Obituaries

Obituaries Bonnie Burke

Bonnie Byler Burke died Aug. 4, 1999, in Scottsdale, AZ.

Born in 1920 in Lepanto, AR, she was the only child of Dr. Charles Elbert and Ada Johnston Byler. She was raised in the Church of Christ and in the Lepanto School system. Majoring in English, she graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1941. She was an outstanding student, a beauty queen and an active member of Pi Beta Phi.

She taught in the Lepanto School system for several years before being selected National Maid of Cotton in 1943. After her tour as the National Maid, she took voice training in New York for six months.

Returning to Lepanto she married Richard K. Burke, a World War II naval aviator of Helena, AR. They had two children, Charles Graham and Bonnie Louise. Richard became a lawyer and they lived several years in Helena until he was recalled to naval service in the Korean conflict.

They moved to Tucson, AZ, where Richard taught at the university and later practiced law. In Tucson, Bonnie was active in church and community and Republican Party affairs.

In 1973, they moved to Vermillion where Richard taught at the USD School of Law, becoming dean of the law school from 1974-80. Bonnie was an officer and active member of PEO and Alumni Advisor for Pi Beta Phi. Always an active Christian, she was from time to time a choir member, president of the Christian Women's Fellowship, a deacon and a Bible school teacher.

Until the time of her final illness she was an active member of the Prescott Christian Church. Bonnie was known for her beauty, charm and strength of character.

She is survived by her husband of 53 years, Richard Burke; two children: Charles of Glendale, AZ, and Bonnie of Hardy, AR; three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Contributions may be given to the Law School Foundation, USD.

Myrtle E. Knapp

Myrtle E. Knapp, 92, of Vermillion, died Friday, Aug. 27, 1999, at the Sioux Valley Vermillion Care Center.

Myrtle Law was born July 13, 1907 in Oberlin, KS, to William and Jennie (Storm) Law. She was the sixth of nine children. She graduated from Stella Nebraska High School, and went on the Peru Nebraska State Teachers College, receiving her two-year teaching certificate in 1927. She married Robert Knapp on May 29, 1928 in Stella, NE. She received her bachelor of education degree from The University of South Dakota in 1961.

Mrs. Knapp taught in many schools in eastern Nebraska. After moving to Vermillion, she taught at Spring Hill and Fairview schools. She and her husband moved to Vermillion in 1947 from Canton, MO. Her husband, Dr. Robert Knapp, died in 1990. She was a 45-year member of Delta Kappa Gamma and PEO. She was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, the AAUW and South Dakota Retired Teachers Association. Mrs. Knapp was active in the UCC Church in Vermillion, both as a member of the diaconate and as church historian. She was a lifetime member of the USD Foundation.

Mrs. Knapp is survived by her daughter: Mrs. Richard (Karen) Assunto of Austin, TX; two sisters-in-law: Jackie Law of San Pedro, CA, and Ruth Law of Kenosha, WI; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, Aug. 31, at 10:30 a.m. at the United Church of Christ in Vermillion with burial in the BluffView Cemetery in Vermillion. The family was present from 6-8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 24, at the Hansen Funeral Home in Vermillion, with a prayer service at 8 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Shrine to Music c/o USD, or the United Church of Christ.

John Seiler

John J. Seiler, 64, Vermillion, died Saturday, Aug. 28, 1999 at his home.

Funeral services were held Sept. 1 at St. Thomas Moore, Newman Center, on The University of South Dakota campus with the Rev. Mark Lichter officiating. Burial was in Emmet Cemetery, rural Beresford.

A scripture service and rosary were held Aug. 31 at Iverson-Siecke Funeral Home, Vermillion.

He was born Feb. 20, 1935, in Vermillion to Joseph Seiler and Ruth Harrison. He attended Vermillion schools.

He served in the U.S. Army for two years during the Korean Conflict.

He married Linda A. Peterson in 1960 in Everette, WA.

He worked for the city of Vermillion street crew for 35 years, retiring in 1996 because of ill health.

He was a member of St. Thomas Moore, Newman Center, on the USD campus.

He is survived by his wife: Linda; three sons: Andrew, Vermillion, Karl, Oak Harbor, WA, and Mark (Deb) of Walters, OK; one daughter: Marlene Mendez, Sneads, FL; four grandchildren; four sisters: Geraldine Demers, Winner, Dorothy Boever, Aurora, Barbara Nemec, Holabird' and Lilly Wilson, Highland; and two brothers: Michael of Peterhead, Scotland, and David of College Station, TX.

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