September 27 2007


Posted by Kim
Betty Thornberg, 78 Funeral services will be held Thursday, September 27 at 2 p.m. for Betty Thornberg, 78, who died Sunday, September 23 at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD. A prayer service will be held at 7 pm followed by visitation until 9 pm at the American Lutheran Church in Presho. Funeral services will be at the American Lutheran Church with Pastor Lori Hope officiating. Burial will be at Presho City Cemetery. Betty was born on October 31, 1928 in Westover, SD to Clarence Everett and Florence Woodward. On November 27, 1947 Betty married Clarence Thornberg in Murdo, SD. They were married for 56 years before Clarence’s death in 2004. They had six children, eight grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

Betty was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post #89 in Presho, SD for 60 years. In 1977 Betty completed the necessary hours for Emergency Medical Training (EMT) she spent 30 years serving the community for Public Service. From May 1983 to May 1987 Betty served as the first and only female mayor in Presho. In 1987 she was instrumental in making the Stanley-Jones Memorial Clinic in Presho a reality. She was very active in the Presho community and the American Lutheran Church in Presho. She enjoyed fishing, camping, quilting and numerous other crafts. She served as co-owner of the Presho Cash Market and the Thornberg Super Value store with her husband Clarence through 1976. She worked for 15 years at the Cenex station as well as at the Golden Buffalo Casino in Lower Brule for five years. In 2002 Betty retired from working but not from life!

She is survived by five sons: Richard of San Antonio, TX, Terry (Peggy) of Aberdeen, SD, Joe (Bonnie Brech) of Mitchell, SD, Michael (Tammy) of Angleton, TX and John of Rapid City, SD; one daughter: Cindy (Rex) Milstead of Myersville, MD; eight grandchildren: Shayla (Todd) Scherr, Darcy (Laramie) Knoll, Scott Thornberg, Kelly Thornberg, Kint (Olivia) Thornberg, Kristin (Chuck) Hubble, Adrian Milstead and Jill (Mike) Pugh; 10 great grandchildren: Megan Kriech, Scott Thornberg Jr, Arianna Thornberg, Ethan Thornberg, Landon Thornberg, Emily Knoll, Conner Hubble, Joshua Hubble, Spencer Mosqueda, Fallen Pugh; one brother Roxy (Darlene) Kieffe of El Paso, TX; three sisters: Gay Leider of Las Vegas, NV; Mitzie Kleinsasser of Stockton, CA and Kay McMeeking of Houston, TX. She was preceded in death by her husband Clarence; her parents Clarence E. and Florence Woodward; three brothers: Clifford, Lefty and Dickie Woodward; two sisters: Polly McFadden and Oma King and one great-grandson Caleb.
Merrill Karlen, Sr., 89
Funeral services for Merrill Karlen, Sr., 89, of Reliance, SD were Tuesday, September 25, 2007 at 2:00 p.m. at the Reliance Methodist Church in Reliance, SD with burial in the Reliance Cemetery at Reliance. Prominent Central South Dakota Rancher-Farmer, Merrill Karlen, Sr. of Reliance, SD died Thursday, September 20, 2007 at Sanford Mid Dakota Care Center in Chamberlain at the age of 89 years. Merrill was born December 10, 1917 in Miner County, SD to Merrill and Madeline (Meyer) Karlen. When Merrill’s family first came to the Lyman County area, they lived in a shepherd’s style wagon because Merrill’s father had the job of a Federal Trapper. They made their home near the original town site of Lower Brule. He attended elementary school in Lower Brule and then stayed with his uncles near Howard while attending Carthage High School. Merrill and his older brother Elton earned the money to start ranching by hunting and trapping in the area. They shipped the furs to Chicago on the railroad to auctions held there by Sears & Roebuck. Merrill began ranching in the Reliance-Lower Brule area and married his lifelong partner Rosemarie Fletcher on December 2, 1955 at the Reliance Methodist Church in Reliance. Together, they grew their ranch while also raising their eight children. Merrill transferred ownership of his ranches to several of his children in the late 1980’s but he remained actively involved and interested until the end.Merrill is survived by his wife Rosemarie of Reliance, SD; eight children: Merrill Karlen, Jr. and wife Karen of Oacoma, SD, Laura Karlen of Reliance, SD, Roy Karlen and wife Gail of Omaha, NE, Paula Gray and husband Andy of Chamberlain, SD, Connie Karlen and partner Diane of Saint Paul, MN, Julie Goodman and husband Clint of Oelrichs, SD, Brad Karlen and Warren Karlen both of Reliance, SD; eight grandchildren; two great grandchildren; two sisters: Joan Hamiel and husband Delmar and Sylvia Schafer all of Rapid City, SD; and a sister-in-law Beth Karlen of Albuquerque, NM. Preceding him in death were his parents Merrill and Madeline (Meyer) Karlen; a brother Elton; and a sister Vida Mae Karlen.

