Melvin Droppers

Melvin Droppers, age 89, of Yankton, South Dakota, died Friday, September 21, 2012 at Avera Yankton Care Center in Yankton.

Memorial services are 10:30 AM, on Tuesday, September 25, 2012, at First United Methodist Church in Yankton with Reverend Ron Johnson officiating. Burial will be in the Garden of Memories Cemetery with military honors by the Ernest-Bowyer VFW Post No. 791. The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 8:00 PM, on Monday, at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton with a prayer service at 7:00 PM.

Honorary pallbearers are his grandchildren.

Melvin was born June 6, 1923 in Armour, South Dakota to Henry and Henrietta (Ligtenberg) Droppers. When Melvin was a young boy, the family moved to Hand County, SD. He graduated from Miller High School in Miller, SD and then attended one year of business college in Rapid City, SD. Melvin then joined the United States Navy. He served during World War II in the Pacific Theater aboard the USS Robert K. Huntington destroyer. They escorted the officials to the peace treaty signing in Japan. After his discharge, Melvin taught country school for one year and then graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD with his degree in education.

On November 22, 1950, Melvin married Helen Jean Henthorne in Corsica, SD. Melvin’s first teaching position was in Fulton, SD and then in Ethan, SD. He received a Master’s Degree from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD and then became the school administrator at Corsica, Sully Buttes, and Geddes, SD. In 1977, he and Jean moved to Rapid City where Melvin worked at the South Dakota Furniture Mart for 7 years. He returned to his career as a school administrator at Sioux Falls Christian High School and then Christian Center Elementary School, retiring in 1994. In 2005, they moved to Yankton.

Melvin and Jean were foster parents for 34 children and they were the first family in South Dakota to receive a permanent foster child through the Casey Family Foundation. Melvin was a member of the American Legion. He enjoyed fishing and hunting with his family, woodworking and doing crosswords puzzles. Melvin also loved reading his Bible.

Melvin is survived by his wife, Jean Droppers of Yankton; six children: Sue (Ken) Buysman of Sheldon, IA, Ken (Cindy) Droppers of Pierre, SD, Barb Hirsch of Yankton, Jim (Karen) Droppers of Sioux Falls, Roger (Lori) Droppers of Tripp, SD and Mark (Syndee) Droppers of Yankton; two permanent foster children, Pat Lewis and June Stambaugh; 25 grandchildren; 41 great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Melvin was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers: Lyle, Morris and Cal Droppers; two sisters, Mona Sue Harvey and Evelyn Laity.

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Jennie Smit

Jennie Smit, age 76, of Sheldon, Iowa, passed away on Thursday, September 20, 2012, at Sanford Sheldon Hospital in Sheldon.

Memorial Services will be Monday, September 24, 2012, at 11:00 A.M. at the First Christian Reformed Church in Sheldon. Rev. Luke Wynja officiating. Graveside Service at 10:00 A.M. on Monday, at East Lawn Cemetery in Sheldon.

Visitation will be Sunday, September 23, from 2:00 to 6:00 P.M. with the family present from 2:00 to 4:00 P.M. at the Andringa Funeral Home Sheldon Funeral Service in Sheldon.

Online Expressions of Sympathy can be sent to In Lieu of flowers, Memorials may be given to Love, INC.

The Andringa Funeral Home Sheldon Funeral Service in charge of arrangements for Jennie Smit.

Gerald “Jerry” Munns

Gerald “Jerry” Munns, age 91 of Rock Rapids, IA died Thursday, September 20, 2012 at Sanford Hospital of Rock Rapids.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Monday, September 24, 2012 at the Holy Name Catholic Church in Rock Rapids, with Father Jeff Schleisman officiating. Burial will follow in the Holy Name Catholic Cemetery in Rock Rapids.

Visitation will be Sunday, September 23rd from 2-8 p.m. with the family present from 6-8 p.m. at the Jurrens Funeral Home of Rock Rapids. There will be a vigil service at 7:00 p.m. Sunday evening.

