Marcelyn Smid, age 81 of George, IA died Sunday, July 27, 2014 at the Good Samaritan Society in George, IA.

Funeral service will be 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in George, IA, with Reverends Paul Soderquist & Jan Burnett officiating. Burial will follow at Evergreen Lawn Cemetery in George, IA. Visitation will be Tuesday, July 29th from noon until 1:30 p.m. at the church.

In lieu of flowers family wish memorials be presented to:  Atlas of Lyon County.

The Jurrens Funeral Home of George is in charge of arrangements for Marcelyn Smid.

Marcelyn J. Smid was born on October 24, 1932 in George, IA, the daughter of John E. and Theresa (Sudenga) Smid. She graduated from George High School in 1950. She helped her dad with the Insurance Business and worked at Sudenga Iron Works and Sudenga Industries. She grew up in the Evangelical United Brethren Church and was the church organist there. When the church closed, she became a member of the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, where she taught Sunday school and Adult Bible class. Marcelyn graduated from Westmar College in 1959. She taught school at Harris, IA and Mason City, IA for several years. She attended St. Paul Bible College (now known as, Crown College in St Bonifacius, MN), for Library Science, and later became head librarian there until 1982. She received her Master’s degree in Library Science at the University of Minnesota, and took some summer classes through the University of Denver. She worked at Bethany College for five years. In 1991 she started working for Sanborn Christian School and retired in 2007. She was a member of the Federated Woman’s Club, the Lyon County Historical Society and Ostfriesen Geneological Society. Marcelyn loved to travel and traveled all over the world. She traveled to thirty-seven countries and all fifty states. She chaperoned several annual trips to the Browns Conferences at Lake Okoboji until she couldn’t do it anymore. Marcelyn had a passion for music and loved to read books. She loved the Lord and always had a good word to say about everyone.

Marcelyn is survived by many cousins and friends.

Her parents, and several cousins preceded her in death.

THIES-Terry-picTerry 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 Northwest Unlimited, 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.

Mr. Dale Schmith, age 74, of Hull, passed away on Thursday, July 24, 2014, at the Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pennsylvania.

There will be a celebration of his life on Tuesday, July 29, at 10:30am, at the First Christian Reformed Church in Hull. The Rev. Loren Kotman will officiate. Interment will follow at the Hope Cemetery in Hull.

Visitation will be after 4:00pm on Monday, with the family present from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, at the church.

Arrangements are with the Oolman Funeral Home in Hull.

Dale Arthur was born on August 17, 1939, at Doon, the son of Arthur F. and Amy Ruth (Techen) Schmith. He was raised at Doon, Granville, and George, graduating from the Doon High School. He was baptized and confirmed at the St. Paul Lutheran Church in rural Hull. He served in the United States Army during the Vietnam Conflict.

On January 9, 1960, he married Elizabeth Haveman in Hull. They made their home in Hull, where he was the parts manager of D & S Chevrolet for 35 years. He then worked as a stock manager at the Pella Corporation in Sioux Center for five years. In semi-retirement, he drove a head start bus part-time.

Mr. Schmith was currently a member of the First Christian Reformed Church, where he participated in a fellowship Bible study and a men’s morning Bible study. He also belonged to the William Monster American Legion Post in Boyden.

For more than twenty years, he was a very active member of the Gideons International, serving in all offices of the Northwest Camp. He was currently the President of the Iowa Gideons. For over thirty years, he participated in the M-2 prison ministry at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls.

Dale enjoyed camping, horses, motorcycles, and tractors.

Survivors include his wife of more than 54 years; a daughter and her husband, Linda and Kevin Roozing, of Hull; two sons and their wives, David and Linda Schmith, of Danville, California; and Darrell and Beth Schmith, of Sioux Falls; seven grandchildren, Matt Roozing, and his wife, Jennilee; Kendra, and her husband, Keith Van Nyhuis; Courtney Roozing, and her fiancé, Ryan Schmidt; Madison Schmith; Alyssa, and her husband, Mitch Chitwood; Zachary Schmith; and Makenzie Schmith; and three brothers and a sister, Dean Schmith, and his wife, Ladonna, of Boyden; Ken Schmith, and his wife, Rosalie, of Fredricksberg; Lila Hatting, of Sibley; and Wes Schmith, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister-in-law, Connie Schmith.

Katherine PrinsKatherine 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 at:

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.

Marvin E. Miller, age 59 of Alvord, IA passed away Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at the Good Samaritan Society in George, IA.

Memorial service will be 3:00 P.M., Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at Jurrens Funeral Home in Rock Rapids with Reverend Dean Shelly officiating.

