Obituaries of former WHS staff
Lothrop, Forrest (Tiz)
Myers, Vicky (Brandland)
Crippen, Margaraet Day, Dick Dolan, Bob Dempster, Hazel Dobratz, Lloyd Edison, Don Ellis, Melba Farrand, Lyle Fitz, Dave
Graves, W. Paul
Don was born April 28, 1933 in St Anne, IL to Albert & Catherine Baker. Growing up, Don lived in several towns in the Midwest. He looked fondly upon his time living in Grandview, SD, where he met his future wife.Don received his bachelor's degree from Hope College. Don attended medical school for one year at the University of Michigan. He wanted to serve his country, so instead of waiting to get drafted, he enlisted in the Army. He was stationed in San Francisco and specialized as a Medical Technologist. Don and Arla Ligtenberg were married on August 13, 1957 in Corsica, SD. Don and Arla moved back to Michigan so he could earn his teaching certification at Hope College. Don took his first teaching job in Lake Mills, IA at the local High School. Don and his family moved to Sioux Falls, SD, where he would spend the next 30 years teaching physics and biology classes at Washington High School. He earned a master's degree plus 30 from USD in science while continuing teaching. Don is survived by his wife Arla for 65 years and his daughters Janice (Steven) Lee and Jean Baker; his grandsons Nathan (Alyssa) Lee and Trevor (Isabella) Lee; great grandchildren Taylor & Jaxon Lee and Aurora Lee; sister-in-law Florence Baker and many nieces & nephews.Don was preceded in death by his parents, siblings Wilma DeVries, Paul and Marvin.
James Roger Carlson -Debate –
1943-2018 was born on in Los Angeles, CA. He was the oldest son of Roger and Kathleene (Dvoracek) Carlson. Jim attended the University of South Dakota (Springfield) where he majored in English and became student body president his senior year (1965).
He married Kay Francis Pudwill and together they had four children: Brad, Bryan, Christine, and Clayton. Jim was hired as head debate coach at Sioux Falls Washington High School where he won several state high school debate championships. His multiple state championship teams rivaled competition coaches Carl Swanson (Sioux Falls Lincoln HS) and Don Roberts (Watertown HS). They became close friends outside the coaching world. Jim later coached debate successfully at Rapid City Central HS, Brookings HS, and Vermillion HS. Jim earned his Master’s in English from The University of South Dakota (Springfield). He finished out his debate/teaching career at Sioux City Heelan HS with another state championship title. His success as a high school debate coach was undeniable. He knew how to win. Some of Jim’s hobbies included bowling, fishing, horseshoes, and pool…plus he was a die-hard Vikings and Nebraska Cornhusker fan. Jim passed away on Saturday, April 28th 2018 at Accura Healthcare Center in Sioux City, IA.
Jim is survived by 3 sons: Brad Carlson of Kansas City, KS, Bryan Carlson (Kelley) of Rapid City, SD, and Clayton Carlson (Mary) of Spokane, WA; fifteen grandchildren; ten greatgrandchildren; and sister Charlene (Matt) Gassen of Sioux Falls.
In addition to his parents, Jim is preceded in death by his daughter Christine Carlson and his brother Ron Carlson.
Fred H. Claudon – Counselor
Fred Claudon, 95 of Sioux Falls, SD, passed away on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, at the Prince of Peace Retirement Community. Fred H. Claudon, son of Fred and Eliza (Logan) Claudon, was born on September 25, 1917, in Glenwood Springs, CO. He grew up there and received his education, later attending the University of Northern Colorado where he received a Bachelor's Degree. He continued there, receiving his Master's Degree and continued his education at several universities. Fred served with the United States Army, enlisting in 1942, and was honorably discharged in 1945. Fred was united in marriage with Olga Anderson on December 21, 1949, in Aberdeen, SD. Fred was a teacher and counselor in Aberdeen until 1962, when the family moved to Wheatridge, CO, where he was a counselor and assistant principal until 1964. The family then moved to Sioux Falls, SD, where Fred was a counselor at Washington High School, until retiring in 1981. He kept busy announcing for basketball, football, and other athletic events. Olga passed away on February 4, 2000. Grateful for having shared his life are his daughters Jeanne Streit and her husband Tom, Hawarden, IA, Karen Siewert and her husband Tom, Papillion, NE; grandchildren Kelli and Shane Bartels, Kristin and Andy Hoole, and Kyle Martinek, Kayla and Nicole Streit; great-grandchildren Briley and Kennedy Bartels; special friends Gerry and Monica Heuer and family, and Jeanie Klooster and family of Sioux Falls, SD; and many other relatives and friends. Fred was preceded in death by his wife Olga, sisters Pauline Livsey, Helen Young, and brother Bill Claudon.
Dr. Gary Crippen age 78 of Sioux Falls, passed away Sunday November 7, 2021. Gary Charles Crippen son of Richard and Nona (White) Crippen was born December 3, 1942 in Omaha, NE. He graduated from Rapid City Central High School in 1961. He the received his BS degree from Northern State College with a major in English Communications. The next five years found Dr. Crippen teaching English at Washington High School in Sioux Falls as well as serving as assistant debate coach for two years.
On June 7, 1969 he was united in marriage to Margaret J. Ashbaugh, a Spanish and French teacher. In 1970, Dr. Crippen left Washington High and attended the University of South Dakota receiving a MA degree in 1972. The next few years, he sold real estate and was an assistant professor at Sioux Falls College and National College in Sioux Falls.
Gary then returned to USD, where this time he pursued a doctorate in counseling psychology; graduating in 1989. From there until 2009 he set up an independent practice as a mental health counselor. He retired in 2013. His beloved wife Margaret preceded him in death in 2002.
Margaret Crippen- Foreign Language
Margaret Ashbaugh was born June 8, 1942 at Brookings, SD. She lived with her family in Webster, SD until 1947. She moved to Vermillion in 1947 and lived there until moving to Sioux Falls in 1964. Margaret received her Bachelor's Degree from the University of South Dakota in 1964 and her Master's Degree in 1968.
She was united in marriage with Dr. Gary C. Crippen on June 7, 1969 in Sioux Falls. Margaret was a French and Spanish teacher at Washington High School for 37 years, retiring in 2001.
At the time of her death, she was survived by are her husband, Gary, of Sioux Falls; her mother, Marjorie Ashbaugh; her brother, Dr. James H. Ashbaugh; sister-in-law, Jane Ashbaugh; a niece, Shannon Ashbaugh and a nephew, M. Benjamin Ashbaugh, all living in Sioux Falls; a niece, Shelley Peterson of Rapid City, SD; and her brother-in-law, Dr. Jack Crippen, living in Oregon.
Charles “Chuck” Davis -Social Studies/coach
died Thursday, March 4, 2021, at his home from bone cancer. Chuck was born May 10, l937, in Platte, South Dakota, to Ida (Peterson) and Hank Davis. He graduated from Platte High School in l956 and graduated from Huron College where he played football and received his Bachelor’s Degree; he received his Master’s Degree from SDSU in l972. He began his teaching and coaching career in Canistota. He also taught and coached at West Lyon School, Inwood, Iowa; Lincoln High School and Washington High School. In Sioux Falls he taught Death and Dying, which was a favorite of many of his students. After his retirement in l994, he continued to coach football until 2013. A proud moment for Chuck was when he received his 40 year coaching ring and when he was inducted in to the Washington High School Hall of Fame. Chuck married Sherry Pickert on August 31, 1974. Chuck is survived by his wife Sherry; his son Charles, Jr. of Burleson, Texas; his grandson
Dick Day-Social Studies-Coach
Richard (Dick) L. Day departed this world from home with family by his side July 29, 2021 after a brief illness. He was born in Sioux City June 4, 1928, the last of seven children. Following high school, he enlisted in the army after being rejected by the marines because he was too tall! He served in Japan during the reconstruction period while also playing football for the 8th Army team. He then attended the University of South Dakota on the GI Bill. He earned three football and two basketball letters. As part of the Fearsome Foursome front line, he was awarded All North Conference Center in 1951 and later was inducted into the USD Hall of Fame. During those years at USD, Dick met Sally J. Welch and married her during the summer of 1952. After four children and 63 years of marriage, Sally died in 2015. Dick was a US History instructor at Washington High School for 32 of his 37 years of teaching. At WHS he became the head football coach for 12 years and continued as assistant in track. When he retired from coaching football, Dick became the Athletic Director of Washington High School as well as the Women’s Tennis Coach where his team won the State Tennis Tournament. He was honored with inductions into the Washington Hall of Fame and the South Dakota Coach’s Hall of Fame. Dick’s surviving children are Richard (Julie) Day, John Kelly (Chere) Day, Diane (Mike) Verrett, and James (Denise) Day.
