August 25, 2014 - 2:00 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Elsie Stachour age 97 of Sibley, IA died Sunday, August 24, 2014, at the Country View Manor in Sibley.

Funeral service will be 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at First Presbyterian Church in Sibley with Reverend Terry Simm officiating. Burial will follow in the Holman Township Cemetery of Sibley, IA. Visitation will be Tuesday, August 26th from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Jurrens Funeral Home of Sibley.

For a complete obituary and online registry please visit:

August 20, 2014 - 11:56 am - Posted in Obituaries

Kent Wallin, age 54, of rural Melvin, IA passed away at his home on Wednesday, August 20th.

A visitation will be held on Sunday, August 24th, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Sanborn Funeral Home Chapel in Sanborn, IA with the family present at that time.  Following the visitation family and friends are invited to Baxter’s Bar & Grill in Primghar, IA.

In lieu of flowers the family wishes that memorials in Kent’s memory be given to them for a charity of their choice at a later date.

The Sanborn Funeral Home is in charge of the services for 54-year old Kent Wallin of rural Melvin.

Kent Leslie Wallin, age 54, passed away on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at his home near Melvin, IA. He was born the son of Floyd and Luella (Bay) Wallin on January 5, 1960, at Primghar, IA. He lived his youth in the Germantown area, and attended grade school at St. John’s Lutheran in Germantown. He received his high school education at Paullina Community School, graduating with the class of 1978. Following graduation, Kent farmed with his brother, Craig.

On August 24, 1985, Kent was united in marriage to Chirstine Kay Crouse at Paullina, IA. In 1986, they began farming together on their own. Two daughters were born to this union: Leah Mae and Erin Lynn. Along with farming, Kent also had the Sioux City Journal dealership from 1985 to 1999.

When the farm work would allow, Kent enjoyed riding motorcycle in the summer months, taking several trips to the annual Sturgis, SD Motorcycle Rally. He was a also a member of ABATE. The long winter months were a good time to take off and do some traveling. Kent also enjoyed doing woodworking projects. His true passion, however, remained agriculture.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Chris Wallin of rural Melvin, daughters: Leah Wallin of Milford, IA, and Erin Wallin of Sioux City, IA; his mother, Luella Wallin of Paullina, IA; one sister, Pam List; one brother, Craig Wallin; and his faithful black lab, Bo-Bo.

Preceding him in death was his father, Floyd Wallin.

~ In lieu of flowers, memorials given in Kent’s memory will be directed
to a charity of the family’s choosing ~

August 12, 2014 - 3:50 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Rosa deBoer age 92 of Sibley, IA, died Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at Country View Manor in Sibley.

Funeral service will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday, August 16, 2014 at the Demco Center in Boyden, IA. Burial will follow at the Sherman Township Cemetery near Maurice, IA.

Visitation will be Friday, August 15, 2014 at the Jurrens Funeral Home in Sibley from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with family present.

For a complete obituary and online registry please visit:

 Rosa deBoer was born August 25, 1921 near Maurice, Iowa the daughter of Peter and Rena (deJager) Faber. She received her education in South Dakota. On December 12, 1950 she was united in marriage to Gerrit deBoer at LeMars, Iowa. The couple lived at Sibley, IA, Kingsley, IA and Pierson, IA. They lived in Pierson from 1957 to 2009. On August 17, 2010 Rosa’s husband Gerrit died after nearly 60 years of marriage. Rosa enjoyed scrabble, Fellowship meetings and sewing.
Rosa is survived by her children, Ruth deBoer Krisher of Ogdensburg, WI; son, Brant (Joyce) deBoer of Waterville, KS; son, Peter (Ruthie) deBoer of Stillwater, OK; daughter, Jenae (Glenn) deBoer Krisher of Gilbert, AZ; daughter, Janna (Kerry) deBoer Williams of Brewster, MN; and son Sydney deBoer of Bloomington, MN; 19 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; siblings, Wendell (Vivian) Faber of NE, Bernice Faber of Oklahoma; Maynard (Janie) Faber of Oklahoma; Philene (Gene) Swearengin of Arizona, Goldie (Jim) Vlieger of Iowa, Laurence (Wanda) Faber of Washington, Lydia (Jerry) Beemer of Arizona, and Ronald (Luella) of Missouri; sister-in-law, Donna Faber of Kansas; and other extended family members.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Peter and Rena Faber; her husband Gerrit; sisters, Freda and June Faber and Lois Williams; Berniece; brothers, Roland and Phillip; father and mother-in-law, Brant and Jetske deBoer.