Visitation will be Tuesday, July 29th from 4:00 to 8:00 P.M., with the family present from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M at the Jurrens Funeral Home of Rock Rapids, IA.

An online registry and full obituary will be available at: 

Marvin Eugene Miller was born on May 27, 1955 in Watertown, South Dakota, the son of Ralph and Lorraine (Marquart) Miller. He later graduated from Watertown High School. Marvin met Vickie Dean on August 16, 1980 at Lake Kampeska near Watertown. On June 19, 1982, they were united in marriage at Memorial Park in Watertown. The couple lived in several states such as South Dakota, Florida and Iowa. Marvin worked as a truck driver for Pete Klein Trucking in Rock Rapids, IA. His hobbies included riding his motorcycle and looking at old cars. His favorite was the 1955 Chevy, the year he was born. He will be greatly missed.

Marvin is survived by his wife of thirty-two year, Vickie Miller of Alvord, IA; four siblings, Sylvia (Robert) Peterson of Charlotte, North Carolina, Joyce (Richard) Larson of Fargo, North Dakota, Kenneth (Roxanne) Miller of Uvalde, Texas and Frank (Karen) Miller of Watertown, South Dakota; several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and other extended family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents; parents, Ralph and Lorraine Miller and one sister, Janet Mathews.

Lorene UnrauLorene Unrau, age 66 of Spirit Lake, formerly of Hartley, passed away at her home in Spirit Lake on Monday, July 21st.

Funeral services will be held Friday, July 25th at 11:00 a.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Spirit Lake, with burial at Pleasant View Cemetery in Hartley.

Visitation will be Thursday, July 24th from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. with the family present from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Thursday evening and Friday, July 25th from 9:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at the Hartley Funeral Home.

The Hartley Funeral Home in Hartley is in charge of the arrangements for 66 year-old Lorene Unrau of Spirit Lake, IA, formerly of Hartley, IA.

Lorene Mae (Puhrmann) Unrau, the daughter of Ray and Alma (Riebesell) Puhrmann, was born April 22, 1948 on a farm northwest of Paullina, Iowa. She received her Christian and elementary education at Zion Lutheran Church and School in Paullina, graduating from 8th grade in May of 1962, and was confirmed in June of 1962. She attended Paullina Community High School, graduating in May of 1966. She then attended Northwest Iowa Vocational School in Sheldon, graduating in June of 1967. She was employed at Van Iperen Feed and Grain in Hospers until she was united in marriage to her high school sweetheart and best friend, Dennis L. Unrau on November 2, 1968. To this union 2 sons were born, Gary and Brent, both of Hartley. They farmed north of Hartley from January 1970 until November 1986 when they moved into Hartley. In May of 2004, they moved to their lake home on East Lake Okoboji. Lorene was the elementary secretary at the HMS School District for 20 years and then worked as Office Director at Camp Okoboji for another 12 years. Lorene passed away at her home on July 21, 2014 having reached the age of 66.

Lorene was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Spirit Lake and the Y’adnom service club in Hartley. Her greatest joy was her grandkids. She enjoyed babysitting them, watching them play in the lake, fish and go boating. She enjoyed attending as many of their activities as possible. She enjoyed the many vacations with sisters and brothers-in-law. She enjoyed 500 Card Club with the Hartley Bunch and the breakfast fellowship following Sunday services with old Hartley friends and new friends from the lakes. She enjoyed sitting on the deck during the summer just watching all the activity and golfing.

Lorene is survived by her husband, Dennis of Spirit Lake, IA, their son’s: Gary (Allison Van Buskirk) of Hartley and their children, Jordan and Faith; and son, Brent (Amber Johnson) of Hartley and their children, Courtney, Madison, Danielle, Taylor, Tavian and Teagan; two sisters, Marlys Fear of Olds, IA and Norma (Richard) Johnson of LeMars, IA.; a brother Larry (Cindy Moos) Puhrmann of Nashota, WI; mother-in-law, Sylvia Unrau of Hartley, IA.; two brothers-in-law and their wives; Jim (Joan) Unrau of Spencer, IA and Randy (Jean) Unrau of Paullina, IA and many other friends and relatives.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Ray and Alma Puhrmann; father-in-law, Theodore Unrau; brother-in-law, Gaylon Fear; and many uncles; aunts; nephews; nieces and close friends.

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.

John CoulsonJohn D. Coulson, age 94 of Doon, IA died Saturday, July 19, 2014 at Rock Rapids Health Centre in Rock Rapids, IA.

Memorial service will be 11:00 a.m., Thursday, July 24th at United Methodist Church in Rock Rapids, IA, with Rev. Marsha Sangel officiating. Inurnment will follow at Riverview Cemetery at Rock Rapids. Family will be receiving friends and family Thursday morning one hour prior to the service at the church.

