Volume 24, No. 18; Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024

Jan 18, 2024 | Parker's Midweek Update | 0 comments


Facebook has taught me a couple of things. First there are some incredibly brilliant people in the world. Second, they are vastly outnumbered.


This week’s schedules:
Girls basketball: at Brandon Valley, 7 p.m.
Boys basketball: home vs. Brandon Valley, 7 p.m.
Girls wrestling: home tournament, 4 p.m.
Boys wrestling: home tournament, 11 a.m.
Gymnastics: at Harrisburg invitational, 5 p.m.
Girls basketball: at Aberdeen Central, 7 p.m.
Boys basketball: home vs. Aberdeen Central, 7 p.m.

Gymnastics: The home invitational meet scheduled for Saturday was cancelled due to the cold weather and poor travel conditions.

Girls wrestling: The Governors’ only scheduled meet last week, a Friday tournament at Harrisburg, was called off due to the weather.

Boys wrestling: Pierre defeated Watertown in a dual, 47-27. The Mitchell invitational on Saturday was canceled.

Boys basketball: In their only game of the past week the Governors disposed of Douglas, 54-37, led by Dawson Getz with 19 points and Cade Kaiser with 17. Pierre’s record is 7-3.

Girls basketball: The Governor girls defeated Douglas, 65-44 and now stand at 7-2. Lennix Dupris had 26 points Reese Terwilliger 15 and Ryann Barry 11.


This week’s schedules:
Girls basketball: at Sully Buttes.
Wrestling: home vs. Lead-Deadwood.
Boys basketball: home vs. Potter County.
Wrestling: at Winner tournament.
Girls basketball: at Gregory.
Boys basketball: home vs. Sully Buttes.

Girls basketball: The Buffaloes remained winless after a 75-49 loss to highly-ranked Lyman.

Boys basketball: At the Jones County Invitational in Murdo, the Buffaloes lost to Kadoka in the first round, 76-68. Broch Zeeb had 22 points, Paxton Deal 14 and Eddie Duffy nine. SCHS won its consolation semifinal game over Colome on Friday, then the fifth-place game against Lyman on Saturday was canceled. When the two teams play later this season, that game winner will be declared winner of fifth place in the Jones County tournament.


This week’s schedules:
Girls/boys wrestling: at Mobridge quadrangular.
Girls basketball: home vs. Stanley County.
Girls wrestling: at Pierre tournament.
Boys wrestling: at Winner tournament.
Boys basketball: at Stanley County.

Girls basketball: The Charger girls lost to Miller, 59-42, then won at Timber Lake, 58-34. In the latter game Stevie Wittler led with 19 points while Olivia Olson added 13. SB’s record is 5-6.

Boys basketball: The boys defeated Miller, 52-39, then had their game at the Redfield Classic canceled. On Tuesday a last-second three-point dagger gave Timber Lake a 66-65 win over the Chargers. Wesley Wittler had 20 points and Gavin Colson 17. SB’s record is 3-5.


8 days: Rodeo Rapid City (Jan. 26-Feb. 3).
8 days: Riggs High night of one-act plays (Jan 26).
10 days: NFL playoffs conference championship games (Jan. 28).
14 days: State one-act play festival, Brandon (Feb. 1-3).
16 days: South Carolina Democratic presidential primary (Feb. 3).
17 days: Grammy awards, CBS-TV (Feb. 4).
19 days: Nevada Democratic presidential primary (Feb. 6).
21 days: Nevada Republican presidential primary (Feb. 8).
22 days: State gymnastics tournament, Pierre (Feb. 9-10).
23 days: State wrestling team dual tournaments (Feb. 10).
24 days: Super Bowl LVIII, CBS-TV (Feb. 11).
27 days: Ash Wednesday (Feb. 14).
30 days: Region 3A wrestling tournament, Pierre (Feb. 17).
32 days: Presidents Day (Feb. 19).
35 days: State individual wrestling tournaments, Sioux Falls (Feb. 22-24).
36 days: Pierre Players’ “Clue: On Stage” (Feb. 23-March 2).
36 days: Minnesota Twins spring training opener (Feb. 23).
37 days: South Carolina Republican presidential primary (Feb. 24).
38 days: Pierre Concert Series, “Yu and I” (Feb. 25).
40 days: Georgia Morse Middle School musical, “The Lion King Jr.” (Feb. 27-29).
40 days: Michigan Democratic presidential primary (Feb. 27).
44 days: NSIC men’s/women’s basketball tournaments, Sioux Falls (March 2-5).
44 days: Idaho and Missouri Republican presidential primaries (March 2).
45 days: District of Columbia Republican presidential primary (March 3).
46 days: North Dakota Republican presidential caucuses (March 4).
47 days: Super Tuesday primary elections/caucuses in several states (March 5).


