James Elmer Kortesmaki

February 15, 1943 ~ July 31, 2021

James E. Kortesmaki, 78, Sioux Falls, SD, died Saturday, July 31, 2021, at his home.

Memorial Services will be 11:30am, Friday, August 6, 2021, at Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, SD, with visitation beginning at 10:30am.  Burial will be at Racine, WI, later on.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials be made to Day Break (Adult Day Services) at The Center for Active Generations or Hospice Care at Avera Health in his memory.

James Elmer Kortesmaki was born February 15, 1943, in Mount Clements, MI, with a twin brother, John, to John and Tyne (Johnson) Kortesmaki, who were of Finish ancestry. He grew up in Superior, WI, and attended Vo-tech school for woodworking. He moved to Racine, WI, and married Phyllis Chase. To this union one child was born, Amy. He worked in the carpentry industry and in construction as a “finish carpenter.” Jim retired at the age of 58 and took up the hobby of wood carving. He moved to South Dakota in 2014 to be closer to his daughter, Amy, and her family.

Jim had many nicknames, because of his middle name Elmer, he was known as “Elm Tree,” which was later shortened to “Tree.” He was onery, but the more disgruntled he seemed, the more that you knew you were loved. One of his dear friends recently described Jim in this way, “Jim may have been a grump, but what a great grumpy friend. I did give it back to him, that’s why we were such good friends, little snicker and laugh. Such a friend. I had many great times at the store, him teaching classes. Jim would complain, but I knew that he would love it because that is all that he would talk about.”

He was a perfectionist, especially in his wood carvings. If one portion was flawed, he would discard the piece and start over completely. Many of his works have been sold as art treasures because of their profound beauty. One of his favorite lines was, “Well, you gotta have a sense of humor.”

James is survived by his four children, Lee (Holly) Draper, Beach Park, IL, Lynne Beers, Slayton, MN, Dale Kortesmaki, Wisconsin, and Amy (Steve) Willison, Sioux Falls; grandchildren, Dallas, Jeannie (Ryan), Shane, Amber (Bob), Zakary, Olivia, James (Kaylee), Joanna (Jacob), Julie (Nathanial), Abigail, David, Peter, Daniel, and Rebekah; multiple great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and all of his carving buddies.

James was preceded in death by his parents, John and Tyne (Johnson) Kortesmaki; siblings, a twin brother, John, Judy, Joanie, Bertha, and Saundra.

John Marius Nelson

August 24, 1942 ~ July 22, 2021

John M. Nelson 78, Sioux Falls, ran out of bonus time on July 22, 2021, at Ava’s House, in Sioux Falls. He would tell you that his demise was scheduled for April 1974, however, kidney dialysis and a kidney transplant from his sister, Kris, postponed that date. John liked to think that he appreciated every minute of that bonus time.

Visitation with family present will begin at 9:30am. Funeral services will begin at 10:30am at First Lutheran Church (327 S Dakota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104), in the Chapel on Tuesday, August 3, 2021.

John Marius Nelson was born on August 24, 1942, to Kermit and Bernice (Carlson) Nelson in Canton, SD. His family moved to Sioux Falls, SD, where he graduated from Washington High School in 1960.

John married his wife, of 56 years, Bonnie Hess, in 1965. They moved to Minneapolis, MN. He honorably served in the US Army as a Medical Laboratory Specialist from 1966 to 1969. After his service, he and Bonnie moved back to Sioux Falls, where he started his career with the City of Sioux Falls in the Health Department. After 37 years serving the city of Sioux Falls, John retired as the Public Health Department Laboratory Supervisor.

John was a lifelong learner. He graduated with his Bachelor of Science from Augustana College, in 1971, and later received his Master of Science degree from the University of South Dakota, in 2005. In retirement, he enjoyed taking many courses thru OLLI.

John was active with the American Public Health Association, the South Dakota Public Health Association, and the National Kidney Foundation of South Dakota.

