Monday, December 30, 2013

Military Monday: USS St. Paul

In May 1945, Lyle Jorenby left Boston on the newly commissioned cruiser USS St. Paul serving in the rank of Fireman First Class.

From the U.S. Military History site:
USS Saint Paul, an 13,600-ton Baltimore class heavy cruiser, was built at Quincy, Massachusetts, and commissioned in February 1945. She went to the Pacific following shakedown and participated in final operations against the Japanese home islands in July and August 1945, including firing her eight-inch main battery guns at targets ashore at Hamamatsu and Kamaishi.Saint Paul was present in Tokyo Bay when Japan formally surrendered on 2 September 1945. She supported occupation activities in Japan until November, when she went to Chinese waters, where she continued to serve until late in 1946. 

Source:; viewed on 7 December 2013.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Remembering Jeannette Waage

Heaven gained an amazing angel yesterday.  The oldest member of the John & Ida Waage family, Jeannette Waage, is now at peace.  She celebrated her 99th birthday on November 15th.  Aunt Jeannette with be greatly missed by the entire Waage family.

Jeannette (Langmeyer) Waage's Obituary from Skroch Funeral Chapel is as follows:

Jeannette T. Waage, 99, Brookings, SD, formerly of Colman, SD, passed away Thursday, December 26, 2013 at The Neighborhoods at Brookview. She was born November 15, 1914 in Kingsbury County, SD to Anton and Theresa (Fecht) Langmeyer. She attended country school and graduated from Carthage High School in 1933. She attended Eastern Normal and taught rural schools until her marriage to Joseph Waage in 1939. They farmed in Moody County until Joe’s passing on November 3, 1964. She remained on the farm until moving to Colman in 1971. Jeannette moved to Sunchase Apartments in Brookings in 2008 and to The Neighborhoods at Brookview on October 22, 2013. She enjoyed doing crafts at the Colman Senior Citizens Center and was an avid baseball and Minnesota Twins fan.  
Jeannette is survived by two daughters, Jonetta (David) Negstad, Arlington and Janis (Jim) Knutson, Rapid City, seven grandchildren, Nancy (Tim) Nelson, Barbara (Gale) Hojer, Neil Negstad, Wayne (Angela) Negstad, Ryan (Rebecca) Knutson, Jaima Knutson and Jonathon Knutson, 11 great-grandchildren, four sisters, Arlene Larson, Burke, Viola (Dale) Wagner, Virginia Billet, and Mary Collins, all of Brookings and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Joe, parents, a brother Andy, and a sister Berneda Scroggins.  
Funeral services will be 11:00 am Monday at Colman Lutheran Church with visitation from 2:00 - 4:00 pm Sunday at Johnson-Henry Funeral Home in Brookings. Arrangements by Skroch Funeral Chapel, Colman. 

Joseph & Jeannette Waage

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Remembering Pearl Harbor and Lyle Jorenby

Today, on December 7th, we pause to remember the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. It shocked our nation as the Japanese attempted to prevent the U.S. from interfering with Japanese military actions overseas, but we rose to the challenge and the rest is all part of our history.

In the Jorenby family we also celebrate the birth of Lyle Jorenby, who celebrated his 19th birthday on the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

Two months later Lyle became the man of the family, when his father passed away leaving him to help his mother care for his nine siblings ranging from 17 years to 4 months of age.  He loved and cared deeply for his family.  He enjoyed spending time with family.  In fact it is a pretty safe bet that Lyle didn't miss very many family reunions over the years, especially since he and his wife Mildred hosted reunions for many years.

Lyle worked hard both on and off the farm. He enlisted in the Navy and served his country proudly during World War II.  He started in the rank of Fireman First Class on the USS St. Paul and was in Tokyo Bay when Japan surrendered in September 1945.  Lyle was a genuinely happy man and generously aided many friends, neighbors and distressed travelers over the years.

We sadly laid the man we loved to rest a mere four weeks shy of his 91st birthday.  Lyle Franklin Jorenby will be greatly missed.