September 20 2007

Kennebec man inducted into SD Country Music Hall of Fame

Posted by Kim

Curt Halvorson and his family following his induction into the SD Country Music Hall of Fame, L-R; father Gene, son Matt, daughter Summer, Curt, daughter Lacey, and mother Margie Halvorson. The event took place at the VFW in Sioux Falls, Sept. 9.
By Lucy Halverson Curt Halvorson became one of just 22 South Dakotans to be inducted into the South Dakota County Music Hall of Fame at a ceremony held at the VFW in Sioux Falls Sunday, Sept. 9. Introduced by his oldest son Mark, Curt accepted his award and spoke to the assembled crowd. Later Curt joined several other musicians for a short jam session. Six area bands played at different times throughout the evening. According to Kenny Powell, president of the SD Country Music Hall of Fame, four musicians including Curt, were inducted this year. "I met Curt a couple of years ago while working in Kennebec," stated Powell who nominated Curt for the Hall of Fame. According to Powell he visited with different people around the Kennebec and Chamberlain area, and kept hearing Curt’s name mentioned as having contributed to the local country music landscape. "Of course, Curt kept bringing up names of other area musicians he thought deserving" added Powell.

Curt played bass guitar with the band, Country Express for 13 years. The band was formed by Curt and his cousin Dennis Gerard. Several different musicians from around the area played in the band over the years, but Curt and Dennis were the only two to remain in the band the entire time.

Powell traveled to Kennebec this summer to deliver the news of Curt’s selection personally. "I was surprised, flabbergasted actually. I expected he was going to tell me the person I nominated had been selected, instead he told me I was," said Curt. "I was really honored and pleased to be recognized by people who have been involved with music across the state much longer than I have," he added. Curt has continued to play guitar and sing, especially with his daughters Lacey and Summer at special events like family gatherings or church services including weddings and funerals. The South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame was started five years ago as a musical benefit for Curt Powell, who died from cancer prior to the actual event. "It turned out to be more of a memorial to Curt (Powell) who was my uncle," said Kenny. "The next year, this same group of Sioux Falls area musicians got together again and we decided to establish the Country Music Hall of Fame." Each year since several state musicians have been inducted based on nominations. "Our mission is to try and get a permanent location to hang photos of our inductees."

Powell, a fourth generation South Dakota musician, currently plays with the band Splitrock from the Sioux Falls area. "Curt has nomination forms if anyone local is interested in nominating a musician they feel desiring of the recognition," added Powell.

Attending the induction were Gene and Margie Halvorson, Mark and Kellie, and Kadence Halvorson, Summer, Lacey and Matt Halvorson, Nikki Diehm, Tory McCauly, and Cliff Halverson.

September 20 2007

Public defibrillators placed at area businesses

Posted by Kim
By Lucy Halverson
Several members of Lyman County Ambulance recently demonstrated CPR and the use of public defibrillators at Lyman School and several businesses.According to Lyman County Ambulance director Karen Willis, several local EMTs participated in the school’s In-Service day last Wednesday to demonstrate to school staff members the technique used in administering CPR and the use of a public defibrillator. "A public defibrillator is different than those on the ambulance or those used in medical facilities," stated Willis. A public defibrillator is geared towards the layperson. Easy to read and understand instructions to operate the equipment is provided," Willis added. Lyman School District bought the defibrillator that is located at the school in Presho.

Defibrillators, purchased with grant funds by the local EMS association, are also available at the Coffee Cup Fuel Stop at Vivian and the New Frontier Station at Presho. Local EMTs also recently demonstrated CPR and the use of the defibrillator to staff members at both businesses.

The Vivian and Reliance fire departments also have public defibrillators in addition to Lyman County’s emergency management officer Deputy Steve Manger. Willis stated that the EMTs completed their annual electrical safety demonstration to the high school shop class earlier this month. The demonstration includes showing the students how to do CPR. "It’s a service we provide every year to the school," said Willis.

September 20 2007


Posted by Kim
Joan L. Halvorson, 64 Funeral services for Joan L. Halvorson, 64, of Kennebec, SD was 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 15, 2007 at the Kennebec Lutheran Church in Kennebec with burial in the Kennebec Cemetery at Kennebec. Joan L. Ehlers was born May 10, 1943 in Presho, SD to Alfred and Lavonne (Ramser) Ehlers. She graduated from Presho High School in 1961. Joan was united in marriage to Gary Halvorson on September 2, 1961 at Kennebec Lutheran Church in Kennebec. To this union, four children were born. Joan was always on a lifelong spiritual journey searching ways to serve the Lord and seeking the solitude of faith in Him. Joan loved writing poetry and talking to others on issues of faith. The family offers thanks to all who helped her along the way with these spiritual issues. She loved gathering with her family whenever possible and the closeness of the family.

Joan passed away on September 12, 2007 at her son, Gary’s home in Rapid City at the age of 64 years. Gratefully sharing in her life are her husband of 46 years Gary of Kennebec, SD; four children: Lisa Barrett of Prescott Valley, AZ, Gary Halvorson of Rapid City, SD, Diane Hamer and husband Kenny of Kennebec, SD, and Greg Halvorson of Kennebec, SD; her mother Lavonne Ehlers of Presho, SD; a brother Laverne Ehlers and wife Carol of Presho, SD; a sister Joyce Houchin and husband Willis of Kennebec, SD; seven grandchildren: Heather, Cody, and Austin Barrett, Kayla, Lindsey, and Brady Hamer, and Sarah Halvorson; and a great granddaughter Lily Barrett. Preceding her in death were her father Alfred Ehlers and a son-in-law Paul Barrett.

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