Betty Erschens

April 14, 2014

Betty ErschensMay 26, 1925-March 24, 2014

Betty Erschens, age 88 of Herndon, Va. and formerly of the Brookings, S.D. area, died on Monday March 24 in Virginia.
Visitation will be from 9:30 -10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 12, with a scripture service at 10 a.m. at the Eidsness-Zink Funeral Chapel in Elkton, S.D. Burial will follow in Elkton at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery.
Betty Agnes Miedema Erschens was born on May 26, 1925 to Steve and Bertha Miedema in Hitchcock, S.D. She attended Country Payne School for eight years and graduated with high honors from Hitchcock High School.
Betty graduated from General Beadle State Teachers College in Madison, S.D. Following college, she taught elementary students in Hitchcock and a number of years in country schools. She returned to Madison and taught a number of years at Garfield Elementary School.
While living in Madison, Betty met her future husband. She and Francis Erschens were married in Madison on Sept. 29, 1959. They lived on the family farm in Lincoln County and Betty continued teaching for many years in Lake Benton. She retired after 32 years as a teacher. Following retirement, they enjoyed living in Arizona for many years. Betty loved to play the piano, garden and sew her own clothes.
Betty is survived by her son Joseph and his wife Angie of Herndon, Va.; grandsons Michael and Zachary; two sisters, Aldora Remschel of Rapid City, S.D. and Anna Fay Brock of Webster, S.D.; several nieces and nephews and sister-in-law Theresa Erschens of Brookings, S.D.
She was preceded in death by her husband Francis, her parents and two brothers-in-law, Roger Remschel and Keith Brock.
Condolences may be sent to Joseph Erschens, 836 Moffett Forge Rd., Herndon, VA 20170.

Ralph Grenz

April 3, 2014

obit Ralph GrenzMay 29, 1923 – March 28,2014

Memorial services for Ralph Grenz, age 90 of Verdi, were Tuesday, April 1 at 10:30 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lake Benton. Visitation was Monday from 4-7 p.m. at the church. Burial will be in St. John’s Immanuel Cemetery, rural Verdi.
He died Friday at Avera Flandreau Hospital in Flandreau, S.D.
Arrangements are provided by Hartquist Funeral Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel in Lake Benton. Send on-line condolences at
Ralph Ervin Grenz was born to Edward and Martha (Krause) Grenz on May 29, 1923 on the family farm in Verdi Township, Lincoln County. He was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Verdi Township. He attended country school in District 63. Upon completion of his education, he helped on the family farm. In 1953 he and his father moved into Lake Benton and rented out the family farm. Ralph worked on construction in Huron, S.D. for four months. After returning to Lake Benton he worked for Monahan International. On Sept. 8, 1955 Ralph married Uda Neumann at Immanuel Lutheran Church. Their union was blessed with three children and 58 years of life together. Following their marriage, they lived on Ralph’s family farm in Verdi Township. Ralph farmed until his retirement in 2004. Even after retirement, he and his wife continued to live on the farm. On Wednesday, March 26 Ralph was admitted to Avera Flandreau Hospital where on Friday, March 28 he died at the age of 90.
Ralph was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lake Benton. When he was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church he served as a church trustee and on the cemetery board. Farming was his life and he loved working on the farm. He also enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, family, and friends.
Ralph is lovingly remembered by his wife Uda of Verdi; his children—Allan Grenz and his wife Lori of Elkton, S.D., William Grenz of Verdi, and Audra Hardesty and her husband John of Rapid City, S.D.; two grandchildren, Deven and ShayAnna Grenz; and many other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Raymond, William and Baby Boy Grenz; and two sisters, Gertrude Cassidy and Irene Kruger.
Blessed be his memory.

