Vol. 21, No. 11; Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020

Dec 31, 2020 | Parker's Midweek Update | 1 comment

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EMPATHY by Morgan Harper Nichols

“Let me hold the door for you.
I may have never walked in your shoes,
but I can see your soles are worn,
your strength is torn
under the weight of a story
I have never lived before.
Let me hold the door for you.
After all you’ve walked through,
it’s the least I can do.”


Athletes of the Week: The Pierre Athletic Coaches Association’s Athletes of the Week honorees for the second week of December were Noah Williams of the boys wrestling team and Caytee Williams of the girls basketball team. Last week the honored athletes were Jacob Larson of the boys wrestling team and Reese Terwilliger of the girls basketball team/.

Boys basketball: After the Douglas home game was postponed, the Governors whipped Spearfish, 79-51, led by 23 points from Lincoln Kienholz and 17 from Jack Merkwan.

Wrestling: The Governors dominated Aberdeen Central in a dual, 64-12, scoring eight pins and two technical falls as the boys won 12 of 14 matches and the girls three of four. In duals at Sioux Falls the Governors had six pins and four forfeits in a 63-15 win over Vermillion and lost to Brandon Valley, 33-25. In the latter match Jacob Larson won by pin at 195 pounds, Regan Bollweg won a 1-0 decision at 220, Noah Williams won 5-0 at 113, Hayden Shaffer won 6-1 at 138, Tyson Johnson won by an 8-0 major decision at 145, and Gavin Stotts picked up a forfeit win at 182.

Girls basketball: The Governor girls swept a Black Hills trip, 48-38 over Sturgis and 57-32 over Spearfish. Remi Price had 15 points, including 10 out of 10 free throws, and Caytee Williams 16 points against the Scoopers. Price scored 21 and Williams eight vs. Spearfish.

Gymnastics: At Mitchell’s tournament the Governor girls were ninth with a 130.55 score. Aubre Westover was Pierre’s highest scorer with 20th place in the all-around standings.

This week’s schedules:
Boys basketball: home vs. Sioux Falls Lincoln, 2 p.m.
Gymnastics: at Rapid City triangular, 9:30 a.m.
Girls basketball: home vs. Watertown, 5 p.m.
Girls basketball: home vs. Sioux Falls O’Gorman, 7 p.m.


This week’s schedules:
Girls basketball: at Herreid-Selby Area (in Selby).
Boys basketball: at Herreid-Selby Area (in Selby).
Girls basketball: home vs. Highmore-Harrold.
Boys basketball: home vs. Highmore-Harrold.
— Wrestling: next at Lyman invitational Jan. 8-9.

Boys basketball: The Buffaloes captured a pair of wins just before Christmas. SCHS defeated Philip, 63-57, then dominated Jones County, 59-40. In the latter game Lathan Prince scored 14 points with nine assists, Cormac Duffy 12 points and Nathan Cook 12 points.

Girls basketball: The SCHS girls lost to Philp, 36-25, and lost to Jones County, 52-25.


This week’s schedules:
Girls basketball: at Mobridge-Pollock.
Boys basketball: at Mobridge-Pollock.
Girls basketball: at Philip.
— Wrestling: next at Mobridge-Pollock (with Faulkton) Jan. 21.

Girls basketball: The Charger girls are 3-2 heading into the new year’s first game Saturday. SBHS lost to Aberdeen Roncalli, 58-31, as Ally Wittler scored 19 points. On Monday at the Parkston Classic the girls won a 43-42 nail-biter over Canistota. Two field goals apiece by Lydia Hill and Stevie Wittler in the fourth quarter helped the team overcome a 36-33 deficit after three quarters.

Boys basketball: The Chargers lost to Winner, 65-40, despite Rafe Wientjes’ 22 points. They won their first game of the season when they beat Aberdeen Roncalli, 49-46, led by 17 from Wientjes and 12 from Garrett Petersen. At the Parkston Classic the boys lost to Parker, 59-34. Wientjes led the team with 10 points as the Chargers committed 27 turnovers. Their record is 1-3 heading to Mobridge on Saturday.


1 day: College football national semifinal games (Jan. 1).
6 days: Joint session of Congress to count electoral votes (Jan. 6).
9 days: NFL playoffs begin (Jan. 9).
11 days: College football national championship game (Jan. 11).
12 days: First day of legislative session (Jan. 12).
13 days: NHL season begins (Jan. 13).
16 days: Burning Beetle Festival, Custer (Jan. 16).
20 days: Inauguration Day (Jan. 20).
29 days: Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo, Rapid City (Jan. 29-Feb. 6).
31 days: Grammy awards, CBS-TV (Jan. 31).
36 days: State one-act play festival, Brandon/Rapid City/Brookings (Feb. 5-6).
38 days: Super Bowl LV (Feb. 7).
43 days: State gymnastics meet, Watertown (Feb. 12-13).
54 days: Georgia Morse Middle School musical (Feb. 23, 25).
56 days: State wrestling tournaments, Rapid City (Feb. 25-27).
57 days: Pierre Players’ “A Little Piece of Heaven” (Feb. 26-28, March 4-6).
59 days: Golden Globe awards, NBC-TV (Feb. 28).


Directions: Draw a box of 16 squares in a 4×4 format. Number the boxes in your top row 1, 2, 3 and 4 from left to right. Number the boxes in your left-hand row 1, 5, 6 and 7 from top to bottom.

(1) River in Tuscany.
(5) What they rushed to Lead for.
(6) Farm Service Agency’s department of the government.
(7) Next in line below the chief (abbr.).
(1) Spanish for “water.”
(2) David Schwimmer’s character on “Friends.”
(3) First round of National League baseball playoffs (abbr.).
(4) One day at a time (abbr.).

Puzzle answer at the bottom of this Update.


June 18: Chris Rumrill/Katya Vakshteyn.
July 31: Jack Carpenter/Leesa Johnson.


