2022 National American Legion Auxiliary Public Spirit Award Winner
Roger Wright, age 78, of Summit, SD, died on September 25, 2021, at Avantara – Milbank.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. at Hope Lutheran Church in Summit. Rev. Janet Miller will officiate and burial will be in the Hope Lutheran Cemetery with military honors provided by: American Legion, Otto-Quande-Renville Post #50 and VFW Post 3342, Sisseton. Visitation will be held at the church on Tuesday, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.
The organist will be Val Moen and casket bearers will be Roger's grandchildren: Gavin Wright, Emmett, Jorja, and Levi Whempner.
Roger Wayne Wright was born on February 3, 1943, in Bryant, SD. He was the son of Russell and Mavis Esther (Miller) Wright. He grew up in Bryant and graduated from high school in 1961. He served in the United States Army from December 28, 1962 until his honorable discharge on December 15, 1965.
Roger was united in marriage with Margie Clare Grabow on March 26, 1970, at Hope Lutheran Church in Summit. Roger lived in Rapid City, SD, and Clark, SD, before returning to Summit in 1971 and has since resided. Roger worked for the city of Summit in road maintenance. He worked for John Deere as a mechanic. He was deputy sheriff from 1976 until his retirement in 2000. He was a member of the Summit Volunteer Fire Department and the American Legion Post #50.
Roger loved to fish and hunt. He was a wonderful friend and neighbor and willing to help anyone. One friend commented, "Roger will always be remembered as the first person to be there to help anyone!"
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Margie Wright of Summit, SD; daughter, Billi (Todd) Whempner of Wilmot, SD; son, Lee (Dawn) Wright of Summit, SD; grandchildren: Gavin (Miranda) Wright of Aberdeen, SD; Emmett, Jorja, and Levi Whempner all of Wilmot, SD; and one great-grandson, Weston Roger Wright of Aberdeen, SD; sisters: Donna (Harlow) Wildeboer of Bemis, SD; Karen (Rob) Reber of Rapid City, SD; brother, Ray (Karen) Wright of Ashville, OH; as well as nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Roger was preceded in death by his parents and 2 brothers, Robert and Ronald.Roger Wright
d sister, Gail Smith.
In lieu of flowers memorial preferred to the DTOM Veterans Ranch south of Bagley, MN.
Richard “Rick” Harold LaRue, 71, of Shevlin, MN died on Monday, November 27, 2023, at his home in Shevlin, Minnesota surrounded by his loved ones. Rick accepted his time on earth was nearing an end, much like a cowboy in the Grit westerns he loved so much. He didn’t complain. He faced adversity with his steely determination and stubbornness, but with the bittersweet knowledge he would leave behind his treasured family and friends.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, December 1, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at Grace Chapel south of Bagley, Minnesota with a time of visitation one hour prior. Pastor Chris Conger will officiate. Interment will be held at Minerva Township Cemetery south of Bagley, MN with Military Honors accorded by the Irvin Blix American Legion Post No. 16 of Bagley, MN. The Cease Family Funeral Home of Bagley assisted the family with arrangements.
Rick was born August 25, 1952, in Bagley, MN to Harold and Olivia (Eunice Pond) LaRue. He graduated from Bagley High School in 1971.
He entered the Army in June 1971 and received the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service in Korea from March 1972 through April 1973. He was stationed in Korea for thirteen months. Rick’s service and patriotism never waned and his service was certainly a source of pride from his family and community.
After his honorable discharge in March 1974, Richard married Diane Davis and from that union, they had two sons, Timothy Ryan and Tyrell Richard LaRue. Richard loved his sons dearly. Later on, Diane and Richard divorced.
Richard also honed his talents and many skills through employment at the Engineering refrigeration department at the Fargo VA Medical Center until 1996. After his VA retirement, and since he didn’t like to sit still, he worked road construction and helped his neighbors farm.
Rick was known for his exceptional fishing, hunting, and carpentry skills. Using his carpentry talents and with the returned favors of others, he built the house of his dreams several years ago in rural Shevlin.
Rick was always quick with a joke or a sarcastic comment, but it would soon be followed up with a laugh and a twinkle in his blue eyes. Like a Grit cowboy, Rick was the most caring and loving person—but you had to stick around and wait for some of the exterior gruffness to fade away. (It didn’t take long.)
In his final years, Rick relished living at his dream home and teasing his loving partner, Terry Larson, about her decorating skills and her massive garden. Rick quickly embraced Terry’s family as his own and looked forward to visits and holidays that were a lot crazier than he remembered.