Hazel S. Dempster – English
Hazel, died feb.22 1992. Hazel Stegen was born May 8, 1917 in Ortley SD, graduating from Waubay HS in 1935. She received her BA degree from Augustana in 1939. Hazel taught at Corsica and Salem before moving to Sioux Falls where she taught at WHS for 25 years. She married Adrian Dempster in 1946. At the time of her death, she was survived by her husband, three sons; Alan, Richard, and Thomas and a daughter, Marie plus a brother Kermit Stegen and a sister Grace Ohnstad. And seven grandchildren.
Lloyd “Dobie” Dobratz, Coach
Lloyd was born in 1924 in Redfield, SD. He was a member of the 1942 SD State “B” Basketball Champs team. After graduating high school in 1942, he enrolled at Augustana College, completed his freshman year and then enlisted as an Army paratrooper. Lloyd served in the Battle of the Bulge, was later captured and was held as a POW in a German stalag. In 1945, he was liberated and was returned to an Iowa hospital to recover from his injuries. His nurse, Helen “Penny” Eckrich, would later become his wife.
In 1946, Lloyd returned to Augustana College and completed his degree in 1949. Lloyd and Penny moved to MN where Lloyd completed his master’s degree from the University of Minnesota. After returning to SD, Lloyd was appointed principal and coach at Platte, SD for five years. Lloyd
spent the next 30+ years working in the Sioux Falls school district where he was a coach, teacher, school counselor, and district athletic coordinator. Lloyd was coach of the Sioux Falls Washington High School 1965 SD State “A” Basketball Champs team. Lloyd served as principal of Sioux Falls Lincoln High school from 19671974.
Lloyd is a member of the SDHS Coaches Hall of Fame; member of the Augustana College Athletic Hall of Fame .
Don passed away on Sunday, December 16, 2018 at The Good Samaritan Center in Sioux Falls, SD.
Donald L. Edison was born on September 28, 1927 to Peter and Tora (Highland) Edison in Mission Hill, SD. Don received his education from Yankton High School, Yankton College, and the University Of South Dakota where he earned his Masters Degree in Education. In June of 1946, Don enlisted in the United States Army and served honorably until his discharge in December 1947. On May 23, 1954 he married Betty Lou Paulos in Yankton, SD. Don worked for the Sioux Falls School District at Washington High School as an English Literature and History teacher before retiring in 1988. Don was known for his fascinating wit and vast knowledge of literature
Don was a member of various education associations, as well as a Boy Scouts Leader. Don loved to read books; many, many books. He enjoyed doing different volunteer work as well as traveling. Above all, he loved spending time with his beloved children and grandchildren. Don will be missed by all those who knew him.
Grateful for sharing his life are his children, Nancy Feinstein and her husband, Marc of Sioux Falls, SD, Erik Edison and his wife, Kristi of Costa Mesa, CA, Susanne Harris and her husband, Gary of Harrisburg, SD; six grandchildren, Alissa, Zachary, Danielle, Evan, Marisa, and Spencer; 3 great grandchildren, Stella, Tess, and Greta; sister-in-law, Kay Byrne; and a host of additional relatives and friends.
Donald was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Betty Lou Edison on May 2, 2018; sisters, Evelyn Gerdau and Mary Slowey; brother, Robert Edison.
Melba Lucile Webster Ellis- Counselor 1915-2019
Melba Lucile Webster Ellis 104, of Evergreen, CO (formerly of Sioux Falls, SD) died November 25th 2019. She was born on "the farm" in Woonsocket, SD February 2nd, 1915 to Harriet and Lloyd Webster. She graduated from Woonsocket High School, receiving a BS from South Dakota State University in 1936 and MA in Guidance and Counseling from the University of South Dakota in 1961. She married her late husband Raymond Ellis in 1939 and after his early death she raised her 3 young children on her own with great love and courage. She influenced many young people's lives through her teaching and counseling, finishing a successful career as a cherished counselor at Washington High School in Sioux Falls.
She documented how the world had changed during her lifetime in her book "My Century of Living" written for her family, always thinking about the next generation. She also loved gardening and gained some fame with her knitted and crocheted projects.
Melba is survived by her sister Connie Burrill (Wally) and by her three children Richard Ellis (Terry), Carol Johs (Perry), and Nita Ellis (Brandon LaSalle).
Lyle Lee Farrand – Special Education
Lyle was born October 27, 1943 in Watertown, SD to Henry and Doris (Kugler) Farrand. He attended Sioux Falls public schools and graduated from Washington High School in 1961. Following high school he attended South Dakota State University for his Bachelor's degree and then completed his Master's degree USD. On July 23, 1966, Lyle was united in marriage with Vikki Buttz in Sioux Falls. Residing in Sioux Falls, Lyle worked for the Sioux Falls School District as a teacher and elementary school principal for 34 years before retiring from administration, only to return to work with the Washington High School DECA students for an additional 7 years. Lyle began and ended his career at Washington High School.While working many years in special education, Lyle was instrumental in starting Special Olympics in the state of South Dakota in 1968. For over 40 years, he served in many capacities as a volunteer, St. Patrick's Day Parade button-seller, coach for seven sports, board member for 39 years, and president of the board. His legacy will live on through the annual Lyle Farrand Volunteer of the Year Award presented annually to the individual who has exhibited the best example of voluntary action to improve the quality of Special Olympics.Lyle received many volunteer and service awards including the Cosmopolitan Club's 2005 Distinguished Service Award for his tireless effort, energy, and giving of his time to the continued success of the Sioux Falls community. In 2015, he was inducted into the Washington High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Grateful for having shared his life are wife Vikki, daughters Tamee Sandvall (Keith), of Sioux Falls, SD, and Shelie Vacek (Travis), of Tea, SD, granddaughter Jada Sandvall of Sioux Falls, SD, brother Harold (Grace) Farrand of Billings, MT, sisters Linda Charles of New Brighton, MN, and Lori Dawson-Feucht of Sioux Falls, SD, He was preceded in death by his parents, mother and father-in-law, brothers Gary (Jan) Farrand, and Larry (Betty) Farrand.
Dave Fitz At the age of 81, Dave died Friday, August 3, 2018, at the VA Medical Center in Sioux Falls.
David J. Fitz, son of Howard and Anna (Groth) Fitz was born August 9, 1936, in Fairmont, Minnesota. He spent his early life in Fairmont, and graduated with the class of 1954. Following high school, he served his country in the United States Army until earning his honorable discharge in 1956. Dave was united in marriage to Carol Hurlbert in February of 1958 and they were blessed with 4 boys, Tim, Tom, Troy, and Todd. Following his service in the Army he earned his Bachelors Degree at Mankato State College. He dedicated the next 35 years of his life teaching students vocational printing and art in the Sioux Falls School District. Dave was honored with the Sioux Falls Outstanding Teacher Award in 1968. He spent years teaching at Washington, Roosevelt, Lincoln, and SE Technical Institute. In 1981 he completed his Master of Arts Degree from SDSU.
