reitsma pix paper        Kurtis Dale Reitsma, 53, of Tea, SD, joined the Lord in Heaven on July 2, 2016, at 11:10 PM while at Sanford Hospital. He suffered a massive brain hemorrhage as a result of a ruptured brain aneurysm.  Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, July 9, 2016 at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Tea.  Burial will be at Holy Rosary Cemetery in Kranzberg, SD.  Family will greet visitors from 5 to 8:00 p.m. Friday at St. Nicholas Catholic Church.  A scripture service will begin at 6:30 p.m.

            Kurt was born to Theodore and Elaine (Willts) Reitsma of Bigelow, MN, on May 21, 1963. Kurt grew up in Bigelow and spent many hours in his father’s blacksmith shop, recounting fond memories to anyone that would listen. He attended Faith Christian and Worthington High School. He continued on to Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Pipestone, MN, where he graduated with an associate’s degree in Lumberyard Management.

            Shortly after graduation from technical school, Kurt moved to Hawaii where he worked for Garst Seeds. After a few years, he decided to return home to attend South Dakota State University where he obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Plant Science. While attending SDSU, he met his wife Christine (Hupf) Reitsma, and they married on June 20, 1992. They had three children: Megan (22), Mitchell (20), and Michelle (15).

            After graduating from SDSU, Kurt and Chris moved to Pierre, SD where Kurt worked as a Program Specialist for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. Though he loved living by the river, the family moved from Pierre to Tea in 2007, and he returned to SDSU as a Research Associate for the Plant Science Department. While at SDSU, Kurt helped to develop a mapping program called ArcGIS and a specialized corn planter; he also authored several book chapters and research papers. In 2014 Kurt found the job of his dreams as a Certified Service Agent for Encirca-Pioneer and carried out the rest of his career with them.

            When Kurt was not working diligently with farmers, he enjoyed all kinds of outdoor activities, including fishing, gardening, camping, bird watching, hiking, swimming with his dogs, and caring for his “girls,” the chickens. Though modest, he was also an excellent woodworker. Kurt is survived by his wife Chris, daughters Megan and Michelle, son Mitchell, mother Elaine, sisters Marian Reitsma and Marcia Anakalea, in-laws Mary and Elmer Hupf, Kevin and Stacy Niemann, Cheryl and Bill Lindner, Randy Hupf, and many nieces and nephews. Kurt was preceded in death by his father Theodore, brother Kenneth, and nephew Jason Galles.

            In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to GoFundMe.com/KurtReitsma for the higher education of Kurt’s children.

Joan Thill

Joan Thill pix argus      Sioux Falls.  Marilyn “Joan” Thill, 66, passed away peacefully with family by her side on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls.  Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 6th, at St. Lambert’s Catholic Church in Sioux Falls.  A private family burial will be held at St. Michael Cemetery in Sioux Falls.  Visitation will be Tuesday, July 5th from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Heritage Funeral Home in Sioux Falls with family present from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.  Rosary will begin at 7:00 p.m. with scripture service to follow.

     Joan was born January 6, 1950 in Sioux Falls, SD.  Growing up on the “north end” of Sioux Falls, she attended both St Joseph’s Cathedral grade school and middle school.  She later graduated from O’Gorman High School in 1968 and then attended South Dakota State University for one year before deciding to move to California.   In 1971, she returned to Sioux Falls to get married and start her family.

Joan was united in marriage to Daniel Thill August 27, 1971 at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Sioux Falls.  They made their home in Sioux Falls, until they moved to Canton in 1974.  Once Joan’s children were old enough to attend school, she decided to begin work at the elementary school in Canton.  She worked as a kindergarten aide for 28 years and enjoyed every moment until retirement in 2013.

     Grateful for having shared her life are: sons, Stephen (Tresa) Thill, Chancellor, SD and Scott (Tia) Thill, Watertown; daughters, Kristen (Gary) Bunt, Sioux Falls and Sarah (Mark) Peterson, Sioux Falls; five grandchildren, Kayleigh and Ellianna Thill, Kaden and Mason Bunt, and Devon Violanta; mother, Marilyn Granum; brothers, Terry Mikkelson, Sioux Falls; Tony(Elizabeth) Mikkelson , Summerville, SC; brother-in-laws, Bryan (Lisa) Thill and Patrick (Kerry) Thill both of  Sioux Falls; sister-in-laws, Barbara Thill, Sioux Falls; Paula (Peter) Ruble, Hastings, MN; Colleen Thill, Sioux Falls; and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

     Joan was preceded in death by her husband, Daniel; step-father, “Bud” Granum; her grandparents and numerous other relatives.

