February 28, 2011 - 8:37 am - Posted in Obituaries

Suzanne Hibma, age 50 of Ocheyedan, IA died Sunday, February 27, 2011 at the Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley, IA.

A celebration of her life and legacy will held be at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in George, with Reverend Bryan Anderson officiating. Private family interment will take place prior to the service on Wednesday.

Visitation will be Tuesday, March 1, 2011 from 2-8 p.m. with the family present from 6-8 p.m. at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in George.

Memorial will be designated to the Okoboji Lakes Bible and Missionary Conference.

Suzanne Beth (Monster) Hibma was born July 6, 1960, in Worthington, Minnesota, the daughter of Arie and LaVonne (DeKok) Monster of Melvin, Iowa. She grew up on her familys farm and graduated from Melvin High School in 1979. She attended Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN and Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD. Suzanne was united in marriage to Stephen Hibma of Ocheyedan on April 3, 1982. They made their home in Ocheyedan until 1995, when they moved to their farm south of Ocheyedan, where they farmed and raised a family. Suzanne graduated from The University of Sioux Falls with a BA in business in 1999.

Suzannes love of books and people was lived out in her career as a librarian. She was Library Director at the Ocheyedan Public Library from 1990 until 2002, when she became Library Director at the Lake Park Public Library. She held this position until May 2009, when she and her family began her journey with brain cancer. The love of her Lord, her family, and many friends sustained her through this difficult time. Her beautiful smile and engaging manner drew people to her and she was able to show love in many ways. Suzanne and her family attended Tabernacle Baptist Church in George. She was most happy to see her faith lived out in the lives of her and Steves three children.

Left to cherish Suzannes memory is her husband of nearly 29 years, Stephen Hibma; three children, AnneBeth (Adam) Grimm of Sibley, IA and their son, Adrian, Stephenie Hibma and her son, Pierce of Sioux Falls, SD and Levi Hibma, a student at Bethel University; her parents, Arie and LaVonne Monster of Hartley, IA; one brother, Jeff (Barb) Monster of Ocheyedan, IA; two sisters, Leisa (Tom) Davis of Sioux Falls, SD and Machelle (Kent) Applegate of Lino Lakes, MN. She is also survived by many brothers and sisters-in-law, dozens of nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and nephews, and many friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents-in-law, Pierce and Charlotte Hibma.

February 27, 2011 - 9:52 am - Posted in Obituaries

Jessie Johnson, age 93, of Sibley, Iowa, passed away on Sunday, February 27, 2011, at Sibley Nursing and Rehab in Sibley.

Funeral Services will be Wednesday, March 2, 2011, at 2:30 P.M. at the Christian Reformed Church in Sibley. Rev. Roger Bouwman officiating.

Burial in the Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Worthington, Minnesota

Visitation will be Tuesday, March 1, from 1:00 to 8:00 P.M. with the family present from 6:30 to 8:00 P.M. at the Andringa Funeral Home in Sibley.

Jessie Arlene Johnson was born December 10, 1917, in Rushmore, MN, the daughter of George and Elizabeth (Janssen) Engelkes. She grew up in Iowa. Jessie graduated from Aplington High School in Aplington, IA, in 1936. She married Vernon Johnson in Hartington, NE in 1937. Following their marriage they settled in Bigelow, MN after Vernon was discharged from the Army. Jessie was a homemaker, but also an Avon lady many years. She also worked at Campbell Soup, the Sibley Hospital, and cleaned homes in Worthington, MN.

She was a member of the Christian Reformed Church in Sibley.

Jessie enjoyed cooking, flowers, especially African Violets; and took special joy in watching birds on her bird feeders. Her greatest joys were spending time with family. She was a loving and caring wife, mother and grandmother. After her husbands death, she moved to Sibley in 1995, and in 2001 she became a resident of Sibley Nursing and Rehab Center in Sibley, where she passed away on Sunday, February 27, 2011.