Mount Marty men’s basketball (Lincoln Jordre): The Lancers stand at 7-7 as the GPAC season resumes Saturday at Briar Cliff and next Wednesday at home vs. Northwestern. Mount Marty defeated Doane, 92-74; lost to Dordt, 97-80, and lost an exhibition game at USD, 84-44. In the latter game Lincoln was a starter and saw 22 minutes of action. He was 2-of-6 from the field and 1-of-2 at the stripe for five points with three rebounds, one assist and a block.

South Dakota men’s basketball (Max Burchill): The Coyotes lost for the second time this season to Drake, 75-57. Max saw his first action of his freshman season, getting in for seven minutes and going 0-for-1 with one rebound and one assist. In an 84-44 win over Mount Marty he was 1-of-4 for two points with three rebounds in three minutes. Now 2-6, USD opens the Summit League season with home games vs. Denver at 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Dakota Wesleyan men’s basketball (Bradley Dean): The Tiger men were 10-1 going into last night’s non-league game vs. Dakota State. The GPAC season resumes at Doane Saturday and at home vs. Concordia next Wednesday. In a 75-60 over top-10 Morningside, Bradley was 2-of-2 in free throws for two points.

Morningside bowling (Alex Badger): The Mustangs are off until Jan. 16-17 at a tournament in Addison, Ill.

Black Hills State women’s basketball (Racquel Wientjes): The Yellowjacket women are 4-1 after a 72-56 win at UC-Colorado Springs. Racquel was 9-of-19 (3-of-7 in threes) and 8-of-9 at the line for 29 points with nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals. BHSU is home in RMAC play this Sunday at 4 p.m. vs. Regis and Monday at 5:30 p.m. vs. Colorado Mines.

South Dakota women’s basketball (Chloe Lamb): The Coyote women won at Bradley of the Missouri Valley Conference, 84-68, as Chloe became the 28th player in USD women’s history to surpass 1,000 points in her career. She had five three-pointers on the way to 18 points with six boards and three assists. At Oklahoma the USD women were down by 17 points, then rallied back to within three before OU went on a 15-5 run to save their win, 80-73. Chloe was 7-of-20 (4-of-10 in threes) and 5-of-6 for 23 points with five rebounds, two steals and an assist. Now 3-3, USD, after a non-conference game vs. Midland last night, is home twice vs. Denver as Summit League play begins with 1 p.m. tip-offs Saturday and Sunday.

University of Mary wrestling (Lincoln Turman): Lincoln is a redshirt sophomore for the Marauders, who open the season tonight (Thursday) at home in Bismarck against fellow NSIC member St. Cloud State. Lincoln is wrestling at 141 pounds.

Augustana track/field (Elizabeth Schaefer): Elizabeth was named NSIC preseason field athlete of the year in a poll last week. The Augie indoor season begins Jan. 24 at SDSU’s Division II invitational meet.

Augustana wrestling (Jebben Keyes): This will be Jebben’s senior season for the Vikings as he wrestles at 141 pounds. Augie’s season begins in Kenosha, Wis., against Wisconsin-Parkside Saturday.

Augustana women’s basketball (Aislinn Duffy, Katie Bourk): This will be the sophomore season for Aislinn, daughter of Fort Pierre native Dan Duffy and a graduate of St. Thomas More High School in Rapid City. For Katie this will be her eighth season as assistant coach to head coach Dave Krauth. Katie is a 2006 graduate of Sully Buttes High School. The Viking women open the season with home NSIC games vs. MSU-Moorhead Saturday and Sunday.


John Pavlovitz in his “Stuff That Needs to be Said” blog, speaking to the year 2020: “You will forever be 12 of the most injurious, taxing, cruel consecutive months in my lifetime, and I will rejoice at your departure and dance wildly in your absence.”


Thursday, Dec. 31:
Jess Wright, Prentice Weaver, Andy Zarecky, Nicole (Cholik) Namken, Moriah (Wagner) Gross, Sean Getty, Logan Hall, Bryce Palmer, Hannah Albertus, Kellan Ogan, Amanda Garrett, Carrie (Kinkler) Smith, Melissa (Huber) Hundstad, Debby Bouchie, Brian Harrington, Caroline Denton.
— 4th anniversary, Logan/Rachel (Howard) Sulentic.
— 15th anniversary, Kyle/Meaghan (Anderson) Neuberger.
— 21st anniversary, Kris/Calyn (Cronin) Hauck.
— 21st anniversary, Brian/Carolyn Deal.
— 15th anniversary, Jon/Lindsey (Riter) Rapp.
— 11th anniversary, Derek/Katlyn Gustafson.
— 7th anniversary, Jon/Pati Kotilnek.
— 32nd anniversary, John/Vicki Hagemann.
— 26th anniversary, Norm/Sarah Lingle.
— 17th anniversary, Rob/Bethany Nill.

Friday, Jan. 1:
Kathy Murtland, Nikki (Grandpre) Wilson, Dolly Christenson, Natalie Nagle, Astrid Schaack, Lukas Tedford, Brayden Ahlers, David Gordon, Kim Paxton.
— 10th anniversary, Kyle/Britany (Gonsor) Willis.
— 8th anniversary, Travis/Lauren Scharnweber.
— Anniversary, Jordan/Nikki Hoover.

Saturday, Jan. 2:
Will Corcoran, Zoe (Donahue Jones) Hiller, D.T. Meyer, Sara (Lakner) Johnson, Mike Fugitt, Dennis Eisnach, Steve Parker, Patty Millar.
— 5th anniversary, Greg/Shelly (Monnens) Campbell.
— Anniversary, Bryce/Tennile (Asmussen) Lindskov.