Rick was fortunate enough to be blessed with so many skilled caregivers and supportive family and friends. Their devotion was, is, and will always remain so incredibly appreciated.
Rick is survived by his loving partner, Terry Larson of Fargo, ND; his sons, Timothy LaRue of Moorhead, MN and Tyrell (Loralee Varady) LaRue of Whiteville, NC; his siblings, Laurie (Marlin) Hanson of Shevlin, MN, Dale (Janet) LaRue of Bagley, MN, Janie (Allen) Cuny of Buffalo Gap, SD, and Jack LaRue of Solway, MN; his brother-in-law, Russell Smith of Fargo, ND; adopted daughter, Ellen Bratcher of Utica, KY; special friend, Barb Hample; Terry’s children, Kim, Chris, and Mike; and numerous nephews and nieces.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Eunice and sister, Gail Smith.
In lieu of flowers memorial preferred to the DTOM Veterans Ranch south of Bagley, MN.
William (Bill) E. Welch passed away on Aug. 20, 2023, in Tucson, Arizona. Bill was born on a farm near Mellette, Spink County South Dakota. He met and married the love of his life in 1948.
Bill was preceded in death by Elizabeth, his wife of 70 years, and a son, Pat. He survived by his four children, eight grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and friends. He was a loving husband, dad, grandpa and great-grandpa.
Bill worked on farms, ranches and at Homestake Gold Mine in Lead (Deadwood), South Dakota. He moved with his family and friends to San Manuel, Arizona in 1955 and was hired by San Manuel Mine (Magma). He worked as a Miner, operated a 20-ton locomotive, which he loved, and then went to the dispatch shack on crew 4, where he was known as "Mr. Bill". He retired from the company in 1987. In 1966 he moved his family to their new home in Oracle.
Bill was a Scout Master for the Webelos and a coach for the Senior League teams in San Manuel and Oracle. He was a member of the Elles Club and helped start the Funsters Club in San Manuel. He helped his wife \\ th the Oracle 4-H Club and also in the establishment and building of the Oracle Community Center. He was a mentor to many. Bill served in the National Guard in South Dakota and in the Army Reserves in Arizona.
Bill loved his family, friends, horses and dogs. He loved can1ping, hunting, knocking around in the mountains and desert. He loved camping so much he and his wife Liz, became Camp Hosts at the West Fork of the Black River for 20 plus years. There he met and made many new friends.
Bill had the gift of gab. He would talk to anyone who would listen.
Bill will he deeply missed by many.
John Hermoe, age 83, of Raymond, SD died at home with his wife, Jolene (Uecker) Hermoe at his side on December 25, 2022.
John Shuros Silas Hermoe was born December 5th , 1939 at Hendricks, MN to parents John E. and Clara (Shuros) Hermoe. He grew up on the family farm near Astoria, SD. He was baptized January 14th, 1940 and confirmed June 14th, 1952 in the Singsaas Lutheran Church of Astoria. John attended school and graduated from Astoria High School on May 24, 1957.
In July of 1963, he joined the US Army where he attained several Marksman and Sharpshooter awards. He served his country Honorably until July of 1965. John was very proud of his military career and was a long-time member of the Raymond Legion Baker Post 209 where he has served in the past as the Commander and was currently the Adjutant General. On Memorial Day 2021, John received his 50 Year Membership Certificate from the Raymond Legion. He was also a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America based out of Watertown.
On May 4th, 1968 he married Joleen Uecker at the Christ our Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denver, CO. While there, he attended the National Electronics Institute where he received a degree in drafting in October of 1968. John and Jolene were blessed with two children, Michelle and Jeremy.
The couple then moved to Raymond, Sd during the terrible winter of 1968 to help at the Valley Edge Ranch while Jolene's father went to Pierre to serve in the SD Legislature. With John's love of horses and farming, they remained in Ash Township of rural Raymond. John also was a skilled wood worker creating many beautiful projects including flag cases for Veterans. This is a craft that came down through the generations and he passed on to his son.
John had been a long-time member of the Ash Township Board, was a long time 4-H leader, and was a faithful member of the Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church where he served on the Church Council and as an usher for many years.
John was a true cowboy at heart and always loved to have horses on the farm. He and Jolene enjoyed doing everything together and really loved to travel, especially to rodeos. They attended the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas sixteen times, many Oklahoma Timed Events rodeos, and a trip to Calgary. On the trip to Calgary, they traveled with three other couples who have become lifelong friends. They have been on several cruises, side-by-side trips with family to the Black Hills, and a family trip to Hawaii for their 50th wedding anniversary. His greatest pride and joy was his family and time spent with them.
