Evelyn P. Hjelm


Hjelm 37 obit    Evelyn P. Hjelm, 93, of Woonsocket, passed away Thursday, April 27, 2017, at the Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell.
The Mass of Christian Burial was Monday, May 1, at St. Wilfrid Catholic Church in Woonsocket with Father Jim Friedrich officiating. Visitation, with a 7 p.m. scripture service, was Sunday, April 30, at Basham Funeral Home in Woonsocket, and one hour prior to the service at the church.
Evelyn “Evie” Philoma, daughter of Lawrence and Anna Jarding, was born Nov. 9, 1923, on a farm near Alexandria. She walked to country school and graduated from Alexandria High School in 1942. When her only brother left for military service, she was expected to help with more of the farm work and even had her own team of horses for harvest.
After graduation, Evie worked at Mitchell Produce cracking eggs, which were dried and sold to the military during World War II. Her next three jobs were at Newberry’s dime store, at a grocery store, and at the Montgomery Wards store.
While working at Newsberry’s, she met her first husband, Harold Sandness, who was home on leave from the Army Air Corp. They were married in 1946 at the priest’s home in Mitchell, and to this union four boys were born, James, William, John and Theodore. Harold passed away in 1950, leaving Evie a widow at the age of 27. She moved to Alexandria to be close to her parents.
On Jan. 8, 1955, Evie was united in marriage to Duane “Chuck” Hjelm, and the blended family lived on the former Stegeberg farm, the former home of Eleanor McGovern. To this union, two more children were born, Mary and David. Duane retired early from farming due to health problems and passed away in 1990. Evie continued to live on the farm, and in December of 2003, moved to Prairie View Apartments. In August of 2016, she permanently moved to Prairie View Healthcare Community.
For 35 years, she was a leader of the TL Rangers 4-H Club, and was active in the “If You Go, I’ll Go” Extension Club, St. Wilfrid Catholic Church, Catholic Daughters, and the American Legion Auxiliary. In 2008, she was named queen of the TOPS organization. She also enjoyed Farmers Union bus tours.
Evie is survived by her children: Jim (Mary) Sandness of Woonsocket, Bill (Deanna) Sandness of Sioux Falls, Mary (Randy) Schabot of Woonsocket, and David (Connie) Hjelm of Woonsocket; daughter-in-law, Carolyn Sandness of Sioux Falls; and step-daughter, Evelyn Johnson of Sioux Falls; one sister, Viola (Jonny) Fluegel of Mitchell; 17 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; both husbands; two sons, Ted and John Sandness; and a brother, Rayphiel.

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