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Harlan hammerHarlan L. Hammer
Funeral Service for Harlan L. Hammer, 94, of Sisseton, SD, was Monday, August 1, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, Sisseton, SD, with Rev. Aaron Deutsch and Rev. James Thvedt officiating. Organist was Estelle Pearson with special music by Rev. Aaron Deutsch and Pat Schubert. Pallbearers were Bruce Hammer, Dan Hammer, Aric Christiansen, Guy Christiansen, Trevis Alberts, and Jason Lotzer. Honorary Pallbearers were Members of the Otto-Quande-Renville American Legion Post #50, Fort Sisseton Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3342, Dr. Judy Beumer, All of Harlan’s grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family and friends, the staff of Tekakwitha Living Center, Edgewood Vista and the Rainbow Daycare Kids. Visitation was held Sunday at the Cahill Funeral Chapel, Sisseton, SD, from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. with a short Prayer Service at 6:00 p.m. Interment was in the Sisseton Cemetery, Sisseton, SD, with Military Rites by the Otto-Quande-Renville American Legion Post #50 and Fort Sisseton Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3342. The Cahill Funeral Chapel, Sisseton, SD, was in charge of funeral arrangements.
Harlan L. Hammer was born on August 13, 1921, in rural Hammer, SD, to Gunder and Kristi (Aas) Hammer. He was baptized and confirmed at Nidaros Lutheran Church, Hammer, SD. In 1927 Harlan’s parents built a new home in Hammer and retired from farming. Harlan attended eight years of elementary school in Hammer and graduated from Sisseton High School in 1940. In the fall of 1940 he enrolled at Northern State College in Aberdeen, SD. On October 12, 1940, Harlan enlisted in flagthe Aberdeen unit of the South Dakota National Guard. On February 10, 1941 his unit was assigned to the 34th Infantry Division of the United States Army and transferred to Camp Claiborne, LA. On Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1941, Harlan’s unit broke camp and was sent to Texas City, TX, and did guard duty at Galveston, TX, and the Gulf of Mexico. In early 1942, the 34th Infantry Division was the first American unit to land in Europe in World War II. During his three and a half years of overseas duty Harlan was awarded five Bronze Battle Stars for being in five major battles: Tunisia, Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, North Apennines, and Po Valley. He received the European African Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, as well as the Rifle Marksmanship and Good Conduct Medals. Harlan received his honorable discharge from the United States Army on August 29, 1945. On October 20, 1945, Harlan was united in marriage to Doris Krause at Zion Lutheran Church in rural Claire City, SD. To this union three children were born. Harlan and Doris farmed and operated a grocery store in Hammer for a short period of time after being married. In 1955 Harlan was named the Executive Director of the Roberts County ASCS Office, and served in the position until his retirement on January 8, 1982. A proud veteran, Harlan was a life member of the Otto-Quande-Renville American Legion Post #50 and the Fort Sisseton VFW Post #3342 of Sisseton. Education was also important to Harlan. He was one of the men who founded the Sisseton Alumni Association. He was a long time member and past president of the Sisseton School Board, which was named the Outstanding School Board in the nation for schools of 3000 student or less in 1966, as well as a member of the board that secured funds to build the new high school. Harlan was also a member of the former Roberts County Board of Education. He was a past member and past president of the Kiwanis Club, and the Grace Lutheran Church Council. Harlan was a charter member and past president of the Multi-District Vocational Center in Sisseton, as well as a den master for the Cub Scouts. In 1990, Harlan was named Alumnus of the year for Sisseton High School. Governor William Janklow named August 26, 1995, Harlan Hammer Day in honor of Harlan’s military service in World War II. Harlan was a long time supporter of the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins and the Sisseton Redmen Athletic Teams. He will be fondly remembered as a proud Norwegian who often said the secret to living a long and healthy life was eating lutefisk.
Grateful for sharing his life are his two sons, Bruce (Jeani) Hammer of Sisseton, SD, and Dan Hammer of West Fargo, ND; son-in-law Guy Christiansen of Milnor, ND; four grandchildren, Aric, Molly, Trevis and Kara and six great-grandchildren, Macy, Gage, Lucas, Aunna, Emily and Max.
Preceding Harlan in death were his loving wife, Doris; his beloved daughter, Marilyn; his great-grandson, Thomas; and his parents, five brothers and two sisters.
For Harlan’s obituary and on-line registry please visit

Bernita SimonsonBernita V. Simonson
Memorial Service for Bernita Viola Simonson, 72, of Lake City, SD, was held on Friday, August 5, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at the Family Life Assembly of God Church in Sisseton, SD, with Pastor Richard Grorud officiating. Special music was provided by Sheila Oreskovich and Mabel Almos, and Krystal and Del Williams. Honorary Pallbearers were all of Bernita’s friends and relatives. Interment will be in the One Road Bethel Cemetery at a later date. There was a memorial visitation on Friday from 11:00 a.m. until service time, also at the Church. The Cahill Funeral Chapel was in charge of arrangements.
Bernita was born on Feb 28, 1944 in Confidence, IA to Laurel and Geneva Brown. She graduated from Seymour High School in 1962. Bernita and Rod were married in Cedar Rapids, IA in Feb of 1974. She retired from Rockwell/Collins in 2001 which allowed her to take up quilting. She loved to make lap quilts for family and friends.
After visiting her nephew’s place at the lake, she expressed a desire to also have a lake house. This dream became reality in the early 90s, and Bernita fell in love with the people and the area. She loved the way people got together and enjoyed the fellowship. Bernita was a member of the Buffalo Lake Free Lutheran Church where she met many people she called her friends. She loved all kinds of flowers and was a member of one of the local garden clubs. But most of all she loved going out to breakfast with relatives and friends. Bernita passed away on July 30, 2016 at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD.
Survivors include her husband, Rodney; daughter, Tammy (Brian) Keller, Alburnett, IA; son, George (Robyn) Stewart, Cedar Rapids, IA; and sisters, Jan (Wayne) Hancox, Marion, IA, Lois (Robert) Ziegler, Sewal, IA, Joy (Carroll) Gordy, Exline, IA, and Elaine McGrann, Moulton, IA.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Laurel and Geneva Brown, Seymour, IA; brothers, Allen Brown, Newton, IA, and Ellis (Sandra) Brown, Corydon, IA; and sister, DeVee (Lawrence) Baker, Harvey, IA.
Any memorial funds received will be donated to small cell lung cancer research.
Many thanks to each and every one of you who offered prayers. They were and are much appreciated. Bernita will be missed.
For Bernita’s obituary and on-line registry, please visit

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