Dave was united in marriage to Vicki (Krouse) Starnes on March 27, 1982 in Sioux Falls. One of his favorite hobbies was his lifetime membership in the Experimental Aircraft Association. Dave’s creativeness in the classroom translated to him spending countless hours in his workshop planning, designing and working with various types of wood. He also loved to work crossword puzzles and was an avid reader.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Vicki of Sioux Falls; sons, Tim (Kathy) Fitz, Tom (Kim) Fitz, and Troy (JoEllen) Fitz all of Sioux Falls; step son, Craig Starnes of San Antonio, TX; 10 grandchildren; sister, Doris Shennum of St. Paul, MN; and half sister, Finette (Al) Walker of Illinois.
He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Todd Fitz; half brothers, Owen Fitz and Zane Fitz; and half sister, Bettye Watson.
Baltus “Fritz” Fritzemeier, Social Studies/Coach
Baltus, 99, of Sioux Falls, SD, died December 9th, 2021. He was married to Miriam Smith on June 12, 1950, in Alpena, SD.Fritz was born to Yeltze and George Fritzemeier on September 1, 1922, in Mt. Vernon, South Dakota. He graduated from Mt Vernon High School and Dakota Wesleyan University. Due to WWII, he left school and enlisted in the Army in 1943. Fritz served in the Army until May of 1946. He served in the 4th Armored Division under General Patton as a tank commander and participated in the Battle of the Bulge. His first coaching experience was in the Army after the war. He attained the rank of Master Sargent. Upon discharge, he returned to Dakota Wesleyan to complete his college degree. At Dakota Wesleyan, Fritz lettered in football, basketball, and track. He also played baseball for the Mitchell Kernels in South Dakota Amateur Baseball. While he loved all sports, his first love was baseball where he was an outstanding left-handed pitcher and first baseman. He spent over 20 years building the VFW Teener Baseball Program and serving the City of Sioux Falls Recreation Department managing the city’s age 8-12 baseball leagues. Fritz began as a teacher and coach in Ethan, SD, then moved to Wagner, SD, and finally Sioux Falls. He taught first at Patrick Henry Junior High and then switched to Washington High School. He retired in 1983. He was inducted to both the Washington High School Athletic and Ethan High School Halls of Fame. His 1971 Washington Warriors Boys Basketball team won the state tournament and he was named Siouxland Basketball Coach of the Year. He was honored with the Howard Wood Relays 25-Year Service Award in 1983. Fritz and Miriam were founding members of Hilltop United Methodist Church.Fritz is survived by his four children: Janna (Dave) Malde of Sioux Falls; Beth (David) Freed of Redondo Beach, California; Jed (Nancy) Fritzemeier of Chelsea, Michigan; Todd (Katie) Fritzemeier of Brookings, SD; Plus 10 grandchildren, He was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, his brothers Harke and William, and his sister Ann.
Miriam Fritzemeier- Spanish
88, of Sioux Falls, SD, died Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at Sanford Hospital. Celebration of Life service will be held Tuesday, May 26 at 4:00 pm at Hilltop United Methodist Church.
Miriam Jane Fritzemeier, third daughter of Matthew D. and Loretta Smith, was born on June 11, 1926 in Puebla, Mexico. After living in Puebla for 6 years, the family relocated to the United States. She is a graduate of Mitchell High School and Dakota Wesleyan University. After college, she spent a year teaching for her father at the Insituto Americano in Panama City.
She was married to Baltus Fritzemeier on June 12, 1950 in Alpena, SD. Mim was a social worker for the State of SD in the early years of her marriage. Fritz's career in education took them to Sioux Falls in 1956. After their 4 children were born (2 girls and 2 boys), Mim went back to work as a Spanish teacher at Washington High School. She retired in 1990, after 22 years of teaching. She volunteered at the Washington Pavilion, and was a member of P.E.O. Sisterhood, the South Dakota Education Association, the Retired Teachers Association, and a founding member of Hilltop United Methodist Church.
W. Paul Graves – English 1911-1985
Paul was born in Chicago and received his bachelor’s degree from DePaul University and his master’s degree from the University of South Dakota. He served as a cryptographic technician during WWII. He married Mary Tinkham in 1944. Paul taught English at Washington High School for 28 years, retiring in 1976. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. At the time of his death, he was survived by his wife; a daughter Paula Keller and three grandchildren.
Marlee “Moo” Grebin, Office Staff
Marlee, 88, of Sioux Falls, SD passed away Friday, January 24, 2020 Marlee (Gefke) Grebin, daughter of Fred and Madeleine (Thill) Gefke, was born October 9, 1931 in Hawarden, IA. She graduated from Washington High School in 1950. She attended Augustana College for a couple years. Marlee was united in marriage with Donald Grebin on September 2, 1955 in Sioux Falls, SD. They had three children, Kevin, Karlee and Karrie. . In 1974, she began working at Washington High School as a secretary, and in 1978, she began working in the office of Development at Augustana College. She retired in 2000 after 22 years. Marlee was a member of the Sweet Adeline’s for many years. Grateful for having shared her life are her children, Kevin (Deb) Grebin, Karlee Archer, Karrie VandeVoort, all of Sioux Falls, SD; nine grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren, Marlee was preceded in death by her parents, Fred and Madeleine Gefke; a brother and a sister-in-law, Norman and Muriel Gefke; a brother; Gary Grefke; a sister -law, Madeleine and her ex-husband Donald Grebin.
Rich Hanson- Counselor
Richard, son of Clarence and Ruby (Wendt) Hanson, was born on February 13th, 1936 in Aberdeen, SD. He grew up in Aberdeen and attended Aberdeen Central High School graduating in 1954. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Northern State College in 1958, in addition to an M. A. in Counseling. Rich married JoAnne St. John, a widow and mother of Elizabeth and Robert, on June 18th, 1966 in Sioux Falls, SD. Rich's career began in physical education and evolved through guidance counseling at area high schools.As a longtime referee, supervisor of officials, and sports volunteer, he devoted most of his adult life to enriching youth development through sport. He was honored for his many years of service by being inducted into the 2016 South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame. Rich was recognized for his 50+ years of dedication to the Howard Wood Relays. His survivors include children, Elizabeth (John) Kilbourne, East Grand Rapids, MI; Robert Hanson, Centennial, CO; Chad (Stephanie) Hanson, Sioux Falls, SD. Grateful to be near his heart are his "Magnificent 7" grandchildren: Zoe' (27), and Parker (21) Kilbourne; Lane (23), and Clay (19) Hanson; Zachary (16), Dylan (15), and Courtney (12) Hanson. Other family members include his sister, Gayle (Ray) Miller, Aberdeen, SD. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and one sister. The family would like to thank his friends and many care givers, most importantly, Scott Boyens, M.D., for his loving medical care, guidance, and friendship, especially over these last few years
.Lois Herbert - Long time substitute, 88, of Sioux Falls, died Wednesday, August 26, 2015. Lois Christianson was born May 26, 1927 to William and Polly (Curnow) Christianson at Lead, SD. She grew up in Lead where she received her education, graduating from Lead High School in 1945. Her senior year, Lois was elected the homecoming queen of Lead High School. During her high school years, and in the summers during her college years, Lois was a tour guide for the Homestake Gold Mine in Lead, a job in which she took great pride, leading many surface tours of the mine.
Following high school, Lois enrolled at South Dakota State College in Brookings where she graduated from with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism. She began her teaching career at Howard High School in Howard, SD.
On July 1, 1952, she was united in marriage with Kenneth Herbert in her hometown of Lead, SD. Following their marriage, Lois taught at Brandon High School for 2 years. For over 50 years, Lois was a substitute teacher with the Sioux Falls School District, having taught in both the “old” and the “new” Washington High Schools and at Roosevelt High School.
Grateful for having shared her life are her children, Jeffrey (Sarah) Herbert and Jill (Chris) Andersen, both of Sioux Falls; her 6 grandchildren, Matt, Lindsey and Carson Herbert, and Tryg, Jhett and Max Andersen;.
