Obituaries Margaret Connors

Margaret Mary Connors, 88, died Monday, March 14, 2005 in the Sioux Valley Vermillion Care Center after a long illness.

Margaret Schmitz was born July 20, 1916, in O'Neill, NE to Mathias and Mary Ann (Weber) Schmitz. The family moved to Jefferson, where Margaret attended St. Peter's elementary school and graduated from Jefferson High School in 1934.

She earned her teacher's certificate at Notre Dame Academy in Mitchell, and taught at rural schools in Union County until her marriage to Howard Connors on May 21, 1940 at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Jefferson. The couple had lived in Vermillion since 1941.

Margaret loved to paint, and her paintings and china painted items are treasured by friends and relatives. Her original china painting of South Dakota's state flower, the pasque, was featured on the cover of the national publication, The China Decorator, in 1991.

Margaret was a member of St. Agnes Catholic Church, the Catholic Daughters, PEO, the USD Faculty Women's Club, and was a Girl Scout leader. She worked as a reading specialist in the Vermillion Public Schools. Margaret and Howard enjoyed their monthly bridge club with life-long friends for over 50 years.

Margaret was selected as the South Dakota Mother of the Year in 1993.

Survivors include her husband, Howard Connors of Vermillion, and children Mary Ann Zimmerman (James) of Iowa City, IA; Marjorie Connors-Boe (Gary) of Cedar Rapids, IA; Robert Connors (Julie) of Grand Rapids, MI; Catherine Gullickson (Marcus) of Cedar Rapids, IA; and Carla Connors (Timothy Hoekman) of Tallahassee, FL; 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Also surviving are two brothers, Donald (Elizabeth) of Sioux Falls and Robert of Jefferson. Margaret was preceded in death by a daughter, Patricia Rose, her parents; and four brothers, Joseph, Leo, George and John.

Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 18, at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Vermillion. Burial followed in the Calvary Cemetery. Visitation began at 5 p.m. Thursday at the church with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. The Hansen Funeral Home in Vermillion was in charge of the arrangements.

Memorials may be directed to St. Agnes School or the Vermillion Senior Center.

Irma E. Nelson

Irma E. Nelson, 88, of Kennewick, WA, passed away March 14, 2005 at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Norma and Benny DeRoos.

Irma was born in Vermillion on Nov. 24, 1916 to Phillip H. and Mable (Line) Ferry.

She graduated from Vermillion High School in 1934. She married Norman R. Olson in January 1941. They lived in the Gayville area. He passed away in 1970. Then she married Harold B. Nelson in 1974. They also lived in Vermillion. He passed away in 2001. Shortly after Irma moved to Kennewick, WA.

Irma retired from The University of South Dakota food service in 1981.

She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, the Women of the ELCA, and the Vermillion Senior Citizens Center.

Before her eyesight diminished, Irma enjoyed sewing, crocheting, embroidery and volunteering around the community.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husbands, brothers, Homer Ferry, Orville Ferry and Reyburn Ferry; sisters, Gladys Ferry and Laverne Spain; and half-brother, Elba Edminstein.

She is survived by her two daughters, Norma (Benny) DeRoos of Kennewick, WA, and Julie (Richard) Gunderson of Tamarac, FL. She is also survived by eight grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be directed to the Trinity Lutheran Church in Vermillion and the Tri-Cities Chaplaincy, 2108 W. Entiat Ave., Kennewick, WA 99336-3000.

Funeral services will be held March 21 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Vermillion at 1 p.m. Burial will follow at BluffView Cemetery.

Hansen Funeral Home of Vermillion is in charge of arrangements.

Leo Girard

Leo Girard, 84, of Vermillion, died March 10, 2005 at Sioux Valley Vermillion Hospital after a long illness with Parkinson's disease.

Funeral services were held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at St. Agnes Catholic Church, Vermillion, with Fr. Rod Farke officiating. Burial was in St. Agnes Calvary Cemetery in Vermillion under the direction of Iverson-Siecke Funeral Home.

Visitation was from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Friday at Iverson-Siecke Funeral Home. The rosary service was at St. Agnes at 7 p.m. followed by the wake service at 7:30 p.m.

Leo was born in Jefferson on Aug. 5,1920, to Adelore and Alphosine (Girard) Girard. He married Esther Anderson in Elk Point on April 12, 1947.

Leo farmed in the Burbank area for many years and then left the farm to move into the city of Vermillion. He was employed at USD, Vermillion, until his retirement on June 3, 1990.

He was a member of St. Agnes Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus. Fraternal Order of Eagles and Vermillion Senior Citizen Center.