Sunday, Jan. 3:
Bryson Harter, Bethany Jochim, Brent Lindbloom, George Bock, Dorothy Massey, Ali (Bailey) Maurice, Jennifer McGruder, Nathan Perli, Joie (Schuetzle) Jockheck, Rick Newman, Kelsey Glynn.
— 17th anniversary, Reid/Leah LeBeau.
— 17th anniversary, Paul/Teresa Sowers.
— 6th anniversary, Josiah/Heather Severson.

Monday, Jan. 4:
John Sterling, Jack Baker, Joanie (Flottmeyer) Blair, Josh Joy.
— 1st anniversary, Brian/Paige Hermanson.

Tuesday, Jan. 5:
Jeff Schlekeway, Debi Englehart, Mike Shoup, Bowen Goehring, Mary (Hight) Wire, Maren Formanek.

Wednesday, Jan. 6:
Ruth Ann Scharnweber, Dan Currier, Scott Lovald, Nancy McKenney, Bradley Dean, Brad Englund, Stephanie (Ellenbecker) Vandel, Patrick Baker, Deneen Clausen, Riley Hausmann, Crystal Ortbahn.

Thursday, Jan. 7:
Alisa (DeMers) Bousa, Amber (Russell) Lockwood, Ellen (Gormley) Hopper, Hannah (Waack) Carda, Eileen Briggs, Jordan LaBrie, Lucy Bradley, J.D. Pohlman, Peter Mickelson, Bryan Beck, Kim deHueck.


Minnesota Wild: The National Hockey League has decided a 56-game season will begin Jan. 13. The league has realigned teams into geographic divisions, and each team will play games only within its own division, rather than nationwide. Minnesota is in the new West Division with Anaheim, Arizona, Colorado, Los Angeles, San Jose, St. Louis and Vegas. The top four teams in each division will qualify for the playoffs, the first two rounds of which will also be intra-division. The Wild open in Los Angeles on Jan. 14, the first game of a four-game road trip to start the season.

Oahe Capitals girls varsity: The girls have been idle over the holiday break. With an 0-2 record in SDAHA play, the girls are home this weekend—Saturday at 3 p.m. vs. Aberdeen and Sunday at 1 p.m. vs. Mitchell.

Oahe Capitals boys varsity: After a weekend sweep in Yankton, the Caps are 4-0 in league play heading into two home games next week—Jan. 9 vs. Huron and Jan. 10 vs. Sioux Falls #1. In a 9-3 win over Yankton, Raef Briggs scored four times, Elliot Leif twice, and Jaden Flor, Ashton Griese and Andrew Gordon once apiece. Kieran Duffy made 25 saves in goal. The next day the Capitals beat Yankton, 9-2. Gordon and Griese each scored two while Leif, Isaac Polak, Flor, Briggs and Christopher Schultz each scored one goal. Carter Schultz made 37 saves as goalkeeper.

Rapid City Rush: On their first road trip of the year the Rush lost twice at Allen, Texas, 5-2 and 3-2. Now 1-3, Rapid City plays at Utah Thursday, Friday and Saturday, then will be home vs. Allen next Wednesday.

Sioux Falls Stampede: The Herd lost to Waterloo, 5-2; beat Des Moines, 5-3, and shut out Fargo, 2-0. Sioux Falls is home vs. Fargo tonight (Thursday) and on the road to Fargo Saturday.

Aberdeen Wings: The Wings beat St. Cloud, 5-0, for their 15th straight win to start the season. Then St. Cloud beat the Wings, 4-0. Now 14-1, Aberdeen is home Friday and Saturday vs. Bismarck.


PGA Champions Tour (Tom Byrum): The first meet on the Champions Tour’s 2021 calendar will be the Mitsubishi Championship in Hawaii Jan. 21-23. During the 2020 tour year Tom played in 13 events, making the cut in all 13 of them. He placed once in the top 10 and three times in the top 25, ranked 44th in the tour standings at the end of the year and earned $256,756.


Midco Sports Network live games this week:
— SATURDAY and SUNDAY (same schedule both days):
1:00, women’s basketball, Denver at USD.
1:00, women’s basketball, Kansas City at UND (MSN2).
3:30, men’s basketball, Kansas City at UND (MSN2).
4:00, men’s basketball, Denver at USD.

Minnesota Timberwolves: The Wolves had to open the new NBA season with a four-game road trip, and they came out of it with a 2-2 mark. Minnesota beat Detroit, 111-101, and Utah, 116-111, then lost in Los Angeles to the Lakers, 127-91, and the Clippers, 124-101. Finally at home, the Wolves will play Washington Friday at 7 p.m. and Denver Sunday at 6 p.m., then go to Denver Tuesday at 8 p.m.


South Dakota Pheasants: That will be the name of the South Dakota entry in the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA). The team, which will be based in Sioux Falls, will have its first tryouts Jan. 7.

NFL games on local TV this weekend (games subject to change by networks):
— Sunday: Minnesota at Detroit, noon, Fox.
— Sunday: Pittsburgh at Cleveland, noon, CBS.
— Sunday: Las Vegas at Denver, 3:25 p.m., CBS.
— Sunday: Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City, 3:25 p.m., Fox.
— Sunday: Washington at Philadelphia, 6:15 p.m., NBC.

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings saw their slim playoff hopes fall by the wayside when they lost to Chicago, 33-27, and then to New Orleans, 52-33. Now 6-9, the Vikings finish the season in a meaningless game at Detroit Sunday.

Denver Broncos: The Broncos were blown out by Buffalo, 48-19, and lost late to the Chargers, 19-16, to drop to 5-10. Denver finishes the season against the Raiders Sunday.

