Obituaries Betty M. Olawsky

Betty M. Olawsky, 80, of Sioux Falls, died Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 at Sioux Valley Hospice Cottage, Sioux Falls.

Betty Marie Drafahl, daughter of Russell and Edna Drafahl, was born Feb. 1, 1922 at Vermillion. She attended Vermillion High School and received her teaching degree from USD. She taught in rural schools in Clay and Union counties and in Alabama during World War II.

She married Wilfred "Ole" Olawsky on July 2, 1944 in Vermillion. Betty was a 50-year member and past matron of Jasper Chapter of Eastern Star in Sioux Falls and a member of Juno Chapter in Vermillion. Helen Steiner Rice was her favorite author and she enjoyed reading her poems to students and groups to which she belonged. She had a great love for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. While her children were growing, she was active in study clubs, school activities, Scouting, Job's Daughters and Sunday school.

Survivors include her husband, Ole; a daughter, Sharon Scott (James), Peoria, IL; three sons, Michael (Sheri), Sioux Falls, Patrick (LauraLee), Oakdale, MN, and Charles, Grand Rapids, MI; seven grandchildren, Jennifer Lohr (James), Sioux Falls, Benjamin Kaufman, Gulfport, MS, Stephanie Fletcher (LeMoyne), Frederick, MD, Jason Olawsky (Justine), Renton, WA, Janet and Steven Olawsky, Oakdale, MN, and Ashley Olawsky, Whitehall, MI; two great-grandchildren, Clayton and Brooklyn Lohr, Sioux Falls; one sister, Elnora Carrino, Gaithersburg, MD; and 11 nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents and four sisters, Ruby, Roberta, Beverly and Arlene.

Funeral services were held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, at First United Methodist Church with interment at the Hills of Rest Memorial Park. Visitation was held Jan. 20 at George Boom Funeral Home, Sioux Falls.

Memorials may be directed to the W.C. and Betty Olawsky Hospitality Scholarship Fund at the Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids, MI, the Eastern Star Home in Redfield, or the First United Methodist Foundation.

Debra 'Debbie' Fox

Debra "Debbie" K. Fox, 47, Fishers, IN, died suddenly Sunday, Dec. 22, 2002, at her home.

Services were 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 30, 2002 at St. Agnes Catholic Church, Vermillion, with the Rev. Don Imming officiating. Burial was in Hillcrest Cemetery, Irene.

Visitation was Sunday, Dec. 29, with a wake service at the church.

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

She was born March 11, 1955, at Vermillion, to George and Merle (Lewis) Christenson. She graduated from Vermillion High School in 1973 and with honors from The University of South Dakota with a degree in accounting.

She married Douglas Fox Nov. 17, 1973, at Vermillion. They moved to Overland Park, KS, in 1996 and she worked as an accountant for Wadell & Reed. In 1997, they moved to Parker, CO, where she was an accountant for White & Steele Law Firm in Denver. In 2001, they moved to Fishers, Ind., where she worked as an accountant for Aimco Rental Properties.

She is survived by her husband, Douglas; three children, Stacie (Josh) Lyons, Killeen, TX, twins Erika Fox, Boulder, CO, and Adam Fox, Aurora, CO; her mother, Merle Christenson, Vermillion; one sister, Lois (Hubert) Gregoire, Wakonda; sister-in-law JoAnn McChesney, Sioux Falls; nephews, nieces, great-nephews and great-nieces; and many other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her father and two brothers, Eugene and Gary Christenson.

Charles Wetmore

Charles Wetmore, 88, of Vermillion died Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2003 at the Sioux Valley Vermillion Hospital, after a very short illness.

Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 20 at the Hansen Funeral Home in Vermillion, with the Rev. Sandy Aakre officiating. Flute music was provided at the service by Art Jassman.

Burial was in the Fairview Cemetery in Rock Branch, IA. Visitation as from 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 19 with the family present.

Charles Edward Harry was born Dec. 20, 1914 in the house that his parents had just built at 1614 Summit Street, Sioux City, IA. He was the son of Harry A. Wetmore, an early car dealer in Sioux City, and Lena (Flathers) Wetmore. He graduated from Central High School in 1933, and attended Morningside College. As a young man, he taught Sunday school at the First Methodist Church and played the flute in the Sioux City Symphony.

During World War II, he served in the Ninth Air Force in England, Belgium, France, and Germany. In 1946 he married LaVaune Johnson of Sioux City, and they farmed for 20 years near Meckling. They lived in Vermillion for many years.

He was a member of the Coyote Rock & Lapidary Society, the Vermillion Pistol Club, and the Tri-State Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation. He was on the board of directors of the Spirit Mound Trust.

He took tremendous satisfaction in studying the tallgrass prairie remnant on Spirit Mound and in watching that project move toward completion.

For his entire life he had an eager curiosity about all of the world around him, past and present. He never lost the capacity to be awed by nature and to install that appreciation in his family and friends. He was a photographer, silversmith and lapidary.

In September 2001, the National Alzheimer's Association honored Mr. Wetmore and his wife for their $50,000 research contribution.

Survivors include his wife, LaVaune, and son, Mark, of Vermillion; three nieces, Mary Tanck and her husband, John; Patricia Arnold and her husband, Robert; and Virginia Peterson and her husband, Sterling.

He was preceded in death by his parents, three infant sisters, a sister, Laura and a brother, George, a niece, Joanne Bell, and a nephew, James Wetmore.

LaNease Steckelberg

LaNease Steckelberg, 70, Elk Point, died Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 at Sioux Valley Vermillion Care Center.

Funeral services were held Jan. 22 at St. Peter's Catholic Church, Jefferson, with burial in the Elk Point Cemetery. A wake service was held Jan. 21 at the church.

She was born Nov. 8, 1932 at Jefferson, to Jerry and Irene (Beaubien) Higgins. He graduated from Jefferson High School in 1950.

She married Jerry Steckelberg July 3, 1952 in Jefferson.

She was a member of St. Peter's Catholic Church, Jefferson.

Survivors include her husband, Jerry and daughters Lila and Lori Steckelberg, all of Elk Point; sons Lynn (Mary Jo), Le Mars, IA, Lyle (Joan), Jefferson, Dale, Elk Point, David (Shannon), Beresford; seven grandchildren, Alyssa, Reid, Gloria, Brendan, John, Grace and Regina Steckelberg; step-grandchildren Brandon, Ryan and Erin Sitzmann; brothers Mike (Margaret) Higgins, Norco, CA, and John (Mary Ann) Higgins, Sioux City, IA; sisters Margaret (Richard) Meyers, California, Karen (Darrold) Swenson, Urbandale, IA, and LaTisha (Vern) Pranke, Sioux City, IA.

Anderson-Siecke Funeral Home, Elk Point, was in charge of arrangements.

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