Erwin Garbers

April 3, 2014

obit Erwin GarbersJan. 15, 1931 – March 26, 2014

Erwin Garbers, age 83 of Lake Benton, died Wednesday, March 26 at the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Funeral service was at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 30 at Prairie Winds Baptist Church in Elkton, S.D. Burial will be in Memorial Hill Cemetery, Lake Benton. Visitation was Saturday, March 29 from 4-7 p.m. at Hartquist Funeral Home, Lake Benton Chapel.
Erwin Richard Garbers was born on Jan. 15, 1931 to Ernst and Elli (Schulte) Garbers in Estelline, S.D. He moved with his family to White, S.D., where he attended country school in District 24 until the fifth grade. He then moved with his family to Lake Benton, where he continued his education at Lake Benton Hilltop 50 until the eighth grade. Upon completion of his education, he began farming on the family farm. He continued to work with his father until his parents moved into Lake Benton and he took over the family farm in 1956. On Oct. 29, 1954 Erwin was united in marriage to Glenda Korver at the Assemby of God Church in Pipestone. Following their marriage, they resided in the Lake Benton area where they raised their six children and were lifelong farmers, milking dairy cows and working the fields. Erwin remained on the farm until February 2010, when his progressing Parkinson’s disease caused him to move into the Central Minnesota Senior Care in Lake Benton. On March 11 he was admitted to a Sioux Falls, S.D. hospital and later the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls. He died there on Wednesday, March 26 at the age of 83 years, two months and 11 days.
Erwin accepted theLord as his Savior and was baptized by immersion in 1972. He was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church in Lake Benton until their transfer to Prairie Winds Baptist Church near Elkton, S.D. He served as a trustee and sang in the church choir. Erwin enjoyed his farmland, crocheting, playing the piano, organ and accordian, and eating popsicles with his great-grandchildren. He also enjoyed playing cards, especially Rummy with Glenda, and, most importantly, spending time with family.
Erwin is lovingly remembered by his wife Glenda Garbers of Lake Benton; his six children—Virgil Garbers of Sioux Falls, S.D., Dawn (Danny) Miller of Brooklyn Park, Paul (Cindy) Garbers of Canton, S.D., Dale (Brenda Muehler) Garbers of Canby, Leon Garbers of Canton, S.D., and Byron (Tanya Jorgenson) Garbers of Pipestone; 15 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; three siblings—Arnold (Millie) Garbers of Lake Benton, Herbert (Rose) Garbers and Erna Salmonsen, both of Minneapolis; sister-in-law Linda Garbers of Minneapolis and brother-in-law John VanDyke of Slayton.
He was preceded in death by his parents Ernst and Elli Garbers, sisters Viola Hokins and Lydia VanDyke, brother Marvin Garbers and infant sister Elfrida Garbers.

Harald Madsen

April 3, 2014

Dec. 17, 1925 – March 25,2014

Memorial service for Harald Madsen, age 88 of Tyler, was Monday, March 31 at 10:30 a.m. at Danebod Lutheran Church in Tyler. Memorial visitation was Sunday, 3-6 p.m. with a prayer service at 5:30 p.m. at Hartquist Funeral Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel in Tyler. Burial will be in Danebod Lutheran Cemetery.
He died Tuesday at Tyler Healthcare Center in Tyler.
Arrangements are provided by Hartquist Funeral Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel in Tyler. Send online condolences at
Harald Hakon Madsen was born Dec. 17, 1925 to Ernst and Anna (Bollesen) Madsen in Tyler. On July 9, 1947 Harald married Margaret Ostergaard at Bethany Lutheran Church in Arco.
Harald is lovingly remembered by his children Ricke (and Jerry) Bly and Curt (and Darla) Madsen, all of Tyler; five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Margaret, his parents and his sister Karen McCumsey-Nielsen.

Phyllis R. Johansen

March 20, 2014

obit Johansen, PhyllisMarch 29,1923-March 12,2014

Funeral services for Phyllis R. Johansen, age 90 of Tyler, were Saturday, March 15 at 2 p.m. at Danebod Lutheran Church in Tyler. Visitation was Friday, 4-7 p.m. at Hartquist Funeral Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel in Tyler, and continued one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial was in Danebod Lutheran Cemetery in Tyler.
She died Wednesday, March 12 at Tyler Healthcare Center.
Arrangements were provided by Hartquist Funeral Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel in Tyler. Send online condolences at
Phyllis R. Johansen was born March 29, 1923 to Anders and Anna (Rix) Utoft in Tyler. She was baptized and confirmed at Danebod Lutheran Church in Tyler. She attended school in Tyler and graduated from Tyler High School. After graduation she moved to Washington State, where she met Marlowe Johansen. On April 28, 1944 the couple was married. Their union was blessed with two children—Douglas and Linda—and 61 years of life together. The couple lived in Minneapolis while Marlowe received his mortuary science education. In 1951, Anders Utoft invited them to return to Tyler to join the work of the Utoft-Johansen Furniture Store and Funeral Home. After Anders retired in 1960, Marlowe and Phyllis owned and operated the businesses, which they sold in 1980 when they retired. They moved to Danebod Village in 2003. Marlowe passed away Dec. 9, 2005. Phyllis entered Tyler Healthcare Center on Tuesday, March 4, where she died on Wednesday, March 12 at the age of 90, 17 days before her 91st birthday.
Phyllis was a member of Danebod Lutheran Church, where she was active in the Ladies Aid. She enjoyed golf, cooking, bowling, tennis, and Bridge, and especially time spent with her family and grandchildren.
Phyllis is lovingly remembered by her children—Douglas (and Julie) Johansen of Overland Park, Kan., and Linda Watson of Chanhassen; two grandchildren—Nycole(and Chris) Nibbe of Lake Benton and Caroline (and Kirk) Vandaveer of Overland Park, Kan.; three great-grandchildren—Samuel, Braden and Sydney Nibbe; a sister, Joan (and Robert) Gilmore of Bloomington; a brother, Charles (and Gladys) Utoft of Victoria; and many other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband Marlowe, her parents and two sisters, Katherine Jorgensen and Helen Skov.
Blessed be her memory.