College football schedules:
Feb. 19 (Fri.), Western Illinois, 6 p.m.
Feb. 26 (Fri.), Northern Iowa, 6 p.m.
March 4 (Thurs.), at North Dakota, 5 p.m.
March 13 (Sat.), at Indiana State, noon.
March 20 (Sat.), North Dakota State, 2 p.m.
March 27 (Sat.), at Illinois State, time TBD.
April 3 (Sat.), Missouri State, 2:30 p.m.
April 10 (Sat.), at South Dakota State, time TBD.
Feb. 20 (Sat.), at Southern Illinois.
Feb. 27 (Sat.), at North Dakota.
March 13 (Sat.), Youngstown State.
March 20 (Sat.), Western Illinois.
March 27 (Sat.), Indiana State.
April 3 (Sat.), at North Dakota State.
April 10 (Sat.), South Dakota.
April 17 (Sat.), at Northern Iowa.
Feb. 21 (Sun.), Youngstown State, 2:30 p.m.
March 6 (Sat.), at Indiana State.
March 13 (Sat.), Illinois State, 2:30 p.m.
March 20 (Sat.), at South Dakota, 2 p.m.
March 27 (Sat.), at Missouri State, 2 p.m.
April 3 (Sat.), South Dakota State, 2:30 p.m.
April 10 (Sat.), at Northern Iowa.
April 17 (Sat.), North Dakota.


  • At the bottom of this Update you will find the Parkie Awards for 2020.
  • A thought uttered last spring which bears repeating now: “It would be nice if our national leaders would lead us in healing the divisions in our nation at this time, but if they won’t, we can do it ourselves.” That was stated by Methodist pastor Dr. Jane Florence.
  • That example in 2020 when punctuation and capitalization really mattered: “I’m giving up drinking for a month.” “I’m giving up. Drinking for a month.”
  • If you want to start an argument, here’s a topic. Despite what you say or think, the decade of the ’20s begins Friday with the year 2021. The decade of the ’10s ends tonight when 2020 goes away.


Congratulations to Onida natives Allen Hiller and Zoe (Donahue) Jones, who were married last week.

Gloria Engel, who enjoyed a long career as the clerk of the South Dakota Supreme Court in Pierre, died Christmas Day after a long cancer battle. Her funeral took place in Gettysburg on Dec. 28. She graduated from Gettysburg High School in 1955 and married LeRoy Engel in 1956. They raised their family in Pierre. After her retirement Gloria relocated to Sioux Falls where she volunteered at Habitat for Humanity. She is survived by her four children, Bernadette Engel, Shawn Engel, Stephen Engel and Heather Wermers and her husband Mark; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

One of South Dakota State’s football recruits is Harrisburg offensive lineman Ethan Headlee of Sioux Falls. He is the grandson of former Pierre residents Marcia and Dave Mack.

Harvey Friez, who served as senior pastor at Community Bible Church for nearly 32 years, passed away at age 72 in Sioux Falls Dec. 17. A memorial service took place Dec. 22 at Faith Baptist Fellowship in Sioux Falls. Pastor Friez grew up at McLaughlin where he was active in sports and developed a strong work ethic. He earned a degree in speech at South Dakota State University. While in school, he participated in The Navigators and recommitted his life to Christ. He met Leonore Keys in 1970 at a Navigators summer training program in Colorado. They continued to correspond while she finished college and he attended Dallas Theological Seminary. They were married in Oklahoma City in 1972. In 1976 they moved to Durham, Kan., where he spent 20 years as pastor of First Baptist Church and earned his Ph.D. at Kansas State University. They came to Pierre and Community Bible Church in 1987. He retired for health reasons in 2018 and moved to Sioux Falls. There he ministered at the Minnehaha County Jail and led Bible study groups among friends. Pastor Friez is survived by his wife, Leonore; his son, Matt Friez and his wife Tara and their three children; his daughter, Allyson Kreycik and her husband Jon and their two children; his daughter, Lindsey Karschnik and her husband Kody and their three children; and his sisters, Beverly Friez and Anita Auch.

Two long-time public officials on the Hughes County Commission attended their last meetings as commissioners last week. Roger Inman, who was on the commission for 20 years, and Norm Weaver, who served for 12 years, completed their terms and did not seek re-election. Their replacements, Tom Rounds and Randy Brown, won election in November.

Rhonda (Fox) Pohlman, 50, died Dec. 24 at the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls. A graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Onida cemetery. Rhonda was adopted into the family of Winfred and Clara Fox of Onida. She graduated from Sully Buttes High School in 1989. Rhonda married Stephen (J.D.) Pohlman in 1997, and they later divorced. She is survived by her two children, Liam and Greta, and her sister, Karen Donahue and her husband Bill of Onida.

Jesse and April Beesley became parents for the first time on Dec. 20. Their daughter, Charlette Gracelynn, weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces, and measured 20.2 inches. The Beesleys live just outside Fort Worth, Texas.

Sully Buttes High School teacher/coach Mark Senftner underwent surgery for a brain tumor at Mayo Clinic in Rochester yesterday. There is a CaringBridge page on which friends, students and colleagues can follow his progress.

Kay (Eggers) Parker, 84, passed away at home in Fort Pierre on Dec. 28. A private family memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 11, at Lutheran Memorial Church. Kay grew up at Corsica and graduated as a registered nurse from the Methodist School of Nursing at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell. She met Dick Parker while both were employed at the Fort Meade Veterans Administration facility at Sturgis. They were married in 1961. Kay worked as an R.N. for more than 60 years. She spent 50 of those years at St. Mary’s Hospital where she worked in the emergency room, the medical surgical floor, the intensive care unit, the director of nursing office and surgery. She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Richard Parker of Fort Pierre; her three children, Jeff Parker and his wife Teresa of Rapid City, Jayne Parsons and her husband Ted of Fort Pierre, and Jay Parker and his wife Michelle of Brookings; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Wayne Grubbs, 75, Lower Brule, died Dec. 14. A celebration of his life was held Dec. 18 at Feigum Funeral Home. Born in Tennessee, Wayne graduated from Riggs High School in 1963 and attended the School of Mines. He and Catherine Doren were married in 1967 and spent 53 years together. Wayne served the state for 41 years in the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications and the Unified Judicial System. He is survived by his wife, Cathy; his daughter, Theresa Long Turkey and her husband Bill of Lower Brule; his son, Jeromy Grubbs and his wife Cherlyn of Pierre; four grandchildren; one great-grandchild, and two sisters, Sandy Bales and Jean Hoeppner of Pierre.

