Vol. 24, No. 14; Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023

Dec 7, 2023 | Parker's Midweek Update | 0 comments


What is needed now, more than ever, is leadership that steers us away from fear and fosters greater confidence in the inherent goodness and ingenuity of humanity.
— President Jimmy Carter


This week’s schedules:
Gymnastics: at Mitchell quadrangular.
Girls/boys wrestling: at Brookings.
Girls/boys wrestling: at Rapid City invitational.
Girls basketball: home vs. Rapid City Stevens.
Boys basketball: at Rapid City Stevens.
Girls/boys wrestling: at Rapid City invitational.
Girls basketball: home vs. Rapid City Central.
Boys basketball: at Rapid City Central.
Gymnastics: at Aberdeen Central invitational.
Girls/boys wrestling: at Aberdeen Central.

Boys wrestling: At the Mandan Lions tournament in North Dakota to open the season, the Governors placed third among 13 teams with 257.5 points. Tristan Spencer was an individual champion, and Alex Oedekoven placed second in his weight class and Lucas Chamberlin third in his.

Girls wrestling: The Governors had two individual champions—Ireland Templeton and Abbigail Lewis—at the season-opening Mandan Lions tournament. Sydney Uhrig, Dani Ringstmeyer and Lexie Hillmer all were second in their respective weight classes.

Gymnastics: At the season-opening meet in Huron, Pierre was first with 133.3 points ahead of Chamberlain (125.950) and Huron (118.850). Nevaeh Karber placed first on the balance beam and second in the all-around standings at 34.550. KaCee Wilson won on the uneven parallel bars. At their home meet Saturday the Governors were fifth of 12 schools at 130.8. Mitchell was the team champion. Wilson placed eighth on the bars, and Karber was ninth in floor exercise and seventh in the all-around at 33.8.


This week’s schedules:
Girls basketball: at Miller.
Boys basketball: at Miller.
Girls basketball: at White River.
Wrestling: at Gregory invitational.
Girls basketball: at Winner.
Boys basketball: at Winner.

Wrestling: At the season-opening Stanley County Invitational last weekend, the Buffaloes placed third among 14 teams with 106 points. Stanley County’s Will Meyers won the title in his weight class. Hayden Roggow was second in his, and Ryan Shrake and Spencer Sargent each placed third.

Girls basketball (0-1): The season opener Tuesday was a 44-25 loss to Chamberlain, which led at halftime by a comfortable margin of 28-8. Cadence Hand was high scorer for SCHS with nine points, and Kaysen Magee and Mattie Duffy scored seven each.


This week’s schedules:
Boys wrestling: at Lyman.
Girls wrestling: at Lyman.
Boys wrestling: at Rapid City invitational.
Girls wrestling: at Rapid City invitational.
Girls basketball: home vs. Lyman.
Boys basketball: home vs. Lyman.

Girls basketball (1-0): The Chargers rolled over Ipswich in their season opener Tuesday, 65-30, after leading at halftime by 35-18. The SBHS defense forced 29 Ipswich turnovers. Stevie Wittler was high scorer with 32 points, and Payge Bakker had 18.


Dec. 6, 2022: Carin (Doyle) Hayn announced her retirement as PGA professional at Hillsview Golf Course after 11 years.


1 day: Hosanna Dance’s “Nutcracker” (Dec. 8).
1 day: Pierre girls/boys basketball season openers (Dec. 8).
3 days: Sully Area Singers’ Christmas cantata, Pierre and Onida (Dec. 10).
4 days: Stanley County elementary Christmas concert (Dec. 11).
4 days: Capital Journal Fine Arts Event (Dec. 11).
4 days: Holiday Jam with the Hegg Brothers concert (Dec. 11).
5 days: Sully Buttes boys basketball opener (Dec. 12).
7 days: Sully Buttes High/Onida elementary Christmas concert (Dec. 14).
8 days: Surprise Package Christmas concerts (Dec. 15-16).
8 days: FCS national semifinal games (Dec. 15-16).
11 days: Riggs High band/choir concert (Dec. 18).
12 days: Georgia Morse Middle School band/choir concert (Dec. 19).
18 days: Christmas Day (Dec. 25).
20 days: “Kennedy Center Honors,” CBS-TV (Dec. 27).


