Obituaries

Obituaries Larry Ellison

Larry Lee Ellison, 59, Barstow, CA died Aug. 31, 1999.

Larry was born Dec. 18, 1939 to Alfred C. and Ester Ellison. Larry attended Vermillion schools and served in the U.S. Army.

He is survived by two brothers: Robert A. Ellison, Omaha, NE, and Allen C. Ellison, Vermillion; two sisters: Fern Senson, Wakonda, and Louis Bradshaw, Oak Harbour, WA; two sons: Kevin and Scott Mount, Vermillion; one daughter: Sherri Seiler, Chandler, AZ; and five grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father and two sisters, Glenis and Helen.

Funeral services are pending notification of relatives.

Margaret Sletwold

Margaret Louise Sletwold, 92, of Vermillion, died Sunday, Sept. 12,1999 at the Sioux Valley Vermillion Care Center of Vermillion.

Margaret was born and raised in Sioux City, IA to E.O.F. (Odin) and Laura (Anderson) Sletwold. She was a baptized and confirmed member of St. John Lutheran Church of Sioux City.

She was educated in the Sioux City public schools and in 1925 she was graduated from Sioux City's Castle on the Hill. She graduated from Morningside College in 1929. She taught school for two years at Superior IA.

In 1931, she joined her brothers, Harold and Ferdinand, in the Sletwold Greenhouse in Vermillion. In 1937, the Sletwold Flower Shop opened on Main Street with Margaret as manager. In 1973, the flower shop was sold to Dale and Adina Holt after the Sletwolds operated it for 43 years. In 1974, the Nutrition for the Elderly Program was started and Margaret was employed as an assistant for 11 years.

As a child, Margaret was interested in sewing, canning, cooking and gardening. She won blue ribbons for her work as a 4-H member. She was a Girl Scout member and also a Scout leader. She was a member of the first girls baseball team sponsored by the city of Sioux City.

The Sletwolds were active in community contributions from 1938 to 1973. In 1991, she received the Diana Award from Epsilon Sigma Alpha for outstanding contributions to Vermillion.

She was a member of the Vermillion Chamber of Commerce, the Vermillion Development Company, Vermillion Civic Council, Friends of the Public Library and Spirit Mound Lewis & Clark. She was a 66-year member of Juno Chapter O.E.S., Original Garden Club, Retired Teachers and Shrine to Music.

She was a life member of the Clay County Historical Society, the Senior Citizens, American Legion Auxiliary and the W.H. Over Museum. She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church of Vermillion.

Funeral services were 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15 at Trinity Lutheran Church of Vermillion. Revs. Kevin Clark and Elmer "Sandy" Aakre officiated. Burial was in the Graceland Park Cemetery of Sioux City, IA.

Visitation was from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14, at the Iverson-Siecke Funeral Home of Vermillion. A prayer service was held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

Survivors include a sister, Ruth, Sioux City, IA; a cousin, Ruby Boyles, Mesa, AZ, and several cousins in North Dakota and Minnesota. She was preceded in death by her parents, a sister, Evangeline, and brothers Ferdinand and Harold.

Memorials may be directed to the Clay County Historical Society or The Senior Citizens Center.

James 'Gene' Varnum

James Eugene Varnum was born July 27, 1903, on a farm northeast of Centerville to James P. and Susan (Ayer) Varnum and died Sept. 13,1999 at his home in Centerville, due to pancreatic cancer.

Gene attended Frog Creek Elementary School, Centerville High School, Augustana Academy and Morningside College. He married Elizabeth Hickman on May 24, 1930. The couple lived on a farm near Centerville for four years and then moved to Sioux City, IA where he sheared sheep and hauled coal. One hot day in 1936, after shearing sheep, Gene swam across the Missouri River. In 1943 they moved to the Varnum Homestead southwest of Centerville. He milked dairy cows and sheared sheep all over the area. In 1961 Gene retired from farming and moved into Centerville. After his retirement, Gene continued shearing sheep until he was 80, at which time he started spending more time with his wife, who died in 1989.

Gene was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Centerville where he served as a trustee and deacon. He also belonged to the Centerville Masonic Lodge and the Oddfellows and Rebekahs, the Centerville Senior Citizens, and the South Dakota Sheep Shearers Association.

Gene was known by nearly everyone in town for his friendly and kind disposition and his wonderful sense of humor. He would tell jokes and many stories about his sheep shearing days. He was a devoted Christian man and set a good example to all those who knew him. After his wife's death in 1989, Gene would often be seen riding his tricycle around town, and to the bakery every morning for coffee and to the Senior Citizens Center for his noon meal. He became friends with Lillian Strand. They spent many happy hours visiting together. Lillian passed away last spring. Gene loved his family very much. He and his wife enjoyed camping and fishing together. He really loved his grandchildren and used to delight in taking them fishing. Gene also loved shearing sheep. He won many awards at the State Fair in the shearing competition. He continued to shear sheep until he was 80, and at his age was still able to sheer 100 sheep without any problems. He often said, "I hope I die over a sheep."

Gene was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Betty, two brothers: Paul and Martin, one sister; Susan, and two brothers in infancy, and his very special friend, Lillian Strand.

His survivors include his son James Varnum, Jr. of Centerville, his daughter, Judy Hybertson and her husband, Verlyn, of Centerville; three sisters: Mary Lee of Sioux Falls, Doris Quinn of California, and Marjorie Skotvold of Centerville, four grandchildren: Bob Hybertson of Rapid City, Don Hybertson of Sioux Falls, Bonnie Rowland of Sioux Falls, and Connie Fenega of Rapid City; six great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, at the First Baptist Church in Centerville with burial in the Riverview Cemetery in rural Centerville. Visitation was Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at the Wass Funeral Home in Centerville.

William 'Bill' Walz

William J. "Bill" Walz, 70, died Thursday, Sept. 9,1999, at his residence in Vermillion.

Funeral mass was held at 11 a.m., Monday, Sept. 13, at St. Agnes Catholic Church, Vermillion, with Father Donald Imming officiating. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery, Vermillion.

Visitation was from 5 to 7 p.m., Sunday at Iverson-Siecke Funeral Home, Vermillion. Rosary was led by Knights of Columbus at 7 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 12 at the funeral home.

Mr. Walz was born July 26, 1929, in Clay County to Leo and Gertrude (Chaussee) Walz. He attended University High and graduated from Vermillion High. He was a retired employee with the city of Vermillion. He was a lifetime Vermillion resident.

Mr. Walz married Lela Hughes on Jan. 4, 1956 at Vermillion.

He was a member of St. Agnes Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus.

He is survived by his wife, Lela, Vermillion; a sister, Mary Grangaard, Hemet, CA; four sisters-in-law, Sarah Walz Brown, Vermillion; Winnie Walz, Ainsworth, NE; Alice Walz Pensart, Grove OK; and Beverly Walz Brown, Sioux Falls; 18 nieces, 14 nephews and many great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters and four brothers.

Iverson-Siecke Funeral Home, Vermillion, was in charge of arrangements.

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