Augustana men’s hockey: Idle last weekend, the Vikings play at Arizona State this Friday and Saturday.

Sioux Falls Stampede: The Herd split with Team USA, winning 7-4 and losing 8-5, then beat Omaha 5-2. The Stampede plays at Lincoln Friday and Saturday.

Aberdeen Wings: The Wings swept Austin, 6-5 and 5-1. Aberdeen is home vs. Minot Friday and Saturday.

Rapid City Rush: The Rush lost to Fort Wayne, 3-1, then beat Fort Wayne, 9-5. Rapid City is home vs. Idaho Friday and Saturday, then plays at Utah next Wednesday.

Oahe Capitals boys varsity: The Caps; scheduled game against Brookings Saturday was postponed. The Capitals play three at home this weekend—Huron at 7:45 Friday, Brookings at 7:15 Saturday and Rushmore at 4:00 Sunday.

Oahe Capitals girls varsity: The girls’ Saturday game at Brookings was postponed, but they plowed through the weather Sunday to get to Sioux Falls where they lost a 6-1 contest. Emily Nemec scored the Oahe goal, and Sophia Peschong made 26 saves. The girls are home vs. Mitchell at 1:30 Saturday.

Minnesota Wild: The Wild lost to Philadelphia, 4-3; lost to Arizona 6-0, and beat the New York Islanders, 5-0. Minnesota road-trips to Tampa Bay tonight, to Florida Friday and to Carolina Sunday before a home game vs. Washington Tuesday.


Some people drink deeply from the well of knowledge. Some just rinse and spit.


South Dakota men’s basketball (Max Burchill): The Coyotes lost to Oral Roberts, 84-66. Max scored a point on a free throw and had four rebounds and one assist. Now 8-10 overall and 1-2 in the Summit League, USD is home vs. St. Thomas Thursday and home vs. SDSU at 1 p.m. Saturday.

South Dakota State swimming (Morgan Nelson): The Jackrabbits resume competition after the holidays break with a dual at USD Saturday.

University of Sioux Falls women’s wrestling (Toby Bryant): The Cougar women’s scheduled tournament at York, Neb., was canceled. USF’s next action is a dual at Minot State Jan. 26.

South Dakota State men’s/women’s track (Rylan O’Donnell, Jessica Lutmer, Lydia Hill): The Jackrabbit teams did not make the trip to their scheduled meet at NDSU. On tap this Saturday is the Jim Emmerich meet at SDSU.

Augustana swimming (Ella Ward-Zeller): Augustana won duals over Minnesota-Morris, 187-88, and over Southwest Minnesota State, 176-84. Ella was the winner of the 100-meter backstroke event in :59.29. She swam on Augie’s “B” team in the 200 medley relay, placing second in 1:48.88. She also swam on the “E” team in the 200 freestyle relay, placing fourth in 1:44.91. The Vikings are now off until the NSIC championships in Sioux Falls Feb. 14-17.