August 12, 2014 - 9:28 am - Posted in Obituaries

Lyle D. Willemssen, age 70 of Loveland, CO, formerly of Ashton, IA died Monday, May 26 at his home in Loveland, CO, after a courageous battle with cancer.

A memorial service will be held 10:30 a.m., Saturday, August 16th at Jurrens Funeral Home of Ashton, IA, with Rev. Dale Lint officiating. Inurnment will follow at Gilman Township Cemetery in Ashton.

For a complete obituary and online registry please visit:

Lyle Dean Willemssen was born on May 18, 1944 in Sibley, Iowa to Alfred Willemssen and Rose (Wiertzema) Willemssen. Lyle grew up in Ashton, Iowa and graduated from Sheldon High School. Lyle worked in sales for most of his life and enjoyed his grandchildren, country music and travelling.

Lyle is survived by his wife Roxie (Remmers) of Loveland, Colorado, son Kyle Willemssen (Meleisa) of Loveland, Colorado, daughter Jennifer Willemssen, brother Curtis Willemssen (Mary) of Sierra Vista, Arizona, sisters Shirley Dather (Doug) of Worthington, Minnesota, Bettie Vega (Peter) of Britt, Iowa, and Jeannie Sauerbry of Tucson, Arizona; Grandchildren Krystina of Fort Collins, Colorado, Alisha of Camp LeJeune, North Carolina and Nicholas of Loveland, Colorado.

Lyle was preceded in passing by his parents Alfred and Rose Willemssen and sister Val Roelefson.

Memorial donations can be made to The American Cancer Society.

July 25, 2014 - 1:23 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Terry Thies, aged 71, of Laguna Niguel, CA, formerly of Ashton, IA passed away at his home in Laguna Niguel, CA on Monday, December 9, 2013, following a courageous battle with cancer.

A Memorial Mass will be 11:00 AM, Monday, August 4, 2014 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Ashton, IA, with Father Al Reicks as celebrant. Inurnment will follow at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Ashton.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Village Unlimited NW, or Ashton Public Library

The Jurrens Funeral Home in George is in charge of arrangements for Terry Thies

Terry Lynn Thies was born on May 14, 1942 in Ashton, IA, the son of G.W. “Gus” and Anne (Jackley) Thies. He grew up in Ashton and attended and graduated from St. Joseph’s Catholic School. He then went on to college at Creighton University of Omaha, and later transferring to the University of Iowa in speech pathology. Terry received his Master’s Degree from California State University in Los Angeles, CA, and received the Alumnus of the Year award. He later received his Doctorate from USC. On August 6, 1964, Terry was united in marriage to Harriet Fleischer in Iowa City, IA. Following their marriage they both took jobs as itinerant speech therapists in the schools of Dubuque County, Iowa. Son Scott was born on January 1 of 1966 and at a few months of age was confirmed to have a profound bilateral hearing loss. This led to a comprehensive search for excellent education programs for deaf children and a move in 1969 to the San Gabriel Valley of southern California so Scott could attend the Alhambra public school program for deaf children.

Both Terry and Harriet continued work as itinerant speech-language pathologists in Los Angeles County. Terry had several accomplishments and as a member was awarded fellowships in the CSHA (California Speech Language & Hearing Association) and the ASHA (American Speech Language & Hearing Association). He retired as the Director of Special Education for L.A. County Schools.

Following their retirement Terry and Harriet spent ten years restoring Terry’s old family home in Ashton, IA and re-established friendships with many family members and friends in northwest Iowa.

Terry enjoyed traveling with his wife and they managed to visit all 50 states, Mexico, Canada, Europe, South America, Latin America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and parts of Africa. Terry was a former member of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Ashton, IA and was a member of St. Timothy’s Catholic Church in Laguna Niguel, CA. Other hobbies and interests included photography, studying family history and gardening with his wife, Harriet.

He will be greatly missed by his surviving family including his son, Scott and wife Kimberly; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Harriet Thies on June 27, 2013; one sister, June Nearman; and two brothers, Junior Charles Thies and Orvalee Thies.

July 24, 2014 - 4:16 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Katherine Prins age 83 of Sibley, IA died Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at the Country View Manor in Sibley, IA.

Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m. Friday, July 25, 2014 at First Reformed Church in Sibley with Pastor Luke Schouten officiating. Burial will follow at the Holman Township Cemetery in Sibley.

Visitation will be Friday, July 25th from 12:30 p.m. until the time of the service at the First Reformed Church in Sibley.