    Memorials can be directed to the Avera McKennan Foundation or the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls.

Haddley Lems



Canton.  Haddley Dayle Lems, 2, passed away Sunday, June 26, 2016, at Sanford Kid’s Castle surrounded by her loving family.

 Haddley was born June 27, 2013 in Sioux Falls to Bubba and Amy Jo (Marlette) Lems.  Haddley received wonderful care from the doctors and staff at hospitals in Sioux Falls and Minneapolis, since becoming ill at 22 months.   She loved checking on the cows with her dad and their ranger rides together.  She enjoyed swinging, music, singing, dancing, Minions, and especially playing with make-up.

Those grateful for having shared her life are her parents, Amy Jo and Bubba; sisters, Maddie and Laney Bonin; brother, Bayler; grandparents, Nancy and Loren Marlette, Canton, SD, and Marjorie and Bastian Lems, Inwood; aunts and uncles, Don and Lori Lems, Larchwood, Mike and Emma Newborg, Inwood, Doug and Dessa Marlette, Schaumberg, IL, Jon Marlette and Bob Bucklew, Council Bluffs, IA; and many other relatives and friends.

Her funeral service will be at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, June 30, 2016 at Bethany Reformed Church, Canton.  Family will greet visitors from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday at Bethany Reformed Church.  Please feel free to wear Hugs for Haddley t-shirts or Minions, C-Hawk, Iowa Hawkeye, or your favorite athletic team’s attire.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Ronald McDonald House or charity of your choice.


Glen McVay

McVay Paper pic      Glen A. McVay, age 86, passed away on Saturday, June 25, 2016.  Funeral services will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 29, at Holy Spirit Catholic Parish, Sioux Falls. Visitation will be held at Heritage Funeral Home, Sioux Falls on Tuesday from 2:00 to 8:00 pm, with the family present from 6:00-8:00 pm with a Rosary at 7:00 pm.  Interment will be at Forest Hill Cemetery in Canton, with Military Honors by the VFW and American Legion.

     Glen was born on August 22, 1929 in Harrisburg, SD to Roscoe and Vera (Haas) McVay. He graduated from Canton High School in 1947, and was united in marriage with Margaret Ronan on December 29, 1948. They farmed the McVay Farm east of Canton for 23 years. He served in the South Dakota National Guard from 27 March, 1947 to 31 October, 1964, and served as the Battery Commander of the 1st Howitzer Battalion, 147th Field Artillery Group in Canton. He deployed with his unit to Fort Richardson, AK in 1951-52 during the Korean War and was activated to active duty at Fort Sill, OK in 1961-1962, where he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service. Capt McVay received an Honorable Discharge from the US Army on 31 October, 1964 and returned to farming full time until moving to Canton in 1971. In November 1963, he was selected as the area’s Outstanding Young Farmer by the Sioux Falls JayCees Young Farmer Program. Glen was part owner of Dakota Fertilizer Company and later employed for many years by Huntting Elevator Company in Canton. After moving to Sioux Falls, he worked for Ideal Yardware.  After 57 years of marriage, Margaret passed away in March, 2006. Glen married Jeanette Eichacker in September, 2008.

       Glen was very active in the Canton community, serving as a City Commissioner from 1978-1984. Glen was elected to the South Dakota State House of Representatives and served one term representing Lincoln County from 1984-1986. He was a long time member of St. Chrysostoms and later St. Dominic Catholic Churches in Canton. After moving to Sioux Falls, he was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Parish.

      Blessed for having shared his life are his wife, Jeanette; daughter, Cathy (Larry) Byington, Sioux Falls; sons, Col (USAF Ret) Pat (Cyndee) of Papillion, NE, and Tim (Sandi), Sioux Falls, and daughter-in law, Karen McVay of Colorado Springs, CO; step-daughters Gin (Terry) Wingen, Epiphany, Linda (Terry) Olinger, Salem, Carla (Colin) White, Sioux Falls; step-sons Dan (Michelle) Eichacker, Lennox, and Daryl (Susan) Eichacker, Sioux Falls; 10 grandchildren, Robb (Jen) and Matthew (Dee) Byington, Jessa (Andy) Howes, Corry (Ivan) Matthews, Chris and Andrew McVay, Major (USAF) Daniel (Sarah) and Captain (USAF) Michael (Bethany) McVay, Kaci (Jeff) Welch and Travis McVay; 16 great-grandchildren, 10 step-grandchildren, 4 step great grandchildren and 2 step great great grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends.