Fay Koster

March 6, 2014

obit Fay Koster

March 6, 1920 – Feb. 28, 2014

Funeral services for Fay Koster, age 93 of Lake Benton, will be Wednesday, March 5 at 10:30 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lake Benton. Visitation was Tuesday from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the church.Burial will be in St. John’s Immanuel Cemetery, rural Verdi.
She died Friday at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Arrangements are provided by Hartquist Funeral Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel in Lake Benton. Send on-line condolences at
Fay (Meyer) Koster was born March 6, 1920 in Lake Wilson to Fred and Ellen (Bruemmer) Meyer.She was baptized at the Lutheran church in Lake Wilson and confirmed at the English Lutheran Church in Tyler. She attended Tyler Public School and graduated from Tyler High School. Fay married Leonard Koster on Oct. 8, 1939 in Lake Benton. Their union was blessed with three children and close to 50 years of life together. After marriage they farmed in Lincoln County around Lake Benton and Verdi for a number of years. They then moved to Lake Benton where they owned and operated the Koster Korner Café for a number of years. Later she worked at Fairway Market and also at the Ben Franklin store and at Utoft Johansen Interiors in Tyler. Leonard preceded her in death in 1989. Fay continued to live in her home in Lake Benton and fully retired in 1992. Fay remained very active throughout her life until passing away six days before her 94th birthday on Feb. 28.
Fay was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lake Benton, where she was a member of the Dorcas Society and served on the Altar Guild, Funeral Committee, Card Committee and Kitchen Committee. She volunteered for a number of years at Senior Dining in Lake Benton. She belonged to different card clubs and enjoyed playing Tripoli, as well as watching the Twins and Vikings. She really enjoyed travelling to see her family.
Fay is lovingly remembered by her sons, James (Gayle) of Frisco, Texas, and Dean (Mary Ann) of Madison, S.D., and her daughter Sharron (Russell) Utoft of Richfield; six grandchildren—Karrie (John) Sory of Colorado Springs, Colo., Jay Koster of Frisco, Texas, Jonathan (Amy) Koster of Frisco, Texas, Staci (Mike) Phelps of Waconia, Todd (Wendy) Koster of Missoula, Mont., and Michelle (Brian) Hodne of Winfred, S.D.; ten great-grandchildren—Aaron, Ryan, Mari and Kami Koster, Brody Jones, Nathan Sory, Madelyn Phelps, and Kylie, Jackson and Drew Koster; a sister, Ruby Sorensen of Tyler; a brother, Glen (Joyce) Meyer of Tyler; and many other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband Leonard, her parents, two brothers, two sisters, two nieces and two nephews.
Blessed be her memory.

Elaine McCurdy

March 6, 2014

obit Elaine McCurdy

June 20, 1920 – Feb. 25, 2014

Funeral service for Elaine McCurdy, age 93 of Pipestone, were Mo9nday, March 3 at 10:30 a.m. at the Hartquist Funeral Home in Pipestone with the Rev. Rich DeRuyter officiating. Her final resting place is New Woodlawn, Pipestone.
Elaine Priscilla McCurdy was born to Claude and Esther (Goodrich) McConnell on June 20, 1920 on a farm near Minneota. As an infant, she moved with her parents to a farm south of Marshall. When she was five years old, they moved to another farm north of Marshall and Elaine attended school in Marshall. Upon completion of her education, she helped on the family farm and she also did housework for some of the area people. In 1940 her parents bought a farm near Ruthton. During this time, she and her sister Elrene bought a motorcycle and traveled around the United States. The cost of these trips averaged slightly over $13 per day. On April 5, 1952, she was united in marriage to Philip McCurdy at the Lake Benton United Methodist Church. Following their marriage, they were beef, dairy and sheep farmers in Altona Township of Pipestone County. Elaine also raised bees and sold honey for years. They retired from farming in 1979. In 1983 they moved to Philip’s parents’ farm. Philip preceded her in death on Oct. 16, 1990. After his death, Elaine continued to reside on their farm. In 2009 Elaine moved into the Good Samaritan Communities of Pipestone, where she resided until she died on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at the age 93 years, eight months and five days.
Elaine was an active member of the Altona Methodist Church and then the Verdi Methodist Church. She would teach Sunday School, help with church suppers and play the piano and the organ. She was also a member of the VFW Auxiliary. She enjoyed traveling with her husband to his army reunions. After his death, she traveled to many places around the world. She enjoyed doing counted cross-stitch pictures, bird watching, gardening, knitting, reading, playing Skip-BO and collecting teddy bears.
She is lovingly remembered by her two children, Susan Haack and her husband Robert of Verdi and Marvin McCurdy and his wife Darla of Verdi; six grandchildren—Shane Haack, Travis Haack, Nichole Haack, Chad McCurdy, Christopher McCurdy and Channa McCurdy; five great-grandchildren—Micheal, Emily, Addison, Jacob and Joshua; and one brother, Donald McConnell and his wife Betty of Ruthton. She was preceded in death by her husband, infant grandson Robert Haack, her parents and her sister Elrene McConnell.