Jessie is survived by 3 sons: Larry Johnson of Sasebo, Japan, Gerald (Katy) Johnson of Spencer, IA, Dwight Johnson (special friend Judi) of Pryor, OK; 3 daughters: Marlene Johnson of Sibley, IA, Lori (Loren) Bosma of Sibley, IA, and Valerie (John) Janssen of Sibley, IA; 11 grandchildren: Joyce (Bobby) Patton, Kim (Rod) Hanson, Joe (Kiana) Johnson, Hayley (Doug) Orr, Dylan Johnson, Gentry Johnson, Matt (Kari) Bosma, Evan Bosma, Michael (Sarah) Janssen, Shane (Carissa) Janssen, Patrick Janssen; 9 great-grandchildren: Sheena (Wes) Pacheco, Breanne Patton, Alivia Johnson, Samuel Johnson, Sutton Johnson, Pepper Orr, Chase Orr, Olivia Orr, Paxten Janssen; one great-great-grandchild: Isabella Pacheco; brother-in-law: Harold Johnson; 2 sisters-in-law: Jennie Engelkes, Aljean Johnson; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, infant daughter Marcella, daughter-in-law Rieko Johnson, sisters Lena Siebrands, Martha Slater, brothers John Engelkes, Omke Engelkes, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law John Johnson, Maynard and Dorothy Johnson, MaryLou Johnson, Loren and Vesta Larson, Sam and Viola Tutje.

February 25, 2011 - 9:40 am - Posted in News

Osceola Electric Coop had to turn their power off Wednesday due to an interesting phenomenon. Mark Vander Pol from Osceola Electric explains that due to warming temperatures Wednesday and the ice coming off of electric lines, Osceola Electric Cooperative had to shut down their electric service area for a period of time to prevent electric lines from burning down.


He says the lines short and cause outages.

Vander Pol says they turned off their electricity at 11 AM Wednesday and had everyone back by 2 PM. He says it went quite well and because they had crews out patrolling the lines, they’re quite certain that enough of the ice has melted off the lines that they’re in the clear now.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director

February 24, 2011 - 9:20 am - Posted in News

For immediate release
Feb. 23, 2011

SIOUX CITY, IOWA (Feb. 23, 2011)—Long-time Area Education Agency (AEA) board member Percy Zylstra was known for his dedication to schools and students in the northern tier of northwest Iowa. He was witty, knowledgeable about educational issues, and extremely committed to his role for Norhtwest AEA. That’s why his sudden death last November left a big void on the board.

Luckily for the AEA and its constituents, the transition looks to be quite smooth as the position for District 1 shifts from one Zylstra to another. Keith Zylstra, Percy’s son, was recently elected by school board members in the school districts of Rock Valley, West Lyon, Central Lyon, George-Little Rock, Sibley-Ocheyedan and Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn. Keith was officially sworn in as a Northwest AEA board member at the agency’s January board meeting.

“Education has always been important to my family. I have served on the Sibley-Ocheyedan School Board in the past. I have been looking for an opportunity to serve in education beyond the local level,” explained Keith. “With my father’s sudden death leaving an unexpired term, I was anxious to honor him and learn about the AEA system.”

Keith, who is a farmer, has also served as past presidents for the Osceola Community Hospital Board of Trustees and for the Trinity Lutheran Church Council.

He grew up on the family’s farm near Ashton and attended school in Sibley. He now lives in Sibley with his wife Vicki, who is a teacher at Sibley-Ocheyedan Community School District. They have three children: Michael, Rachel and Eric.

Keith’s term expires in October 2011. He will decide at a later date if he will run for the position again.


With offices in Sioux City, Sioux Center, Cherokee, Denison, Ida Grove, Le Mars and Onawa, Northwest Area Education Agency (AEA) works in partnership with public and accredited private schools in a 10-county area of northwest Iowa to help assure that all children reach their full potential. The AEA provides special education support services, media and technology services, a variety of instructional services, professional development and leadership to promote school improvement. The Iowa General Assembly created the state’s AEA system in 1975. It is widely regarded as one of the finest in the country. For more information about Northwest AEA, visit <www.nwaea.k12.ia.us>.

Liz Determan
Communications Coordinator
Northwest Area Education Agency
1520 Morningside Ave.
Sioux City, Iowa 51106

Three large hog buildings were destroyed and 300 to 400 sows and their pigs were lost in a fire near May City Wednesday morning and it took four fire departments to put out the flames.

