Obituaries for July 31, 2007

2007-07-31T23:00:00Z Obituaries for July 31, 2007 Rapid City Journal
July 31, 2007 11:00 pm

Kenneth H. Spring Sr.

CUSTER - Kenneth H. Spring Sr., 97, Custer, died Sunday, July 29, 2007, at Custer Regional Senior Care.

Survivors include his son, Kenneth Spring Jr., Custer; stepdaughters, Bunny Colyer and Dana De Berard, both of Custer; one sister, Mae Christie, Custer; nine grandchildren and step-grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.

His first wife, Evelyn (Downen) Spring, and second wife, Martha (Korthaus) Masters Spring, both preceded him in death.

Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, at McColley's Chapels of the Hills in Custer.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, at the chapel. Burial will follow at Custer Cemetery.

Memorials may be sent to Custer Volunteer Fire Department, 624 Crook St., Custer, SD 57730.

Arrangements are in the care of McColley's Chapels of the Hills in Custer. Written condolences may be made at

Clement 'Blackie' Wopinski

BELLE FOURCHE - Clement "Blackie" Wopinski, 80, Belle Fourche, died Sunday, July 29, 2007, at Belle Fourche Senior Care.

He served in the U.S. Army Air Corp from 1945 to 1952.

Survivors include his wife, Lola Wopinski, Belle Fourche; two sons, Guy D. Wopinski, Nisland and Ray N. Wopinski, Rockford, Ill.; one daughter, Hazel Mayville, Lawton, Okla.; three sisters, Pauline, Maxine and Evelyn; 11 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, at Aldinger Funeral Home in Spearfish. Inurnment will take place in Grandfield, Okla.

Aldinger Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Spearfish is in charge of arrangements.

Condolences may be left at

Jeraldine (Johnson) Allender

DONALSONVILLE, Ga. - Jeraldine (Johnson) Allender, 74, Donalsonville, Ga., formerly of Rapid City and Philip, died Saturday, July 28, 2007, at her home.

Survivors include three daughters, Vickie Perez, Cibolo, Texas, Cindy James, Hobe Sound, Fla., and Pamela Hoag, Aurora, Colo.; one brother, Donald Johnson, Lakewood, Colo.; one sister, Twylah Luedtke, Rapid City; and four grandchildren.

Her husband, George E. Allender, preceded her in death

Burial will be at Fort Logan National Cemetery.

Louise L. Hall

HOT SPRINGS - Louise Lillian Hawkins Hall, 86, Hot Springs, died Monday, July 23, 2007, at her home.

Survivors include two brothers, Archie Hawkins, Lawrence, Kan. and Ben Hawkins, Hot Springs.

Her husband, James Hall, preceded her in death.

A vigil was Sunday, July 29, at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Martin.

Services were Monday, July 30, at the church. Burial was at Old Catholic Cemetery in Martin.

Bennett County Funeral Service of Martin was in charge of arrangements.

Carnell Jackson

BELLE FOURCHE - Carnell Jackson, 82, Belle Fourche, died Sunday, July 29, 2007, at his home.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946.

Survivors include his wife, Lorraine Jackson, Belle Fourche; four daughters, Carolyn Luther, Hulett, Wyo., Marilyn Nolan, Tacoma, Wash., Wanda McIntyre, Belle Fourche, and Dorothy Magnusen, Florence, Mont.; two sons, William "Bill" Jackson, Mohave Valley, Ariz., and Thomas "Tom" Jackson, Burbank, Calif.; one sister, Rayetta Brooks, Lancaster, Calif.; 13 grandchildren; and 25 great-grandchildren.

A ceremonial tribute will be at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3, at Summit Open Bible Church in Belle Fourche with the Rev. Rick Brennan officiating. Inurnment will take place at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis with military honors provided by Belle Fourche Veterans Honor Guard.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to ALS Association, P.O. Box 8178, Pueblo, CO 81008-9954.

Friends may sign the online guest register and offer condolences at

Darrell D. Baak

RAPID CITY - Darrell D. Baak, 68, Rapid City, died Sunday, July 29, 2007, at his home.

