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1700 South Cliff Avenue | Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Worship Service
Sunday 9 a.m.

Obituaries

Joe Cooper

Born: Oct. 8, 1928
Died: June 22, 2019

Joe Cooper, age 90, passed away on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at the Sanford Hospice Foundation Cottage.

Visitation with the family present will be held Wednesday, June 26 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Miller Funeral Home, 507 S. Main Avenue in Sioux Falls.

Funeral services will be 1:00 pm on Thursday, June 27 at Hope Lutheran Church, 1700 South Cliff Avenue, Sioux Falls with burial at Hills of Rest Cemetery, 300 N. Chapel Hill Road, Sioux Falls.

Joe was born October 8, 1928, in Fort Dodge, IA to Fred N. and Helen Cooper. He graduated from Fort Dodge High School in 1947 and completed 2 years of Junior College. He began his broadcasting career as an announcer at KVFD-KFMY in Fort Dodge.

On October 31, 1951, he was united in marriage with Dorothy L. Lee.

Joe was employed at radio stations in Iowa and Minnesota before moving to television in 1953. His experience included News, Weather, Sports, and Studio Production. In 1964 he was hired as Production Director as KSOO-TV. In 1968 he joined the staff at KELO-TV and in 1973 co-launched “Good Morning KELO-Land”. He remained in that position for 10 years. Joe was elected Mayor of Sioux Falls in 1983 and was instrumental in re-opening Phillips Avenue to vehicles and revitalizing the downtown area. In 1987 he became Executive Director of the South Dakota Broadcasters Association and served until his retirement in 1995. Because he enjoyed people and didn’t like being idle, he also drove bus part-time for Jack Rabbit Lines, School Bus Inc., and drove the American Legion Post 15 Baseball Team’s bus for 3 years.

Joe and his wife Dorothy spent much of their free time boating with friends in Yankton.

He is survived by his daughters Christy Hopper of Midland, MI, Connie Altman of Sioux Falls, SD, Debra (Curt) Davey, Renner, SD, Jill (Dave) Bockorny, Sioux Falls, SD, Melissa (Brian) Connot, Sioux Falls, SD; his sister Carolyn Mulholland, Fort Dodge, IA; 20 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; and many other relatives and friends.

Mabel E Kunkel Hills

Born: May 24, 1923
Died: June 22, 2019

Mabel E Kunkel Hills went to meet her Lord on June 22, 2019. She was born to Amanda and Edward Kunkel on May 24, 1923 in Eckman, ND. Later her family moved to Glenburn, ND where Mabel grew up and graduated from Glenburn High School. She worked as a secretary at the Russell Flour Mill in Minot, ND. This is where she met and later married LeRoy M Hills on Oct 12, 1947, after his return from the Royal Canadian Navy.

They moved to Sioux Falls, SD in 1951. Mabel worked at Midwest Beach Co. until the birth of their daughter Teresa Ann in 1955. Mabel has been an active member of Hope Lutheran Church since 1956, she volunteered in the church office, taught Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, and served on the Altar Guild, until 2017. Mabel worked for the Instructional Planning Service in Sioux Falls from 1964-1975. Upon retiring she joined the Thursday morning women’s golf league at Elmwood Golf Course. She loved the wonderful ladies, the employees and staff who helped make their times so enjoyable. Mabel, at the age of 70, had the honor of driving a “Hole in One”, on hole #17 at Elmwood Golf Course on Sept 3, 1993.

Mabel was preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Amanda Kunkel, 8 brothers, Edwin, Fred, Delbert, Alvin, Lester, Leonard, Leroy and Robert, 2 sisters, Alma Frounfelter, and Adeline Schmidt, and her loving husband LeRoy Hills. She is survived by her daughter Teresa Dannenbring, (Tim), grandsons Matthew Dannenbring, Thornton, CO, Michael Dannenbring, Broomfield, CO, and sister Betty Clark, Vancouver WA, along with many nieces and nephews.