Preceding John in death were his parents; sisters, Glorianne Andrews and Eloise (Gene) Rickard; parents-in-law, Wilmont "Bill" and Mavis Uecker; and sister-in-law, Collene Johannsen.
He is survived by his wife of over 54 years, Jolene Hermoe of Raymond; his children, Michelle (Curt) Wuertzer of Parkston, SD and Jeremy (Jessica) Hermoe of Watertown; grandchildren Wyatt and Chantal Wuertzer and Gavin and Grady Hermoe; sister Velda (Daniel) Johnson of Watertown; and several nieces and nephews.
For John and Jolene- "They had their first hello on December 31st, 1967 and will say goodbye on December 31st, 2022."
Services, with full Military Honors, will be held Wednesday, November 26, 2003 at 2:00 PM in the Willow Lake School Auditorium.
Tuesday evening there will be a Prayer Service beginning at 6PM in the Grace Lutheran Church at Willow Lake. Friends may call on Tuesday after 5PM at the Church in Willow Lake The Reverend's Kris Ferkin and Krista Henning-Ferkin will officiate. Burial will be in the Collins Cemetery at Willow Lake.
CW2 Scott Arlo Saboe, age 33 years, 3 days, Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, formerly of the Willow Lake community, died on Saturday, November 15, 2003 in a Blackhawk helicopter accident near Mosul, Iraq.
He was born on November 12, 1970 at DeSmet, SD, the son of Arlo and Linda (Yexley) Saboe. He grew to adulthood in the Willow Lake community attending Willow Lake grade school and graduating from high school in 1989. While attending high school he worked for Floyd Mundhenke, even going out there for a day or so when he was home on leave from the service. On September 12, 1989 he enlisted in the United States Army taking his boot camp training at Ft. Dix, NJ. He completed AIT at Ft. Dix, NJ and was also stationed at Ft. Belvoir, VA. He also served on the base at Ramstein, Germany where he was the postmaster and also was the post commanders driver.
Following that he was stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC in the 82nd Airborne. He was one a few survivors of the Ft. Hope, NC accident and was promoted ahead of others due to his willingness to work.
On October 22, 1994 he was united in marriage to Franceska Kabet at Raleigh, NC. They moved to Boise, Idaho where he was an Army recruiter and also so he could hunt. On May 4, 1997, a son, Dustin Scott Saboe was born, which Scott was in awe of. He also attended his little Sisters graduation from ROTC Advanced Camp at Ft. Lewis, WA in 1998. He also took her 1st Salute at Brookings, SD.
He was selected to become a warrant officer and was an honor graduate at Ft. Rucker. He chose to fly a Blackhawk because it was the most versatile. He went to Ft. Stanley, Korea, flew over the DMZ, which he volunteered for due to the ability to get many hours in the air. He wanted to be the best of the best. In early 2002, he was transferred to Ft. Campbell and became a part of the 101st Airborne Division.
In February of this year he was deployed to Operations Iraqi where he was the lead command pilot for the Blackhawks. Recently he had been selected to go to Blackhawk instructor school at Ft. Rucker.
Some of his awards, honors and other decorations he has received are the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon and the Army Oversees Service Ribbon. At todays services, he will be awarded posthumous, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Some of his fondest moments though were spent hunting and fishing and spending quality time with his Dad.
Grateful for having shared his life is his wife Franceska and son Dustin of Newton, Alabama, Father, Arlo Saboe of Willow Lake, a sister, Ann & Mike Remington and Breanna of Silver Spring, MD, Maternal Grandparents, Ernest and Helen Yexley of Bradley, Paternal Grandmother, Borghild Saboe of Bryant and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Preceding him in death was his Mother, Linda Saboe in 2000, Paternal Grandfather, Clarence Saboe in 1985 and an Uncle, Jean Saboe in 2001.
Gunnar Becker was a senior in high school, ready to go to college, when he decided to walk a different path. He followed in his father's footsteps and joined the Army. "Everybody's got to walk their own way eventually, so might as well start early," Becker said in a television interview in 2003. Becker, 19, of Forestburg, S.D., died Jan. 13 of non-combat injuries in Mosul. He was based in Vilseck, Germany. Becker was energetic and loved fast cars, loud music and time with friends. He planned to go to Wyoming Tech when he finished his duty with the Army. Friends remembered him as friendly and outgoing. "He touched a lot of people," said friend Adam Alt. "He was special. He could help pull you up when you felt low." He is survived by his parents.
22, of Huron, South Dakota.
Bartels died in Mosul, Iraq of a non-combat related cause identified there on October 18, 2005. He was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Fort Wainwright, Alaska. Died on October 19, 2005.