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home : obituaries : obituaries
December 15, 2018

Obituaries (11-16-17)


Caroline Zila, 67 

Caroline Mae (Beckmann) Zila, 67, of Thurston, died Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 at the Pender Community Hospital in Pender. 

Funeral services will be Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pender. Pastor Robert Schilling will be officiating. The visitation will be Friday from 4-7 p.m. at Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Pender. Memorials may be directed to the family for future designation. Arrangements are under the direction of Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Pender. 

Caroline was born August 22, 1950 to Alfred and Orma (Witt) Beckmann in Pender. She graduated from Pender High School in May of 1968.  

Caroline married Donald Melvern Zila on December 26, 1969 at St. John’s Lutheran Church and the couple had three children.   

Don and Caroline owned Zee’s Greenhouse for many years.  

She enjoyed word finds, puzzles, reading and playing games, especially cards. Caroline loved coloring with and spending time with her grandkids and great grandkids. Caroline was a quiet, selfless woman who did anything for her family and will be greatly missed. 

Caroline is survived by her husband, Don Zila of Thurston; daughters, Jeanette (Maurice) Norton of West Point, Patti (Mike) Owen of Omaha, Christine (Mike) Krueger of Omaha; sisters, Marie (Larry) Sokol, JoAnn (Scott) Henrickson, Leora (Mark) Peterson; brothers, Marlin (Ruth) Beckmann, Dale (Becky) Beckmann, Alvin (Barb) Beckmann; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, Alfred Beckmann in November of 1997 and Orma Beckmann in September of 2016.


Gary Cooper, 67 

Gary Cooper, 67, of Bancroft, died Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 at Pender Community Hospital in Pender.  

Funeral services were held Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Pender with Reverend Kathy Montira officiating. Burial was in the Bancroft Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family for future designation. Arrangements are under the direction of Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Bancroft. 

Gary was born Nov. 12, 1949 in Pender to Glenn E. and Melba (Schnier) Cooper and was baptized and confirmed at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, which his grandfather Gerhardt Schnier helped to establish. 

Gary was active in FFA throughout high school, and won Best in Class at the Nebraska State Fair for his large white hog. Throughout high school, Gary could be found cruising Pender in his Chevelle, Cutlass or Bonneville or strumming his guitar in the band “The Tories.” Gary graduated from Pender High School and went on to study history and play football at Wayne State College. 

He married CynDee Waite on Nov. 12, 1977, at the little country church in Uehling. 

Gary worked with his parents, Melba and Glenn, his brother Clayton, and his wife CynDee at Triple C in Bancroft. In the late 1980s he built up Northeast Tractor Salvage, which shipped parts all over the world.  

Gary served as a member of the Bancroft Rural Fire department and on the Bancroft town council for a number of years. 

Gary enjoyed sports and was an avid Husker fan who traveled with his family to many away games. Weekends also consisted of driving his demo derby car, the “Coop #2,” fishing with his family at Yankton, and playing poker with his buddies. His grandkids recognized his larger than life status and nicknamed him “Big Grandpa.” 

Gary is survived by his wife, CynDee Cooper of Bancroft; son, Conor (Liz) Cooper of Fremont; daughter, CrisDee (Dave) Plambeck of Glenwood, Iowa; sister, Glenda (Mike) Gatzemeyer of Pender; brother, Clayton (Trudy) Cooper of West Point; four grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. 

He was preceded in death by his parents. 

Avonell Prochaska, 70


Avonell J. Prochaska, 70 of Prairie City, Iowa, died on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017 at University Park Nursing and Rehab in Des Moines, Iowa. She had been in Mercy Hospice for a short time. She died after fighting a courageous battle with cancer. 

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, Sept. 26, at the Prairie City Church of the Brethren. Burial was in the Waveland Cemetery. 

Memorials may be directed to the Prairie City Church of the Brethren or the Walthill School. 

The daughter of Joseph S. and Dorothea (Thomas) Prochaska, Avonell was born on March 9, 1947 in State Center, Iowa. She was a graduate of Prairie City High School and a 1969 graduate of Northern Iowa with a BA in education. She taught several years in the St. Louis area and spent the last 30 years of her teaching career in Walthill. Her students were her world. She spent many summers traveling with her parents and in later years with her aunt Velma Neideigh, seeing much of the United States.  

She loved reading, Facebook, flea markets and collecting owls.  

Avonell is survived by her niece, Jennifer Cattell; special friends Carol VanBaale Meador and Ale Lukan, and host of cousins and friends.  