Funeral Services will be at held at 11:00AM at Hope Lutheran Church on Wed, June 26, 2019. Visitation will be l hour prior to the service starting at 10:00AM. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to St Croix Hospice.

Leonard Reiter

Born: Nov. 4, 1933
Died: May 24, 2019

Leonard L. Reiter, 87, of Sioux Falls, SD passed away Saturday, June 8, 2019 at Avera Prince of Peace in Sioux Falls. His funeral service will be 10:30 AM Wednesday, June 12 at Hope Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, with burial at Hills of Rest Cemetery. Visitation begins at 5:00 PM Tuesday, June 11 at George Boom Funeral Home & On-Site Crematory, Sioux Falls, where the family will greet friends from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
Leonard LeRoy Reiter was born to Benedict and Lauretta (Aurit) Reiter on July 1, 1931 at McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD. He was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith. Leonard attended school at Riverside, Franklin and Whittier in Sioux Falls.
Among Leonard’s proudest accomplishments was serving in the United States Army for two years during the Korean War. Len began driving truck at the age of 14. He worked for 28 years for American Freight Systems and over 7 years for Ryder Trucking. Retirement the first time came on August 1, 1996. Len then went on to drive with Holcomb Freight and I-State Truck Center until officially retiring in 2011 at the age of 80. During his driving career, Len logged more than 4 million miles. He enjoyed camping, building decks and sheds as well as various home projects, watching the NASCAR races, and most of all being a grandpa.

Len was united in marriage with Donna Mae Lauck on March 6, 1954 at Grace Lutheran Church in Luverne, MN. In 1968, they joined Hope Lutheran Church where he was confirmed as a Lutheran.
Len was a member of the VFW, American Legion, Moose Lodge, Independent Order of Foresters and the Teamsters.
Grateful for having shared his life are four daughters, Laurie Stone and Collin Coyle, Sioux Falls, SD, Sharon Lee, Sioux Falls, SD, Lynnette Carmon and her husband, Jeff, Sioux Falls, SD, Jolene Lamb and her husband, Larry, Sioux Falls, SD; eight grandchildren, Todd Stone and his wife, Sara, Brenda Bennett and her husband, Tracy, Katie Stone, Brian McGuire and his wife, Coty, Scott McGuire and his wife, Sarah, Sara Consoer and her husband, Kyle, Lindsey Carmon, Jenny Lamb; 15 great-grandchildren; a brother, Richard Reiter and his wife, Angie, Phoenix, AZ; two sisters-in-law, Joyce Reiter, Huron, SD, Betty Ugland, of Washington; and many other relatives and friends.
Leonard was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Donna, on May 24, 2019; a grandson, Logan Lamb; his parents; four brothers, Ed, Ken, Barney and Bill Reiter; five sisters, Margaret Reiter, Loretta Van Nostrand, Lucille Parsons, Donna Page and Mary Long; and a son-in-law, Joel Lee.