Survivors include his wife, Charlotte A. Baak, Rapid City; one son, Richard Baak, Minneapolis; two brothers, Larry Baak, Des Moines, Iowa and Arlyn Baak, Littleton, Colo.; one sister, Cheryl Smith, Pocahantas, Iowa; and two grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, at Osheim-Catron Funeral Home.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 3, at Peace Lutheran Church with the Rev. Dave Fechner officiating. Burial, with Military Honors provided by Ellsworth Air Force Base Honor Guard, will be at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.

Memorials have been established for Hospice of the Hills and Hospice House.

Lyle Eugene Maxon

RAPID CITY - Lyle Eugene Maxon, 78, Rapid City, died Monday, July 30, 2007, at Rapid City Regional Hospital.

Survivors include three sons, Paul Maxon and John Maxon, both of Black Hawk and James Maxon, Palm Bay, Fla.; five daughters, Anne Pozorski, Rapid City, Mary Binkley, Palm Bay, Fla., Lora Heithold, Carroll, Neb., Joyce Tanner, Tulsa, Okla. and Kathleen Dahmash, Norristown, Pa.; four sisters, Lois Ehlers and Marilyn Zeman, both of Spearfish, Arlene Baumiester, Montana and Kathryn Maxon, British Columbia, Canada; three brothers, Francis Maxon, Bismarck, N.D., Melvin Maxon, Lemmon and Kenneth Maxon, McLaughlin; and sixteen grandchildren.

Services are pending with Kirk Funeral Home in Rapid City.

Barbara Bates Gunderson

RAPID CITY - Barbara Bates Gunderson, 90, Rapid City, died at the Westhills Health Care facility Sunday, July 29, 2007 in Rapid City.

She was born March 28, 1917, one of six children of Redfield publisher C.L. Bates and Helen (Lyman) Bates. She was graduated from Yankton College and began a working career on the Daily Press and Dakotan. Radio writing and broadcasting positions took her to WNAX, Yankton, where she had a daily program with Winnie Speece, the "Neighbor Lady"; WOW, Omaha; and KOTA, Rapid City. She was chief copywriter for the R.J. Potters Advertising Agency, Kansas City, MO, when she married Robert W. Gunderson in that city just prior to his departure for the European theater in 1941.

The Gundersons lived in Omaha before coming to Rapid City in 1947. Mrs. Gunderson's community activities included service on the Board which united the two hospitals and further service as a Trustee during the building and first operations of Rapid City Regional Hospital. She was President of the Rapid City Library Board at the time of the building of the new library. She was President of the Rapid City branch of AAUW, the Women's Fellowship of First Congregational Church, receiving Honor's Day award from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology for conspicuous community service and a "Woman of Worth" award from AAUW.

In 1951 she began as a volunteer for the nomination of Dwight D. Eisenhower and became Republican National Committeewoman thereafter. She resigned her second term of that Party office when President Eisenhower appointed her as one of the first women on the Civil Service Commission. Mrs. Gunderson resided in Washington for two and a half years as one of the three-member governing board of the federal agency charged with all aspects of the federal personnel system. In that pre-Betty Freidan era, Gunderson developed the Federal Women's Award for meritorious women of the federal career service. She presided over the first Federal Woman's Award banquet when first distinguished career women were presented by their cabinet officers. Among the first awardees was a doctor in the Veteran's Administration, Rosalind Yallow, destined to later receive the Nobel Prize.

Throughout her term of office Mr. Gunderson visited her almost monthly to enjoy the Capitol environs.

As Commissioner, Mrs. Gunderson traveled extensively, visiting federal offices and addressing many audiences. She spoke at the University of California, Los Angeles Symposium on Women and, after her term, consulted with federal departments on the Equal Opportunity Act. She was vice-chairman of the President's Advisory on Personnel under President Johnson, the public member of the Retirement Board of USIA which determined the career advancement of these State Department employees.

In 1994 Mrs. Gunderson was the only woman participant in an Eisenhower biographical program, "The Contentious Years of The Presidency" televised on the A&E Channel with narrator-host John Chancellor. She was a candidate for Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate in 1973.

Mrs. Gunderson was a member of Chapter BF-P.E.O. and a morning study group of Christian Women. She and Robert Gunderson were avid travelers, visiting European and South American countries during the years she was a Trustee of People-To-People.