Obituary of Lyle Franklin Jorenby:
Lyle F. Jorenby, 90, of Brookings, passed away Sunday, November 10, 2013 at the Brookings Hospital. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at First Lutheran Church, in Brookings. Visitation will be from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Tuesday at Rude’s Funeral Home in Brookings. 
Lyle with his dad Norman Jorenby in 1923.
Lyle Franklin Jorenby was born December 7, 1922, the oldest of 10 children of Norman and Stella (Waage) Jorenby, in Brookings County, SD. He and his family farmed in various locations around Volga during the Great Depression. 
After graduation from Volga High School in 1941, Lyle worked on the family farm and was celebrating his 19th birthday when the news came of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. His father died 2 months later, leaving Lyle to help his mother with the raising of his 9 siblings, who ranged in age from 20 months to 17 years. He entered the service in July 1944, enlisting in the Navy, training at Naval Station Great Lakes and at Naval Station Newport. Lyle left Boston on the newly commissioned cruiser USS St. Paul serving in the rank of Fireman First Class in May '45. He saw action in Japan's home waters and was on the St. Paul in Tokyo Bay when Japan signed the terms of surrender in Sept. 1945. After occupation service in Japanese waters and in Shanghai, the St. Paul returned to the U.S. in January '46, where Lyle dis-embarked, was honorably discharged, and returned to civilian life. 
Lyle then worked for the Chicago Northwestern Railroad for 8 years as a gandy dancer and then as a section foreman. He met Mildred Peterson at a dance at the old National Guard Armory in Brookings and was united in marriage to her on April 18, 1952 in Sioux Falls. They made their first home in Lake Preston, where their 3 children were born. 
After Mildred's father died, the family moved in 1956 to the farm Mildred grew up on northeast of Brookings. Like many farmers of that era, they raised beef and dairy cattle, pigs, sheep, and chickens. They later specialized in beef cattle, specifically Angus and Charolais. Lyle was able to share many farm duties and stories with Mildred's brother Robert, who farmed and lived with his family, in the early years, on the farm next to Lyle and Mildred. 
Lyle and Mildred retired in 1990 and bought a house in Brookings. They enjoyed traveling to Hawaii, Vegas, California, and closer spots, and were active in church, and in the wellness and walking programs at SDSU. Lyle worked part-time as a driver for the Brookings AgFirst Farmer's Coop for a number of years after retirement. He was primary caregiver for Mildred during her struggles with Alzheimer's until her admission to a nursing home in 2008. Due to diabetic complications, Lyle lost his right leg on the day of his wife's funeral, Veteran's Day in 2009, and lost the other leg a year later. He was admitted to Brookview Manor on his 87th birthday, moved to The Neighborhoods at Brookview in 2013 and lived there until being admitted to the Brookings Hospital on November 8th, 2013, where he passed away on November 10, 2013. 
Lyle was mostly a quiet, unassuming man, a hard worker who was happiest when planting or harvesting crops, watching TV, playing old records, reading, or doing picture puzzles with family, then going to social functions with Mildred after retirement. On the farm, in the winter, after Mildred went back to work, he became the chief cookie-baker and supper-starter. He loved his kids and grandkids, and liked to tease them, as well as the workers he met later at Brookview. Lyle offered assistance to distressed travelers and neighbors, pulling many a driver out of snowdrifts, as well as out of mud holes during the county road rebuilding project in front of the farm, all without complaint. 
Lyle is survived by sons Howard (Cheryl) and Kevin of Brookings; brothers Cliff (Lori) of White and David of Brookings; sister Marge (Alton) Quam of Volga; grandchildren Andy and Kristi Finkhouse of Rapid City, Destiny, Josiah, and Jeremiah Jorenby of Brookings, and Hope Folkens of Brookings; as well as several in-laws, nieces and nephews. 
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Mildred; daughter Cynthia Finkhouse; brothers Donald, Carroll, Burt, and John; and sisters Betty Bovee and Sharon Watt. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Joyce Anderson

In memory of Joyce Anderson, wife of Glen Anderson who is a Waage cousin:

Joyce Irene Anderson, 80, passed away Saturday, February 2, 2013 at the Flandreau Medical Center. She was born June 7, 1932 in Hendricks, MN to Martin and Gina (Sommervold) Christopherson. She attended country school through the eighth grade. Joyce married Glen Anderson on February 24, 1949 in the Christ Lutheran Parsonage in Hendricks. They lived near Elkton, SD and Joyce worked at the Staurolite Inn in Brookings. They moved to Rapid City in 1960 but returned to Elkton in 1961 where they lived on the farm. They moved to Edgewood Vista, Flandreau, SD in October 2012. Joyce worked at Royal Plastics and Sunchase until her retirement in 2007. Joyce enjoyed gardening, garage sales, cooking, antiques, shopping and loved her family.