Donna Reiter

Born: Nov. 4, 1933
Died: May 24, 2019

Donna M. Reiter, 85, of Sioux Falls, SD died Friday, May 24, 2019 at Avera Prince of Peace Retirement Community. Her funeral service will be 10:30 AM Wednesday, May 29 at Hope Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, with burial at Hills of Rest Cemetery. Visitation begins at 5:00 PM Tuesday, May 28 at George Boom Funeral Home & On-Site Crematory, Sioux Falls, where the family will greet friends from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
Donna Mae Lauck, daughter of George and Ruby (Nelson) Lauck, was born November 4, 1933 in Sioux Falls, SD. She attended school at Bancroft, Whittier, and graduated from Washington High School on May 29, 1952.
Donna worked at Reetz Photo and McKennan Hospital. She was also a past-president of Riverside PTA.
Donna was united in marriage with Leonard L. Reiter on March 6, 1954 at Luverne, Minnesota’s Lutheran Church. Together they shared 65 years of marriage. She enjoyed spending time with her family, camping, working at church, and most of all being a grandma.
Grateful for having shared her life are her husband, Leonard Reiter; four daughters, Laurie Stone and Collin Coyle, Sioux Falls, SD, Sharon Lee, Sioux Falls, SD, Lynnette Carmon and her husband, Jeff, Sioux Falls, SD, Jolene Lamb and her husband, Larry, Sioux Falls, SD; eight grandchildren, Todd Stone and his wife, Sara, Brenda Bennett and her husband, Tracy, Katie Stone, Brian McGuire and his wife, Coty, Scott McGuire and his wife, Sarah, Sara Consoer and her husband, Kyle, Lindsey Carmon, Jenny Lamb; 15 great-grandchildren; a sister, Betty Ugland, of Washington; and many other relatives and friends.
Donna was preceded in death by a grandson, Logan Lamb; her parents; and a son-in-law, Joel Lee.

Richard Lerdal

Born: June 7, 1930
Died: May 11, 2019

Richard I. Lerdal, 88, of Sioux Falls, SD died Saturday, May 11, 2019 at Avera Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls. His committal service will be 9:00 AM Wednesday, May 15 at Rosendal Cemetery, Sherman, SD, with a memorial service at 11:00 AM at Hope Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls. Visitation begins at 5:00 PM Tuesday, May 14 at George Boom Funeral Home & On-Site Crematory, Sioux Falls, where the family will greet friends from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
Richard Lerdal was born June 7, 1930 in Dell Rapids, SD to Irvin and Beatrice (Halverson) Lerdal. He was baptized at Rosendal Lutheran Church in rural Sherman, SD. Richard’s early education was at White Willow Country School. He graduated from Garretson High School in 1948.
Following graduation, Richard worked for area farmers until August of 1949, when he started working for John Morrell and Company. He was employed there for 38 years, retiring in 1987.
On September 3, 1952, Richard was united in marriage with Joyce Heinemann at the St. Mary’s Rectory in Dell Rapids, SD. They were blessed with five children, Debra, Donald, Michael, Patty and Peter.
Richard was an avid collector, especially of John Deere model tractors. Richard and Joyce loved their cabin at Lake Madison. The peace of life on the water was topped only by the joy of being surrounded by family and friends filling the beach.
Following his retirement, Richard worked part-time for Austad’s, the Sioux Falls Street Department and the Sioux Falls annual leaf drop. For more than 30 years, he volunteered for the Good Samaritan Center, helping take residents on outings and serving at their monthly birthday parties. He was awarded volunteer of the year for his dedicated service.
Grateful for having shared his life are his loving wife of 66 years, Joyce; five children, Debra Lerdal and her husband, Peter Hoeger, Minneapolis, MN, Donald Lerdal and his wife, Darla Drew, Rapid City, SD, Michael Lerdal and his wife, Apidee Julprapa, Bangkok, Thailand, Patty Van Aartsen and her husband, Steve, Sioux Falls, SD and Peter Lerdal and his wife, Jill, Sioux Falls, SD; Richard was a proud grandpa of 14 grandchildren, Nils, Erik, Soren, Drew, Mattie, Benjamin, Michael II, Dane, Jami, Heather, Michael, Luke, Nora and Marta. Richard and Joyce have 17 great grandchildren. Richard is also survived by a sister, Harriet Lerdal, Golden Valley, MN; a brother, Ronald Lerdal and his wife, Chickie, Las Cruces, NM; two sisters-in-law, Virginia Mergen and her husband, Dick, Dell Rapids, SD, Ruby Nelson and her husband, Dick, Overland Park, KS; a brother-in-law, Merlin Schmidt, Dell Rapids, SD; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers and their wives, Robert and Carol Lerdal and Roger and Sharon Lerdal.