FCS national quarterfinals:
* Villanova (Pa.) at SDSU, 11 a.m. Saturday, ESPN.
* Albany at Idaho, 8 p.m. Saturday, ESPN+.
* NDSU at USD, 1:30 p.m. Saturday, ABC.
* Furman (S.C.) at Montana, 7 p.m. Friday, ESPN2.

NAIA national semifinals:
* Georgetown (Ky.) at Northwestern (Iowa).
* College of Idaho at Keiser (Fla.).


Northwestern (Iowa) football (Morris Hofer): Mo and his #1-ranked Northwestern team are two wins away from their second straight national championship. The Raiders won at home over St. Xavier (Ill.), 13-0, in a quarterfinal game. Northwestern plays the semifinal game at home Saturday against Georgetown (Ky.).

South Dakota State swimming (Morgan Nelson): The Jackrabbit women lost a dual to Omaha, 200-100. The Jacks’ website did not post individual results of the meet. SDSU is idle now until a dual at USD on Jan. 20.

Augustana swimming (Ella Ward-Zeller): Idle last week, the Viking swimmers are off until a dual vs. Minnesota-Morris on Jan. 12.

Dakota Wesleyan wrestling (Tyson Johnson, Aric Williams): At the Doane Open in Crete, Neb., Tyson wrestled at 157 pounds for DWU. He lost by fall in 2:52 to an Iowa State wrestler and lost by an 11-3 major decision to an Oklahoma Wesleyan wrestler. DWU wrestles at Jamestown Friday and at Ridgewater Community College in Minnesota Saturday.

Ohio State football (Lincoln Kienholz): Idle during championship weekend, the Buckeyes were selected to play Missouri in the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas, on Dec. 29. At least three members of the Buckeyes have this week declared they are leaving Ohio State and entering the transfer portal. One of those is starting quarterback Kyle McCord, opening the door for a competition for the QB position on next fall’s team and the possibility, according to one Ohio sportswriter this week, that Kienholz may start at QB in the Cotton Bowl game.

North Dakota State football (Grey Zabel): The Bison remained alive in the FCS playoffs with an overtime 35-34 win at Montana State, blocking an extra-point attempt that would have tied the game and sent it into a second overtime. NDSU now plays at USD in a quarterfinal game at 1:30 p.m. Saturday on ABC.

Mary women’s basketball (Chloe Lamb): The Marauder women defeated MSU-Moorhead, 68-63. Now 3-5, Mary is home vs. Minnesota-Crookston Thursday and on the road up to Minot State Saturday.

University of Sioux Falls women’s wrestling (Toby Bryant): Toby’s initial year as head coach of the first-ever USF women’s team is off to a great start with a 4-0 record in duals. Last weekend the Cougars whipped Augsburg, 38-10, and did the same to Morningside, 40-5. USF wrestles at home at noon Sunday against Dakota Wesleyan.

South Dakota State men’s track (Rylan McDonnell): The Jacks competed at their own meet last weekend. Rylan entered the long jump but fouled on all three jumps. SDSU is off until the Bison Team Cup in Fargo on Jan. 13.

South Dakota State women’s track (Jessica Lutmer, Lydia Hill): The Jackrabbit women competed at their own meet last weekend, but we did not see any results for either Jessica or Lydia. SDSU’s next meet is the Bison Team Cup on Jan. 13 at NDSU.

Dakota State track (Houston Lunde): Competing at the SDSU meet, Houston placed 34th in the shot put at 39’3″ and 14th in the weight throw at 49’7 1/4″. DSU goes this weekend to the Bulldog meet at Seward, Neb.

Georgia Tech women’s basketball (Caleb Currier): The Ramblin’ Wrecks lost to Florida, 68-58; lost at Nebraska, 80-72, and defeated Mercer, 73-60. Georgia Tech is home Sunday vs. Georgia State.

South Dakota State wrestling (Regan Bollweg): The Jacks sent some wrestlers to the Keen meet in Las Vegas, but we couldn’t find any results that involved Regan. The Jacks are off now until a dual at Nebraska on Jan. 16.

University of Sioux Falls men’s wrestling (Josh Rydberg): The Cougars lost to Northern, 42-6, in their first-ever Division II dual. Josh did not wrestle in the meet. USF is home Sunday against Wisconsin-Parkside.

Northern women’s basketball (Katie Bourk): The Wolves defeated MSU-Moorhead, 60-44, and are now 6-2. Northern is home in NSIC play Friday vs. St. Cloud State and Saturday vs. Bemidji State.