      He is preceded in death by his parents, wife, Margaret; son, Major (USAF) Michael McVay, and sister, Ardis Else.

      In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. Dominic Catholic Church in Canton, Holy Spirit Catholic Church, or Mended Hearts.

Gordon Ira Wilkinson

Gordon Ira Wilkinson was born April 26, 1939 at Hudson, South Dakota, son of Ira and Mildred (Johnson) Wilkinson.  He graduated from Beresford, SD High School in 1957.  Gordon attended the School of Mines in Rapid City, SD for one year and graduated from USD at Vermillion, SD in 1961.  Gordon served in the South Dakota Air National Guard from 1961 to 1967.

Gordon married Wilma Louise Johnson in Memphis, TN. Gordon was employed as a sales analyst with Nielson Co. until his retirement.

Gordon died Thursday, July 30, 2015 at the Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare in Germantown, TN.

Gordon is survived by his wife, Wilma; sister, Janice (Doug) Mallie; three nephews; aunt, Ardell Johnson; and many other relatives.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ira and Mildred, and an infant brother Curtis. Gordon Wilkinson crop

Graveside services will be held 11:00 a.m. Sunday, July 10, 2016 at Grand Valley Lutheran Cemetery south of Canton, SD.  Following the service, visitation will be held at the Pizza Ranch in Canton.

David “Boogie” Powell

Dave Powell crop     David “Boogie” G. Powell, age 50, died unexpectedly Saturday, June 18 in Alcester, SD.  Funeral services will begin at 2:00 p.m. Friday, June 24 at Canton Lutheran Church.  Visitation will be from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. Thursday at Anderson Funeral Home in Canton, with family present from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m

     Dave was born December 14, 1965 at Hawarden, IA, to Gordon and Elaine (Kopsas) Powell.  He attended school in Canton, graduating in 1984.

     He married Eva Carlson in 1988 at Canton Lutheran Church.

     He worked at Behr Manufacturing, Wilson Trailer, and most recently at Raven Industries in Sioux Falls.  He enjoyed hunting, fishing, dirt track racing, and riding motorcycles, but most of all, he loved spending time with his granddaughter.  Dave was also an avid New Orleans Saints fan.

     Dave is survived by his son, Mike Powell, Canton; daughter, Kimberly Powell, Canton; granddaughter, Lillie Meidinger; his parents, Gordon and Elaine Powell, Sioux Falls; his sister, Barb (Alan) Timm, Omaha, NE; and nieces and nephews, Travis (Jenna) Timm and their daughter, Olivia; Kaylee (Tre) Sacks; and Lucas and Emilee Timm.  He was preceded in death by his grandparents and several uncles.

Arthur “Art” Ramse

Ramse Paper Pic         Arthur “Art” Ramse, age 99, died Saturday, June 18, 2016 at Dow Rummel Village.  Funeral services will begin at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 22 at Canton Lutheran Church.  Visitation will be Tuesday from 2-8 p.m., family present 6-8 p.m., at Anderson Funeral Home in Canton.

           Art was born April 8, 1917 on a farm near Lennox to Boref and Berget (Gustafson) Ramse.  He attended Hill District # 82 Country School near Worthing, SD.  At an early age he began farming with his father.

Art was united in marriage to Opal Stengel November 15, 1941 in Canton, SD. Shortly after they were married, the couple moved to Ohio where Art contributed to the war effort by repairing and riveting damaged airplanes.  They farmed and raised livestock east of Lennox and later on their farm west of Canton. Art retired at age 62.  Art raised purebred Chester Whites, and enjoyed showing his hogs at the Sioux Empire Fair.  He was a founding member and former president of the South Dakota Pork Producers Council.  He was instrumental in establishing the Porcine Burn Fund in 1977.  The Ramses’ were named Sioux Empire Farm Family of the year in 1982.  His interest in old-time fiddlers, led him to a hobby of building 50 violins and repair of many others.  He was a member of Canton Lutheran Church and Sons of Norway.  He also enjoyed square dancing, golfing, and reflexology.

