December 2021

Judy Gildemaster


Judy Janette (Heckel) Gildemaster, 78, passed away at home in Artesian on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021. 

Her funeral service was held on Tuesday, Dec. 28, at the Welter Funeral Home in Huron with burial at the Restlawn Memory Gardens Cemetery. Visitation was Monday, Dec. 27, at the Welter Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the funeral home on Tuesday. 

Judy was born on July 30, 1943, in Mitchell, to William Sr. and Caroline (Wiedemer) Heckel. She attended school in Marion, Wessington Springs and Wolsey. Judy married Ronald Gildemaster on June 13, 1959. They lived in Huron until 1969, when they moved to Artesian and started farming. While living in Huron, Judy worked at the Huron Hospital as a nurse’s aide. When Judy wasn’t working in town, she was a vital part of the family farm.

After Ron and Judy moved into the town of Artesian, Judy took up a job at the Thunderbird Lodge in Mitchell. Her last job before retiring was at the Wal-Mart in Mitchell. She was an avid gardener and an amazing cook. She enjoyed candy, reading and a good sale. Judy loved spending time with her family.  

Judy is survived by her husband, Ronald; children, Kurt (Diane) of Sioux Falls, Kim McCombs of Post Falls, Idaho, Todd (Sandra) of Scottsbluff, Neb., Brett (Cheryl) of Sioux Falls, Nikki (Eric) Trujillo of Mission Viejo, Calif., Misti Gildemaster (Ben McClure) of Meridian, Idaho, and Jody (Nate) Clark of Watertown; 22 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren with another one due soon; brother-in-law, Larry (Carol) Gildemaster; two sisters-in-law, Judith Gross and Debbie Travis; and many other friends and family.

Judy was preceded in death by her parents; her mother- and father-in-law; brothers, Robert Warren and Bill Heckel Jr.; her sister, Sharon Larsen; brothers-in-law, Alan Gildemaster and Randy Travis; and grandsons, Levi McCombs and Max Gildemaster.

Viola Scherschligt

Wessington Springs

Viola “Vi” Scherschligt, 92, of Wessington Springs passed away Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, at the Mother Joseph Manor in Aberdeen.

A Celebration of Life event will be held in April in Wessington Springs.

Viola Marie (Barta) Scherschligt was born Dec. 27, 1928, to Richard and Helen (Waloch) Barta in Lesterville. She was third of three children. She graduated from Scotland High School and attended Mount Marty College in Yankton, where she received a teaching degree. She taught country school in Yankton County for one year. She married Fred Scherschligt on Dec. 28, 1948, the year the big blizzard hit the area. They spent their honeymoon in the upstairs room of her grandmother’s house.

Vi and Fred moved to Woonsocket in the summer of 1956, where they ran the Mobil Station. Vi was a stay-at-home mom to their four children and kept books for the business. She later worked at the Jo Jo Department store.

The family moved to Wessington Springs in 1970. Vi worked at the hospital as an aide for many years, and when she retired, she helped serve meals at Westkota Manor.

Vi was an avid gardener. She enjoyed baking and cooking meals, spent hours making quilts for her family, and birdwatching. She and Fred loved to go dancing and spending time with friends. They were involved in bowling leagues and brought home a few trophies. Vi liked to participate in the Red Hat ladies’ group.

Viola is survived by her daughters, Teresa (Larry) Fiala of Custer, Annette (Darnell) Madsen of Aberdeen, and Kathleen (David) Bauer of Ipswich; daughter-in-law, Pam Scherschligt of Mentor, Minn.; brother-in-law, Art (Erla) Scherschligt; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Fred; son, Jeffrey; brother, Francis; and sister, Loretta.

Memorials in Viola’s name can be sent to the Wessington Springs Senior Center or to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Cards may be sent to Teresa Fiala, 11674 Pleasant Valley Rd, Custer, SD 57730, and any memorials will be forwarded.

Wilma Sonne

Huntsman, Ala.

Wilma Sonne, 84, of Huntsville, Ala., and formerly of Mitchell, passed away on Dec 21, 2021, at Windsor House in Huntsville.  

Funeral services were held Tuesday, Dec. 28, at Will Funeral Chapel; visitation was one hour prior.  Burial was in Trinity Lutheran Cemetery. 

Wilma was born at the Wagner hospital on June 23, 1937, to Joseph and Gladys Birger. She was the third child of ten.  She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church. Wilma graduated from Ravinia High School in 1955. She attended South Dakota State University to get her degree in Education, graduating in 1959. She was a teacher and librarian for 33 years at Tripp, Wakonda, Letcher and Plankinton.  

On June 12, 1960, she was united in marriage to Lennis Sonne. They were married for 59 years. 

She enjoyed cooking, sewing, gardening, and going to car shows.

Wilma is survived by her children, Linda (Jerry) Bohlmann, Tim (Tisha) Sonne and Debi (Glenn) Martin; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Lennis; her parents, Joe and Gladys Birger; George and Hannah Sonne; Gordan and Robert Sonne; Thelma O’Donnell; Mike and Edel Duncan; grandson, Brandon Sonne; Norma Sonne; Paul O’Donnell; Paula O’Donnell; Jake Watters; Bill Kieser; Bonnie Birger; Rodney Birger; and Steve Sonne. 

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