Black Hills State men’s basketball (Jackson Edman): Freshman Jackson moved into a starting-five role for the Yellowjackets, who split on a weekend trip into Colorado. In a 66-54 loss at Regis, Jackson in 16 minutes was 1-of-2 and 1-of-1 for three points with two rebounds and a steal. In a 67-56 win at UC-Colorado Springs, he was in for 14 minutes and was 2-of-6 (1-of-3 in threes) and 0-of-0 for five points with two boards and a steal. Now 3-5, BHSU is home for more RMAC play Friday vs. Metro State and Saturday vs. Colorado Mines.

South Dakota men’s basketball (Max Burchill): The Coyotes won a non-conference game at former Summit League member Western Illinois, 70-68, on a buzzer-beating layup by Bostyn Holt. Max was 1-of-4 (0-for-1 in threes) and 4-of-4 for eight points with five rebounds, two assists and a steal. Now 6-3, USD is home Saturday vs. Cal State-Bakersfield.

Dakota Wesleyan men’s basketball (Nick Wittler): The Tigers won over Jamestown, 91-89, as Nick in five minutes was 0-for-1 for no points with a rebound. He did not play in a 67-57 loss to Midland. After a game against Northwestern last night, DWU is home Saturday against Mount Marty.


Apparently a great many people have forgotten that the framers of our constitution went to such effort to create an independent judicial branch that would not be subject to retaliation by either the executive branch or the legislative branch because of some decision made by those judges.
— Justice Sandra Kay O’Connor (1930-2023)


That back-to-school feeling isn’t just for the young. It’s also for the young at heart. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of South Dakota brings all the fun of college-level learning to Sioux Falls, Brookings and Vermillion, but there are no tests, no grades and no all-night studying.

OLLI offers more than 160 classes each semester in person in those three towns, but many are available on Zoom as well.

Members can take as many classes as they can fit into their schedules. Memberships are $100 per semester or $180 annually.

OLLI members join to learn about history, current events, health, science, technology, art, travel, literature and other subjects.

OLLI in South Dakota is part of a nationwide group of 125 OLLI organizations, each affiliated with a university. It started in this state in 2007 with a handful of classes aimed at people 50 years of age and older and grew to close to 1,000 members. Classes are taught by professors, scientists and experts in their fields.

For information on the available OLLI classes or to buy a semester for someone as a Christmas gift, go to OLLI@usd.edu.


Noon-1:00: St. Thomas More High School band, choir and orchestra, Rapid City.
5:00-5:30: Stanley County elementary choir, Fort Pierre.

Noon-1:00: Ellsworth (Minn.) High School choir.
5:00-5:30: Menorah lighting.
5:30-6:00: Jacobs-Bowman piano students, Pierre.
6:30-7:30: Pierre Children’s Chorus.
7:30-8:30: Priscilla Hofer piano, Pierre.
8:30-9:30: Benita Norton vocals, Mitchell.

9:00-10:00: Prairie View School music and piano students, Mission.
10:00-11:00: St. Joseph Elementary School guitar club, Pierre.
11:00-noon: Jacobs-Bowman piano students, Pierre.
Noon-12:30: Dupree High School musicians.
12:30-1:00: Dakota Jubilee men’s choir, Corsica/Platte.
1:00-3:00: Merlyn Tiede vocals, Parkston.
3:00-4:00: Benita Norton vocals, Mitchell.
5:00-5:30: Menorah lighting.
7:00-8:00: International Filipino teachers.

Noon-1:00: JoEllen Dykstra piano, Platte.
1:00-1:30: Danae Feenstra flute.
2:00-3:00: Langford High School musicians.
4:00-5:00: Pierre Youth Orchestra.
5:00-5:30: Menorah lighting.

Noon-1:00: Cody-Kilgore (Neb.) High School musicians.
5:00-5:30: Menorah lighting.
5:30-6:30: Edgemont HIgh School band and choir.

Noon-1:00: Baltic High School band and choir.
5:00-5:30: Menorah lighting.

Noon-1:00: Iroquois HIgh School and elementary choirs and bands.
5:00-5:30: Menorah lighting.

Noon-1:00: Dell Rapids High School choir.
5:00-5:30: Menorah lighting.