He is survived by his children- Verlyn (Rhonda) of Sioux Falls, Arlys Sanderson of Sioux Falls, and Loren (Patti) of Canton; grandchildren, Becky (Keith) Behl, Melanie (Andrew) Linnaus, Greg Ramse, Todd (Wendy) Ramse, Aaron (Allison) Sanderson,; great-grand children, Jessica & Katie Ramse,  Tegan & Brinly Sanderson, Briella,  Kieran, and Kaylee Behl, and Allison, Natalie, and Emily Linnaus; great-great grandchild, Makenna Ramse; a brother, Wilfred Ramse of Michigan; and a sister, Melba Johnson of Sioux Falls along with numerous other relatives and friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Opal, and a sister, Alma Johnson.

Thelma Sullestad

Sullestad0001        Thelma Sullestad of Canton passed away on June 16, 2016 at the Canton Good Samaritan Society at the age of 100.  Funeral services will begin at 2:00 p.m. Monday, June 20 in the Canton Lutheran Church Chapel.  Visitation, with family present, will be Sunday from 3-5 p.m. at Anderson Funeral Home in Canton.

Thelma G. Kauffman was born on September 9, 1915 in Scobey, MT to Irvin and Josephine (Keever) Kauffman.  At an early age her family moved to South Dakota where she spent her lifetime.

Thelma graduated from Canton High School in 1934 and attended Sioux Falls College where she earned her elementary teaching degree.  She taught for five years until her marriage to Clarence (Bob) Sullestad in 1941.  They made their home on a farm a few miles north of Canton until retirement.  In 1981 they purchased a home in Canton and lived there until 1999 when they moved to Sioux Falls.  Thelma recently returned to Canton.

Thelma was involved in vocal music groups and played piano and cello.  She was a member of Canton Lutheran Church and was an active participant until moving to Sioux Falls.  She was a member of Grieg Chorus Auxiliary and Extension Club.  She and her husband enjoyed traveling and spending time in warmer climates in the winter.

Grateful for having shared her life are her two daughters, Jean Kramme of Rolla, MO and Linda (Stephen) Bertrand of Davenport, FL; two grandchildren, Kimberly (Jeffry) Whited of Overland Park, KS and Kristen Filkins of Holt’s Summit, MO; four great-grandchildren, Brittany Filkins, Emily (Andrew) Kost, Evan Whited, and Curran Whited; one great-great-granddaughter, Emma Kost;  two sisters, Florence Schaal of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA and Lois (Donald) Nelson of Sioux Falls, SD; sister-in-law, Arlene Jones of Redondo Beach, CA; along with numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband Clarence in 2003; parents; sister, Marie Nannestad; and numerous in-laws.

Memorials can be directed to Canton Lutheran Church or the American Heart Association.

Carol Smith

Smith Front         Carol Smith, 76, of Canton, SD died Thursday June 9, 2016 at Sanford Canton-Inwood Medical Center surrounded by her family.

          Following a private interment service at Forest Hills Cemetery, the funeral will be at 1:30 pm on Monday, June 13 at Canton Lutheran Church in Canton, SD. Visitation will be Sunday, June 12, 2016 from 2:00 to 8:00 pm at Anderson Funeral Home with the family present from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.

          Carol Jean Adeline Stettnichs was born December 21, 1939 in Doon, IA, the daughter of Harry and Martha (LaFrenz) Stettnichs.  She married Robert Smith in Luverne, MN, after which they made their home in Larchwood, IA where she worked with her parents as a waitress at the Stettnichs Café. In 1965 they moved to Canton, SD where Carol worked at Otis Electronics, The Lewdoc Café, Town & Country Lanes, and the Black Angus Bar & Grill until her retirement in 1992. She enjoyed crocheting, cooking, gardening and attending her grandchildren’s sporting and musical events.

          Survivors include her husband of 57 years Robert Smith, two brothers Virgil (Sylvia) and Stan Stettnichs of Larchwood, IA, one sister Sharlene (John) Engel of Lake Park, IA.; one son Chuck (Dianne) Smith of Canton, SD; five daughters Vicki (Joel) Dykstra of Sioux Falls SD, Deb (Keven) Stahlecker, Ronda (Craig) Thompson, Shelly (Leon) Eich and Bobbi Jo (Phil) Ranschau all of Canton, SD; 17 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. She will also be missed by special family friends, Ila Torkelson and Dorothy TerWee.

Robert C. “Bob” Brynjulson

Robert Clayton ‘Bob’ Brynjulson, 87, passed away Monday, June 6, 2016 at Avera Dougherty Hospice in Sioux Falls.  His funeral service will be at 10:00am on Saturday, June 11th at Grand Valley Lutheran Church south of Canton.  Visitation will be from 6:00 – 8:00pm on Bob Brynjulson crop argusFriday, June 10th at Anderson Funeral Home in Canton.