Dakota Wesleyan wrestling (Aric Williams, Tyson Johnson): The Tigers beat Jamestown in a dual, 21-15. Aric won his 149-pound match in a 2:03 fall. Tyson won his 157-pound match by technical fall 23-8. DWU wrestles at Briar Cliff Tuesday and hosts Morningside Wednesday.

Northern women’s basketball (Katie Bourk): The Wolves swept their weekend home games, 62-53 over Wayne State and 63-49 over Augustana. NSU is home Friday vs. Concordia-St. Paul and Saturday vs. Minnesota-Duluth.

University of Mary women’s basketball (Chloe Lamb): The Marauders lost to Augustana, 68-62, and beat Wayne State, 73-40. Mary plays at home Friday vs. Winona State and Saturday vs. Minnesota State.

Black Hills State men’s basketball (Jackson Edman): The Yellowjackets won at home over Western Colorado, 69-65. In four minutes Jackson didn’t score but had one assist. Now 7-7 overall and 5-3 in the RMAC, BHSU goes far west to Colorado-Mesa Friday and on to Westminster in Salt Lake City Saturday.

Georgia Tech women’s basketball (Caleb Currier): The Yellowjacket women beat Clemson, 70-62, but lost at Duke, 84-46. Tech is home Thursday vs. North Carolina and Sunday vs. Boston College.

Dakota Wesleyan men’s basketball (Nick Wittler): The Tigers’ only game of the week was last night at Sioux Center where they lost to Dordt, 96-83. Nick was 1-of-2 in three-pointers for three points along with two assists. Now 9-9 overall and 4-6 in the GPAC, DWU plays at Mount Marty Saturday and at home vs. Northwestern next Wednesday.

South Dakota State wrestling (Regan Bollweg): The Jackrabbits won twice at the Hampton Duals in Virginia—50-0 over Kent State and 30-13 over Navy. Regan did not wrestle there. SDSU is home Friday vs. Northern Colorado and Sunday vs. Cal Baptist.

University of Sioux Falls men’s wrestling (Josh Rydberg): The Cougars lost a 49-0 dual to #2 St. Cloud State. Josh did not wrestle. Now 1-5 in duals, USF competes in the Younes Duals at Nebraska-Kearney Saturday.

Dakota State track (Houston Lunde): The Trojans’ return to action at the Mount Marty meet didn’t happen when that event was canceled. DSU goes to the Jim Emmerich meet at SDSU Saturday.


Men’s basketball: UND vs. Oral Roberts, 7 p.m.
Men’s basketball: USD vs St. Thomas, 7 p.m. (MS2).
Men’s hockey: UND vs. St. Cloud State, 7:30 p.m.
Men’s basketball: UND vs. Denver, noon (MS2).
Men’s basketball: USD vs. SDSU, 1 p.m.
Men’s hockey: UND vs. St. Cloud State, 6 p.m. (MS2).
Women’s basketball: USD vs. SDSU, 6 p.m.
Girls/boys basketball: Tea Area vs. Sioux Falls Christian, 6:30 p.m.


Other college basketball (besides what is in College Sports Roundup above):
— USD women (12-6): Lost to Oral Roberts, 91-78.
Next: at St. Thomas Thursday; at SDSU 6 p.m. Saturday.
— SDSU men (9-9): Beat St. Thomas, 81-80; lost to Denver, 99-80.
Next: Thursday, home vs. Omaha; Saturday, at USD,, 1 p.m.
— SDSU women (11-5): Beat St. Thomas, 75-55; beat Denver, 68-50.
Next: Thursday, at Omaha; Saturday, home vs. USD, 6 p.m.

Sioux Falls Skyforce: The Force defeated Austin twice, 131-107 and 128-119, and last night lost to Texas, 129-117. Sioux Falls plays at Maine Friday and Sunday.

Minnesota Timberwolves: The Wolves had a winning week, beating Portland 116-93, the Los Angeles Clippers 109-103 and last night the Detroit Pistons 124-117. The team is home vs. Memphis tonight, Oklahoma City Saturday and Charlotte Monday before going to Washington next Wednesday.