Other college football besides that mentioned above in the College Sports Roundup:
* SDSU (12-0): Defeated Mercer (Ga.) 41-0 in FCS second round.
Next: home vs. Villanova in quarterfinal at 11 a.m. Saturday on ESPN.
* USD (10-2): Defeated Sacramento State 34-24 in FCS second round.
Next: home vs. NDSU in quarterfinal at 1:30 p.m. Saturday on ABC.

Denver Broncos: The five-game winning streak is a thing of the past. The Broncos lost at Houston, 22-17, and are now 6-6. Denver plays at the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday.

Minnesota Vikings: Idle last weekend, the Vikings play Sunday at Las Vegas.

NFL games on local TV this week (on local stations the games are subject to change by the networks):
— Thursday: New England at Pittsburgh, 7:15 p.m., Prime Video.
— Sunday: Detroit at Chicago, noon, Fox.
— Sunday: Buffalo at Kansas City, 3:25 p.m., CBS.
— Sunday: Minnesota at Las Vegas, 3:05 p.m., Fox.
— Sunday: Philadelphia at Dallas, 7:20 p.m., NBC.
— Monday: Tennessee at Miami, 7:15 p.m., ESPN.
— Monday: Green Bay at New York Giants, 7:15 p.m., ABC and ESPN+.


Last week picking Oregon, Georgia and the Chiefs proved disastrous to most of our contestants, but in a week of mediocre scores, 10 points each for best record at 7-3 went to Mikal Kern, Jesse Fagerland, Randy Pool, Eric James, Debra Bollinger and Brad Cruse. At 6-4 for 9 points each were Beth Rinehart, Jon Boer, Dawn Magee, Nathan Vetter, Terry Tousley and Jason Noyes. At 5-5 for 8 points each were Dave Potter, David Ludwig, Seb Axtman, Kyle Richards, Levi Neuharth and Thomas Voeltz.

This week’s contest #18 (send your 10 winners to parkerhome16@hotmail.com by Saturday morning):
(1) Army vs. Navy.
(2) FCS quarterfinal: Villanova at SDSU.
(3) FCS quarterfinal: NDSU at USD.
(4) FCS quarterfinal: Furman at Montana.
(5) NFL: Seattle at San Francisco.
(6) NFL: Detroit at Chicago.
(7) NFL: Denver at Los Angeles Chargers.
(8) NFL: Minnesota at Las Vegas.
(9) NFL: Buffalo at Kansas City.
(10) NFL: Philadelphia at Dallas.


Oahe Zap: The latest addition to next summer’s Zap roster is Will Calcaterra, a junior at the University of St. Francis from East Troy, Wis., who is listed as a catcher, third baseman, outfielder and right-handed pitcher. Also added to the 2024 roster is Vince Polizzi, a first-baseman/third-baseman from Loras College (Iowa) whose hometown is Naperville, Ill.

Sioux Falls Canaries: The Canaries of the American Association announced this week the signing of Pierre native Spencer Sarringar to the 2024 roster. The 24-year-old who played college baseball with distinction at Northern State University and at Rollins College (Fla.), joined the Canaries in July this past summer after his Rollins team reached the national championship of its college division. He will again be a catcher for the Canaries, who open the season May 10 on the road and May 17 at home.


Rapid City Rush: The Rush lost to Wichita, 2-1, in their only game last week. Rapid City hosts Wichita Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Augustana men’s hockey: The first-year Vikings tied Northern Michigan, 2-2, then beat that team, 5-3. Now 5-7-2, Augie is idle this weekend ahead of a Dec. 15-16 pair at Alaska-Fairbanks.

Badlands Sabres: The Sabres split with Sheridan, winning 4-2 and losing 4-3. Now 9-9-2-2, Badlands is home Friday and Saturday vs. Helena.

Sioux Falls Stampede: The Herd beat Waterloo, 4-2; beat Cedar Rapids, 7-1, and lost to Sioux City, 5-3. Sioux Falls is home vs. Muskegon Friday and Saturday.

Aberdeen Wings: The wings split with Minot, losing 4-3 but winning 3-2. Aberdeen goes to St. Cloud Friday and Saturday.

Minnesota Wild: Finally it was a good week for the Wild. They beat Nashville, 6-1; beat Chicago, 4-1, and beat Calgary, 5-2. Minnesota stays in the west to play at Vancouver Thursday, at Edmonton Friday and at Seattle Sunday.