A CaringBridge site has been established so relatives and friends can follow the progress of Amelia Rounds. The daughter of Austin (A.J.) and Krista Rounds was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia Dec. 17 at Sanford Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls. According to the CaringBridge page, she will have weekly chemotherapy for the first month and probably chemotherapy continuing for another nine months. A.J. and Krista have three daughters and are expecting a fourth child.

Lynn Metzinger died Dec. 14 at Avera Maryhouse at the age of 79 after a brief battle with cancer. Memorial Mass was celebrated Dec. 19 at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church. Lynn came with his family to Pierre in 1945 and attended Riggs High School. He worked in construction and on the Oahe Dam. He and Jane Tyler were married in 1962, and three years later they purchased their life-long farm/ranch. Lynn served on the Hughes County Fair Board, the Hughes County Conservation Board, the county ASCS Board, and the Hughes County Planning and Zoning Board. Among his survivors are his wife, Jane; his sons and their wives, Jeff and Pamela Metzinger, Mark and Marge Metzinger and Darrell and Michelle Metzinger; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, and six sisters, Mary Lou Meadors, Sally Metzinger, Linda Brooks, Wanda White, Susan Culberson and Joan Baker.

Dorothy “Dottie” (McBride) LeBeau, 74, died Dec. 17 at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital. Her funeral took place Dec. 22 at Trinity Episcopal Church. Dottie grew up on the Rosebud reservation and attended St. Mary’s School in Springfield. She married Patrick LeBeau in 1967 and graduated from Yankton College and Sinte Gleska University. Dottie was in education for 27 years in the Todd County schools and also taught at Vermillion, White Horse and Springfield. She is survived by her husband of 53 years, Pat LeBeau of Pierre; her children, Nancy LeBeau of Chamberlain, Raeanne Shaw of Pierre and Ben LeBeau of Rapid City; seven grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren, and her siblings, Charlotte Whippel, Paula Adams, Louanne Adamson, Vicky Brandt, Shelly Noodie, Deb Hauck, Ben Wright and Brian Wright.

Megan Robertson has completed her master of business administration (MBA) degree through Southern Oregon University. Meg lives in Santa Rosa, Calif., and works as an organic inspector at CCOF Organic, a firm that advances organic agriculture for a healthy world.

Jerry Douglas, 73, died Dec. 21 at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital. His funeral service was held Dec. 28 at Faith Lutheran Church. Jerry graduated from high school at Pollock and attended Northern State University. He moved to Deadwood to work at the Homestake mine. He and Ruby Scott were married in 1967. They returned to Aberdeen so Jerry could finish his degree at Northern. They moved to Pierre in 1978. In a 29-year career with the state of South Dakota, Jerry worked for the state fire marshal’s office as a pipeline inspector and for the Department of Social Services as a senior auditor, retiring in 2004. He is survived by his wife, Ruby Douglas; his daughter, Sharlene Lien and her husband Brett of Sioux Falls; his son, Wade Douglas and his wife Sara of Aberdeen; six grandchildren; a sister, Georgia Vander Vorst of Westfield, N.D., and a step-sister, Karen Meier, in North Dakota.

Michael and Sarah Jo (Even) Tveidt are expecting their first child.

Geraldine (Scholten) Rus, 91, died Dec. 22 at Avantara Pierre. Her funeral took place Dec. 28 at Feigum Funeral Home. A native of Armour, she married Harlan Rus in 1948. Geraldine worked at Modern Cleaners and the Runnings warehouse. She is survived by three children, Dwight Rus of Loveland, Colo., Bonnie Mae Rus-Brinkman of Sioux Falls, and Troy Rus and his wife Bonnie of Pierre, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Brian and Paige Hermanson became parents on the morning of Christmas Eve. Their son, Theoren Neil Ferguson Hermanson, weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces, and measured 19 1/2 inches.

When the Midweek Update last appeared two weeks ago today, the South Dakota death toll from COVID-19 was 1,300. As of yesterday’s Department of Health report, the number of deaths has risen to 1,464. Up to yesterday there have been 518 deaths in the state in December alone—almost one third of the year-long toll. And now the first U.S. case of the coronavirus variant strain has been discovered in Colorado in a man who has had no experience in travel in recent months. How quickly can Americans (“Don’t tell us what we have to do!”) spread this new virus nationwide and make 2021 into another 2020? We’re about to find out.

Belva Hawkinson, 85, Gettysburg, died Dec. 27 at Avera Oahe Manor in Gettysburg. Her funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Gettysburg. Her son, Carl Hawkinson, and his wife Chris (Riggs Severson) are former Pierre residents.

Barb (Nelson Jonason) Meyers of Crooks died Dec. 10 at Select Specialty Hospital-Sanford in Sioux Falls. Services were held Dec. 14. Barb and her former husband, Rodney Jonason, and their children lived in Onida until Barb relocated to Pierre in 1991. She worked at the Department of Transportation. She later moved to eastern South Dakota and married Roger Meyers in 2004. She is survived by her husband; her children, Janine Haaland of Volga, Nicki Jonason of Luverne, Minn., and Justin Jonason of Milbank; three stepchildren, 12 grandchildren and three siblings.