NFL playoff games this weekend:
Houston at Baltimore, 3:30 p.m. CST, ABC/ESPN.
Green Bay at San Francisco, 7 p.m., Fox.
Tampa Bay at Detroit, 2 p.m., NBC.
Kansas City at Buffalo, 5:30 p.m., CBS.

(coached by South Dakota native Kalen DeBoer)
Aug. 31: Western Kentucky.
Sept. 7: South Florida.
Sept. 14: at Wisconsin.
Sept. 28: Georgia.
Oct. 5: at Vanderbilt.
Oct. 12: South Carolina.
Oct. 19: at Tennessee.
Oct. 26: Missouri.
Nov. 9: at LSU.
Nov. 16: Mercer.
Nov. 23: at Oklahoma.
Nov. 30: Auburn.

Aug. 31: at Colorado.
Sept. 7: Tennessee State.
Sept. 14: at East Tennessee State.
Sept. 21: Towson.
Sept. 28: at Illinois State.
Oct. 5: UND.
Oct. 12: at Southern Illinois.
Oct. 19: SDSU.
Oct. 26: at Murray State.
Nov. 2: Northern Iowa.
Nov. 16: Missouri State.
Nov. 23: at USD.


Send your four winners to parkerhome16@hotmail.com by Saturday morning:

(1) Green Bay at San Francisco.
(2) Houston at Baltimore.
(3) Kansas City at Buffalo.
(4) Tampa Bay at Detroit.


Oahe Zap: This week’s addition to the 2024 roster of the Zap is Mason Lang, freshman catcher from South Dakota State whose hometown is Chaska, Minn.


I’ve reached the age when my train of thought often leaves the station without me.


— During the midst of the horrendous cold spell last weekend, one of my favorite Facebook posts read, “I’m not going outside until the temperature is above my age.” At that pace, I would be stuck inside till some time in June or July.


Thursday, Jan. 18:
Cody Cruse, Kaden Kampfe Cody Henrichsen, Robbin Paxton Jonathan Moe, Rick LaFurge, Twila Dockter, Tyson Lindekugel, LeAnn Weischedel, Kaden Parsons.

Friday, Jan. 19:
Natalie Blaseg, Noah Wright, Becky (Barringer) Hoffman, Kala Baus, Darin Hausmann, Chandra Schoenhard, Destiny Garber, Caren (Howard) Huxford, Barbara Crandell-Miller, Lane Hawkins, Allen Hiller, Fletcher Delvo, Jake Vogel, Clint Fouts, Martha Nystrom.

Saturday, Jan. 20:
Emersyn Jeanotte, Andrea (Miller) Baker, Eleni Wright, Amber Kelley, Ryan Anderson, DeNeil (Hosman) Taylor, Kate Bartel, Greg Chapin, Kirsten Wilcox, Sue (Brink) Joachim, Jason Richards, Dorinda Timmons, Kaitlin Thomas, Lucas Stoeser, Kathy (Walker) Blackburn, Austyn Norman, Kiley (Slagle) Coyne.
— 6th anniversary, Allen/Sarah (Zellmer) Johnson.

Sunday, Jan. 21:
Justin Artz, Doug Paxton, Jean Hertel, Monte Pullman, Nate Sprenkle, Becky Thompson, Parker Parsons, Mary (Jordre) Jensen, Daniall Deis, Isaac Heymans.
— 2nd anniversary, Phil/Kacie (Schneider) Greenwood.
— 21st anniversary, Jesse/Whitney (Palmer) Flottmeyer.

Monday, Jan. 22:
Mark Venner, Paula Adam-Burchill, Dustin Boes, Mark Sweetman, Charis (Fouts) Blanchette, James Watson, Jason Sulzle, Mddox Dokken, Tracy Roberts, Brian Thompson, Burkelee Kenefick-Aschoff, Jameson Bollinger, Mike Schuh, Matt Boyer, Jon Boer, Bob Joachim.