Oahe Capitals boys varsity: The Caps won their only game of the weekend, 8-5 at Huron. Aiden Dozark scored four goals, Keegan Kitts two, Devin Dodson one and Bridger Babcock one. Spencer Anderson made 21 saves in goal. Jarron Beck had three assists, Kitts two, Andrew Coughlin two and Barret Schweitzer two. Now 1-1, the Capitals have three home games this weekend—Friday at 8 p.m. vs. Sioux Falls 2; Saturday at 7:30 vs. Watertown, and Sunday at 3:30 vs. Aberdeen.

Oahe Lady Capitals girls varsity: The girls won twice at Sioux Center, 4-2 and 6-4. In the Saturday game Brylee Kafka accomplished a hat trick and Emily Nemec scored a goal. Sophia Peschong made 22 saves in goal. In the Sunday win Kafka had four goals while Micah Buffalo and Katherine Reiss each scored once. Peschong made 15 saves. The Lady Capitals will be home at 1:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Brookings.


Other college basketball besides that mentioned above in the College Sports Roundup:
— USD women (6-3): Defeated Northern Iowa 80-65; defeated Loyola Marymount 78-73.
Next: home Sunday vs. Dickinson State and Wednesday vs. Mount Marty.
— SDSU women (4-3): Lost to Washington State, 69-64.
Next: Saturday at Northern Iowa; Tuesday home vs. Dordt.
— SDSU men (4-5): Beat Towson 61-48; lost to Kent State 82-73.
Next: Saturday at Wichita State.

Midco Sports Network live games this week:
— Friday: Men’s hockey, UND vs. Colorado College, 7 p.m.
— Saturday: Men’s basketball, UND vs. Portland, 1 p.m.
— Saturday: Men’s hockey, UND vs. Colorado College, 6 p.m.

Sioux Falls Skyforce: The Force defeated Cleveland, 113-109, and lost to Indiana, 147-105. The team, after a game against Grand Rapids last night, is off till going to Motor City next Tuesday.

Minnesota Timberwolves: The Wolves defeated Utah, 101-90, and defeated Charlotte, 123-117. After playing San Antonio last night, the Wolves go to Memphis Friday and on to New Orleans Monday.

NBA in-season tournament:
— Semifinals tonight (Thursday);
Indiana vs. Milwaukee, 4:10 p.m., ESPN.
New Orleans vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 8 p.m., TNT.
— Championship game (Saturday):
7:30 p.m., ABC.


— You can learn more of the fascinating and interesting things about Helene Miller’s life if you check out her obituary at gundersonfh.com.


Thursday, Dec. 7:
Sarah Parker, Sam Shaw, Homer Harding, Jacob Severson, Alex Helbig, Bonnie Lahren-Gallagher, Jim Kuchta, Owen Picchietti, Desirae Ludwig.

Friday, Dec. 8:
Tim Smith, Erin McKillip, Kathryn Schuetzle, Chris Markley, Carolyn Deal, Tammy (Pool) Cole, Rhener Gordon, Rochelle Scott.
— Anniversary, Edd Hogan/Larissa FastHorse.

Saturday, Dec. 9:
Tyler Coverdale, Jerry Sperry, Gary Drewes, Jackie (Parks) Cook, Mary Edelen.
— We fondly remember Les Traut on his birthday.

Sunday, Dec. 10:
Amber Robinson, Weston Bruscher, Patti Fuchs, Michael Tveidt, Camilla Karschnik, Kelsie Brandlee, Kaitlyn Richey, Sarah Moreno, Annabeth Haarstad, Franklin de Hueck, Alexi Axlund, Becky LIndekugel.

Monday, Dec. 11:
Joe Stolp, Sandy (Voller) DePountis, Mitch Boe, Chris (Riggs) Hawkinson, Arden Rapp, Charlene Reed, Tero (Donahue) Weischedel, Mari (Donahue) Kramer, Diane Giesinger.
— 19th anniversary, Josh/Amy Joy.

Tuesday, Dec. 12:
Lukas Tedford, Steph (Vogel) Lund, Tara Dowling, Wanda Goodman, Evelyn Hopper, Laura (Hansen) Mikkelsen, Kyle Neuberger, Starlene Flax, Marietta Heath, Jeff Ice, Joyce Williams, Jenifer Tobin, Abby Lingle, Josh Rose, Eric Sibson, brian Pibal.
— 8th anniversary, John/Kylie Potts.