Lois Andersen

March 6, 2014

obit Lois Andersen

Aug. 29, 1933 – Feb. 28, 2014

Funeral services for Lois Andersen, age 80 of Tyler, were Tuesday, March 4 at 10:30 a.m. at Danebod Lutheran Church in Tyler. Visitation was Monday, 4-7 p.m. at Hartquist Funeral Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel in Tyler. Burial was in Danebod Lutheran Cemetery.
Arrangements were provided by Hartquist Funeral Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel in Tyler. Send on-line condolences at
Lois Virginia Andersen was born to Jens Christian and Alma Marie (Jensen) Rasmussen on Aug. 29, 1933 in Tyler. She was baptized at home and confirmed at First English Lutheran Church in Tyler. She was raised and received her education in Tyler, where she graduated from Tyler High School in 1951. On March 20, 1953 she married Arvin “Ben” Andersen at First English Lutheran Church. Their union was blessed with five children—Kent, Timothy, Peggy, Philip and Arica—and 54 years of life together. The couple made their home and raised their family on their farm in Lake Benton Township. Lois worked various jobs throughout the years including the Coast-to-Coast Store during high school, and the Farmers Union Co-op Station, Tyler Lumber Company, the Co-op Elevator, and Danebod Lutheran Church. She also helped with the farm work with her husband Ben. Ben preceded her in death on June 12, 2007. After his death, Lois lived on the farm until 2009, when she moved to Danebod Village in Tyler. On Feb. 12 she entered Tyler Healthcare Center where she died on Friday, Feb. 28 at the age of 80.
Lois was a member of Danebod Lutheran Church in Tyler and was also active in the Hope Afternoon Club. She enjoyed working on counted cross-stitch, golfing, reading and playing cards. She especially enjoyed spending time with her family and grandchildren.
Lois is lovingly remember by her four children— Timothy Andersen of Plymouth, Peggy Wilmes and her husband Bradley of Tyler, Philip Andersen and his wife Laura of Eden Prairie, and Arica Kulm and her husband Chad of Sioux Falls, S.D.; nine grandchildren—Brittany, Nicole, Tifanie, Tristan, Kristal, Alexis, Jacey, Ty and Jasmine; 10 great-grandchildren—Payton, Brooks, Braxton, Andrea, Adelynn, Morgan, Jacob, Jackson, Collin and Bennett; two sisters—Marilyn Krause of Sioux Falls, S.D. and Phyllis Lundgren of Buena Park, Calif.; and many other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband Ben, her son Kent, her parents, three brothers— James, Earl and Roger Rasmussen, and one sister, Anita Sorensen.
Blessed be her memory.