John enjoyed science, art, cycling, photography, listening to public radio, writing poetry and short stories, traveling, music, and U-Conn Women’s Basketball.  He also loved time with friends and sharing a good cup of coffee, a glass of wine, or a favorite German Beer.  John was a passionate supporter of South Dakota Friends of Traditional Music. His grandson, James, held a special place in his heart.

He is survived by his wife Bonnie, daughter Sara (Son-in-law John), grandson James and sisters Nancy Nelson and Kris (Pat) Roberts.

John was preceded in death by his parents, sister Anne and his two beloved dogs Alfie and Morgan.

“What is the meaning of life?” is the response John would often have when asked if he had any questions.  If asked, he’d say, “Enjoy it.  Every day is a gift to be savored and celebrated,” or simply “Carpe Diem.”

Mary Jo Halverson

July 14, 1956 ~ July 23, 2021

Mary Jo Halverson, 65, of Scotland, SD ran through the gates of Heaven on July 23, 2021 while at Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, SD.

    A Memorial Celebration of Mary Jo’s life will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, August 7, 2021, at Scotland Community Church in Scotland, SD. Visitation will begin at 10:00 am. Please join us for a meal with sharing of memories and fellowship immediately following the memorial service.

    Mary Jo Hoopes was born on July 14, 1956, to Gordon & Lorraine (Sathe) Hoopes in Yankton, SD. She was the youngest of four girls. Mary Jo and her three sisters were raised by Lorraine Hoopes and step-mother Joyce ‘Jo’ (Heick) Hoopes along with their father Gordon.

    Although Mary Jo was born after the polio vaccine was developed, she was too young to receive it and ultimately became infected around the age of one – her three sisters were all old enough to receive the vaccine and were not affected. Soon after being diagnosed with polio, Mary Jo experienced breathing difficulties and was put into an iron lung for 6 months. While she does not have memories of this time, Mary Jo spoke of her mother saying the experience left her feeling heartbroken, unable to hold her baby girl.  Polio affects the nervous system and, among other things, left Mary Jo without the use of her left leg.  She needed numerous surgeries throughout her childhood and into her youth. Ultimately, her left leg grew to be three inches shorter than her right leg and surgeons fused her shorter leg at the knee to help her maintain some mobility.

    At the age of 5, Mary Jo shared the stage at a March of Dimes fundraiser with Yankton’s mayor. The newspaper caption referred to her as, “Yankton County’s Polio Girl” – reflecting on the event, she said she felt like a movie star. Later in life, Mary Jo would achieve notoriety once again as Ms. Wheelchair South Dakota. Mary Jo attended Yankton High School where she graduated in 1974. She proudly attended the University of South Dakota-Springfield, studying accounting, until it closed in 1975.

    The family was the center of Mary Jo’s life. She was a strong, loving mother to five sons. Mary Jo would work numerous jobs throughout her life to provide for her wild bunch as a single mother of five. Looking back, she would often remark, “we didn’t have a lot, but what we did have, we shared”. Later in life, Mary Jo welcomed, with loving arms, two step-daughters and one step-son with Jeff Comstock.

    Mary Jo enjoyed her job as a bookkeeper for The Treasure Chest. She also enjoyed spending time in the sun, cruising on her Hoveround wheelchair with grandkids, Bible study, attending anything the kids or grandkids were doing, crossword puzzles, holiday gatherings, camping, Jeopardy!, swimming, praising God, and loving every single person around her – she always made sure you knew how much she loved you.

    Mary Jo is survived by the love of her life, Jeff Comstock (Scotland, SD); children, Elvis McKee, Chamberlain, SD, Steve (Heather) Henry, Scotland, SD, Doug (Robin) Henry, Tea, SD, Jill (Josh) Goehring Delmont, SD, Casey (Amanda) Comstock, Bennington, NE, Sean (Jamie) Halverson, Council Bluffs, IA, Sam Halverson, Sioux Falls, SD, Danielle (Jed) Ogren, Marshall, MN; 24 grandchildren; 1 great grandchild (due August 2021); sisters, Linda (Curt) Adrian, Parker, SD, Cindy Voichoskie, Norfolk, NE, and Terry (Mark) Daggett, Tea, SD; 4 uncles; 2 aunts; 10 cousins; 3 nephews; 5 nieces; and countless friends.