Tuesday, Jan. 23:
Heidi Jennings, Melissa (Moore) Flottmeyer, Eric James, Erica Flyger, Adam Johnson, Jan Hartland, Peyton Zabel, Derk Campbell.

Wednesday Jan. 24:
Mary Thorson, Lynnsey Briese, Andrew Powers, Jackie Yackley, Pam Brandner, Jeff Holcomb, Nancy Grunewaldt.

Thursday, Jan. 25:
Seth Hipple, Luke LeBeau, Zoey Ann Hanson, Shawna Erickson, Stephanie Bowers, Stephen Nielson, Nate Neufeld, Jonathan Kreycik, Mary Joyce Rounds, Reed Ludwig, Aiden Dozark, Audrey Perli, Tawna (Williams) Millington.


The Riggs High School drama department’s night of two one-act plays will be held next Friday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m. The plays are “The Write Stuff,” a student-directed play, and “The Chips Are Down,” which will be Riggs High’s entry at the state one-act play festival the following week.

Peyton Zabel earned recognition on the fall semester Dean’s List at Texas State University.

Donald Huebner, 74, died at home Jan. 13. A prayer service with military honors, followed by a meal, will begin at noon Sunday, Jan. 28, at the Pat Duffy Community & Youth Involved Center in Fort Pierre.

Jennifer Royka, 51, died Jan. 15. Service details will be announced through Feigum Funeral Home.

Opal (Stager) Tousley died Jan. 12. Visitation will be from 6 to 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday) at the Isburg Funeral Chapel. Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Faith Lutheran Church. Burial will be at 2:30 p.m. MST at Black Hills National Cemetery. Opal was born in California but grew up on a farm at Chelsea, S.D. She attended school at Chelsea and in Aberdeen where she graduated from high school in 1946 before attending Northern State Teachers College. She married Howard Tousley in 1949, and they had six children. The Tousleys lived in Aberdeen and Fort Carson, Colo., before settling in Pierre where Howard worked with the Department of Transportation. Opal worked as a legal secretary for four different South Dakota attorneys general, then as a secretary at local law firms until retiring in 1991. She was a volunteer with hospice, the Cultural Heritage Center, St. Mary’s Hospital and schools and was involved in many local organizations and projects. She is survived by five of her children, Terry (Jane) Tousley of Pierre, Patrick Tousley of Pierre, Michael (Debra) Tousley of Los Alamos, N.M., Kevin (Brenda) Tousley of Maricopa, Ariz., and SusanTousley of Pierre; nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents.

Jamie Huizenga has announced he will seek re-election to the Pierre city commission in this year’s June election. Another seat on the commission, the one now held by Todd Johnson, is also up for election this year. The deadline for candidates to file petitions is March 26.

Dakota State University’s fall semester Honors List included these local students: Abbie Pillen, Robert Arnold, Arthur Hodges, Aydan Johnson, Nick Roggenbuck, Collin Brueggeman, Drew Schuchard, Houston Lunde, Dohrion Eisterhold, Joey Fischer, Griffin Gates, Caitlin Mohr, Bastian Westergren, Jack Baker, Jacob Page. Part-time DSU students who earned academic recognition included Angela Guthmiller, Dannale Norris, John DeBoer and Evan Becker.

Kenneth Cox, 84, died Jan. 9 at The Village of Harmony Hill in Watertown after battling cancer. Mass of Christian Burial is being celebrated this (Thursday) morning at 11 a.m. at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Pierre. Kenneth grew up at Tyndall and graduated from Yankton High School in 1957. He graduated from USD in 1961 with a degree in applied science. He met Katie at USD, and they were married in 1960 and had four children. He worked for the Department of Transportation in Pierre for 38 years. Surviving are three children, Coleen (Todd) Whitlock of Wakefield, Kan., Mike Cox of Pierre and Lisa (Daryl) Schofield of Castlewood; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and his daughter Michelle.