According to May City Fire Chief Nick Shaffer, their department was paged about 6:45 AM Wednesday to 2151 White Avenue — a half mile north, two east, and a half north of May City. That’s the Bruce Lorch place.

Before the fire fighters even left the station, Shaffer called for help from another fire department.

When they got there, Shaffer says they found one of four hog farrowing buildings totally engulfed. He says the alleyways between the buildings were also on fire, one was rolling pretty good, but another was on fire but not too bad yet. He says that’s where they focused their attack to start with to maybe save the building that was on the far end of that alleyway. He says that building did have minor damage, but they were able to save it.

The chief reports that three of the four farrowing buildings are a total loss. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Fire departments from Melvin, Ocheyedan, and Harris helped the May City Department.

Between 35,000 and 40,000 gallons of water were used to fight the flames, according to Shaffer.

Crews from the outlying fire departments were there until 11 AM — over four hours. The May City firefighters left about 1 PM, and were there about six hours.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director

February 24, 2011 - 9:01 am - Posted in Obituaries

Daniel Jobes, age 66, of Ocheyedan, Iowa, passed away on Wednesday, February 23, 2011, at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.

Funeral Services will be Monday, February 28, 2011, at 10:30 A.M. at St Peters Lutheran Church in Ocheyedan. Rev. Russell Anderson officiating.

Burial in the Ocheyedan Township Cemetery in Ocheyedan.

Visitation will be Sunday, February 27, from 2:00 to 6:00 P.M. with the family present from 2:00 to 4:00 P.M. at the Andringa Funeral Chapel in Ocheyedan.

Daniel Lee Jobes was born to Marvin and Florence (Holtz) Jobes on November 3, 1944, in Sibley, Iowa. He was raised in Ocheyedan, Iowa and graduated with the class of 1962.

He married LeAnn Lage of Round Lake, Minnesota, on November 26, 1964, in Round Lake. They lived in Minnesota, Kansas and Nebraska, later moving back to Ocheyedan. Daniel worked for 40 years in construction and carpentry, retiring in October of 2010.

His enjoyments were his grandchildren, his two cats, gardening, motorcycling, and rebuilding his 1973 Oldsmobile 442. He won many awards at car shows.

He will be remembered as a loving father and grandfather.

Daniel shared with his family and Pastor Russell Anderson, that he believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior.

He passed away on Wednesday, February 23, 2011, at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.

Those left to cherish his memories are his two daughters and sons-in-law: Lisa and Scott Wilke of Lincoln, NE, Lori and Audie Keaton of Papillion, NE; four grandchildren: Joshua Keaton, Gabrielle Keaton, Isabella Keaton, Zachary Keaton of Papillion, NE; one brother: Keith and Mary Jobes of Cheyenne, WY; two sisters: Karla and Jack Carmichael of Hillsboro, OR, Beth and Neal Consoer of Ocheyedan, IA; three nieces and five nephews; along with many loving friends and relatives.

He was preceded in death by his parents: Marvin and Florence Jobes.

February 23, 2011 - 9:52 am - Posted in News

It seems like the ice storm on Sunday was maybe a bit more severe in Sibley than in other locations. We talked to our Sibley reporter, Darcy Martinez.


She says she believes that’s why there were postponements and cancelations into Tuesday in Sibley while everyone else was done with those things on Monday.

She says her husband even told her to avoid one of the streets in town.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director

February 22, 2011 - 10:35 am - Posted in Obituaries

Joyce A. Harris, age 66 of Ocheyedan, IA, died Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at the Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley, Iowa.

Memorial service will be 11:00 AM Friday, February 25, 2011 at the Jurrens Funeral Home in Sibley, with Reverend Terry Simm officiating.

Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the Jurrens Funeral Home of Sibley.