Wednesday, Dec. 13:
Natalie Magedanz, Ramsay McKee, Ric Severson, Troy Thomas, Carter Howard, Lila Edelen, Michael Voeltz, Dianna Knox, De Knudson, Gerri (McKenney) Carpenter, LeAnn Poile, Taylor Martin, Lincoln Elizabeth Fitzke, Jason Bakebertg, Joey Kafka, Karlea (Stahl) Larson.

Thursday, Dec. 14:
Adam Emerson, Elliot Williams, Abby Javurek, Andy Carda, Joyce (Jansen) Moore, Cillian Dekker, Avett Becker, Jafar Karim, Terra Zeller, Cruze Wilson.
— We fondly remember the 20 first graders and six teachers who died in the school shooting at Newtown, Conn., 11 years ago today.


Our vote this year is about whether we ever get to vote again. This is not the year to sit out.
— Rachel Maddow


Forrest Wixon died Dec. 4 at the age of 88. Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, at the Isburg Funeral Chapel with a prayer service at 6. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 11, at Faith Lutheran Church. A graveside service is planned for 3 p.m. MST at Black Hills National Cemetery. Mr. Wixon was the oldest of seven children of Forrest and Bertha Wixon of Tracy, Minn. His first flight lesson came as part of his ROTC participation at South Dakota State College. He secured a pilot’s position in the South Dakota Air National Guard. He and Alice Kepler were married in 1958. Forrest graduated from SDSC with a civil engineering degree in 1964, and he obtained a job with the state Department of Transportation in Pierre where he and Alice raised their five children. Forrest worked for the DOT for more than 30 years. He also spent 32 years with the South Dakota Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve where he reached the rank of lieutenant colonel. Inducted into the South Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame, Forrest taught more than 130 students how to fly. Alice died in 2013 after 55 years of marriage. Forrest married Shirleen Fossum in 2014. He is survived by his wife, Shirleen; his children, Dawn (Ed) Cronin, Denise (Maloy) Loof, Mark (Debra) Wixon, Deborah (Bob) Graves and Cynthia (Lance) Frohling; his siblings, Ronald Wixon, Terry (Randi) Wixon, Diedre (Ron) Garrets, Deanna (Doug) Chapman and Daryl (Mike) Johnson; 12 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Among those who preceded him in death were his parents, his first wife Alice, his brother Carroll, and his sister-in-law Barb Wixon.

The third annual fine arts event hosted by the Capital Journal with an assist from major sponsor Lee Real Estate will be held at the Ramkota on Monday, Dec. 11, at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are available at capjournal.com/2023finearts. Guest speaker will be singer/songwriter Katie Dwyer. The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to long-time Pierre teachers and fine arts advocates/participants Larry and Mary Jo Johnson. Nineteen students selected for their achievements in the fine arts by school administrators of Riggs, Stanley County, Sully Buttes and Lyman high schools will be honored.

Connie Woods, 77, who had suffered a stroke in February, died Nov. 14. A memorial service will be held on a later date in Pierre. The youngest of five children of John and Anne Woods, Connie graduated from Riggs High School in 1964 and earned a master’s degree in education at South Dakota State. She had a 33-year teaching career, teaching physical education in two elementary schools in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She retired in 2002 and moved to Peoria, Arz., in 2014. She is survived by her sisters, Patti Roger and Mary (Maynard) Greenfield, both of Pierre. Among those who preceded her in death were her parents and her brothers, Chuck and Tom.

A memorial service will be held at a later date for David Wessels Jr., 57, who died Dec. 2. He graduated from high school at St. Augustine, Fla., and lived in Jacksonville before coming to Harrold and Pierre. He married Roberta Austad in 2009. David worked for the state in the wellbeing and cleanliness of state facilities and also worked as a cashier in the community. He is survived by his wife, Roberta; his children, Kylie Lovejoy-Wessels, Angel Wessels, Angelina Chavez-Wessels, Valdyn Wessels, Jesse Wessels and Jacob Wessels, all of Fort Pierre; his father, David (Cathy) Wessels Sr. of Jacksonville; his brothers, Dan Wessels of Chicago and Eric Nettleton of Colfax, Ill.; his stepbrother, Stephen Moore of Hilliard, Fla., and his stepsister, Rena Burns of Soperton, Ga.