An online registry and full obituary will be available

Katherine Schram was born August 30, 1930 near Melvin, Iowa. She was the daughter of Benjamin and Daisy (Heil) Schram. She attended country school near Sibley.
     On April 10, 1951 Katherine was married to Henry S. Prins. Through the years Katherine and Henry farmed and raised livestock near Sibley and Reading, MN. In 1988 Katherine and Henry moved to a home in Sibley. Henry died on September 9, 2013.
     Katherine was an active member of the First Reformed Church in Sibley, serving as Sunday School and Catechism Teacher. She was known for her embroidery, knitting, crochet, and quilting; including making many baby quilts that she gave away. She had large vegetable gardens, a large strawberry patch, and hundreds of flowers and plants. She raised chickens and gathered many eggs. She baked many cookies, pies and other goodies. She enjoyed traveling, which included picnics and short drives through the State and National Parks. She also enjoyed get-togethers with family and friends and spending time outdoors.   She was proud of her children and grandchildren and loved her family very much.
     In April of 2009 Katherine entered Country View Manor due to failing health. She remained there until this past Wednesday, July 23, 2014, where she died at the age of 83.
     She is survived by her four children, Audrey (Larry) Harris of West Des Moines, IA, Jean (Bill) Kleve of Worthington, MN, LaVonne Prins of Sibley, IA and Gordon (Nancy) Prins of Rock Falls, IA; eight grandchildren; twenty-five great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; three brothers, Don (Jen) Schram, Ray (Ellen) Schram and Harold (Lynn) Schram, all of Sibley, IA; one sister, Ann (Albert) Brouwer of Slayton, MN; a sister-in-law, Hanna Wiersma of Sibley, IA; a brother-in-law, John (Judy) Haren of Blaine, MN; and many nieces, nephews and other extended family.
     She was preceded in death by her parents, Benjamin and Daisy Schram; and husband, Henry S. Prins.
July 22, 2014 - 10:15 am - Posted in Obituaries
Vakulskas-Mary-photoMary Vakulskas, 91, of Sioux City, died Sunday, July 20, 2014, at Holy Spirit Retirement Home in Sioux City.

Services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Church of the Nativity, with her son, the Rev. John A. Vakulskas Jr., officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Visitation will be 3:30-8:00 p.m. Wednesday, with a Catholic Daughters of Americas rosary at 4 p.m. and a parish vigil service at 7:00 p.m., at Larkin Chapel, Christy-Smith Funeral Home.

Mary Vakulskas was born Dec. 1, 1922, in Sioux City, the daughter of Andrew A. and Helen (Krokowski) Smith of Sioux City. She attended St. Francis of Assisi Grade School and East High School in Sioux City.
On June 7, 1942, she married John Vakulskas at St. Francis of Assisi, having first met him at a St. Francis Halloween dance. After their marriage, they moved to Portsmouth, Va., where John worked in ship building at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Having served in the peacetime U.S. Navy, John was called back into the U.S. Army to serve during World War II. Mary moved back to Sioux City with their son John Jr. When John returned from Okinawa they made the decision to remain in Sioux City to raise their family. Mary prided herself on her role as a wife and mother and cherished the title “homemaker” when their four children were growing up.

She was a former longtime member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. She was an active parishioner at St. Francis, having served as the president of the Mother’s Club for many years. For 38 years, she was the parish organist and choir director and relished playing for Mass liturgies, weddings and funerals. She looked forward to choir practices with the group so they could be always ready for the liturgies praising God.

She studied piano as a young girl, but her organ skills came under the tutelage of Sr. Arnold Staudt, OSF, professor of organ, Briar Cliff University. Grateful for her instruction, Mary established an annual scholarship at Briar Cliff University for advanced organ study for deserving students. Her humble spirit shows in the scholarship’s name as it is listed in Sr. Arnold’s name, not hers.

After her children were grown, Mary became a “Girl Friday,” enjoying work in the accounting department at Iowa Public Service Company (now MidAmerican Energy). During election cycles, she volunteered helping various candidates in their bid for public office, and on Election Day worked at her voting precinct. She and John found meaning and strength donating their time, talents and oftentimes their garden’s bounty to The Soup Kitchen in Sioux City. They also participated in 24 tours to 63 countries around the world with their son Father John, until their health would not allow it anymore.

Volunteerism was keen in Mary’s heart — prayer too. Her prayers came from books and the rosary but also while she put in long hours in the family’s backyard garden where flowers, fruits and vegetables flourished. She sewed many outfits for her daughters, Jan and Maria, and mended countless stuffed animals and toys for her grandchildren. Her 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren were the light of her life.