    She was preceded in death by her parents, Gordon and Lorraine Hoopes, and stepmother, Joyce Hoopes.

Robert Wayne Mowery

May 14, 1971 – July 19, 2021

Robert W. Mowery, 50, Sioux Falls, died Monday, July 19, 2021, at his home. 

Robert was born on May 14, 1971, to Hugh V. Mowery and Donna R. (Health) Mowery in Lakenheath, England. He enjoyed helping people and had a generous heart. Rob loved his mom’s homemade meals when visiting her. He had a heart of gold and will be missed but never forgotten.

Rob is survived by his mother, Donna Mohr, Sioux Falls; father, Hugh V. Mowery, Sacramento, CA; three sisters, Deborah Mowery, Sioux Falls, Susan Mowery, Sioux Falls, and Donna (Dan) Mowery-Meerdink, Hull, IA; nieces and nephews, Josh, Brent, Ava, Shane, Nolan, Kara, and Logan.

Rob is preceded in death by his nephew, Ryan Meerdink.

Randall Leonard Eitreim

October 29, 1955 ~ July 19, 2021

Randall “Randy” L. Eitreim passed away peacefully on July 19, 2021, surrounded by his family.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Cards can be sent to The Eitreim Family c/o Heartland Funeral Home; PO Box 451, Brandon, SD, 57005.

Randy Leonard Eitreim was born on October 29, 1955, to Donald and Susan (Iverson) Eitreim and spent his childhood in Brandon, SD, with his three younger brothers. After high school, he joined the United States Air Force and spent time overseas. On April 10th, 1981, he was united in marriage to Sylvia Eitreim (Peters) and was blessed with two daughters, Samantha and Traci.

Randy enjoyed all things outdoors, anything from camping, fishing, grilling, and fireworks on the Fourth of July. He loved playing Kismet as a family, working in the garage, and sitting on his porch with his coffee. Randy was a wonderful father, son, brother, and friend. He will be forever missed by so many.

Grateful for having shared his life are his two daughters, Samantha (fiancé Josh Rokusek) and Traci Eitreim; brothers, Jeff (Pam) Eitreim, and Loren Eitreim; step-mother, Marlene Eitreim; nephews, Ben Eitreim, Tom (Kami) Eitreim, and Danny Eitreim; a special family friend, Pam Evenson; and many extended family and friends.

Randy is preceded in death by his father, Don Eitreim; mother, Susan Eitreim; and brother, Jon Eitreim.

Myron James Olson

October 11, 1960 ~ July 11, 2021

Myron Olson, 60, Sioux Falls, died Sunday, July 11, 2021, unexpectedly at his home.

Visitation with family will be 1-3pm, Saturday, July 24, 2021, at Heartland Funeral Home, with a time of sharing at 2:30pm. A private burial is scheduled for Hills of Rest Cemetery, Sioux Falls, at a later date.

Myron James Olson was born in Sioux Falls, SD on October 11, 1960, to parents Kenneth M. and Alice I. (Bensen) Olson. Waiting at home, was best friend and big brother, Milo.  Sioux Falls was home to Myron his entire life.  Being a history buff, he enjoyed expanding his knowledge of the area and its unique history. Myron liked to travel but only for a short time, he was always ready to get back home. In the late 1990’s, he and his parents traveled to Norway.  During their trip, they enjoyed the culture, history, and met many close family members.

He graduated from Lincoln High School with the class of 1979. Myron started working while still in high school. One of his very first jobs was a fry cook at Ember’s, where he worked with his three best, lifetime friends and future bride. He also worked for Sioux Steel and Hutchinson Technology, before beginning his locksmith career. It was while working for Fred the Fixer, Bob’s Lock and Key, Myron learned his love for locksmithing. Myron owned his own mobile locksmith business, Myron’s Mobile, for over 20 years.