She was preceded in death by her parents; sister Jolene Cattell; niece Jennifer Thomas and stepfather Clifford Hackathorn. 


Dorothy Chamberlain, 88

Dorothy M. Chamberlain, 88 of Dakota City passed away Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017.

Memorial services were 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, at the Dakota City United Methodist Church with the Rev. Jaime Farias officiating. Burial was in the Dakota City Cemetery. Visitation was at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the church. Following the service at the cemetery there was a lunch and a time for sharing with the family. Becker – Hunt Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.

Dorothy Mae was born May 19, 1929, in Walthill, Nebraska, the daughter of Frank and Rachel A. (Simonson) Strong. She graduated from Dakota City High School. She married Wayne A. Chamberlain Sept. 3, 1949 in Stransburg, South Dakota. She was employed in remedial special education for handicapped and dependent children with the South Sioux City School District.

She was a member of the Dakota City United Methodist Church.

Dorothy is survived by a daughter Debbra Schultz of Sioux City, a daughter-in-law Jeanne Chamberlain of Sioux City, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Wayne, March 15, 2016, two sons Randall and Rodney, eight brothers: Charles, Melvin, Willis, Bradley, Earl, Ted, Vernon and Oscar, and a sister Mary Jane Root.

Honorary pallbearers will be grandchildren: Chad Ferris, Cindy Ferris, Ryan, Rustin, Rachel and Randy Chamberlain.

Phyllis Reed, 97 

Phyllis E. Reed, 97, of South Sioux City, passed away Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, at her residence with family by her side.

Services were 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11 at Becker – Hunt Funeral Home with the Rev. Douglas Dill officiating. Burial was in Taylor Cemetery, near rural Homer. Visitation was at Becker – Hunt Funeral Home was from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 10.

Phyllis was born Aug. 15, 1920, in South Sioux City the daughter of Frank and Gertrude (Wood) Powell. She married Francis H. Reed June 26, 1937, in Dakota City.

She loved family and friends and her special son Joe. She enjoyed gardening, flowers and working cross word puzzles.

Survivors include three daughters: Phyllis (Eugene) Stokes of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Beverly Kosinski of South Sioux City, Kim (Harvey) Allen of Dakota City, three sons: Terry (Becky) Reed of Killeen, Texas, Rodney (Brenda) Reed of Hubbard, Joseph Reed of South Sioux City, a step-sister Janice Paulsen of Sioux City, several grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Francis, May 6, 1989, three sons Francis A. Reed, Gary R. Reed, Ernest D. Reed, a daughter Connie Smith, three sisters: Isabelle Renkel, Charlotte Marquart, Ruth Reed, and a brother Bud Powell. 

Rita Schlotman, 62

Rita Jean (Blair) Schlotman of Sioux City passed away at home on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 of congestive heart failure.

Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 at Mohr Funeral Home in South Sioux City. Visitation with the family present will begin at 9 a.m. prior to the service at the funeral home.

Rita was born on Christmas Day 1954 in Sioux City to Leo M. and Marcella A. Blair. She lived on the family farm at Hubbard until her family moved to South Sioux City in 1967. She attended school in Hubbard and graduated from South Sioux City High School in 1973. She graduated from Nettleton Business School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Rita was employed at Robert’s Dairy and Iowa Pork in Sioux City and was currently employed at Curly’s Foods as Payroll Administrator.

Rita and Clyde Schlotman were married in 1984 and were later divorced. When she married, she got an instant family, Todd and Troy.

Rita enjoyed crafts and was able to recycle and rework most anything into a holiday decoration. She enjoyed flower and vegetable gardening and we all enjoyed the home-canned fruits of her labor. She was a member of the Sioux City Four Wheel Drive Club and her 1976 Chevy Short Box Stepside pickup was her pride and joy.

Survivors include sisters, Maralyn (Joe) Grimoskas of Sioux City and Laura Blair Greason of Lincoln; nephew, C.J. Grimoskas of Charlotte, North Carolina; Todd (Lori) Schlotman, their daughter, Alyssa Schlotman (Robert Marnell) and children, Lily, Aspen and Brantley Marnell; Troy (Chari) Schlotman and children, Jessy (Nikki) Verzani and Tyler Schlotman all of Sioux City. Also surviving are an aunt and uncle and many cousins; and fur children, Maynerd and Smokey.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Leo and Marcella Blair; brother, Wayne Blair; sister, Louise Blair (June 2017); aunts, uncles and cousins, along with a favorite uncle, Alan Todd.


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