Lois was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth on August 30, 2011; her parents, William and Polly Christianson; her brothers, Ret. Colonel Harold “Casey” Christianson, Clifford Christianson and Dr. William Christianson; her sister, Margaret Palm; her in-laws, Charley and Cena Herbert; and her brothers in- law, Harlan Herbert and Dr. James Herbert.
Floyd R. Hunking Counselor-, 81, of Sioux Falls died on November 2, 2020, at Avera McKennan Hospital due to complications from COVID-19. Floyd was born on November 5, 1938, to Fred and Bernice (Clemens) Hunking at Grafton, ND. Floyd lived in Park River, ND, from 1938 until graduating from Park River Area High School with the Class of 1956. He graduated from Valley City State Teachers College in Valley City, ND, in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree. Floyd then moved to Bowman, ND, from 1960 until 1962 and to Blue Earth, MN, from 1962 until 1963. Floyd then graduated from Mankato State University in 1963 with a master’s degree, before moving to Sioux Falls later that year. He also earned a specialist degree from the University of South Dakota in 1968. On December 30, 1961, Floyd was united in marriage to Loila Belcher at Fessenden, ND. On May 5, 1996, Floyd was re-married to Barbara (Starnes) Soma of Sioux Falls. Floyd started his educational career at Washington High School in 1963 before transferring to the newly built Lincoln High School in 1965 where he was employed as a school counselor until his retirement in 2000. A major accomplishment of Floyd’s was the initiation and oversight of the SFSD’s Gifted Education Program, which at one point included working simultaneously at Washington, Lincoln and O’Gorman high schools. Floyd was the second-longest serving faculty at Lincoln High School. Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Barbara; son, Jeffrey (Debra) Hunking of Sioux Falls; siblings: Ronald (Jana) Hunking of Lompoc, CA; Linda (David) Kyle of Bottineau, ND; and, Sterling Hunking of Arlington, TX; and 11 grandchildren.
Elizabeth Douthit Hurst - 1917-2001 -Librarian
Born March 29, 1917 in Sioux Falls. She graduated from Washington High in 1935. Ms. Douthit attended Iowa State Teachers College,and Sioux Falls College, and graduated from Augustana College with a B.A. degree in 1955. She received her M.A. in Library Science at the University of Wisconsin in 1965. Liz was employed at WHS as a Librarian for 27 years, retiring in 1979. She was preceded in death by her parents and three brother:, F. Lloyd, George R,. and Donald Douthit. Liz was a fixture of humor and culinary arts for the staff with her famous Christmas meals accompanied by her witty, dry humor. She was a proud member of the D.A.R. and enjoyed trials with her Brittany Spaniels at the retriever club.
Al Kosters-Social Studies/ Administration was born March 18, 1945 to Francis and Jean (Meengs) Kosters in Sioux Center, Iowa. He graduated from Sioux Center High School in 1963. After high school, Allen went to Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa and graduated with a social studies teaching credential. His first two years of teaching were in Webb, Iowa. From 1969 through 1986 he taught history at Washington and Sioux Falls Lincoln High Schools. He was the varsity boys basketball coach at Lincoln High School from 1979-1986. In the early 1970’s, he earned a master’s degree from Augustana College and in the late 1980’s, his Educational Doctorate through the University of South Dakota. In 1987, Allen started work as the Coordinator of social studies curriculum for the Sioux Falls School District. Later, he was a director for the school district overseeing federal grants and programs. After retirement from the SFSD, he took a position with the South Dakota Department of Education.Donna (Draayer) and Al were married on June 21, 1968. Donna was diagnosed with breast cancer and passed away from complications in 1992.Allen met Nancy in January 1993. They were married on October 2, 1993, creating a blended family with five children; Michael, Anne, Scott, Jay and Bruce.Allen was preceded in death by his first wife, parents, and in-laws John and Wilmina (Van Peursem) Draayer, and Dwane and Leora (Sample) Gabrielson. He is survived by his wife Nancy, sons Scott (Jennie), Jay (Megan), and Bruce, step-children Michael and Anne, brother Bill (Joan), sisters Rachel (Karl) Fliris, and Ruth (Gene) Wells.
Phyllis Krueger Special Ed.
Phyl Krueger, 91, passed away on May 3, 2022 due to complications following a stroke.Phyllis Marilyn (Breen) Krueger was born on June 14, 1930 to William and Myrtle (Rolland) Breen at Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.She attended Augustana and would graduate Cum Laude in 1974 with a BA Degree in Education. She was employed by the Sioux Falls School District for eighteen years beginning at Garfield Elementary and then Washington High School as a certified aide for special needs children. Phyl retired in 1992. Phyl was preceded in death by her parents William (1980) and Myrtle (1990) and her husband Harry (2018). Phyl is survived by her sister Shirley (Kent) Johnson of River Falls, Wisconsin and brother Jerry (Joyce) Breen also of River Falls along with a large extended family.
Robert C. Leiferman - Math
Bob was born August 30, 1934, in Bridgewater, SD, to Joseph and Agnes (Gossman) Leiferman. He was raised in Bridgewater, where he graduated from high school in 1952. Bob then attended college at St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota.
In 1954, Bob joined the US Army. Following his honorable discharge, he worked for his father at the family dealership in Bridgewater, SD. Bob earned his Bachelor's and Master degrees from the University of South Dakota.
Bob taught mathematics at Axtell Jr. High School and at Washington and Roosevelt Senior High Schools. He retired in 1989.
Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, JoAnne Leiferman, Sioux Falls, SD; son, Steve (Jamilla) Leiferman; daughters, Cindy Leiferman, and Jenn (Mark Kunkel) Leiferman; five grandchildren; and his sister, Pat Peters. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Laurie; brother, Bud; and a sister, Shirley.
Ronald E. “Ron” Lembcke - Industrial Arts
Ron, 78, of Sioux Falls, SD died Sunday, June 3, 2018, at Ava’s House Hospice in Sioux Falls. Ronald Elmer Lembcke, son of Elmer and Mildred (Conn) Lembcke, was born January 20, 1940, in Madison, SD. The family lived in Ramona, SD, where Ron attended school and participated in football, basketball, and track, graduating from Ramona High School in 1958. He then attended General Beadle College in Madison, SD, graduating in 1962.
Ron married Simone Kay Jensen on January 26, 1962, in Ramona, SD. Ron and Simone had three daughters: Terri, Toni, and Traci.
Ron was a science and industrial arts teacher and coach at Ramona High School from 1962-1970, at which time the family moved to Sioux Falls. Ron was an industrial arts, drafting, and carpentry teacher in Sioux Falls at Edison Junior High, Washington High School, and Roosevelt High School, retiring in 2002. Ron continued his education throughout his career, obtaining Master’s degrees in science and industrial arts as well as Plus 30 in industrial arts.
Ron loved spending time with his family and friends. He was an avid Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins fan. He was a lifelong member of St. John Lutheran Church, first in Ramona and then in Sioux Falls. Ron worked in construction during the summers, as well as coaching his daughters’ softball and basketball teams while they were growing up. He touched many lives as a teacher and coach, but his greatest joy was his family. Ron especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren: Jack, Katie, and Sam.
Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Simone; three daughters, Terri Schildhauer and her husband, Steve, Sioux Falls, SD, Toni Lembcke and Dean Theisen, Sioux Falls, SD, Traci Swanson and her husband, Shawn, Sioux Falls, SD; three grandchildren, Jack Lembcke, Sioux Falls, SD, Kathryn Lembcke, Sioux Falls, SD, Samuel Swanson, Sioux Falls, SD; and many other relatives and friendsJ
Joe Lockwood- Social Studies/Coach
Joe Lockwood, age 84, died on Thursday, April 6, 2017. Joe was born on January 9, 1933, in Huron, SD to Norman and Frances (Bosley) Lockwood. He was raised, received his education, and excelled in sports in Doland, SD. Following high school Joe attended Huron College where he earned his teaching certificate. In 1956, Joe was teaching and coaching in Wessington, SD when he and some friends attended a basketball game at Huron College. It was at that game that Joe noticed a young cheerleader, Sondra Jean Howard. Joe and Sondra were united in marriage on January 26, 1957, in Sioux Falls, SD. Following their wedding Joe began earning his Master’s Degree in Physical Education at SDSU in Brookings. Joe and Sondra made their home in Sioux Falls, SD in 1959 and were blessed with three sons, David, Bruce and Mark. Joe spent most of his teaching and coaching career at Washington High School in Sioux Falls, retiring in 1995. He loved being an assistant coach for track and football, but his greatest joy was coaching girls basketball. At the time of his death, he was survived by his wife of 60 years, Sondra Lockwood, Sioux Falls, SD; three sons: David (Jane) Lockwood, Spearfish, SD, Bruce (Jody) Lockwood, Ft. Collins, CO and Mark Lockwood, Thornton, CO; plus seven grandchildren. Joe was preceded in death by his parents: Norman and Frances Lockwood; sister, Norma Nelson; and two brothers-in-laws: Harland Nelson and Al Hanson.
Margaret Looby, English/Reading
Margaret, longtime resident of Sioux Falls, SD, died July 3, 2020, at Dougherty Hospice Margaret Marie Looby was born December 16, 1940 in Mitchell, SD to Edward and Marjorie Looby of Artesian, SD. She attended school in Artesian and graduated valedictorian in 1958. She attended Mount Marty College her Freshman year, then transferred to Northern State Teachers College and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Secondary Education in 1962. She was hired by the Sioux Falls School District in August of that year and taught at Patrick Henry Junior High for 15 years. In 1968, she was invited by the Scholastic Publishing Company to serve on their Teacher’s Advisory Board and attended the annual meeting in New York City, NY. She also represented her district at the 1968 National Social Studies Convention in Washington D.C. At that time she was invited to join a professional women’s teacher organization Delta Kappa Gamma, and was an active member for 40 years. In 1978, she earned her Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from the University of South Dakota.. In 1978, she transferred to Washington High School and spent 14 years as a Reading Specialist and English teacher. In 1991, an opportunity opened to teach at the new Roosevelt High School, where she was the Reading Specialist and taught American Literature and Composition for the next 8 years Grateful for having shared her life are her sister Kathleen, Hartford, SD and brother John (Patricia), Hartford, SD, niece Teresa Hofer (Mark), Hartford, SD, nephew John Looby (Jen), Rapid City, SD, grand nieces Whitney Flanagan, Jamey Jenkins, Lexy Groeneweg, Rachel Looby, and grand nephews Kelly Hofer and Nick Looby, 9 great-grand nieces and nephews, and several cousins including a close cousin Diane Hall, Sioux Falls, SD. She was preceded in death by her parents.
"Tiz" Lothrop Social Studies/Coach
Forrest Tisdale Lothrop, age 96, passed away on Saturday, May 29, 2021 at Good Samaritan Society in Sioux Falls, South DakotaForrest Tisdale (Tiz) Lothrop was a gentle man who valued family, community, and the world of sports. He was born to William and Helen Lothrop on June 16, 1924, and grew up in Redfield, SD. Tiz was a member of the Redfield High School 1942 SD State “B” Basketball Championship team. Following high school, Tiz received a bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State University and a master’s from the University of Minnesota. He taught and coached at Beresford High School from 1950-1952.Tiz met Veva Walter during his time in Beresford, SD and they were married on August 19, 1951 and moved to Dickinson, ND where Tiz taught and coached at Dickinson State Teacher’s College. The two welcomed their daughter, Beth, in 1953 and their son, Ross, in 1955. In 1956, the family moved to Sioux Falls, SD and Tiz finished up his career at Washington High School retiring in 1985. Tiz loved his wife, spending time with his family, the 84th Infantry Division Railsplitters, and cheering on the SDSU Jackrabbits.Tiz served in the US Army and was injured in the Battle of the Bulge. He received a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Combat Infantry Badge while serving in the military (1942-1945). He was an active member of the Board of Directors for the Howard Wood Dakota Relays, 84th Infantry Division Railsplitters Society, SD Education Association, VFW, American Legion, DAV, and Elks.Tiz is survived by his daughter, Beth (Bruce) Roemmelt of Haymarket, VA; son, Ross (LeAnn) Lothrop of Canton, SD; five granddaughters, Spencer (Steve) Eddy of Minneapolis, MN; Lindsey Lothrop of Whitewood, SD; Morgan Lothrop of Canton, SD; Alyssa Lothrop of Phoenix, AZ; and Aryca Lothrop of Canton, SD and three great-granddaughters Riley, Kiana, and Kaci.
Debra Kay Merxbauer- English
Age 71, of Sioux Falls, SD, passed away April 28, 2021, from a brain aneurysm at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, SD.
Deb was born January 2, 1950, to Elgin and Arlene (Huisman) Merxbauer in Miller, South Dakota. She attended Miller High School, graduating in 1968. She continued her studies at SDSU where she earned her BA and MBA. She used these degrees to teach school for many years in the Sioux Falls area, primarily at Washington High School. During the last eight years of her teaching career, she served as President of the SFEA. Deb was very involved at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, serving as Librarian at the time of her passing.
Darrold Wayne Morey- Computer Ed. was born June 21, 1944, in Aberdeen, SD to Floyd and Wilna Morey of Redfield, SD. Darrold passed away peacefully in hospice care November 9, 2021 after struggling with Parkinson’s and dementia.He graduated from Redfield High School, where he played football, ran track, and excelled in wrestling, twice holding the state championship title. He joined the US Navy and following his service he attended Northern State College. There he met Jane Loers and they married August 17, 1968 in Aberdeen, SD. The couple moved to Fridley, MN where he worked at UNIVAC. The next year, they moved back to Aberdeen so Darrold could finish his bachelor’s degree.He accepted his first teaching job at Brandon Valley High School and then was a vocational teacher at South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls, SD. Darrold began teaching at West Central High School in Hartford, SD where he specialized in industrial arts, drafting, welding, and developed a cutting-edge high school robotics program. He then accepted a position, teaching computers, at Washington High School in downtown Sioux Falls where Jane also taught.
Vicki L (Brandland) Myers - Art
Vicki, of Sioux Falls, passed away on 5-8-15. She was born 8-8-42 in Sioux Falls to Ken and Dorothy Brandland. The family moved to Aberdeen in 1947. She graduated from Central High School in 1961 and Northern State College in 1955. She moved to Sioux Falls, where she was a lifelong resident and taught art at Washington High School. She was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her brother, Robert Brandland of Lake Andes, SD, a nephew, Jon Brandland of Parker, Co and a niece, Caitlin Brandland-Boukhari of Denver, Co.
Jerry Nicolay- Counselor
Chester, SD, Jerome "Jerry" Nicolay, age 74, formerly of Sioux Falls, died on Thursday, August 1, 2013 in Madison, SD. Jerome Anthony Nicolay was born on April 22, 1939 in Webster, South Dakota to Arthur and Angela (Block) Nicolay. It is there where Jerry received his education and graduated from high school in 1957. Jerry then honorably served in the United States Navy. He was discharged in 1962. Following his honorable discharge Jerry continued his education earning a bachelor's degree from Northern State College and then his master's degree from USD. Jerry was a lifelong student, doing graduate work at SDSU, Augustana and USF. On July 18, 1965, Jerry was united in marriage with Janice Hummel. The couple made their home in Sioux Falls. Jerry taught at Edison Jr. High and worked as a guidance counselor at Washington High School from 1969 until his retirement in 2001. He was a loving son, brother, husband, uncle, cousin and friend who will be deeply missed. Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Jan Nicolay, Chester, SD; brother, Bill Nicolay, Loveland, CO; two sisters, Linda Nicolay, Rochester, MN and Cynthia (Louis) Kulesa, Webster, SD; two sisters-in-laws, Pam (Garry) Murren, Norfolk, NE and Dorita (Bob) Schuldt, Renner, SD; two brothers-in-laws, Jim (Mary) Hummel, Sioux Falls and Tim Hummel, Sioux Falls; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Angela Nicolay.