For a complete obituary and registration please visit

John Delbert Coulson was born July 9, 1920 in Grundy Center, Iowa, the son of Delbert and Gretchen (McDonald) Coulson. He was raised and educated in Grundy Center and graduated from high school in 1938. After high school John spent time at the local newspaper learning how to operate and maintain the printing press. He also worked as a telephone and telegraph lineman.

On July 3, 1942 John entered the Army Air Corps where he was a Radar Repairman for Airborne Equipment. He was honorably discharged on January 21, 1946 and returned to Iowa. He and Fred Jess purchased the Little Rock Freelance Newspaper in May of 1948 and ran the paper until August of 1952. On September 7, 1952 John was united in marriage to Beverly Jean Julia Hanson at United Methodist Church in Rock Rapids, IA. They made their home in Rock Rapids. He began working at the Lyon County Reporter as a Mechanical Superintendent. On July 17, 1991 John’s wife Beverly died after 40 years of marriage. Soon after, John retired from the Reporter after working over 30 years.

John was a member of the United Methodist Church in Rock Rapids and the Rex Strait Post No. 103, American Legion. He enjoyed fishing, gardening, mowing his yard, reading and short car rides. Most of all John enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is survived by five children, Jeane Bruns, Barbara Coulson, both of Doon, IA, Patti (husband Gene) Boon of Alton, IA, Mike (wife Tami) Coulson of Everson, WA and Nancy (husband Terry) Daily of Urbana, MO; seven grandchildren; and twenty-two great-grandchildren; a sister, Ruth Walters of Iowa City, IA; and other extended family.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Delbert and Gretchen Coulson; wife, Beverly Jean Julia Coulson; three brothers, Donald, Paul, and Wilfred; and one sister, Margaret Ashby.

Rudy RiessenRudolf “Rudy” Riessen, age 73 of Georgetown, TX; formerly of Hartley, IA, passed away at St. David’s Georgetown Hospital in Georgetown, TX on Wednesday, June 11th, 2014.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 26th at 11:00 a.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hartley, IA. A private family burial will be held at Baker Township Cemetery near Melvin, IA prior to the service.

The Hartley Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for 73 year-old Rudolf “Rudy” Riessen of Georgetown, TX; formerly of Hartley, IA.

Rudolf Jens Riessen, 73, of Georgetown, TX entered into eternal peace on June 11, 2014. Rudy was born on a farm near Anthon, IA to Reinhard and Ruth (Hobson) Riessen on January 17, 1941. When he was six weeks old, the family moved to a farm in O’Brien County near Hartley, IA. He attended country school at Lincoln #2 until the 8th grade, and then transferred to Hartley High School. He graduated from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD with degrees in both business and economics. After graduation, he returned to the Hartley area and farmed with his father.

On June 11, 1961, Rudy married Betty Polzin at the First Covenant Church in Sioux Falls. They lived in Sioux Falls for a year while he completed college and then relocated to a farm in Osceola County near Hartley. In 1965, they moved a mile and a half away to the Riessen home farm in O’Brien County. Three daughters were born to this union.

Rudy formerly served on the Augustana College Corporation, O’Brien County Cattlemen’s Board of Directors, O’Brien County Extension Council, Hartley Adult Farmers Board, O’Brien County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, Great Lakes Cattle Marketing Board, O’Brien County Land Use Committee, Lincoln Township Trustees, and several committees at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hartley.

In 1984, he was elected to the O’Brien County Board of Supervisors. As Supervisor, he served on the following boards: O’Brien County Emergency Management Agency, O’Brien County Emergency Medical Services Association, Regional Hazardous Materials Commission, O’Brien County 911 Board of Directors, Regional Transit Authority, Northwest Iowa Planning and Development Commission, and the O’Brien County Safety Committee. He was re-elected three more times, and served for 20 years before retiring. In 2005, Rudy and Betty moved to Georgetown, TX to be closer to their children and grandchildren. While there, Rudy drove for the COPS in Sun City and was a trustee for a time at Faith Lutheran Church in Georgetown.

Left to cherish Rudy’s memory are his wife, Betty; daughters: Julie (Phil) Boudreaux of Shenandoah, TX, Sherri (Phil) Crepinsek of League City, TX, and Lori (Brian) Webster of Seabrook, TX; grandchildren: Emily and John Boudreaux, Chloe Crepinsek, and Sophia and Gavin Webster; and his brother, Reinhard E. Riessen of Minnesota. Rudy is preceded in death by his parents, Reinhard and Ruth Riessen of Hartley, IA.