Joyce Alvena (Schumann) Harris was born on January 31, 1945, the daughter of Roy Alvin and Alvena Amanda (Von Holdt) Schumann in Heron Lake, MN. She was raised on a farm near Sioux Valley, MN where she attended school. She later moved with her family to Round Lake, MN, where she attended and graduated from Round Lake High School. On June 30, 1964, Joyce was united in marriage to Bruce Harris at the Lutheran Church in Worthington, MN. The couple lived in Round Lake, MN until 1965, then moved to Sheldon, IA and moved to Ocheyedan, IA in the spring of 1968, where they have resided almost forty-three years. While Joyce and Bruce lived in Round Lake, she worked as a waitress at Hanna’s Café. When they moved to Ocheyedan, she worked as a cook at the Ocheyedan School and her latest employment was for Sathers. Joyce was a member of the St. Peter Lutheran Church in Ocheyedan. She loved to read books, go fishing and camping, doing crafts, baking, cooking, making chocolate candies and enjoyed a good cup of coffee while visiting with her friends. Joyce especially enjoyed spending time with her grandkids. Joyce died this past Tuesday morning, February 22, 2011 at the Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley, IA at the age of sixty-six.

Joyce is survived by her husband of forty-six years, Bruce Harris of Ocheyedan, IA; three children, Missy Clark of Beresford, SD, Troy Harris of Orange City, IA and Dawn Harris and her boyfriend Darry Klatt of Hartley, IA; nine grandchildren, Brett, Karley, Drew, Chris, Ashley, Haily, Alyssa, Jonny and Jessica; one sister, Carol Bennett of Cedar Rapids, IA; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents and one brother, David Schumann.

February 22, 2011 - 10:02 am - Posted in Obituaries

Edward Wheeler, age 87, of Sibley, Iowa, passed away on Monday, February 21, 2011, at the Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley.

Funeral Services will be Friday, February 25, 2011, at 1:30 P.M. at the United Church of Christ Congregational in Sibley. Rev. Larry Laskie officiating. Burial in the Holman Township Cemetery in Sibley.

Visitation will be Thursday, February 24, from 3:00 to 8:00 P.M with the family present from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. at the Andringa Funeral Home in Sibley.

Edward G. Wheeler was born on February 1, 1924, in Waterloo, Iowa. He was the son of Fred E. and Pearl M. (Ellerbroek) Wheeler. He lived on his grandfathers farm at Waterloo, Iowa. That farm was lost in the Great Depression. He moved to Sibley in 1929. Ed started school at that time and graduated from Sibley High School in 1942. He married his high school sweetheart, Caroline Timmermann, in 1942.

He started farming in East Holman Township with his parents at that time. In 1948 they moved to a farm one mile east of his parents farm and continued to farm there until 2003. His son, Kirk, joined him on the farm in 1980. Ed combined soybeans for 54 consecutive years with Massey Harris Combines.

He was a judge at many area tractor shows. Ed also enjoyed collecting and restoring antique tractors throughout his life. He sold his collection in 2009, hoping other collectors would enjoy them as much as he did.

He was a member of the Two Cylinder Technical Council for over ten years. He was an honorary member of the board of directors of the Granite Threshing Bee and a member of Prairie Reapers Power Reunion. Ed helped start the Northwest Iowa, Spencer and Siouxland Two Cylinder Clubs.

Over the years he would help tractor restorers with their problems over the phone. He received calls from 49 states and Canadian Provinces.

He was a lifetime member of the United Church of Christ, Congregational, serving as head usher for many years.

Ed passed away on Monday, February 21, 2011, at the Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley.

His memory is cherished by his loving wife, Caroline; his son, Kirk and wife Verla Wheeler of Reading, MN; his grand-daughter, Janece and husband IkeJon Nissen of Berthoud, CO; grandson, Dana and wife Melea Wheeler of Gilbert, AZ; six great-grandchildren, Logan and Tanner Nissen, Brett, Abigail, Lucas and Sophia Wheeler; one brother, Norman Wheeler of Sibley, IA.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

February 21, 2011 - 9:50 am - Posted in News
A Melvin man is behind bars after a traffic stop in Osceola County.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 57-year-old Kenneth Sterling Benz of Melvin was  arrested on Sunday (2/20) by a deputy for allegedly Operating While Intoxicated 2nd Offense, an Aggravated Misdemeanor and speeding. 
Benz was booked into the Osceola County Jail and is currently being held on a $2,300 cash bond.