John Norberg- English
John "Big Trout", of Sioux Falls, passed away peacefully of natural causes in his home Wednesday, May 18, 2022.John was born on February 12, 1933, in Sioux Falls, SD, to Sidney and Marion (Nelson) Norberg. He graduated from Washington High School and Augustana College, he then served two years stateside with the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was united in marriage to Marlene Duus on August 6, 1967.John was a loving father, grandfather, and devoted husband. He held many roles over the years for which he will lovingly be remembered. John served 34 years in the Sioux Falls Community School District as an English teacher at Axtell Park Jr. High & Washington High School and was affectionately known as “Big Trout” at Leif Erickson Day Camp for 25 summers. John was a member of the WHS Historical Committee, a member of the American Legion Singing Legionnaires and the YMCA’s Y’s Men. John was also “The Voice” of the Washington Warriors and served as a self-appointed member of “The Old Guard” (coffee gathering of retired teachers); John was also a proud contributor to the Washington High Athletic Hall of Fame Committee, a Bible study group member, and a volunteer at First Baptist Church, Habitat For Humanity, and various other civic organizations.He is survived by his wife, Marlene Norberg; sons, Mark Norberg of Los Angeles, CA and CDR David and Karina Norberg of Eagan, MN; daughter, Beth and Jeff Thelander of Lawton, IA; grandchildren, Ben, Joe, Kate, and Kiara; sister, Barbara and Richard Hubble of Sioux Falls; brother-in-law Dr. Erlan and Nancy Duus of Ft. Collins, CO; sister-in-law Kathy Joyce of Graettinger, IA; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents. Please consider a donation to the YMCA's Leif Erikson Day Camp in Big Trout's honor.
Lorraine Norman, English
Lorraine, longtime educator in the English Department of Washington Senior High School in Sioux Falls, died August 21, 2014, at Bethesda Nursing Home, Beresford, SD. She was 91.
Lorraine A. Norman was born June 5, 1923, in Centerville, SD, to Ed and Martha (Hansen) Norman. She graduated from high school at Beresford, SD in 1941, and attended Augustana College where she received her BA degree. Lorraine taught school in Canton, SD for a period of time before beginning her life-long teaching career in the English Department at Washington Senior High School. During the summer months, Lorraine earned her MA degree through the University of Minnesota. For several years, she pursued and taught summer school at many regional colleges and universities.
Lorraine taught English, Journalism, Mass Media, and was the faculty advisor of the WSHS newsletter, The Orange and Black. She was a mentor to many students and adults alike, and enjoyed seeing them succeed. Lorraine retired from teaching in 1984. Gifted at developing a special bond with her students, Lorraine was often honored and humbled to receive visits and words of thanks from her former students.
Grateful for having shared her life are her sister, Berniece Thissell, Beresford, SD; nieces and nephews, Norman Hovda, Nancy (Ed) Wick, Dan (Carol) Thissell, Lois Fitzgerald, Jane (Wayne) Smith, Peter (Doreen) Fahlberg, John (Sandy) Fahlberg; and a host of friends, grand-nieces and nephews, and great- grand nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; a twin sister who was stillborn; two sisters, Leona and her husband, Thor Hovda, Maurine and her husband Wes Fahlberg; brother-in-law, Donald Thissell; and her dear friend, Signie Johnson.
Wallace L. Norum- Math
Wally, passed away in Stillwater Minn. 22 May, 2004. Wally taught Math at WHS and was an officer of the Sioux Falls Education Association. SDEA recruited Wally to work for them in Pierre.
John Odney- Socal Studies/Coach
John Odney, longtime Washington Senior High School educator and Hall of Fame basketball player and coach in Sioux Falls, SD, passed away Friday, October 21, 2022, at Sanford USD Medical Center. He was 78. John was born on November 13, 1943, in Mayville, ND, to Olaf “Ole” and A. Marie (Bergsaker) Odney. His family moved to Sioux Falls when he was five years old. He attended Sioux Falls public schools, and graduated from Washington High School in 1961. Following high school, he attended Augustana College and graduated in 1965. John started his career, as a teacher and coach, with Sioux Falls public schools in 1968. John coached basketball at WHS from 1976-1989. He taught the popular “Death and Dying” elective class at WHS. He was the camp director at Camp Teepeetonka, a YMCA summer camp, from 1970 to 1978. John’s entire life was lived in service to others. He was passionate about teaching and coaching basketball. John was devoted to helping his students and players achieve success and become the best people they could beGrateful for having shared his life are his twin sister, Gretchen Hofland and her husband Rod, Apple Valley, MN; nieces and nephews; many grand nieces and nephews; John’s many dear friends in Sioux Falls who were truly extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Keith Odney, and sister-in-law Virginia Odney
Howard W. Paulson, Social Studies
Howard, longtime Sioux Falls attorney, died Thursday, February 11, 2021, at Sanford USD Medical Center. He was 84. Howard was born October 20, 1936, in Volga, South Dakota, to Hans and Petra (Olson) Paulson. He grew up and attended school there, graduating with the Volga High School class of 1954. Howard then attended SDSC graduating with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1958. While student teaching at Watertown High School, Howard met Lou Ann Tesch who was working at the school. They were married at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church of Watertown on June 10, 1962. , Howard and Lou Ann moved to Sioux Falls where Howard began teaching at Washington High School. In 1967 Howard began teaching history at Sioux Falls College. . In 1974 Howard returned to school, this time to earn a law degree, and began practicing with the Sioux Falls firm, Christopherson, Bailin and Anderson in 1978. Howard was the son of Norwegian immigrants and was proud of his Norwegian heritage. From 1985 to 2009 Howard served the Norwegian government as Consul for the State of South Dakota. Howard is survived by his wife of 58 years, Lou Ann, four children, Ruth Mendyk and her husband, Stephen; Beth Monson; Wayne and his wife, Michelle; and Michael and his wife, Veronica.
Jan Pilcher, English
Jan78, who died August 1 after an almost 3 year battle with cancer. She was born in Pierre, S.D. on February 21, 1944. Janice taught English in the Sioux Falls school district for more than 30 years. She spent her retirement years pursuing her passion for interior design and working for Ethan Allen, was an avid gardener, and will be remembered for the beautiful spaces she created.
She is predeceased by her husband Jim Pilcher; her father Tasker Bliss; her mother Ermal Bliss; and her brother Tom Bliss. She is survived by her son Kirby Pilcher; his wife Olivia Arnone; and two grandsons; her sister Dianne Bliss-Kutz; her brother-in-law Bob Kutz; her brother Ron Bliss; her sister-in-law Donna Pilcher;and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Marianne Riedel, Special Education
Marianne, age 59, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on October 11, 2017. Marianne Whitcomb was born December 26, 1957. She graduated from Washington High School and Augustana College, where she majored in Elementary and Special Education. Marianne earned her Masters of Reading Education from the University of Sioux Falls. She dedicated her career to students with special needs for 32 years before her retirement in 2011. Marianne married Brian Riedel in 1985. She was an animal lover and had a lifelong passion for Arabian horses. After retirement, Marianne spent many happy days blazing new trails with her horse, Axxl Rose. Marianne is survived by husband Brian; daughter Leah Janssen (Mitch), granddaughter McKenna Janssen; son Dustin (girlfriend Rachael Larson and daughter Berkley). She is also survived by her mother Donna; siblings Karen, Jim (Deb), Ellen Cortes (Dan); and many nieces and nephews. Marianne was recently preceded in death by her father, Dean Whitcomb.