Next fall’s homecoming dates that we know about already: University of Nebraska, Oct. 5 (Huskers vs. Rutgers). SDSU Hobo Day, Oct. 12 (Jacks vs. Youngstown State). NDSU Sept. 21 (Bison vs. Towson). Augustana Oct. 5 (Vikings vs. Minnesota-Duluth). USD Dakota Day, Oct. 12 (Coyotes vs. Northern Iowa).

At the Rogue Theatre in Tucson, Ariz., Ryan Parker Knox and fellow castmates are in the midst of a run of Dylan Thomas’ “Under Milk Wood.” The show runs through Jan. 28 at the Rogue. In Rapid City Jason Knox is in the cast of Black Hills Community Theatre’s “One Man, Two Guvnors,” which opens next week on Jan. 26 and runs for three weekends at the Performing Arts Center’s Studio Theatre.

At Augustana University the fall semester Dean’s List included these local students: Theodora Crawford, Alexis Dilges, Kameron Eckstine, Adisyn Gray, Colton Hartford, Jett Lamb, Natalie Mohr, Remington Price, Lily Sanchez, Oliver Smith, Patrick Valentine, Lily Holcomb, Eli Schipper.

Rick Brown, the custodial supervisor at the federal building in Pierre, died Jan. 12. At his request no funeral is being held. He graduated from Lower Brule High School in 1986. He married Lois Vantiger in 2007 and cherished the stepchildren he gained through that marriage. He is survived by his wife, Lois; his stepchildren, Jessica (Cody Nilson) of Pierre, Nathan (Cassie) Blackmore of Brookings, and Alicia in Nebraska; his mother, Sherry, of Lower Brule; his brothers, Ronnie (Jodi) Brown, Randy Brown of Aberdeen, Ryan Brown of Sioux Falls and Rance (Reyna) Brown of Hesperia, Calif., and several grandchildren.

Heather Knox will be one of six presenters at Freedom Expo 2024 this Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Rushmore Plaza in Rapid City. This is South Dakota’s premier public awareness event on human trafficking and is free to the public hosted by Freedom’s Journey, a nonprofit charity organization dedicated to helping survivors of human trafficking navigate the journey from slavery to freedom through relationships and collaboration. Heather is an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of South Dakota, is human trafficking coordinator for the South Dakota district and also is co-chair of the West River Human Trafficking Task Force.

The Dean’s List at South Dakota State University for the fall semester included these local students: Olivia Chse, Trey Frost, Sheridan Nickolas, Taylee Stroup, Sydney Tedrow, Daysen Titze, William Van Camp, Kourtney Walti, Reid Wieczorek, Regan Bollweg, Josh Lamb, Quinn Jordre, Landon Severson, Shalie Weinheimer, Adam Ankrum, Emily Black, Madilyn Brakke, Marshall Brown, Jessica Buntrock, Jenna Bush, McKenna Cass, Bennett Dean, Jade Evans, Adam Goeden, Kenzie Gronlund, Deegan Houska, Ruth Howard, Autumn Iverson, Michael Jackley, Allison Johnson, Ellen Johnson, Kyla Keyes, Claire Koenecke, Adisyn Kuxhaus, Hattie Larson, Sawyer Lee, Luke Leingang, Spencer Letellier, Emily Lingle, Nick Loe, Emma Lusk, Jessica Lutmer, Daniel Magee, Jacob Mayer, Levi McKinley, Alexander Miller, Sarah Mohr, Alexia Morris, Catie Natvig, Kimber Natvig, Selah Rilling, Jasmine Rounds, Grace Sargent, MaKenna Schlekeway, Malia Schumacher, Hattie Shaffer, Addy Smith, Noah Smith, Gavin Stotts, Joshua Switzer, Kylee Thorpe, Alex Venner, Maria Vukovich, Kyra Wallace, Jack Walsh, Danessa Wilson, Draix Wyatt, Deni Zeeb, Gracie Zeeb.