“In the midst of the chaos, without at all denying the suffering, we can also look for the helpers, for the love and compassion that exist in the world. We can look to the people who help and be inspired. Then holding that inspiration alongside the honest recognition of suffering, we have the strength and the energy to get out of bed and do something that helps someone else.”
— Sharon Salzberg


Again we are here to “reward” the heroes and the losers of 2020 who are so deserving of our adulation and disdain. A year ago today as we awaited the arrival of the new year, how could we have imagined the coronavirus and its effects on every single life. Besides all of that, there were the impeachment, the hurricanes, the entire western U.S. on fire, the protests for (and against!) equality and justice, the vitriol of the political campaign, a ridiculous fight for (and against!) the simple act of wearing masks and more. For those who care only about themselves, things are probably quite fine as 2021 approaches. For those who mourn the thousands upon thousands who didn’t survive 2020, there remain holes in our hearts along with the reality that this thing isn’t over yet. But we muddle on into 2021, praying those whom we love and the rest of you, too, will be safe and that somehow this country begins to heal from the disaster the last four years have been. In the meantime get out there and party for New Year’s Eve so we can keep this pandemic going well into the new year! By golly, nobody’s going to tell us South Dakotans what to do. Our freedoms are still under attack! And now for the awards:

  • I Believe in Music award: To whom else? Mac Davis, who recorded “I Believe in Music” and other hits and was one of many musicians we lost in 2020, such as Eddie Van Halen, Helen Reddy, Little Richard, Kenny Rogers, John Prine, Bill Withers and Trini Lopez.
  • Favorite New Business award: To Daylight Donuts on E. St. Patrick in Rapid City, right on the way to everywhere and such good donuts!
  • You Can’t Get Rid of Him award: To Patriots legend and now Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, who has become the first player in NFL history to reach the playoffs in 12 straight years.
  • Biggest Lie of Many award: To whom else? Donald Trump, who said, “If I lose to Joe Biden, you’ll never see me again.” We should be so lucky.
  • Watch What You Say award: To Legion baseball coach Brian White of Post 8 and the Renner coach, who both were ejected in the same inning of a state tournament game.
  • Life Well Lived award: To the late Enid Hyde, a magnificent woman who radiated class, intelligence and elegance from her home on N. Huron Ave. to the ripe young age of 107.
  • Life Still Being Lived award: To 108-year-old Alma Buechler, whose birthday in May was celebrated with a drive-by while she watched from the Maryhouse door.
  • Frequent Flier award: To Governor Noem.
  • Great Start to the Year award: To Oregon’s Justin Herbert, who last New Year’s Day, the same week he won the “Academic Heisman” trophy with a 4.0 GPA, quarterbacked Oregon to a Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin.
  • Device We Couldn’t Have Survived Without award: To Zoom, which made safe communication possible among families, students, teachers, choirs and everyone else savvy enough to use it.
  • Photo Bomber of the Year award: To the wayward fly which landed on Vice President Pence’s head during the vice presidential candidates debate.
  • You Just Don’t Get It award: To those who answer Black Lives Matter by saying “All lives matter.”
  • Unwritten Rules award: To the Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr., who with his team leading Texas 10-3 came up with the bases loaded. He didn’t know he was “supposed” to take a walk. Instead he swung, hit a grand slam and offended the Rangers, who promptly threw a fastball at the head of the next batter.
  • Geography Lesson award: To President Trump who called Yosemite National Park “Yo-sa-mite” at a news conference.
  • Man in Charge award: To Pierre native Lt. Col. Kevin Huxford, who became commander of the South Dakota Army National Guard’s 109th Engineer Battalion.
  • Lump in the Throat Moments award: To those 7 p.m. hours when in many cities people stood on their balconies and porches to applaud front-line health workers as they changed shifts.
  • Athletes of the Year award: To Garrett Stout and Mikah Moser of Riggs High, who earned that distinction from the Pierre Athletic Coaches Association last spring.
  • Picture That Can’t Be Unseen award: To the “patriots” in blue jeans, leather jackets and MAGA caps, armed with assault rifles, who crowded on to the steps of the Michigan capitol in Lansing to protest coronavirus restrictions placed on the state by Governor Whitmer. Some of them even concocted a plot to kidnap her.
  • Appropriate Choice of Music award: To whoever chose “Live and Let Die” as the theme song blaring from loudspeakers at a Trump rally in Phoenix.
  • Part of the Team award: To sportscaster Rod Fisher, who first at KCCR and then at KGFX brought Governors games to local fans in a career that lasted nearly 45 years.
  • Off the Bench award: To Toronto Zamboni driver Dave Ayres, who came in as emergency goaltender for the Hurricanes when both goaltenders were injured. He stopped eight of 10 shots he faced against the Maple Leafs, the team for which he works.
  • O.K., They’re Pretty Good award: To the Kansas City Chiefs, who escaped having to face both the defending champion Patriots and the top-seed Ravens and had to play only Houston and Tennessee en route to the Super Bowl. But they likely would have won anyway as Patrick Mahomes led KC back from a 24-0 deficit vs. Houston, a 10-0 deficit vs. Tennessee and a 20-10 deficit vs. the 49ers.
  • Wait Your Turn award: To the hypocritical politicians who quickly posed for photos getting their vaccine shots after spending months considering the virus a hoax or at best doing little to help fight it.
  • Music Therapy award: To Igor Levit, 33-year-old Berlin pianist, who played concerts from his apartment via iPhone on 52 consecutive nights. One of his concerts was seen and heard by 350,000 persons.
  • Teachers of the Year award: To Tom Rogers at Riggs High and Susie Rilling at Sully Buttes, who earned that honor last spring, just two representatives of millions of educators who had a year unlike any other.
  • Baseball Play of the Year award: To Post 8’s infielders at the corners. In an elimination game at the state tournament, Renner had bases loaded, down by a run with one out and threatening to end Pierre’s season. But at third base Andrew Covedale snared a laser shot and fired to first to double off a runner, ending the game. Coverdale and Garrett Stout were named to the Legion All-State team.
  • Great Year to Be a Criminal award: To all those of his former administration officials and business colleagues now pardoned by President Trump.