 Joyce is survived by her husband Glen, son Jim, Elkton, daughter Pat (Rick) Ehret, McMinnville, OR, four grandchildren, Tara (Chris) Quincy, Krystal (John) Demay, Brooke Ehret, Jade Ehret, three great-grandchildren, Caden, Emma Joyce and Hailey, and three sisters, Helen Hemish, Alice (Jim) Leuning and Marcella Lang. She was preceded in death by an infant daughter, her parents, four brothers, Harry, Clifford, Kenneth, Leonard and four sisters, Cora, Pearl, Viola and Vada.

Funeral services will be 11:00 am Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at Christ Lutheran Church, Hendricks, MN with burial in Calvary Cemetery. Visitation is from 5-7 pm Monday at Skroch Funeral Chapel, Flandreau, SD.  

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Ada Gossau

In loving memory of Aunt Ada, here is the obituary of Ada B. Gossau from the Leola (Workman) Crapser's files.

Ada B. Gossau
Ada Blanche Gossau, 71, died Saturday, Nov. 28, 1987 at the Estelline Community Hospital.

Funeral services will be at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at Sterling United Methodist Church, rural Brookings with the Rev. Penny Ritter officiating.  Burial will be at Sterling Methodist Cemetery.  Visitations may be made from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at Rude's Funeral Home; the family will be in attendance.  Visitations also may be made preceding services Tuesday at the church.

Ada Blanche Gossau was born Sept. 10, 1916, in Sterling Township, Brookings County, to Jessie and Blanche (Heard) Workman.  She attended rural school in Sterling Township and graduated from Brookings High School.  She then moved to Chicago and spent several years there working in factories.  She also lived in California for a year.  She married Charles T. Gossau on June 2, 1947, in Pipestone, Minn., and the couple made Brookings their home.  She worked at various jobs in Brookings until retiring in 1980.  Mr Gossau died May 1, 1987, in Sioux Falls.  She enjoyed bowling, fishing and craft work.

Survivors include one daughter, Margaret Gossau of Brookings, and two sisters, Mrs. Sara (Raymond) Laganella of Philadelphia, Pa., and Mrs. Leola Crapser of Sioux Falls.  She was preceded in death by her husband and one brother.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Those Places Thursday: Sterling Methodist Church

Sterling Methodist Church
The Workman family has been part of the Sterling Methodist Church congregation for much of the congregation's history.

The earliest records of the church date back to 1878 and include mention of travelling ministers.  In 1884, the Congregation of  the German Methodist Episcopal Church of Sterling Township of Dakota Territory was officially established and met in homes of the members.

It wasn't until 1895 that the congregation had a church building.  George L. Workman leased the three acres of land the church was built on in Sterling Township, Brookings County, South Dakota from Daniel Koester for $30.00.

The first wedding held in the church building was that of Anna Workman and Merle Taylor in June of 1946.

In 1984 the congregation had 29 members, many of them related to the Workman family.

Interior of the Sterling Methodist Church

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Occupation: Farm Laborer and Census Enumerator

In a rural community during a midwestern summer in the year 1900, one might expect to find a 20-year-old man working hard on the family farm. Right?

Of course! So it was no surprise when I found my great-great grandpa Jesse Workman in the 1900 U.S. Census listed with his parents and brother right there on the family farm in Sterling township, Brookings County, South Dakota. Twenty-one years old, single, and his occupation listed as "Farm Laborer".

Source: - 1900 U.S. Federal Census.  To see the census lines for the George Workman family, click here.

But as I looked up towards the top of the census page to gather the little bits of data identifying the location and date of the census, I saw a familiar name. 

"Enumerated by me on the 1 day of June, 1900, Jesse Workman, Enumerator."

Grandpa!  I never would have expected to see grandpa Jesse's name listed as the census enumerator.  I just always expected that city folks would be the enumerators.

I guess this might explain why his parents George and Minnie Workman are the first people listed for this enumeration district as well.  Gotta start with the people you know best!

(Disclaimer: I didn't really need to look at the top of the census page to identify the location of this family since Workman family members still farm the same land today. It's just a good habit to look there.  And now I have another reason to look at that information - you just never know what you'll find!)