She was a member of Church of the Nativity. She was honored to be a 50-plus-year member of the Catholic Daughters of America, Ave Maria Court No. 269.

The daughter of Polish immigrants, Mary instilled in her family the traditions, history, cooking and language of her heritage. A special day in her life was attending an address by the former president of Poland, Lech Walesa, when he addressed a gathering in Sioux City. A front-page newspaper photo of the two individuals meeting is a treasure for her family.

Survivors include her four children, the Rev. John Vakulskas Jr. of Okoboji, Iowa, Jan Masteller of Sioux City, Thomas (Barbara Dagle) Vakulskas of Sioux City and Maria (Ron) Vakulskas Rosmann of Harlan, Iowa; 11 grandchildren, Lori (Brad) Yates of Richmond, Ind., Jim (Tanya Langdon) Masteller of Omaha, Neb., Peter (Abra) Masteller of Miami, Fla., Jane (Alexander) Belov of Chicago, Ill., Michael (Jessie) Masteller of West Des Moines, Iowa, Brian Vakulskas of Sioux City, Molly (Eric) Vakulskas Joly of Sioux City, Dan (Nikki) Vakulskas of Sioux City, David Rosmann (fiancée Becky Tompkins) of Chatfield, Minn., Daniel (Ellen Walsh) Rosmann of Harlan, Mark Rosmann of Washington, D.C.; 13 great-grandchildren, Bryson, Ryan and Nicole Yates, Gabrielle, Justice and Quintessa Masteller, Jace and Ava Masteller, Alainna, William and Jack Joly, Samuel Levi Vakulskas, and Xavier Rosmann; sisters, Ann Pavlovich of Sioux City and Theresa Jackson of Arlington, Texas; and a two special cousins, Em Shuck and Eleanor Nashleanas.

She was preceded in death by her husband, John on May 5, 1999; son-in-law, Phil Masteller; her parents; and two brothers who died as young boys, Andrew and Teddeus.

July 16, 2014 - 4:05 pm - Posted in Obituaries

June Hartwig2June Hartwig, age 77, of Melvin, Iowa, passed away on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at her home in Melvin.

Funeral Services will be Friday, July 18, 2014 at 11:00 A.M. at the American Lutheran Church in Melvin. Rev. Judy Johnson officiating. Burial in Baker Township Cemetery in Melvin, Iowa. Visitation will be Friday, July 18, from 9:30 to 10:45 A.M. prior to the funeral service, at the American Lutheran Church in Melvin.

Online Expressions of Sympathy can be sent to

The Andringa Funeral Home of Sibley and Ocheyedan in charge of arrangements for June Hartwig.

June Mae Hartwig was born on July 24, 1936 in Sibley, Iowa. She was the daughter of Harry and Irene (Wietzema) Willemssen. She lived her youth in rural Sibley, where she attended a country school. When she was young she liked to trick ride on her horse.

She married Emmett Hartwig of Ocheyedan, Iowa in February of 1952. They lived and farmed by Ocheyedan. They went to Las Vegas a couple of times and enjoyed dancing in Sioux Valley at the Coliseum. In 1983, they divorced.
June purchased the bowling alley in Melvin.

She enjoyed going to flea markets with her special friend, Maynard Hanson. She also liked to watch people, visit with her friends, play slot machines and scratch tickets.

June thought the world of her family and grandchildren. She enjoyed playing Yahtzee, cards and Slap Jack with her grandchildren. She liked to cook and teach her kids to cook. Her favorite was fried chicken. She always had time for coffee and visiting.

She passed away on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at her home in Melvin.

Those left to cherish her memories are her children: Judy Wolterstorff of Melvin, IA and special friend, Paul Wimmer, and her son, Joshua Wolterstorff and his son, Izik; Peggy and Llyn Sorensen of Melvin, IA and their children, Jennifer and Adam Douma and their children, Abigail, Caden, and Brady of Ashton, IA, Lucas Sorensen of Cedar Falls, IA, Brittany and Brandon Elgersma of Sanborn, IA; Dan and Kelly Hartwig of Ocheyedan, IA and their children, Amie and Steve Elser of Ocheyedan, IA and their children, Keytin and Kyler, Rachael Votrobeck and special friend, Jeff Smith, and her children, Aubrey and Cooper of Hartley, IA, Caleb Hartwig; Connie Riedemann of Ritter, IA and her son, Niel Riedemann of Des Moines, IA; Sherry Hartwig of Spirit Lake, IA.

She was preceded in death by her son, Jerry Hartwig; her parents; one brother and sister-in-law, Clifford and Ruth Willemssen.