On February 2, 1980, Myron married Sandra Heesch at United Church of Christ in Garretson, SD. Together they raised two sons, Chris (Kristen) Olson, Nashville, TN, and Chad (Margaret) Olson, Sioux Falls, SD.  Family was always very important to Myron.  His sons were his pride and joy.  He was always quick to share their successes and only wanted the very best for them. During the last several years, his constant companion was his dog, Bear. 

Myron will be deeply missed by two sons, Chris Olson, Nashville, TN, and Chad (Margaret) Olson, Sioux Falls; brother, Milo (Ellie) Olson, Sioux Falls; grandchildren, Grace, Lauren, Leah, Audrey, and Westin; niece, Stacy (Eric) Gorman, Sioux Falls, and nephew, Mark Olson, Sioux Falls.

Myron was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Alice (Benson) Olson; and one infant sister, Lola.

Daniel “Dan the Man” Paul Larson

May 7, 1965 ~ July 13, 2021

Dan P. Larson, 56, Valley Springs, died Tuesday, July 13, 2021, at Ava’s House, in Sioux Falls, after a long battle with cancer.

Visitation with family present will be 4-6:30 pm, Friday, July 16, 2021, at the Brandon Assembly of God Church with Memorial Services beginning at 6:30 pm.  The funeral service for Dan will be Live- Streamed at 6:30 pm to this site: http://brandonvalley.online.church. A reception will be held immediately following a procession from the church to the Red Rock Bar and Grill. The family requests that guests attending wear Harley Davidson gear or firefighter apparel. They also request that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Valley Springs Fire Department in Dan’s memory.

Daniel Paul Larson was born on May 7, 1965, to Larry and Karen (Hofstad) Larson, in Sioux Falls. He was raised in the Brandon Valley area, attending Valley Springs Elementary, and graduated from Brandon Valley High School. He attended Central Baptist Church in Sioux Falls while growing up and was active in their youth group playing church league softball and volleyball. Dan was a very mechanical person. He could fix anything. After graduating he worked for Bill’s Amoco in Sioux Falls, Exhaust Pros, Automotive Brake and Exhaust, and then in 2015, started at Blaine’s Service in Brandon. Dan also was an active volunteer with the Valley Springs Fire Department since 2007. On September 15, 1990, Dan married Jenny Hallauer in Sioux Falls. They were blessed with two boys, Remington and Riley.

Dan’s passions in life included his family, the fire department, cars, and motorcycles. Dan was a very gifted mechanic and was always willing to help anyone out. Jenny referred to him as her “MacGyver.” If you needed to find Dan after work, the first place you checked was his shop. He could be found there even at 2:30 in the morning working on, repairing a vehicle. Dan was a very generous person who would befriend anyone. He made time for everybody and made them feel like they were the most important person in the world. Dan was a practical joker and a happy-go-lucky guy, always having a smile on his face. One of his well-known pranks was taking new and unsuspecting friends down Spook Road in the pitch black of night, with the lights off, while driving at a high rate of speed. He loved taking trips with his motorcycle buddies. Dan enjoyed leaving his mark on the streets with his Dodge Dart burnouts!

Even in the last days of his fight with cancer, Dan was optimistic and positive, while rarely missing a day of work. In all of his humility, Dan had a hard time accepting the help of others and was overwhelmed by all of the generosity of others.

Dan will be deeply missed by his wife of 30 years, Jenny, Valley Springs; two sons, Remington and Riley, Valley Springs; his parents, Larry and Karen Larson, Brandon; three siblings, Tracy (Jon) South, Brandon, Steve (Jeannie) Larson, New Hall, CA, and Andrea (Tom) McDonald, Sioux Falls; sisters and brother-in-law, Julie (Mike) Kelly, Jodi (Shane) Mulroy, Valley Springs, Jolene Hallauer, Sioux Falls, Jerod (fiancée Christine) Hallauer, Sioux Falls; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Wayne Clarence Houg

April 14, 1955 ~ July 12, 2021

Wayne Houg, 66 Brandon, died Monday, July 12, 2021, At the Sioux Falls, VA Hospital, in Sioux Falls, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Inurnment at the SD State Veteran’s Cemetery will be held at 1pm, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, will Full Military Honors.