  • You Didn’t Deserve This award: To the high school seniors last spring who lost their last concerts, plays, games, proms, graduations and even their last days of school to the pandemic. Yet they handled the crisis better than most of us who felt worse about their disappointments.
  • Truth of the Year award: To whoever said last spring, “Two other viruses are spreading at 100 times the rate of COVID-19. They are called greed and stupidity.”
  • Making One’s City Better award: To the Aberdeen Development Corporation whose $25 million project creating Malchow Plaza downtown will bring beauty and possibility to the place where the furniture store once stood.
  • Taking Care of Your People award: To the Native American tribal officials who, despite opposition from the state, established checkpoints at reservation borders to try to stem the tide of the virus, which has so impacted their people.
  • More Than a Ballplayer award: To LeBron James, who used his celebrity to help found “More Than a Vote” to promote voter registration and encouraged 23 NBA teams to use arenas as voting sites. James and countless other athletes—Bubba Wallace, Trevor Lawrence, Naomi Osaka, Clayton Kershaw, Doc Rivers, Chris Paul, Steph Curry, Jaylen Brown among them—spoke out over the injustices and inequality facing so many Americans as they should.
  • March of the Year award: To President Trump, who marched down the middle of a street lined with law enforcement personnel after they had cleared a peaceful protest with tear gas so he could pose in front of St. John’s Church holding a Bible.
  • What It Was Like award: To the health-care professionals in hospitals nationwide who risked their lives to save COVID-19 patients, such as the University of Missouri’s Dr. Stephen Bollinger who said in March that “in the last 24 hours I have seen my hospital change from a place of healing to something resembling a war zone.”
  • It’s Not a Compliment award: To the term “covidiot,” which unfortunately applies to half the population of this state in regard to their response to the pandemic.
  • All-State Honors award: To Pierre footballers Regan Bollweg, Lincoln Kienholz, Maguire Raske, Gunnar Gehring, Cord Ellis and Preston Taylor as well as Nathan Cook of SCHS and Jesse Schall of SBHS. What seasons they had! Also we salute all-ESD players Collin Brueggeman and Jayce Beastrom.
  • T-Shirt of the Year award: To whoever came up with a T-shirt that I need to have. It reads, “When this virus is over, I still want some of you to stay away from me.”
  • Best Response from the Front Lines award: To Billings firefighter Chris Voller, who said he didn’t need free pizza and free cups of coffee but urged well-meaning people to offer them to struggling families instead.
  • Interception of the Year award: To NDSU’s James Hendricks, who intercepted a 1st-and-goal James Madison pass to save NDSU’s eighth national title in nine years. NDSU was leading 28-20 with seven seconds left in the FCS title game.
  • Typical Teacher award: To Pierre native Kelsey Trimble at Rapid City East Middle School, who wrote a separate personal note to each of her 29 students and mailed them. “I hope they know I’m thinking of them daily,” she said.
  • Most Shameful Two Hours of TV award: To that first presidential debate, which Chris Wallace couldn’t handle and which Trump kept interrupting.
  • That Sounds Familiar award: To the Twins, who escaped having to play the Yankees in the playoffs only to be swept 2-0 by Houston.
  • Leaving Her Mark award: To Kristie Maher, who left the South Dakota Discovery Center after nearly 24 years of directing that jewel.
  • Name Change award: To what we knew for years as CUC, which became CCC (Capital City Campus).
  • Title Town award: To Pierre which welcomed home the state football champs for the fourth straight fall, a gutsy team which avenged its two regular-season losses in the playoff surge.
  • Most Truthful Commercial award: To Jerry’s Cakes & Donuts in Rapid City which rightfully claimed, “A donut is a small fried cake of sweetened dough used to lull people into attending unnecessary meetings.”
  • Hometown Achievers award: To Jason Culberson, named Rapid City fire chief, and Chris Gage, recipient of a lifetime achievement honor from the South Dakota Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
  • Red State award: To that glorious day last January when USD swamped SDSU in back-to-back basketball games in Vermillion, 83-48 for the women and 99-84 for the men.
  • Worst Dictionary Decision award: To Merriam-Webster dictionary people who ruled that “irregardless” is a properly usable word. Shame!
  • Media Quote of the Year award: To the Washington Post’s Alexandra Petri who wrote what I think, “One of the difficulties of being alive today is that everything is absurd but fewer and fewer things are funny.”
  • Wasted Effort award: To Aberdeen’s Legion team which scored one run on a two-run homer. Post 8 catcher Cade Hinkle noted the batter failed to touch home plate, and the batter was ruled out.
  • Get Some Earplugs award: To Rapid City common council members for all the brainless blather they have to listen to during public input on virus restrictions and precautions.
  • Football Play of the Year award: To Maguire Raske, who scored the Govs’ last touchdown in the state championship game. Nobody deserved to score more than this guy, and he dragged half the Brookings team with him over the last 10 yards into the end zone.
  • Public Servant Supreme award: To David Gilbertson, who is leaving the South Dakota Supreme Court after 25 years, 20 of them as chief justice.
  • Run For Your Life award: To Twins center-fielder Byron Buxton, who with his teammates ran for cover in the dugout when a drone mysteriously hovered over his head during a game at Target Field.
  • Pettiness award: To President Trump, who called an “emergency” news conference at the White House at the precise moment President Obama’s eulogy at Rep. John Lewis’ funeral began on TV. Even Fox News stayed with the Obama speech, not falling for Trump’s ploy.
  • Sensitivity award: To the Little League umpire at the state tourney who ejected a 12-year-old because he tossed his bat in a manner the umpire disliked. That kept the boy from playing with his team in the state championship game the next day.
  • Legend in His Own Time award: To Chamberlain wrestler Nash Hutmacher, whose 73rd consecutive pin gave him his fourth state heavyweight championship and helped his team win their state title.
  • All in the Family award: To the sister-brother duo of singer Billie Eilish and composer Finness O’Connell. Five Grammys for her and six for him!
  • One Stroke at a Time award: To Patrick Wellner, who paddled 1,100 miles this year.