Gerald Francis Munns was born February 4, 1921 at the family farm southeast of Rock Rapids, Iowa, the son of Thomas Jay and Irene Leola (Crelly) Munns. He was raised on family farm and attended country school through 8th grade. He then attended Wilson High School in Rock Rapids, where he graduated in 1938. After his education he remained with his parents and helped his father with the farm work. On August 18, 1942 Jerry entered the United States Navy where he served in the Southeast Pacific Theatre. He was honorably discharge on January 6, 1946 and returned home to his family and continued farming. On May 24, 1948 Jerry was united in marriage to Isabelle Kellihan at Holy Name Catholic Church in Rock Rapids, IA. They moved to the family farm where they raised four children.

Jerry was a member of Holy Name Catholic Church where he served on the church board for several years, active in the Holy Name Men’s Club and was sexton of the church cemetery. He was a founding member of the Lyon County Pork Producers, member of Lyon County Fair Board, Farmers Coop Exchange Board, R.E.C. Board, Lyon & Sioux Rural Water Board and Lyon County Soil Conservation Board. He also enjoyed playing baseball and softball for many years. He also was an avid bowler and organized the Rock Rapids Bowling Tournament. When his children were young he coached little league baseball and was a 4 – H Leader. In 1965 he was presented the “Master Hog Farmer of Iowa” award. In 1994 he was inducted into the Iowa State Fair Hall of Fame. Jerry and Isabelle enjoyed playing Pinochle with friends.

In the 1980’s Jerry slowed down with farming turning the Century Farm over to his son Mike. This past Monday, September 17th Jerry was admitted to Sanford Hospital in Rock Rapids where he remained until his death.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Isabelle Munns of Rock Rapids, IA; three children, Mike Munns of Rock Rapids, IA, Peggy (Steve) Groves of Larchwood, IA and Eileen (Tim) Peters of Madison, SD; seven grandchildren, Shawn Munns of Denver, CO, Erin (Monte) Johanning of Sioux Falls, SD, Mike (Beth) Payne of Inwood, IA, Tara (Phil) Mueller of Sioux Falls, SD, Caitlin Payne of Ames, IA, Kara Peters of Brookings, SD and Hailey Peters of Madison, SD; eight great-grandchildren; two sisters-in-law, Betty Kellihan of Springfield, MO and Estelle Sunderland of Manhattan, MT; and several nieces, nephews and other extended family.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, “Jay” and Irene Munns; a son, Patrick Munns; a brother, Loren Munns; a sister, Coleen Clasen; and son-in-law, Mark Payne.


Hieska “Helen” Hermina Kruger

Hieska “Helen” Hermina Kruger, age 90, died on Friday, September 14, 2012 at the Pipestone County Hospice House.

Funeral service will be September 22 at 11am at Skandia Evangelical Free Church – Balaton, 722 221st St, Balaton, MN. Internment will be at the First Baptist Church Cemetery of George, IA

Visitation will be September 21st from 4 to 8pm at the Hartquist Funeral Home – Pipestone Chapel, 710 SE 4th St. Pipestone, MN.

Hieska “Helen” Hermina Kruger was born Hieska to Harm Jelle and Teilke “Tillie” (Boumann) Schneidermann on October 31, 1921 in Simonvolde, Germany. On October 19, 1926, she and her family boarded a ship to New York, New York, landing on November 3, celebrating her fifth birthday on board. The family traveled by train to Chicago and then to George, Iowa to live with her dad’s uncle. She attended country school in Lyon County, Iowa. They moved to a farm east of George, then near Aston, and in 1931 to Rushmore, Minnesota. In March, 1934, they moved to a farm northeast of Ulen, Minnesota. She finished her education at a rural school in District 46 and attended the Walworth Baptist Church.