Michael Jeremy Van Engen

September 20, 1976 ~ July 8, 2021

Michael Jeremy Van Engen, 44, Valley Springs, died Thursday, July 8, 2021, at his home surrounded by his family.  

Private services were held.  Michael will be inurned at Pleasant View Cemetery in Valley Springs.

Michael Jeremy Van Engen was born September 20, 1976, to Robert and Joan (Sjaarda) Van Engen.  He spent his childhood years in Sioux Center, IA, and Corona, CA, before moving to Redmond, WA.  He attended Bellevue Christian School in Bellevue, WA.  He later returned to the Midwest and attended Northwest Iowa Community College and earned a degree in Information Technology.

He was the father of two children, Cedar and Victoria Van Engen of Everett, WA.

Michael enjoyed spending time with his family, baking, cooking and enjoying the outdoors.  Over the years, he worked at various locations and volunteered at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.

Michael will be deeply missed by his children, Cedar Van Engen, Everett, WA, and Victoria Van Engen, Everett, WA; his parents, Robert and Joan Van Engen; his siblings, Jered (Jill) Van Engen, Marion, IA, and Robbi (Jake) Bishop, Kearney, MO; his nieces and nephews, Tyler Sharkey, Spencer Hutchinson, Eli Van Engen, Kaitlyn Bishop and Brooklyn Bishop; and many uncles, aunts and cousins.

He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Harvey and Nell Van Engen, and Clarence and Mina Sjaarda; uncles, Floyd Van Engen, and Brian Van Engen; and aunt, Brenda Van Engen.

Alan Scott Lundy

November 14, 1950 ~ July 7, 2021

Alan Scott Lundy, 70, of Vermillion, passed away on July 7, 2021, after a slow battle with multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and dementia.

Visitation will be 11:30, July 13 2021, at Heartland Funeral Home in Brandon. Funeral Services will begin at 1PM.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Friends of South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

Alan was born on November 14, 1950, to Andrew Mandus and Edna Joy (Searles) Lundy in Sioux Falls. As a child, he lived with his family in Gettysburg, Pierre, Powers, OR, and Rapid City, spending many summers in Mount Vernon and Sioux Falls. After graduating from Rapid City High School in 1968, he went on to study at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and the University of South Dakota.

After a few years of college, a summer spent with the George McGovern presidential campaign, some odd jobs at a grocery store he attempted to unionize, a taconite mine in Silver Bay, MN, and as a taxi cab driver, Alan began a career in radio news. He worked at radio stations in Sioux City, Iowa, Yankton, and Brookings before reaching the pinnacle of his career as a news producer for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. He enjoyed many years of bringing the news of the state government to the people of South Dakota. He had the opportunity to interview former Vice President Dan Quayle and several US Senators. He also enjoyed a conflict or two with former governor Bill Janklow. He later worked for newspapers and radio stations in Pierre, Mitchell, Yankton, Brookings, and Madison.

Alan was also a passionate amateur (ham) radio operator for over 50 years. He enjoyed the hobby, opportunities for community service, and many friendships.

In 1979, he met Laurel Mouw. They married in 1980 and had one child, David.

Alan lost both of his parents at a young age but had a variety of parent figures throughout his life including his brothers, Laurel-his wife of 18 years, many good friends, the church family at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brookings and the community of Madison.

He is survived by his son, David, and daughter-in-law, Katie, and their children, Awstyn and Cohen, of Sioux Falls; a brother, Paul Lundy, of Ames, IA, and his family; plus many friends and two grand-puppies, Edna Mode and Steven Mandus.

Alan was preceded in death by his parents; stepmother, Annamae Riff Lundy; and his brother, Richard.

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