Survivors include his wife, Esther, of Vermillion; brothers, Joe (Rose), of Burbank and Leonard (Rita) of Woodburn, OR; a sister, Rose Kunkel Kerns of Kansas City, MO; a sister-in-law, Betty (Virgil) Schmidt of Wakonda; a brother-in-law, Harold (Lois) Chartier of Sioux City, IA, and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Evelyn Chartier and Dorothy Richardson; and three brothers, Leroy, Francis and Robert.

Elwyn 'Bud' Knutson

Funeral services for Elwyn "Bud" Knutson were held at 2 p.m. on Monday, March 14, at Scandia Lutheran Church with burial at Holland Cemetery, rural Centerville.

Elwyn Kermit (Bud) Knutson was born on Aug. 10, 1916 at Centerville, to Thomas Knutson and Amy (Lunning) Knutson. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith at Immanuel Church, rural Centerville. On Oct. 11, 1939 he was united in marriage to Elvera Louise Johnson. To this union six children were born, Darlene (Ardell) Lovejoy, Wakonda, Arlene Zoeller, Beresford, Kermit (Arnetta) Knutson, Storm Lake, IA, Bonnie (Frank) Seitzinger, Onawa, IA, Virginia Christensen, Lennox, and Marice (Cliff) Highstreet, Hurley.

In addition, grateful for sharing his life are his 17 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; sister Dorothy (Dean) Eckern, Flandreau; two brothers, Glen (Ragna) Knutson, Centerville, and Clare (Marjorie) Knutson, Wakonda; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Throughout their 65 years together, Bud and Elvera farmed in the Centerville, Wakonda and Irene areas until 1981 when they moved to Yankton. While there, Bud continued to remain active by working part time at various Yankton area businesses. In 1994 Bud and Elvera returned to Centerville where he was an active member of Scandia Lutheran Church.

A devoted husband and father, Bud's family was always very important to him and he enjoyed spending time with them during holidays and special occasions, camping, and attending his children's and grandchildren's school and sporting events. In addition, he enjoyed woodworking, carpentry and auto mechanics and created many treasured items for his family and friends.

Bud was preceded in death by his parents, a son-in-law, Ronnie Twite, two brothers, Thomas Knutson Jr. and Sydney Knutson, and two sisters, Juna Knutson and Avonelle Hinseth.

Pearl Johnson Alen

Funeral services for Pearl Johnson Alen were held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 16 at Dalesburg Baptist Church, with burial in the church cemetery.

Pearl Johnson Alen died on Saturday, March 12, 2005 at the Grandview Christian Care Center, Cambridge, MN. She was born in Danbury, WI, on Sept. 15, 1916. Her parents were Harold Clinton Jordan and Olive Alida Dailey.

When she was a young child her mother passed away and Harold remarried and lived in St. Paul, MN. After the marriage ended, the children became wards of the state. Pearl and her two brothers were taken by train to the orphanage in Owatonna, MN. Pearl was then adopted by her Sunday School teacher, Florence Peterson and Florence's husband, Harold, whom she had known earlier while living in St. Paul. The Petersons tried to adopt the two boys but the state had already put them out to work on farms and would not allow the adoption to go through.

Pearl met her beloved Rawlin Joseph Johnson in 1937 while they were both ministering at a mission in the St. James Hotel in St. Paul at which Rawlin preached. They married on June 6, 1942 and served together in the ministry for 45 years in Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota.

After Rawlin's death in 1995, Pearl married Paul Alen, Balsam Lake, WI.

Pearl was preceded in death by her husband Rawlin and husband Paul; her biological father and mother; her stepmother; her adopted father and mother; grandson, Seth Joseph Olson; and great-grandson, Kofi Darin Baker.

Pearl is survived by six children, Maren Louise Lindstrom and husband Larry, Sioux City, IA, David Rawlin Johnson and wife, Mary, Sioux Falls, Carolyn Ruth Rice and husband Kermit, Andover, MN, Janet Mary Stewart and husband Clyde, Mankato, MN, Nancy Pearl Olson, Coon Rapids, MN, and Dwight Stephen Johnson and wife Linda, Watertown, MN; 33 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; and sisters-in-law Doris Haarsager Olson, Vermillion, Yvone Jordan, Bernice, LA, and Edith Lundborg, Monticello, MN. She is also survived by stepchildren Cheryl Stock and husband, Kent, Seattle, WA, Velda Alen and Darrel Alen and wife Grace, Balsam Lake, WI.

Coletta Manning

Funeral services are pending for Coletta Manning who died in Vermillion on Thursday, March 17, 2005.

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