Ione Wirth

Born: August 31, 1925
Died: August 5, 2018

Ione S. (Tillema) Wirth, beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend died Sunday, August 5, 2018, at Touchmark at All Saints. Memorial Services will be 11:00 a.m., Friday, August 10, 2018, at Hope Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. Per Ione’s wishes immediate family and close friends will meet Friday at George Boom Funeral Home at 9:30 a.m. to process to Woodlawn Cemetery for a 10:00 a.m. Graveside Service, prior to the Memorial Service at Hope Lutheran Church. Visitation with family present to greet friends will be from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Thursday, August 9, 2018, at George Boom Funeral Home & Crematory, Sioux Falls. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Hope Lutheran Church, the Saint Francis House, or to a charity of your choice.

Ione was born in Willmar, Minnesota, on August 31, 1925, to Ellen (Skaalrud) and Christ Christensen. She moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, when she was in elementary school and stayed throughout her life, graduating from Washington High School in 1943. 
Ione was passionate about Sioux Falls and was a one-woman “Chamber of Commerce,” reminding people that Sioux Falls was not just a great place to live … it was the best place. 

She campaigned to keep neighborhood pools when she was in her 80’s, completing a task that began in the early 60’s when she tried valiantly to keep our city pools free. And throughout her life she could be found at the forefront of ‘whatever needed to be done’—driving for “Meals on Wheels”, chairing the Hope Lutheran Church Bazaar, and serving meals at the St. Francis House. 

Ione loved to travel and in recent years was able to visit England, Denmark (birthplace of her father) and Norway. She still held out hopes of a trip to Italy and Egypt but alas, that was not to be. Perhaps her favorite trips were to see her children, who were scattered everywhere, to her cousins in Minnesota and to wherever the “girls’ weekends” would take her with her daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughter. 

Ione enjoyed life and found it all to be an adventure, whether walking in a snowstorm in New York City, flying to Las Vegas for a Michael Buble concert, or playing cards with long-time friends. Ione loved to dance and was the belle of the ball at her grandchildren’s and nieces’ and nephews’ weddings. Her birthdays were celebrations of life but not of age … because Ione didn’t recognize age. When her children had long sat out the dance, Ione was still dancing the night away. 

Ione was preceded in death by her husband, Donald C. Tillema, who died in 1970, after sharing 26 years of marriage. She then married Lyle Wirth, who preceded her in death in 2001, after 29 years of marriage. She was blessed in marriage by two loving and caring men. She was also preceded in death by her parents, her sisters Vida Christensen Burbank and Dorothy Christensen Emmons, and her beloved brother Steven, who shared the Denmark adventure with her. She was also preceded in death by her daughter-in-law Debra Tillema, her stepson, Michael Wirth, and her stepdaughter, Diane Woodke. 

Ione will be missed by all who met her because everyone who met her became her friend. She will particularly be missed by her children, whom she taught how to laugh at adversity, how to help those who need it the most, how to treasure friendship, and how to find joy in life. Her children include: Christine (Robert) Denicola, Scott Tillema, Suzanne (Mike) Evans, Mark (Jayne) Tillema, Catherine (John) Allan; and her stepchildren, John (Gail) Wirth, Nancy (Dick) Walker, and Marie (Rick) Kivela. 

She will also be missed by her grandchildren: Rebecca (Brian) Graber Tolrud; Nathan (Kristen) Graber; Camille Walker; Courtney (Jon) White Prebish; Alex Seddon; Ian (Jenny) Boe; Ashley Walker; Sean Boe; Hannah (Geoff) Wirth Worrell; Samuel Felton; Sarah Tillema; Logan Tillema; Bonnie (Joao Da Rosa) Wirth; Lucy Felton; and, Rachel Tillema. She kept pictures of her great-grandchildren, Rory , Sabrina, Aaron, Jacob, Ava, Sean, and Hunter close to her so she could greet them each day. In addition, she will be mourned by her sister-in-law Mary Christensen, her many cousins, especially Diane and Sheldon Hovda; her nieces and nephews, and her countless friends who were like family to her, including Betty and Willie Jernigan, Nancy Coleman, Joe and Val Fee, and Shirley Hawks. 