The basketball home court at Black Hills State University is now named A2 Arena in honor of Alana (Dykhouse) Breske and Ashlee Beacom. Their fathers—Dana Dykhouse, CEO of First Premier, and Miles Beacom, CEO of Premier Bankcard—and their two families, friends for many years, combined to donate $7.5 million to BHSU athletics. Alana, who is married to Pierre native and BHSU head football coach Josh Breske, played basketball and was a two-year starter at BHSU in 2005-10. Ashlee was a three-year starter at BHSU during her career spanning 2017-22.

Helene Miller, a long-time Pierre resident, died Oct. 29, 11 days shy of her 98th birthday, at Fitchburg, Wis. A celebration of her life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Pierre, followed by a social hour at Drifters. She will be buried next to her husband at Black Hills National Cemetery at 2:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18. Helene was the sixth and youngest child of Maciej (Mathew) and Wanda Jozefa (Josephine) Zaboj, immigrants from Poland. She graduated from Allentown, Pa., High School in 1943. She met Robert Miller at the airport among a group of young naval cadets, and they remained in contact. They were married in 1946 and were together for 55 years until his death in 2001. After Bob’s service in the Navy, he attended Penn State University. After his graduation the Millers moved to Pierre where he worked for the Department of Natural Resources and she worked in an office next door to Gov. George T. Mickelson. Helene later worked for the Department of Public Instruction, then for Pierre National Bank (now BankWest) from 1975 until retiring at the age of 60. Helene lived in the same home on N. Huron Ave. for 71 years. She was a member of the Congregational UCC Church from 1950 to this year. She was also an active member of a bridge club and P.E.O. She is survived by two sons, Robert “Bob H.” Miller of Rapid City and Eugene “Gene” (Jeanne) Miller of Verona, Wis.; two grandchildren, and a sister-in-law, Jean Miller of Bristol, Tenn. She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, three brothers and two sisters.

The Surprise Package vocal group will entertain with their annual Christmas concerts at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at Trinity Episcopal Church. A free-will donation is the only admission price. Jim Szana will provide holiday piano music for 15 minutes prior to each concert.

Sarah Gourneau, 85, who had been a resident of Highmore Health since 2021, died Nov. 18 at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital. A celebration of her life will take place at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 18, at Feigum Funeral Home. Sarah grew up in Mississippi and New Orleans and married Francis Gourneau in 1959. They followed his U.S. Navy career to Newport, R.I., then lived in Texas. They eventually came to Pierre and raised their five children here. Sarah ran her own home daycare center for more than 25 years. Survivors include her husband, Francis Gourneau; five children, Keith (Jeanette) Gourneau of Pierre, Calvin (Janet) Gourneau of Pierre, Dale (Darla Hannum) Gourneau of Pierre, David (Kristi) Gourneau of Nooksack, Wash., and Mary Jo Gourneau of Pierre; 15 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; her sister, Janis Fay McCoy, and her brothers, Ray, Pat and George Swan.

Jon Winkler, whose sportscasting career in Pierre at KCCR Radio and its accompanying FM stations has spanned the seven years of championship football, is one of the five finalists for South Dakota Sportscaster of the Year. In addition to football and basketball with the Governors, Jon broadcasts high school and Legion baseball as well as volleyball and hockey.

Be aware that, while the Riggs High School band/choir concert on Monday, Dec. 18, begins at 7 p.m., as usual, there will be a pinning ceremony for All-State Chorus and Orchestra members starting at 6:30.

Rochelle (Wilcox Willert) “Rocky” Oakland died Dec. 5 at Highmore Health Care. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11, at the Isburg Funeral Chapel, followed by a prayer service at 7. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church. The second of eight children of Floyd and Katherine Wilcox, Rocky attended several schools before graduating from high school at Kadoka. She married Robert Willert in 1960, and they raised two children, living in Kadoka, Winner and Pierre. In 1992 she married Mike Oakland and gained his sons, Brett and Brian. Rocky was an Avon salesperson, then worked at First National Bank, First Federal Savings and Loan, and BankWest. She also worked at Walmart when the new store opened. Survivors include her husband, Mike Oakland; her son, Bobby Ray Willert; her daughter, Shana (Sam) Waters; her stepsons, Brett (Julie) Oakland and Brian (Jami) Oakland; five grandchildren; her brothers, Ron (Ella) Wilcox and J.R. (Robin) Wilcox; her sisters, Cheryl Holvig, Gloria (Gary) Brown, and Pat (Don) Phillips, and many other relatives. Among those preceding her in death were her parents; her sister, Jaqueline Hoffman, and her brother, Leslie Wilcox.