July 13, 2014 - 10:31 am - Posted in Obituaries

S KrugerShirlee Kruger, age 79, of Sibley, Iowa passed away on Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley, Iowa.

Memorial Services will be Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 6:30 P.M. at the First Baptist Church in Sibley. Rev. Doug Noonkeester officiating.

Visitation will be Tuesday, July 15 from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. and at 7:30 P.M. and following, with fellowship and lunch at the First Baptist Church in Sibley.

In life Shirlee gave of herself and in death she is donating her body to science.

Online Expressions of Sympathy can be sent to

The Andringa Funeral Home of Sibley in charge of arrangements for Shirlee Kruger.

n life Shirlee gave of herself and in death she is donating her body to science.

Shirlee Rae Kruger was born on July 16, 1934 in Cloverdale, Iowa. She was the daughter of Lee and Hattie (Feldkamp) Helmers. Shirlee lived her youth on a farm in the Cloverdale and Melvin, Iowa area, where she attended a country school and Melvin High School, graduating in 1952.

She was united in marriage to George Kruger of Harris, Iowa on May 28, 1954 at the First Baptist Church of Sibley, Iowa. They lived on a farm north of Harris, Iowa for 19 years before moving to a farm near Little Rock, Iowa where they lived for 25 years and then moved to Sibley, Iowa.

The hallmark of Shirlee’s life was volunteering in the community, her children’s schools and church. She volunteered at Country View Manor, Sibley Nursing and Rehab, New Beginnings Thrift Store and Village Northwest Unlimited. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary of Little Rock and various other organizations. She served with the Music Boosters and the Parent Teacher Association at Harris and Little Rock. She volunteered at the After School Chat Room in the Sibley-Ocheyedan School.
Shirlee was a life-long member of the First Baptist Church of Sibley where she taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School for many years and served on various committees. Bible study was important to her.

Shirlee will be remembered as a loving and encouraging mother and wife and for the unconditional love, support and hospitality she gave to her family and friends.

She passed away on Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley, Iowa.
Those left to cherish her memories are her husband of 60 years: George Kruger of Sibley, IA; her five children: Janet and Glenn Dykstra of Sibley, IA, Kelvin and Patti Kruger of Clinton, IA, Rae Jean and Dana Yost of Forest City, IA, Michael Lee Kruger of Sibley, IA, Aimelia and Steve Fisher of Sioux Falls, SD; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; one sister: Ruth White of Sioux City, IA; and one sister-in-law: Ruth Helmers of Sibley, IA.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her sister: Mary Louise “Liz” and husband Delbert “Dutch” Kruger; brother: Wendell Helmers; and brother-in-law: Ken White.

July 5, 2014 - 5:08 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Elizabeth M. Grote age 98 of Sibley, IA died Friday, July 4, 2014 at the Sibley Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Sibley.

Memorial service will be 1:30 p.m. Saturday, August 9, 2014 at the First Presbyterian Church in Sibley, with Reverend Terry Simm officiating.  The Grote family will be handling the service.
Elizabeth Mary Grote was born November 14, 1915, in Ellsworth, MN.  The first of 15 children to Frank and Gertrude Meester, she grew up in Ellsworth and attended school there.  She married and lived near Ellsworth and then near Little Rock, IA, until she moved to Sibley in 1966 having retired from farming.  Elizabeth worked at the Sibley Post Office until 1981 and loved her job.
She was a life-long member of the Presbyterian Church, taught Sunday school and Bible School, was a 4-H leader, and belonged to the Women’s Club in Little Rock and to Church Circle groups.  Elizabeth loved traveling and took many bus trips throughout the U.S.  She bowled for over 50 years until 2005.  She loved sewing, quilting, crocheting, and flower gardening.  She moved to Arizona to live with her daughter in 2009, and then moved back to Sibley in 2013.
Elizabeth is survived by her daughter, Rebecca Stefaniak , Glendale, AZ; 7 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; 5 great-great grandchildren; sisters Margaret Odenbrett (Jim) of Adrian, MN and Connie Wendt of Petersburg, TN; brothers Gordon Meester (Elaine) of Ivanhoe, MN, Dennis Meester (Barbara) of Bradenton, FL, and Gary Meester (Judy), Sioux Falls, SD; daughter-in-law, Shirlene Grote of Sibley, IA; and many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Henry Grote, her sons Franklin and Lawrence (Bud), sisters Gertrude Williams, Doris Kramer, Katherine Flynn, Delaine Gronewold, and Joanne Meester, brothers Jacob Meester, Henry Meester, Frank Meester, and Burdell Meester.

For a complete obituary and online registry please