  • Nothing But a Beauty Pageant: To the worthless college football playoffs—same teams every year and teams get “picked” rather than earn their way in. Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State are already in for next year!
  • Matching Kids With Books award: To Pat Weeldreyer, children’s librarian at Rawlins, who left the library after 35 years there.
  • Life Isn’t Fair award: To last season’s USD women, who went 16-0 in the regular season, beat SDSU in the Summit League championship game and headed to the NCAA Tournament with a 30-2 record. And then the tourney was cancelled.
  • You Brought Out the Worst in Us award: To President Trump, and the picture of us Americans we see is not very pretty.
  • Leaving a Legacy award: To the late Clyde Jundt, who passed away a year ago next week. He designed the Keystone Wye bridges, something at which we marvel on every drive through the Hills.
  • Jackrabbit to Dodger award: To former SDSU pitcher Blake Treinen, who earned a World Series ring with the Dodgers out of their bullpen. His strikeout ended Game 5.
  • Earned Retirement award: To Dennis Pfrimmer, who left Capital Area Counseling Service after 30 years, 18 of them as its CEO.
  • Scumbags award: To almost all Congressmen, who stack crucial legislation with their own special-interest measures and perks.
  • Waiting All Day award: To the one minute Carrie Underwood uses to introduce Sunday night football each week on NBC. I’ve been waiting all week for Sunday night!
  • A Night to Remember award: To the Governors’ Zach Letellier, who set a single-game school record of 229 receiving yards in the regular-season game at Yankton
  • Home Again award: To Kyle Richards, who left Minnesota to return to his home state, this time as executive director of Good Samaritan Society’s facilities in the Rapid City area.
  • Kings of the Court award: To the Sully Buttes boys who last March won their way to their fourth straight state “B” basketball tournament, just before it was called off. It would have been the 16th state “B” trip for Charger teams in 24 years.
  • Watch It Grow award: To the new arena at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. How exciting to watch it grow from the ground up!
  • Shaky Excuse for Not Wearing Masks award: To whoever told the Rapid City common council that “we all are created in the image of God, and that image is seen the most by our face.”
  • Most Untimely Death, Politically Speaking award: To the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court, whose death a month before the election set Republicans into motion faster than they’ve ever done anything in their lives.
  • Lightning Bolts award: To the Governors’ offense which stunned unbeaten Brookings in the state championship game—Kienholz to Booth, Kienholz to Merkwan, Kienholz to Bollweg twice. A score to remember—38-6.
  • Same Old Vikings award: To our favorite purple-clad team, so good some weeks, so bad other times. Last January they amazingly won a playoff game at New Orleans, then were held to 21 rushing yards in the next round at San Francisco.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye award: To actor Chadwick Boseman, who played Jackie Robinson, James Brown, Thurgood Marshall and T’Challa but who left the movie screen far too soon at age 43.
  • Tech Geniuses award: To my church’s, your church’s and every church’s technical wizards who have brought our services into our homes for the past nine months.
  • Young Guns award: To a pair of underclassmen, Jayden Wiebe and Brock Moser, who didn’t get many headlines but whose long kickoff returns on back-to-back Mitchell punts set up Governor TDs in a thrilling playoff win over the Kernels.
  • It’s All About Me award: To half of South Dakota’s population whose “we don’t like to be told what to do” mentality prolonged the virus spread statewide. Wearing a mask is too much to ask?
  • Necessities of Life award: To Sully Buttes senior Nick Wittler, who, when the seniors rode in separate vehicles down Main Street in a graduation parade, threw rolls of toilet paper to onlookers.
  • A Year of Loss award: To the Pierre business and government community, which lost a good many good people in 2020. Dozens of families lost loved ones, and the absence of such giants as Tony Klein, Marshall Miller, Bernie Christenson, Jim Likness, Tom Weber, Wally Thomsen, Myron Kusler, Bob Nystrom, Curt Goehring, Fran Keller, Len Sheppard and Harvey Buhl, among many others, is still felt.
  • Still the Green Machine award: To the Pierre wrestlers who last spring (before the virus hit) were co-champs of the ESD regular season, champions of the Region 3A meet, third-place team in the state duals and fourth-place team in the state individuals tournament.
  • You’ll Also Be Old Some Day award: To the school board member in Casper who said, in a debate over virus dangers in schools, “Those old people who died of COVID-19 would have died anyway. They just died sooner.”
  • Double-Double Trouble award: To Onida’s Chloe Lamb, who had her first career double-double (29 points, 11 rebounds) in USD’s win at Wichita State and earned Summit League Player of the Week honors.
  • Profound Statement of the Year award: To President Trump, who last March declared, “People are dying who have never died before.”
  • That South Dakota Mentality award: To those who post on my Facebook page, “If you don’t like it here, just leave.”
  • People We Won’t Forget award: To such luminaries as Sean Connery, Kobe Bryant, Alex Trebek, Kirk Douglas, Carl Reiner, Charlie Daniels, Regis Philbin and Rep. John Lewis (and many others) whom we lost in 2020. They made us cheer, laugh, dream, cry and hope for many years in lives well lived.

Hopefully a year from now we’ll be back with the Parkie Awards for 2021. How will we rate the coming year once it is over? We can’t yet know. But we can sing along with the words from the best song from “Rent”:

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes,
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights?
In sunsets?
In midnights?
In cups of coffee?
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife?

In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes,
How do you measure a year in a life?

How about love?
Measure in love,
Seasons of love.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand journeys to plan.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes.
How do you measure a life of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned or in times that he cried?
In bridges he burned or the way that she died?
It’s time now to sing out though the story never ends.
Let’s celebrate, remember a year in a life of friends.
Remember the love, seasons of love.


“Faith is seeing light with your heart when all your eyes see is darkness.”

1 Comment

  1. Tom barnett

    Parker…great to read your updates…..


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