Charles Olsen

Mt. Vernon

Charles “Charlie” Olsen, 81, of Mt. Vernon, passed away Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Mt. Vernon. 

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 22, at Salem Lutheran Church in Mt. Vernon. Burial will be in Mt. Vernon Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday from 5-7 p.m. at Bittner Funeral Chapel.

Charles Richard Olsen was born on Aug. 4, 1942, in Mitchell, to Gilbert “Bud” and Pearl (Knox) Olsen. Charlie attended grade school at Hopper School in rural Plankinton. He graduated from Mt. Vernon High School in 1961. 

Charlie married Roberta “Bertie” Pollard on June 9, 1962, at the Salem Lutheran Church in Mt. Vernon. From this loving, 61-year marriage came three children: Rick, Sherri, and Kristi. Charlie was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He loved attending his grandchildren’s events and rarely missed a game or event. 

Following high school, Charlie worked at Armour Creameries in Mitchell and then drove a milk truck. Beginning in 1966, Charlie worked for the South Dakota Department of Transportation in Mitchell, where he was the parts manager. He retired from the DOT in 2001 after 35 years. On top of working at the DOT, Charlie began selling Pioneer Seed in Mt. Vernon in 1975 and did so until 2009. Charlie took great pride in serving the farmers of the Mt. Vernon area and the trust they had in him to plant what was best for their fields. All this time, Charlie also operated the family farm. 

Charlie was an avid supporter of all Mt. Vernon athletics and was heavily involved in the community. He served on the Mt. Vernon Volunteer Fire Department for over fifteen years. He also served on the Mt. Vernon City Council, Salem Lutheran Church Council, and the Hopper Township Board at various times throughout his life. In 2015, Charlie and Roberta were inducted into Mt. Vernon’s Heroes’ Field Courtyard for their community involvement. Charlie loved being outdoors – farming, checking fields, hunting, and fishing.  

Charles is survived by his wife, Roberta of Mt. Vernon; son, Rick (Maria) Olsen of Mt. Vernon; daughters, Sherri (Eric) Denning of Mt. Vernon and Kristi Olsen of Wessington Springs; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; his sister, Darlene (Tom) Schultz of Freeport, Ill.; stepbrother, Duane (Mary) Malde of Mt. Vernon; brother-in-law, Robert Pollard of Mt. Vernon; and his nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters-in-law, Mildred Gritzmacher and Marian Powers.

Myrna Hjelm


Myrna S. Hjelm, 71, of Woonsocket, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023, at Prairie View Healthcare Center, Woonsocket.  

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, Sept. 14, at 2:30 p.m. at the Spirit of Faith Lutheran-Methodist Church, Woonsocket, Pastor John Anderson officiating. Arrangements are by Basham Funeral Service, Woonsocket.

Myrna Sue Hjelm was born on June 27, 1952, to Darwin and Verle (Skinner) Hjelm in Huron. She graduated from Woonsocket High School in 1971. She was the assistant manager and cook at Twin Lakes Resort. She then worked at Methodist hospital in Mitchell and took a nurse’s aide course. Her next job was at Storla Sunset Home. She became a medication aide and moved to Sturgis to work in the nursing home there. In January of 1979, Myrna moved to Kansas City and worked at Children’s Mercy Hospital. In 1992, she moved back to South Dakota and attended Dakota Wesleyan University, graduating in 1997. While in Mitchell, she worked at various places. 

She resided at Prairie View Healthcare Center for the past 12 years.

Myrna is survived by her siblings, Ruth Ann (Larry) Olinger and Paul (Jeannie) Hjelm, both of Woonsocket; nieces and nephews, Todd (Kari) Olinger, Tami Ziebart, Linda Turnbull, Tracy (Ryan) Altmann, Danny (Katie) Hjelm, Cassie (Jeremiah) Lindsay and Joe (Casey) Hjelm; great-nieces and great-nephews; one great-great niece; aunt, Elaine Cranston of Montevideo, Minn.; and many cousins. 

She was preceded by her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and one nephew-in-law, Tracy Ziebart.

Timothy Clarke, 69, of Howard and formerly of Fedora, passed away on Sept. 3, 2023.

Funeral services were held Friday, Sept. 8, at Beach United Methodist Church, Howard. Burial followed in Morgan’s Cemetery, Fedora. Visitation was Thursday, Sept. 7, with a prayer service and reflection at the Methodist Church in Howard.

Timothy Bernard Clarke was born to Bernard and Rose (Manthe) Clarke on March 26, 1954, in Mitchell. He was raised on a farm near Fedora. Tim attended school in Fedora until it closed in 1966. Then, he attended school in Howard, where he graduated in 1972. 

As a young teen, having been exposed to mechanics from an early age, he became the youngest Yamaha dealer, both selling and repairing motorcycles. After high school graduation, Tim worked as a teller at Miner County Bank. He simultaneously began his flight training, which eventually led to a commercial pilot’s license and a crop-dusting business: Clarke Aerial Spraying.

On Nov. 18, 1978, he married Peggy Austreim. To this union, four daughters were born.

During his years crop dusting, Tim shifted his full-time work back to the family business, Clarke and Sons Implement, where he sold and repaired farm implements and facilitated snow removal. 

In 1992, he purchased the homestead that his great-grandparents had worked.

After a thirty-year career at Clarke and Sons, Tim returned to the Miner County Bank, which later became River’s Edge Bank, where he worked as a loan officer and vice president until his retirement in 2022. 

In his later years, his body was overwhelmed by several health challenges, including polycystic kidney disease. On July 6, 2023, Tim opted to have his ailing kidneys removed in a complicated but successful surgery.

Timothy is survived by his wife, Peggy; daughters, Abigail Bisschop (Chris), Megan Wright (Andy), Emily Heilman (Shane) and Allison Muilenburg (Tim); 19 grandchildren; sisters, Bernetta (Dick) Burghardt and Jean Clarke (Jeff Krieger); and a brother, David (Wanda) Clarke. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Bernard and Rose Clarke; Peggy’s parents, Orrin and Margaret Austreim; and his sister-in-law, Kathleen (Austreim) Quinn.

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