Marlene Karstens

Born: March 15, 1932
Died: June 22, 2018

Marlene J. Karstens, 86, of Sioux Falls, SD died Friday, June 22, 2018. Her funeral service will be 11:00 AM Wednesday, June 27 at Hope Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, with burial at Hills of Rest Cemetery. Visitation begins at 4:00 PM Tuesday, June 26 at George Boom Funeral Home & Crematory, Sioux Falls, where the family will greet friends from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

Marlene J. Van Drew, daughter of Roy C. and Mary Jane (Cole) Van Drew, was born March 15, 1932 in Indianapolis, IN. The family lived in several communities before moving to Riverton, WY. Marlene graduated from Riverton High School. She then furthered her education with several college courses.

Marlene was united in marriage with James Karstens on January 10, 1951 in Riverton, WY. The couple made their home there. They then lived in Huron, SD before settling in Sioux Falls, SD in 1957. After her children were grown, Marlene began work in the Financial Aid Department at Augustana College. She retired in 1994 after 13 years of service.

Marlene was a long-time member of Hope Lutheran Church, where she was active in many areas. She enjoyed playing bridge and doing volunteer work. Marlene and Jim’s lake home at Lake Herman served as a weekly summer getaway where they proudly invited family and friends to visit and relax. Marlene enjoyed traveling, especially to attend family activities. Marlene also cherished her close relationship with her neighbors through the years.

Grateful for having shared her life are her children, Jim Karstens Jr. and his wife, Lana, Elysian, MN, Vicki Olawsky and her husband, Charles, Caledonia, MI, Jan Hailey and her husband, Robert, Papillion, NE; ten grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and many other relatives and friends.

Marlene was preceded in death by her husband, Jim, on February 28, 2014; her parents, Roy and Mary Jane Van Drew; and a sister, Charlotte McMillan.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in memory of Marlene to Hope Lutheran Church. 

Nile Best

Born: September 27, 1923
Died: June 16, 2018

Nile C. Best, 94, died on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at the Canton Good Samaritan Center in Canton, SD. Funeral Services for Nile will be 10:00 AM Saturday, June 23, 2018 at George Boom Funeral Home & Crematory in Sioux Falls with visitation starting at 9:00 AM on Saturday. Interment with Military Honors will be at the Arlington City Cemetery.  

Nile Clarence Best was born September 27, 1923 near Henry SD to Clarence and Clara (Jaehn) Best. Nile was a 1941 graduate of Sioux Falls Washington High School. He served in the United States Army (European Theater) during WWII. He earned the Good Conduct and Presidential Unit Citation Award. He married Doris Mae Norgaard on April 30, 1950 on a farm in rural Brookings County, SD.

He worked with his father at Best Electric in and around Kingsbury County. Starting in 1956 he was an electrician for the Bureau of Reclamation and Western Area Power Administration, first working on construction of the Oahe Dam, then at Huron, and ultimately the Sioux Falls substation for many years. He retired in 1984 and lived in Sioux Falls. Nile rode his motorcycle to work every day except during winter (he just complained about the weather then). Nile enjoyed his vegetable garden, playing cards, jigsaw puzzles, bowling, and watching the Minnesota Twins baseball and Vikings.

Nile enjoyed gardening, playing cards, and gathering with family. He was a member of the American Legion (72 years), National Association of Retired Federal Employees, and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (63 years).

Nile is survived by his sons Harlan (Diane) Best of Sioux Falls and Richard (Carol) Best of Rochester, MN; son-in-law Don Julius of Sioux Falls; grandchildren Jennifer, Matt, and Sarah Julius of Topeka, KS and Kim Minter of Rochester MN; great grandchildren Taylor Julius, Chloe and Emma Stone, and Anna Minter; sister Doris (Don) Swanson of Brookings; brothers-in-law Daryl (Phyllis) Norgaard of Badger, SD and Orlan (Gloria) Norgaard of Sioux Falls, as well as many close friends and relatives.  