Catching up on some Christmas letters, I see that Larry and Mary Jo Johnson celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary during 2023. Larry commented, “I believe there will be sainthood in it for Mary Jo putting up with me for 50 years.” He said it first; we didn’t. The Johnsons celebrated Christmas a week early in Minneapolis. Son Tom and wife Parker and little Noma Juelle live in Bloomington, and son Chris and his partner, Andrea Moore, drove up from Davenport, Iowa. The Johnsons took a pair of trips during 2023—to Medora, N.D., for the musical and a pitchfork fondue and back by way of Larry’s hometown of Lemmon, and to Duluth and the North Shore during the changing of colors in the fall.

The fall semester Dean’s List at Dakota Wesleyan University includes these local students: Elizabeth Duffy, Emma Hunt, Abby Wyly, Nick Wittler, Tayne Bohman, Taylor Chavez, Elizabeth DeAlba, Brayden Goldade, Tyson Johnson, Julio Morales Ramirez, Trey Nedrebo, Madison Oedekoven, Mariah Schnabel, Kieran Steffen-Uecker.

Jay and Beverly Mickelson’s Christmas letter unveiled a whirlwind of projects, trips and activities those two jumped into during 2023. Son Drew and his wife Nicole had their fourth child last January, and little Emma Kaye was baptized in Aberdeen in May. They celebrated Bev’s 76th birthday in January and Jay’s 75th in July, and the couple are looking forward to celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this coming summer with a special event of some sort about which we will no doubt hear later. Daughter Allison, after being in Glasgow, Scotland, is back in the United States in a position at the Brooklyn Art Haus in New York City. In December Jay wrote, organized and directed an advent play for their church, and he sang with the all-faiths choir at the Cathedral on the Prairie concert in Hoven.

The lengthy Christmas letter from Joyce and Dennis Williams in Pierre revealed that this is Joyce’s 50th year at St. Joseph Elementary School. She is working mostly with first- and third-graders as well as the library this year. The Williams clan, all except three oldest grandkids, spent five days together over Thanksgiving in Pierre, taking advantage of better weather and travel conditions than were likely at Christmas. Joyce and Dennis spent Christmas with his siblings and Christmas morning with son John and Laura and their family in Sioux Falls. The Williamses took a two-week Alaska trip last June, and now Delaware is the only state to which they haven’t yet traveled. During 2023 Joyce and Dennis made it out to Utah three times. Son Chris, wife Lindsey, their 9-year-old son Weston and their 7-year-old triplets live out there.. His parents went along to watch as Chris played in a pickleball tournament down in St. George, Utah. John’s family in Sioux Falls concentrates on tennis, a sport which John coaches at Sioux Falls Christian (state girls champions in 2023!) and in which daughters Ericka, 9, and Kennedy, 6, take lessons. Son Paul and wife Christie and their athletic family are still in Mankato where 13-year-old Samantha plays tennis and basketball. Paul is the girls tennis coach at her high school. He will be inducted into the South Dakota Tennis Hall of Fame this coming summer. Son Mark works for a landscaping company and daughter Karissa will graduate from the University of Arizona with a medical entrepreneurship degree. Daughter Marie’s and husband Gary’s son Tyler is an air traffic controller at Springfield, Mo., but will be moving to a similar position at Charlotte this spring. Their son Brett is a sophomore at UND in Grand Forks. Dennis maintains the family garden, which sounds like a full-time job, and commands his bee hives which supply a good amount of honey. He also volunteers at Feeding South Dakota.


“After all we’ve been through in our history, from independence to civil war to two world wars to a pandemic to insurrection, I refuse to believe that in 2024 we Americans will choose to walk away from what’s made us the greatest nation in the history of the world—freedom and liberty. Democracy is still a sacred cause.”
— President Joe Biden at Valley Forge, Pa., 1/5/24


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