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Bernice Semmler

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Bernice Semmler

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Bernice Agnes Semmler, 86, went to her heavenly home Friday, July 5, 2019 at Avera Bormann Manor in Parkston, S.D. A funeral service was held Tuesday, July 9 at Salem Lutheran Church in Parkston.

Bernice was born June 7, 1933 to William and Bertha (Mudder) DeVries in Highmore, S.D. At a young age, she moved with her family to Tripp, S.D. She was united in marriage to Harold J. Semmler on April 5, 1953 at Salem Lutheran Church in Parkston. To this union, four children were born: Joleen, Cheryl, Tim and Terrance. They farmed in Douglas County, S.D. until Oct. 16, 1965 when Harold died as the result of a farm accident. 

She married Helmuth “Hank” R. Semmler on July 16, 1967 at St. Peter Lutheran Church near Armour, S.D. To this union, two children were born: Tom and Jason. They farmed west of Parkston until Hank’s death on June 10, 1985. Bernice stayed on the farm until retiring into Parkston in 1992. Bernice loved spending time with family and friends, was an avid supporter of her grandchildren, Trojan Athletics, and was the recipient of the first Trojan Fan of the Year Award. She was also a member of Salem Lutheran Church in Parkston and enjoyed gardening, canning and flowers.

Grateful for having shared her life are her 6 children: Joleen (husband, Randy and children Jeremy, Josh, Jared and Jesse) Erickson of Everett, Wash, Cheryl (husband, Kelly and children Kyle, Travis and Trisha) Langle of Freeman, S.D., Tim (wife, Barb and children, Courtney, Tera and Paige) Semmler of Parkston, Terrance (wife, JoLae and children, Austin, Rachel and Ashton) Semmler of Sioux Falls, S.D., Tom (wife, Renee and children, Andrew and Miles) Semmler of Parkston, and Jason (wife, Julie and children, Nichole, Matthew, Dawson, Caitlin and Matt) Semmler of Parkston; 12 great-grandchildren; three sisters-in-law: Annetta Heckenlaible, Florence Semmler and Laura Semmler; a brother-in-law, Arlington Semmler; and a host of nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; two husbands, Harold Semmler and Hank Semmler; a brother, LaVelle DeVries; and a sister, Alice Baumiller.