After completing her education, she helped on the family farm. During World War II, she wrote to a childhood friend, John Kruger. After his discharge from the service, John went to visit Helen and started to court her. On June 1, 1946, they were married in the Walworth Baptist Church parsonage near Ulen. Following their marriage, they lived and farmed south of Rushmore, Minnesota. Two years later, they purchased a farm in Ellsborough Township, southeast of Ruthton, Minnesota. Helen helped her husband with dairy farming while raising their children. In 1967, she helped start the Head Start Program in the Ruthton School where she helped as a teacher’s aide for two years. Then, in 1977 after completing CNA course, she became employed at the Good Samaritan Village in Pipestone where she continued working until 1990.

When they retired from farming in 1993, they moved to Ellsworth, Minnesota. In the summer of 2002, Helen became a resident at Parkview Manor in Ellsworth where she shared a room with her husband. In July, 2003, they transferred to the Good Samaritan Village of Pipestone. On October 6, 2003, her husband preceded her in death. After his death, she continued to reside at the Good Samaritan Communities. In May, 2011, she went under hospice care. In February, 2012, she entered the Pipestone County Hospice House where she died on Friday, September 14, 2012 at the age of 90 years, ten months and 14 days.

For many years, Helen attended Skandia Evangelical Free Church in rural Balaton, Minnesota where she served as a Sunday School teacher, helped with Vacation Bible School, was part of the Women’s Missionary Society, and attended Bible Study classes. She enjoyed going to the Christian Womens Club in Pipestone. After moving to Ellsworth, she was an active member of Tabernacle Baptist Church in George, Iowa. In her younger years, she volunteered as a 4-H leader. She was an active gardener, always having large vegetable and flower gardens. She loved to can much of the produce, especially making pickles of various kinds. African Violets were a passion of hers. She had many varieties and colors filling her house. “Oma” to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she spent much time caring and playing with them. She will always be remembered for her banana bread and a ready cup of tea for all. They traveled many times to the West Coast visiting children, and Helen went three times to Germany to visit family.

She is lovingly remembered by her six children, Eldon Kruger and his wife Arlene of Lake Wilson, Minnesota, Karen Strom and her husband Vincent of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Harlan Kruger and his wife Yvonne of Corvallis, Oregon, Teresa Heard and her husband Bob of Ward, South Dakota, Roger Kruger and his special friend Donna Black of Newark, California, and Jon Kruger and his wife Lora of Marshall, Minnesota; 21 grandchildren, 15-3/4 great-grandchildren; three brothers, Lorence Schneidermann, Walter Schneidermann and his wife Mary Ann, and Arthur Schneidermann, all of Ulen, Minnesota; and one daughter-in-law, Natalie Kruger Brouwer and her husband Jim of Manteca, California. She was preceded in death by her husband; her son, Kelvin; her granddaughter, Debra Ann Heard; her parents; five brothers, Jelle Harm, Arend, Jakob Martin, Arnold, and Jakob II; one daughter-in-law, Mitze Kruger; and one sister-in-law, Namtke Schneidermann.

Sandeanne Vetter

Sandeanne Vetter, age 55 of Hartley, IA, passed away at the Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD on Sunday, September 16th, 2012.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, September 20th at 10:10 a.m. (Sandeanne was always late for everything) at the Hartley United Methodist Church in Hartley with Rev. Steve Campbell officiating.

Visitation will be on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at the Hartley Funeral Home Chapel in Hartley from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., with family present 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Inurnment will be at a later date.

The Hartley Funeral Home in Hartley is in charge of the arrangements for 55 year-old Sandeanne Vetter of Hartley. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Alfred J. Van Ash

Alfred J. Van Ash, age 89 of Larchwood, IA passed away Sunday, September 16, 2012 at Sanford Hospital, Sioux Falls, SD.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 AM Wednesday, September 19th at The Church of St. Mary in Larchwood, IA with Fr. Jeff Schleisman celebrating.  Burial will follow at Larchwood Cemetery in Larchwood, IA.

Visitation will be Tuesday, September 18, 2012 from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m., with the family present from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at The Church of St. Mary in Larchwood.  There will be a vigil service at 7:00 p.m. that evening.  Memorials will be named at later date.  The Jurrens Funeral Home of Larchwood is in charge of arrangements.