Bob was born July 7, 1928 to Albert and Effie (Narum) Brynjulson on the family homestead south of Canton.  He attended grade school at Riverside Rural School and graduated from Canton High School in 1946.  Bob farmed with his father until being drafted in 1951.  He served in the Army from 1951 to 1953 during the Korean War, and after his discharge returned home to continue farming.  Bob married Carol Dorsman on October 14, 1956 in Sioux Falls.  They farmed together their entire married life on a “Century” farm, which has been in the Brynjulson family since 1876.  They raised corn, soybeans, cattle, hogs and two children.

Bob met Carol at the Arkota Ballroom in Sioux Falls, and they continued to dance regularly for the next sixty years.  They were avid travelers, visiting all fifty states and 27 foreign countries.  Bob enjoyed frequent camping and fishing trips with family and friends.  He was an active lifelong member of Grand Valley Lutheran Church, and served as trustee, treasurer, and deacon.  He was a member of VFW, Moose Lodge, and Farmers Union.

Grateful for having shared his life are:  his loving wife of 59 years, Carol; son, Curt (Brenda), Sioux Falls; daughter, Peggy (Charlie) Groen, Beresford; five grandchildren – Chad Groen, Spearfish, Chris (Sarah) MacDonald, Jennifer (Aric) Oslund, Andrew (Sony) Brynjulson, and Austin (Molly) Brynjulson, all of Sioux Falls; eleven great-grandchildren; sisters, Verna (Julian) Holter, Canton, and Doris Towne, Harlan, IA; and sister-in-law, Dorothy Brynjulson, Sioux Falls.  He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Harlan; and brother-in-law Willis Towne.

Donald A. Farnsworth, Jr.

Don Farnsworth pix0001             Donald Farnsworth, Jr., age 74, died Friday, June 3, 2016 at Southridge Healthcare.  Memorial visitation, with family present, will be Thursday from 5-8 p.m.  A prayer service will begin at 7:00 p.m.

          Donald was born on August 29, 1941 in Buckhannon, WV to Donald and Wanda (Frazee) Farnsworth.  Donald served his country in the US Army.  He married Karen  Klepel on July 1, 1964 in Luverne, MN.  The couple moved to West Virginia in 1968 and returned to Canton, SD in 1984.

          Donald worked various jobs in West Virginia and spent 21 years at John Morrell’s in Sioux Falls, SD.  Donald enjoyed fishing, motorcycles, junking , and collecting stuff.  He was best known for his story telling.

          Donald is survived by his sons, Donald (Glenna) Centerville, SD and Harold (Cheryl), West Virginia; daughters, Tracy (Jeff) Kleinhesselink, Alton, IA, Lisa (James) Walker, Sioux Falls, SD, and Lori (Mike) Kezar, Canton, SD; brothers, John, Ricky, Sammy, and Kevin; sisters, Norma, Margaret, Vera, Geneva, Dee Dee; 17 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; along with numerous other relatives and friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Karen;  infant sons, Brian, Bradley, and Todd; 2 sisters; and 3 brothers.


Perry Juel

perry Juel       Ellenton, Fl.  Perry Juel, 91, formerly of Sioux Falls and Canton, passed away Friday, May 27, 2016 at his home in Ellenton.  A graveside service will be held at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 4, at the Lutheran Cemetery north of Canton.

        Perry was born December 10, 1924 in Lincoln County, one of 8 children, to Paul and Pearl (Wahl) Juel.  He attended school in Canton, graduating in 1943.  Perry served in the US Navy during WWII.  Following his discharge, he attended Chillicothe Business College in Chillicothe, MO.  He married Thelma Stadum June 4, 1950.  They lived in Sioux Falls until 1979, when they moved to Florida.  He was a partner with his brother-in-law at Stadum Construction in Sioux Falls for many years.

         Perry was a former member of First Lutheran Church, 55 year member of the Sioux Falls American Legion, life member of Sertoma International and past president of Sioux Falls Sertoma Club, charter member of Westward Ho Country Club, Sioux Falls Elks Club, Norwegian Singers Association, and member of the Norse Glee Club.

        Perry is survived by his wife of 66 years, Thelma; one son, Craig of Connecticut; 2 granddaughters, Christen and Caroline;  one great-grandson, Graham; and a host of nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, one son, Brian, and 7 brothers and sisters.