Bernice Rikansrud, English/Journalism
Brnice, 99, of Sioux Falls, SD, died on Saturday February 22, 2014 Bernice Hokenstad Rikansrud was born with a bang on the 4th of July on the family farm nine miles northeast of Canton, SD to Omar and Edna (Shulson) Hokenstad. Bernice was the youngest of five children. She was very proud of her Norwegian heritage and loved to say she was 100% Norwegian. All four of her grandparents came to South Dakota across the sea from Norway. At Canton High School she was homecoming queen and at Augustana College she was an elected candidate for queen. She graduated from Augustana with a major in English and minors in French and music. Her first teaching job was in Colton, SD where she also served as principal for a year. She later took a teaching position at Washington High School in Sioux Falls teaching English, journalism, and French. She enjoyed being advisor for the Orange and Black school newspaper. Bernice spent two summers in the Chicago area attending Northwestern University and received her master's degree (1942) in the teaching of English. In 1946, Bernice married Lloyd O. Rikansrud after he was discharged from the Army. She continued to teach and one rewarding experience was teaching citizenship and English classes to displaced persons' immigrating from Europe after WWII. Bernice quit teaching to start a family and work with the family business, Rikansrud-Johnson Implement Company. Bernice maintained her interest in education and ran for the Sioux Falls Board of Education. She had four opponents and in 1962 won every precinct in the city. She was one of the first women elected to the school board. During her 5-year term, Robert Frost Elementary, Lincoln High School, and the Instructional Planning Center were built. Grateful for having shared her life are her two daughters: Kristi and husband Bruce Wallin of Sioux Falls, and Karla and partner Diane Wild of Boulder, CO; three grandchildren Rebecca (Morgan) Kappenman, Nikki (Dave) Sunderland, Boe (Mandy) Nankivel; four great-grandchildren Cole & Carson Kappenman, Boe Sunderland, Asher Nankivel; Bernice was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and four siblings. Bernice was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and siblings Oliver, Thelma, Merl, and Harold. * Note: Bernice attended the 2010 oldest staff/graduate reunion at the Pavilion.
Benjamin Rossow, Principal/German
age 74, 1905-1980. Ben was born in Herried, SD. He married Ruth Ericson in 1933. He was employed by the Sioux Falls School District for 40 years, being principal at WHS from 1958-1971. Colonel Rossow served in the 90 Division during WW2. “Gentle Ben” as he was affectionately called by his teaching staff, was a war hero who earned the Bronze Star and three Silver Stars for combat gallantry, plus a Purple Heart . He was one of a handful of 90th Division officers who survived from D-Day to the war’s end, where he received a battleground promotion. He was featured in the book, “War from the Ground Up”.
An example of his bravery:
His first Silver Star stemmed from “action from 6 to 16 December 1944 in the vicinity of Pachten, Germany. After crossing the Saar River with the initial wave of assault forces, Lieutenant Colonel Rossow, Battalion commander, led his troops in a determined attack against the startled enemy and established a bridgehead 2,000 yards inland. When the enemy initiated a series of fierce counterattacks…Rossow, at risk of his life, subjected himself to constant intense artillery, mortar and small arms fire while contacting forward elements to insure a coordinated effort. His courageous leadership inspired his forces to repel the attack and secure the bridgehead.”
One long time staff member of WHS stated, “In the years Ben was my principal, there never was a single negative comment about him from staff”. At the time of his death, he was survived by his widow, three daughters (Lois Gellerman, Margaret Trankle and Eileen Rossow; plus four brothers, Alfred, John, Earnest, and Paul.
Dorothy Jane Godfrey Shultz English/French
Dorothy, daughter of Arthur Eugene Godfrey and Jennie Martin Godfrey, was born on August 6, 1913, in Sioux Falls. Dorothy died Wednesday, August 13, 2014, one week after her 101st birthday.
She is survived by three children: Suzanne (Steve) Carlson of Evanston, IL, Mary (Navin) Sinha of Somerset, NJ, and Jeff (Kellie) Shultz of Sioux Falls. She also is survived by eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Her husband, John, her third daughter, Sally, as well as Sally’s husband Keith Zuelke, pre-deceased Dorothy.
After Dorothy’s graduation from Northwestern University in 1935, she returned to Sioux Falls and taught French and English at Washington High School. In 1938, she married John Shultz, an attorney at Bailey, Vorhees, Woods, and Fuller, the predecessor of Woods, Fuller, Shultz and Smith.
Dorothy was a member of P.E.O. Chapter AQ for 70 years, during which time she served as its President in 1969. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Sioux Falls chapter of United Way. During her years of community service, Dorothy served as treasurer for RISE, (River Improvement Society.) In the 1970s she founded FISH, a group of Christian people who volunteered their ser vices to help those in need on a person-to-person basis.In recognition of her community activities, she received the YWCA’sHumanitarian and Community Service Award.
Dorothy devoted much of her time, energy and talent to the Civic Fine Arts Center, now the Visual Arts Center. She is best known there as a co-founder of the Sioux Falls Sidewalk Arts Festival, also serving as its chairperson in 1979 and co-chairperson in 1980. In 2013, she received the Visual Arts Center’s Emeritus Award in recognition of her long-term commitment to the arts.
Ray Shermoe- Art
Ray, longtime resident of Sioux Falls died July 29, 2012, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, two months shy of his 90th birthday.Mr. Shermoe was a World War II veteran. He attended Augustana College, and following graduation accepted a position as head of the Language and Drama Department at Washington High School. In 1960 he joined the incorporators of the Civic Fine Arts Center and two years later became its permanent Director.During his tenure, The Arts Center became the hub of arts activity for the surrounding five-state region and its singular reputation attracted even worldwide visitors. Monthly exhibits acquainted the local arts public with many nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. Workshops and study groups encouraged talented hobbyists to become serious artists with renowned reputations of their own.Mr. Shermoe initiated the Sidewalk Arts Sale as well as a rental program for the Art Center's artists. Quarterly classes for children and studio opportunities for adults were regular offerings. During his watch the Arts Center at its Carnegie Building location became a National Historic Landmark and attained status as a Museum.After his retirement from the Arts Center he joined the local Salvation Army Social Services as a volunteer then as assistant director, where he remained until he was past 80 years old. He later moved to Lansing, Michigan to be close to family.
Len Tabor- Math
Len graduated from Washington High in 1926 and Augustana in 1930. He received his master of arts degree from USD. For most of his career, he taught mathematics at WHS. He was assistant director of the Sioux Falls Recreation Department, and was district director of the Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Minneapolis. He was past president of the Sioux Falls Teachers Federal Credit Union. During WWII, he worked in Omaha making bombers. At the time of his death, his survivors were; one son, Leonard G. Tabor II, two step-daughters, Sherry Monrad and Trish Hermanson, plus one sister, Loraine Hazard, and six grandchildren.
Doug Tschetter Math/Coach
Passed away on Friday, December 2nd, 2022, at Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He was 80 years old. Doug was born on April 15th, 1942, as the oldest child of Jacob and Selma in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He attended Franklin Elementary, Whittier Junior High and Washington High School where he graduated in 1960. Following high school Doug attended South Dakota State University where he obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education while playing football for the Jackrabbits. On August 14th,1965 Doug was united in marriage with Bonnie Waye in Elbow Lake, MN. Doug taught physical education at Axtell Park Junior High, and math at Washington High School and Roosevelt High School. Doug held many positions over the years, including coaching football, volleyball and track at Washington and Roosevelt High Schools. He was part of the coaching staff that started the first girls’ volleyball team at Washington High School in the 1980’s He is survived by his wife, Bonnie (of 57 years), sons Grant (Ann), Garth (Kasey), and five grandchildren (Allison, Will, Gabe, Henry, Pete) and sister Sandy Langfeldt. He is preceded in death by brother, Gerald, and his parents Jacob and Selma (Stolley)
Barb White- Business Education
Barb, 95, retired business teacher and lifelong resident of Sioux Falls passed away on Friday, October 14, 2016 at Dougherty Hospice in Sioux Falls, SD. Barb was a member of the WHS Historical Committee. Barbara Ellen Mullen, the only child of Edward and Grace (Patterson) Mullen, was born May 27, 1921. She graduated from Washington High School, received her BA from Grinnell College and MA from the University of South Dakota. Additional graduate work was completed at the Universities of Minnesota, Northwestern, and Texas. After college, she taught in Iowa, Minnesota, and Texas. Barbara taught in Flandreau High School for seven years, prior to her thirty year teaching career at Washington High School. In addition to teaching, she was faculty chairman of the Coronation Committee for Orange Letter Day and assisted the choral director with productions for the public. After retirement, she began a second career…volunteering. She was appointed to the Sioux Falls Board of Preservation by Mayor Hanson; served in the cancer and hospice units of Avera McKennan. When the Washington Pavilion opened, she returned there to usher, greet, and later be a member of the Alumni Hall Board. These activities were given special recognition by the Minnehaha Sertoma Club, as well as, at Avera and the Pavilion. Survivors include her cousins, Tom Lokken, Flandreau, SD, Vivian Radi, West Fargo, ND, and John Regan, Browerville, MN.