Steven and Katelynn Gordon revealed on Facebook this week that they are expecting their first child. The Gordons, who graduated from the University of Mary together, live in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

There will be a community Blue Christmas service at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at First United Methodist Church.

Marilyn (Johnson) Teske, who would have turned 90 on Dec. 30, died Dec. 3 at Avera Maryhouse. A memorial service is planned for 2 p.m. this Friday, Dec. 8, at First United Methodist Church. Marilyn grew up in Sioux Falls and graduated from Washington High School and Dakota Wesleyan University. She married Herb Teske in 1952. They lived in Watertown, Mitchell, Rapid City, Pierre, Heidelberg in Germany, and Phoenix. Marilyn worked as a teacher and then in several administrative positions for the South Dakota Democratic Party and the Public Utilities Commission. She was instrumental in starting Missouri Shores Women’s Resource Center and served as its director. She and her husband, after returning from two years in Germany, ran Robin’s Water Conditioning from 1979 to 1990. They retired to Phoenix, but Marilyn returned to Pierre after her husband’s death in 2001. She is survived by her sister, Patty Johnson of Sioux Falls; her daughters, Kathy Begg of Grand Junction, Colo., and Nancy (Steve) Boe of Pierre; five grandsons and one granddaughter; three great-grandchildren; six nephews and three nieces. Among those who preceded her in death were her husband; her daughter, Jody, and her sister, Beverly Halbritter.

Jett Lamb, lineman on the Augustana University football team from Onida, was named to the NSIC All-Academic Team of Excellence.

Dale Richardson, 78, St. Onge, died Nov. 25 at Monument Health’s Rapid City hospital. His funeral took place Dec. 1 at the United Methodist Church in Murdo. He is survived by his wife, Beverly; three children; 11 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren, and two sisters, including Rena (David) Ortbahn of Pierre. He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Shawn, and his twin brother, Gale.

Riggs High School was one of the recipients of the Team Excellence Award at the SDHSAA state oral interpretation tournament at Harrisburg last weekend. The Pierre team is coached by Melinda Frank. The following won superior awards in the various areas of competition:
* Chloe Bowers, serious reading.
* Harper Reichling, poetry reading.
* Lanie Stulken, storytelling.
* Gavin Black Bear, Lillie Kellar, Rebekah Seamon, Lanie Stulken, Ashlyn Pitlick, readers’ theatre.

Erlyn Beck, 80, died Nov. 28 at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 9, at the Isburg Funeral Chapel. A private family inurnment will be held on a later date at Ree Heights. Erlyn grew up on a ranch near Ree Heights and graduated from high school there in 1961. She worked in Pierre/Fort Pierre as office assistant and bookkeeper at Anderson Contractors, Inc. and Chase Roofing and Sheet Metal and in several positions in state government. Erlyn retired from the Department of Game, Fish and Parks. Her long-time partner, Wayne “Pete” Pederson, died in 1999. Erlyn is survived by her brother, Warren (Janice) Beck of Milbank, and Wayne’s children, Donna Hughes of Pierre and Roger (Lorrie) Pederson of Fort Pierre, five grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren; seven great-great-grandchildren; a niece and two grand-nephews.

Randy Ahrendt passed away Nov. 21 while receiving care at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, one day after turning 72. Funeral services took place Nov. 26. Randy was raised by his mother, Mary Ahrendt Perryman, in Onida, the oldest of four children. He was part of the last graduating class from Onida High School in 1970. As a member of the U.S. Army, he worked as an air traffic controller in South Korea from 1972 to 1975, then graduated from South Dakota State University with a park management degree in 1978. He used his degree in a career of caring for parks in Watertown and Mitchell. He married Anita Carlson in 1981, and they raised three children. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Anita; his children, Trevor (Lauren) Ahrendt of Reno, Nev., Christina (Torey) Garrett of Pierre, and Nolan (Misty) Ahrendt of Sioux Falls; five grandchildren, and his siblings, Sandi (Dave) Beckman, Ben (Roberta) Ahrendt and Percy Ahrendt. Among those preceding him in death were his grandparents; his mother and stepfather, Mary and Rex Perryman, and a niece and a nephew.


What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
— Dr. Seuss,


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