Ruth Westall

March 6, 2014

obit Ruth Westall

April 6, 1910 – Feb. 25, 2014

Funeral service for Ruth Laura (Evans) Williams Westall, age 103 of Madison, S.D., formerly of Winfred, S.D., was at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28 at the UCC Church in Winfred, S.D. with the Rev. Bryce Hecht officiating. Vivtation was 5-7 p.m. Thursday at the Willoughby Funeral Home, Howard, S.D. Burial will be in the Winfred Cemetery.
She died Tuesday, Feb. 25 at the Golden Living Center in Madison, S.D.
Ruth Laura Evans was born April 6, 1910 to Robert Henry and Maria Ann Evans on a farmstead south of Winfred, Lake County, S.D. In 1915 her family homesteaded near Miles City, Mont. and a few years later returned to the Winfred area. Ruth attended country school and graduated from Winfred High School in 1929. Ruth then worked in the telephone office for a number years. In October 1940, Ruth was united in marriage to Earl Williams in Pipestone. The couple moved to California for four years, returning to Winfred in 1946. Earl passed away on Oct. 20, 1947. Ruth continued to live in Winfred. In 1963 Ruth was married to Jim Westall in Winfred, S.D. He passed away on March 22, 1990. Ruth moved to Madison, S.D. in 1995. She enjoyed living in Prairie View Apartments and Heritage Senior Living. She moved into Golden Living Center in 2011.
Ruth in survived by her children—Kay (Steve) Julius of Sioux Falls, S.D., Gary (Veronica) Williams of Brookings, S.D., and Ken Williams of Sioux Falls, S.D.; seven grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; stepchildren—Jeanine (Phil) Hyink of Mesa, Ariz., Janice (Ken) Terwilliger of Winfred, S.D., Gordon (Shirley) Westall of West Fargo, N.D., Jerald (Bea) Westall of Mesa, Ariz., Donald (Lillian) Westall of Morrill, Neb., and Robert (Betty) Westall of New Prague; 27 step-grandchildren; 53 step-great-grandchildren; 45 great-great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Dorene (Howard) Sharp of Cedar, Texas; and a cousin, Cecil Evans of Oklahoma City, Okla.
Ruth was preceded in death by her husbands, Earl Williams and Jim Westall; two brothers, Johnnie and David; a sister, Florence (William) Tewksbury; two great-granddaughters; a stepdaughter, Joyce (Westall) Hagen; a very dear friend, Alice Terwilliger; two sisters-in-law, Norma (Wayne) Wettlaufer and Wilma (Joe) Henry; and a brother-in-law, Vernon Williams.
Condolences may be sent to the family at

LeRoy Knudsen

February 27, 2014

obit LeRoy Knudsen

March 13, 1939- Feb. 24, 2014

Memorial service for LeRoy Knudsen, age 74 of Tyler, will be Friday, Feb. 28 at 10:30 a.m. at First English Lutheran Church in Tyler. Memorial visitation is Thursday, 4-8 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m., all at First English Lutheran Church. Visitation continues one hour prior to service at the church. Interment will be at Danebod Cemetery.
Arrangements are provided by Hartquist Funeral Home, Utoft–Johansen Chapel in Tyler. Send on-line condolences at
LeRoy Edwin Knudsen was born March 13, 1939 to Clarence and Evelyn (Dahl) Knudsen in Arlington, S.D. When he was five years old he moved to the Dahl family farm north of Lake Benton. LeRoy was baptized on Jan. 7, 1941 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Arlington, S.D. and later confirmed at Diamond Lake Lutheran Church in Lake Benton. He attended Lake Benton Public School and graduated in 1957. Following his education he worked at the Standard Lumber Company in Lake Benton. LeRoy was united in marriage to Deanna (Goos) Knudsen on Feb. 24, 1962 at First English Lutheran Church in Tyler. Their union was blessed with three children, Marci, Kelly and Amy, and 52 years of marriage together. The couple owned and operated the Standard Oil Station in Tyler from July 1963 until LeRoy’s retirement in 2001. His customers meant the world to him and he was always there to help everyone. LeRoy was a true example of “Pay It Forward.” Many times over his career he found himself embracing people who were in need of his help and services with goodwill and kindness. In 2002 LeRoy was blessed with a “new life” after receiving a heart transplant. With all the battles he fought, he always remained positive and upbeat—which was contagious. LeRoy was admitted to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Wednesday, Feb. 19. He died there following health complications on Monday, Feb. 24 at the age of 74 years.
LeRoy was a long-time member of First English Lutheran Church. He was also active with the Tyler Lions Club, Tyler Volunteer Fire Department, Lincoln County HRA Board, Tyler Hospital Board, Tyler Community Club, and Meals on Wheels. He enjoyed playing cards, shaking dice, telling jokes, woodworking, tinkering in the garage, yard work, gardening, winemaking, and especially time spent with his children and grandchildren.
LeRoy will be lovingly remembered by his wife Deanna of Tyler; three children, Marci Meyers and her children Joe, Natalie and Elise of Sioux Falls, S.D., Kelly (and Robin) Knudsen and their children Kristin and Brett of Tyler, and Amy (and Matthew) Johnson and their children Ava and Addison of Harrisburg, S.D.; a sister, Jean (and Ron) Plueger of LaCrosse, Wisc.; a brother, David (and Deb) Knudsen of Sioux Falls, S.D.; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, other family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, and three nieces, Julie Plueger, Rhonda Powell and Vicki Sutherland.
Blessed be his memory.