Lou Menzel- Assistant Principal
Lou was 67. (1921-1988.) He was born in Faith and graduated from SD State. Lou served in the Air Force in WW2. In 1948 he married Ruby LysteHe taught at Axtell JH after leaving WHS. He was a former principal at Arlington and superintendent at Parker. He is survived by his wife, one son, Richard ‘andthree daughters; Linda Varner, Sandi Mangan, and Cindy. Plus, one brother, Fred and one sister, Flora Lee.
George Willis- Chemistry
George Henderson Willis, age 88, Sioux Falls, South Dakota passed away on April 2, 2015 of natural causes at his home with his wife by his side. Born in 1927 in Mitchell, South Dakota, to George and Agnes Higgins Willis, he was the eldest of five children.
George was married to Florence Wermers in Dimock, SD in 1950, and was the father of five children. He enlisted in the Army in 1945 and served in Japan in the occupation following World War II. Upon his return, he attended Dakota Wesleyan University. Later, he received his Master's Degree in chemistry from the University of South Dakota.
George had a love of teaching and worked for 33 years at Washington High School in Sioux Falls. George was noted for his re-naming of students and staff. Names students never forgot. He also sold insurance for and served on the Board of Directors of the Modern Woodmen of America. In his retirement, he was instrumental in the founding of the chemistry department of Southeast Technical Institute. He was a member of the Toastmasters, the Knights of Columbus, fourth degree, and the Legion of Mary. He was also an active member of Christ the King parish for many years.
He also had a love of baseball and played shortstop many years for both Ethan and Dimock in the Sunshine League.
He is survived by his wife, Florence; sister, Dorothy Kaiser of Lincoln, NE; five children, Steven and Ann Willis, Jody Willis, Nancy and Steve McLaughlin, Kathryn and Mark Swanson all of whom live in Sioux Falls, and Teresa Willis of Oletha, KS; fourteen grandchildren; one great-grandson; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents and three brothers.
Helen Wilson, daughter of William and Hattie (Laird) Schmidt, passed away peacefully Friday afternoon, December 7th at Dow Rummel Village in Sioux Falls. Helen was born in Lewistown, Montana on February 6, 1916. She grew up in Sioux Falls, graduating from Washington High School in 1934, and achieved her Bachelor of Science degree from South Dakota State in 1938. Helen married Norman W. (Woody) Wilson June 14, 1941 in Sioux Falls.
Helen began teaching when women could not secure a position if there was a man in competition for the job. Nor could a married woman easily get a job if her husband was employed. Then, World War II began, and many of the men were called into military duty. So suddenly she gained her opportunity to begin her career as a science and home economics teacher. Helen taught just briefly after her marriage, when she took a hiatus from teaching to rear her family. She returned to teaching, and continued teaching science and home economics at Washington High School until retirement. Helen loved to sew, decorate, and garden. Even in recent years former students have sought out Helen to thank her for the inspiration and confidence she gave them through her teaching, mentoring and friendship. In 2011 she was thrilled to be honored by the Institute of Design & Technology of South Dakota, which established a scholarship in her name. . Helen and Woody moved to independent living at Dow Rummel Village in their late 80’s. After her beloved Woody passed away in 2005, In 2006 Helen was featured in Sioux Falls Women magazine. Their article highlighted her remarkable family and professional journey in Sioux Falls, and captured her beauty, intelligence and spirit. People especially remember their wonderful photo sequence showing her as a loving matriarch of four generations of Sioux Falls women.
Helen was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Marvin, and her beloved Woody. She is survived by her children and their spouses, Tom and Bonnie Wilson Brown, and Bob and Mary (Timmins) Wilson. She is also survived by four grandchildren, Rob (Camy) Wilson, Steve (Lauri) Wilson, Tommy (Heather) Brown, and Terri (Rick) Jensen. She loved and mentored ten great-grandchildren: Ben, Jack, and Bridget Wilson, Josh, Cole, and Claudia Wilson, Tommy and Katie Jensen, and Jake and Elle Brown.
(75 of Sioux Falls, SD, passed away Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
Gloria Jean was born September 6, 1945 to Floyd and Roberta (McKittrick) Anderson in Canton, South Dakota. She graduated from Canton High School in 1963. Gloria received her undergrad from DSU and Master’s in Counseling from SDSU. She worked as a high school counselor for Laverne High School, Washington High School (downtown Sioux Falls) and at Roosevelt High School. Gloria retired in 2006.
Grateful for having shared her life are her husband of 26 years, Marvin Schulz of Sioux Falls; siblings, Ronald (Debbie) Anderson of Sioux Falls, Leon (Susan) Anderson of Canton, SD, Leola (Bob) Klosterbuer of Rock Rapids, IA, and Richard (
Rosalie Ann Ruth (Johnson) Houk, 1936-2023, Math and Phys Ed
Rosalie was born in Sinai, South Dakota on December 9th, 1936, to her parents Norman and Cordelia "Mimi" (Soward) Johnson. She was a member of the Brookings High School class of 1955 and she graduated from South Dakota State University in 1959. Beautiful inside and out, Rosalie was crowned "Queen" at several events both in High School and College. Rosalie followed in her parents' footsteps by becoming a teacher. Better known as the "Cartwheel Lady," Rosalie taught math and physical education at Washington High School where she also directed synchronized swimming, coached gymnastics, and won countless arm-wrestling matches against the football team. She was adored by her students.
. She was incredibly skilled, and her accomplishments are countless, she was frequently featured in local newspapers. Once a pilot, one of Rosalie's favorite stories to tell was when she flew a plane to meet Jim for a date, got lost, and had to follow the section lines of the farmland in South Dakota to find her way back. As a member of the "High-Jumping Educators," Rosalie would travel around the state with fellow teachers performing tumbling skills and stunts on trampolines. She owned her own custom carpet business and was a talented seamstress Musically talented, Rosalie played the piano and violin with her family and led the folk band in her Lutheran church. Rosalie was an all-city division ping pong champion, and a gymnastics competitor,
Most importantly, Rosalie taught her family how to live a life full of excitement, joy, and generosity. Rosalie loved her family more than anything and was always celebrating and cheering them on. She grew up with her two, beloved siblings, Camilla (Johnson) Payne and Arnold Johnson. Rosalie married her sweetheart, Jim Houk, on June 14, 1963, and spent a beautiful 60 years married to him. Together, they raised three children, Lynne Riddle, Elizabeth "Beth" Ross, and Lori Junso; their nine grandchildren, Justin, Roxanne, Austin, Jesse, Rachel, Allyson, Kaitlyn, Briana, and Mallory; and four great-grandchildren.
Later Additions (Starting 11-23)
Jane E. Morey- Math/computers
Jane , 56, passed away March 3, 2004 after a long, courageous battle with cancer. She was an inspiration to students with her courage and determination under terrible medical stress. She was survived, at the time, by her husband, Darrold (1944-2021), son Shane, (Angie), grandson Ryan, and daughter, Sheri Johnson; mother Dakota Bell Loers, sister Della McLaughlin, and all her colleagues at Washington High School. She was preceded in death by her father Willard Loers. The family wants to thank friends for constant support through the past four years of Jane’s fight with cancer