A devoted reader, Mrs. Gunderson wrote a column for the Rapid City Sunday Journal for a number of years. Articles by her appeared in Saturday Evening Post, American Home,

McCall's magazine, and short stories in Seventeen magazine. She published two novels.

She is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Edward (Lois) Morton, Los Angeles; and Mrs. John (Jeannette) Billings, Aberdeen, Washington; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Robert W. Gunderson; two brothers David T. Bates and Lyman F. Bates; and one sister, Mrs. Howard (Betty) Larrington.

Services will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, August 3, 2007, at the First Congregational Church with Rev. Ted Huffman officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the church.

Mrs. Gunderson has made many bequests to Rapid City causes and memorials may be given to the donor's favorite Rapid City worthy charity.

Services are under the direction of the Osheim-Catron Funeral Home. Friends may sign the online guest register and offer condolences at

LaVerne Potts

RAPID CITY - LaVerne Potts, 76, lifelong resident of Rapid City, went for his final drive on Saturday, July 28, 2007.

LaVerne was born October 9, 1930, to Bernard and Bernice (Kasper) Potts. As a young man he served in the National Guard and as a volunteer firefighter. He worked for Buckingham Wood Products in various positions, the most recent at Winterseal of SD for 50 years. He always loved the outdoors. He was an avid horseman, hunter, and fisherman. Enjoyed rodeo, family picnics, dogs and just going for a drive. The joys of his life were his family and grandchildren.

LaVerne is survived by 7 children: Vicki (Rick) Borden of Black Hawk; Dean (LuAnne) Potts of Rapid City; Nancy (Duaine) Brandt of Royal, NE; Mary Potts of Rapid City; Susan (Chuck) Doxon of Canyon, TX; Lori Potts of Rapid City; and Dale (Margie) Potts of Villisca, IA. Pops was loved by his 14 grandchildren: Emi Sasaki, Matthew Sasaki, both of Havre, MT; Travis Shoemaker, USAF, Germany; Marie Brandt and Cheri Tuttle of Royal, NE; Justin Brandt of Orchard, NE; Dan Doxon of Angel Fire, NM; Lawrence Sasaki, Laura Sasaki, Lukas Potts, Elaina Potts, Jason Riggins, Ashley Potts and Alicia Potts, all of Rapid City area; and 8 great-grandchildren; his sister, Marjorie Meyers of Rapid City; his sisters-in-law, Pris Potts of Deadwood; and Phyllis Potts of Rapid City; his brothers: David (Cheryl) Potts of Rapid City; Gene (Ellie) Potts of CO; and Archie Potts of GA; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Preceded in death by his parents, Bernard and Bernice (Kasper) Potts; brothers, Don, James, and Robert; and grandsons, Timmy and Todd.

As per Dads' wishes there will be no funeral. A casual Celebration of his Life will be hosted by his children on Wednesday, August 1st, at 1:00 p.m. at Thompson Park in Rapid City, located at North Spruce and Meadowlark Drive. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established. Cards may be sent to 202 E Custer St, Rapid City, SD 57701. You may send condolences to the family at


Burt E. Thomas

RAPID CITY - Burt E. Thomas, 71, of Rapid City was born in Crawford, NE on August 12, 1935 to Marion Thomas and Phyllis Peterson Thomas. He went to the Big Fishing Hole in the sky to be with the Fisher of Men. He was blessed with two sons, Duane of Des Moines, Iowa and Mike of Deadwood, South Dakota.

Along with close family, a special lady friend, Linda Dahlke, and her dog, Lady, were his constant companions and caregivers during his battle with cancer.

Burt was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy after proudly serving in the Korean conflict as an underwater demolition expert. He worked for Western Electric Phone Company for nearly 30 years, while raising his family in Rapid City. He was fortunate enough to retire at age 51 to pursue his passion of hunting and fishing, especially while "snow birding" in Texas. When Burt said, "I caught a fish THIS BIG!" he usually meant it! He was a master gardener cultivating the most delicious vegetables west of the Missouri River.