Nile was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Doris. Also preceding him in death were daughter Sharon, brother and sister-in-law Worth and Mavis Best, brother-in-law Ray Norgaard and wife Eldah, and brother-in-law Leo Norgaard. 

William Polzien

Born: June 16, 1937
Died: April 13, 2018

William “Bill” Polzien, 80, of Sioux Falls, SD, passed away and was reunited with his wife of 50 years, LaVonne on Friday, April 13, 2018, at the Sanford Medical Center.

A memorial service will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at Miller Funeral Home, 507 South Main Avenue.

William Duane Polzien, son of Henry and Leona (Bundt) Polzien, was born on June 16, 1937, in Sac City, IA. At a young age he moved to Sioux Falls and attended Washington High School before graduating from Brandon High School in 1955. Bill enlisted with the United States Army and was honorably discharged in 1958. He returned to South Dakota and attended the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

William was united in marriage with LaVonne Poulsen on September 8, 1962, at Zion Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. The couple remained in Sioux Falls and began to raise a family. Bill sold shoes with Johnson’s before entering into financial services with Ford Motor Credit Company, National Bank of South Dakota (U.S. Bank), and later with Greentree Financial. Bill retired in 1999 but worked at Stan Houston and made deliveries for HyVee.

Bill had a great sense of humor and was always telling jokes. He enjoyed time spent golfing or boating and camping with his family at Lewis and Clark Lake in Yankton, SD. He was a member of Hope Lutheran Church, a Master Mason, and an active El Riad Shriner in the Motor Corps and driving families to the Shriners Hospital. A dedicated husband, father and grandfather, Bill also maintained many close relationships with friends that he met daily for coffee.

Grateful for having shared his life are his son Thomas (Judi) Polzien, Sioux Falls, SD; daughter Susan Warwick, Omaha, NE; sister LaVon Erdman, Bellaire, MI; grandchildren Alicia (Zach Hagstrom) Hibbison, Ashley (Matt) Blakemore, Amber (Jesse) Hasvold, Andrew (Nichole Stanga) Hibbison; great-grandchildren Braiden Hibbison, Cambree Hibbison, Astrid Hasvold, Edith Hasvold; and many other relatives and friends. Bill was preceded in death by his parents; his loving wife LaVonne, and a brother Henry.

Sandra Bradfeldt

Born: August 17, 1945
Died: March 26, 2018

Sandra Bradfeldt, 72, of Sioux Falls, SD, died Monday, March 26, 2018, at Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls. Memorial services will be 2:00 p.m., Saturday, March 31, 2018, at Hope Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family for future designation to the Humane Society.

Sandra Rae Bradfeldt, daughter of William and Mabelle (Fields) Bradfeldt was born August 17, 1945, in Sioux Falls. She attended school in Sioux Falls, graduating from Washington High School with the class of 1964. She attended college in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and earned her degree as a Licensed Practical Nurse. While in Milwaukee she served as a Lutheran Deaconess. She was blessed with two daughters who were her everything. Traveling was dear to her, and a trip to Disney World when the girls were young was a highlight. Her grandchildren were the newest bright spots in her life.

Sandra was a member of Hope Lutheran Church. In her free time she loved flowers and decorating. She was a very talented painter who spread her gifts to many loving friends and family throughout the years. She was a devoted LPN at the Sioux Falls VA for many years before her retirement.

Left to cherish her memory are her daughters, Jamie (Jason Crocker) Bradfeldt, and Leslie (Michael) DeLay all of Sioux Falls; 4 grandchildren, Elaina, Samantha, Maxine, and Jessica; brother, Bill (Marilyn) Bradfeldt of Sioux Falls; her loving cats, Willow, Leonard, and Midnight; and many nieces, nephews, and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; and the father of her girls, Ernest Berna.