Burt never met a stranger. He considered everyone a friend. He had a quick wit, a positive attitude and a zest for life.

Burt was preceded in death by his wife Mary Lou. He is survived by children Duane and Traci Thomas and Mike and Cynthia Thomas. His grandchildren were furry, four-legged dogs and cats that he adored.

Visitation will be from 9:30-10:30 AM Thursday, August 2, 2007 at Kirk Funeral Home in Rapid City. Chapel services will follow at 10:30 AM at the funeral home followed by a graveside ceremony at the Mountain View Cemetery. A Celebration of Life reception will be held immediately following the graveside service at Somerset court next to Kirk Funeral Home.

Friends may sign Burt's online guest book at

Beatrice Usera

RAPID CITY - Beatrice Usera, 91, Rapid City, died at the Golden Living Facility on Mountain View Road, Rapid City, S. Dak. Saturday, July 28, 2007.

Beatrice Petrona Ramirez Usera was born May 23, 1916 at San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico. She moved to Rapid City, from New York City, in 1969.

Survivors include nine sons and one daughter, John Usera and his wife Bernadette, Sturgis, SD, Luis Usera Sr. and his wife Teresa, Rapid City, Julio Usera and his wife Charlene, Rapid City, Abraham Usera and his wife, Patricia, Black Hawk, Libby Usera and his wife Valerie, Black Hawk, Roland Usera, Hermosa, Issac Usera, Sioux Falls, Carmen Colford and her husband Thomas, Vermillion, SD, Carlos Usera and his wife Maria, Leavenworth, Kansas and Mario Usera and his wife Cari, Liberty, MO, thirty grandchildren and forty great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents Carmen and Armando Ramirez, a sister, Arder Balushwsky, a brother, Juan Jose Ramirez, her husband, Libertad Usera, grandsons, Christopher Abraham Usera, John William Usera, Edward Nicholas Usera and Jason Paul Usera and granddaughter Mary Usera.

Visitation will be from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. today at the Osheim-Catron Funeral Home with a Christian Wake Service at 7 p.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help with Rev. Kerry Prendeville presiding.

Interment will be at the Mount Calvary Cemetery. A memorial has been established.

Friends may sign the online guest register and offer condolences at

Kathryn Gail 'Kathy' Tye

CUSTER - Kathryn Gail "Kathy" Tye, 62, of Custer, died at her home on Sun., July 29, 2007 after a long struggle with cancer.

Kathy was born Apr. 6, 1945 at New Ulm, Minnesota to Carl and Bernice (Olson) Jobe. She went to school in Courtland, MN until moving to Rapid City in 1960 she she graduated from Rapid City High School in 1963.

She married Donald G. Tye in 1962 in Rapid City. To that union two children were born, Sherri in 1963 and Tony in 1969. She enjoyed being a 4H mom, teaching Sunday school, being a Boy Scout mom, quilting, bowling, square dancing, and doing things with family and friends. She was a member of the BPO Does of Rapid City where she held many offices, president of the VFW Auxiliary in Custer, Daughters of the Nile in Custer, Zulima Club in Custer, Folsom Ladies Club, and past Worthy Matron of the Custer Eastern Star. She moved to Custer in 1983.

Kathy is survived by her daughter, Sherri (Jim) Sanders and their children, Danial and Sonya, all of Hermosa; her son, Tony (Connie) Tye and their children, Colton, Jessica, Tyler and

Wyatt, all of Brooklyn, Iowa; three sisters, Ruth Ann (Gene) Britton of Rapid City, Mickey (Henry) Shirek of Tacoma, Wash., Darleen (Ralph) Reeder of Grove City, Minn.; one brother, Butch Jobe of Crystal, ND; many nieces and nephews; and an extra special close companion, Ivan Johannsen of Custer.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

A celebration of Kathy's life will be at 3:00pm Thurs., Aug. 2, 2007 at Kirk Funeral Home's Chapel of Light in Rapid City with the Rev. Bill Savory officiating.

A memorial has been established to the Custer Eastern Star. Friends may sign Kathy's guestbook online at

Copyright 2015 Rapid City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Be the first to sign the guestbook.

Sign Guestbook
You must Login to sign the guestbook.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick