Fr. Joe Forcelle
Organist ~ Coletta Stratman
Special Music by
Roger & Joyce Wermers
“Morning Has Broken”
“On Eagle’s Wings”
“Softly and Tenderly”
“Song of Farewell”
Kenneth “Ken” L. Wermers was on December 7, 1934 to Tony and Ruth (Schumacher) Wermers at Dimock, South Dakota. He attended St. Peter & Paul Catholic School in Dimock. In 1953, Ken enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp and was stationed at Camp Pendleton, California. After serving for 3 years, he was honorably discharged and returned home to South Dakota. On November 21, 1957, Ken was united in marriage to Patricia G. Kloiber at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Parkston. Together they were blessed with five children: Gregory Lee, Gordon James, Randall Joseph, Julie Lynn, and Leslie Marie.
For the first 5 years after their marriage, the young family traveled in a trailer home following Ken’s road construction work for G.H. Lindekugal and W.E. Bartholow. He then worked as a custodian at Sacred Heart Catholic School and Church in Parkston for 5 years. To help support his growing family with some supplemental income, Ken also worked by hand-digging 75 graves in the community. In 1966, they moved to Springfield where he was employed as a maintenance caretaker and bus driver at University of South Dakota - Springfield. He worked there for 18 years, and continued to work in the same position for an additional 14 years when the college transitioned into Mike Durfee State Prison. Ken also continued to serve in the South Dakota National Guard in Springfield for 6 years. On December 10, 1998, Ken and Pat officially retired from their South Dakota state employment. Following his retirement, he enjoyed helping his son-in-law on the farm for many years. During his years in Springfield, Ken was a member of St. Vincent Catholic Church as well as in the Springfield Fire, Ambulance, and Police departments. For a time, he operated a tree trimming and cutting business alongside his teenage sons.
In 2011, Ken and Pat moved to Yankton to further enjoy their retirement. Throughout the years, Ken gifted his family with many amazing projects from his woodworking shop that he spent countless hours in. He was a truly skilled craftsmen who happily inherited this hobby from his talented grandpa Schumacher. Ken and Pat also enjoyed boating, bicycling, and traveling. For a number of years, they traveled in their motorhome visiting family, friends, and seeing the country. During their travels, they experienced the fun of volunteering as campground hosts in: Manatee Springs State Park in Florida, John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo, Florida, and Maroon Bells National Recreational Area in Aspen, Colorado. While their daughter Julie lived in Germany, they were also fortunate to have spent 2 extensive trips throughout Europe.
Ken passed away on Friday, March 17, 2017 at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton having attained the age of 82 years, 3 months, and 10 days.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Pat Wermers of Yankton; children: Greg (Diane) Wermers of Fremont, NE, Gordie (Amy) Wermers of Rapid City, Randy Wermers of Tyndall, Julie Luke (Frank Barlow) of Sturgis, and Leslie (Scott) Schuurmans of Tyndall; grandchildren: Peggy Wermers (Alvin Kramer) of West Point, NE, Adam (Brittany) Wermers of West Point, NE, Jenny (Mario) Martinez of Omaha, NE, Kristin Gilbery of Yankton, Macee Lamphear of Tyndall, Maloree Lamphear of Tyndall, Tony Luke of Sioux Falls, Susan Luke of Huron, Jaclyn (Keith) Dvoracek of Tabor, Kendal (J.D.) Kappeler of Spring, TX, Brittany (Tyler) VanWinkle of Tyndall, and Paige Schuurmans of Spearfish; 22 great-grandchildren; 14 step-grandchildren; sisters: Ruth Corner of Fenton, MI and Carol (Dick) Reger of Hibbing, MN; brothers: Ronald (Sherri) Wermers of Berthoud, CO, Roger (Joyce) Wermers of Estelline, SD, and Thomas (Rhona) Wermers of Aurora, CO; sister-in-law Peg Wermers of Mitchell; and brother-in-law and sister-in-law Ron and Marilyn Kloiber of Pierre.
He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, brother Paul Wermers, in-laws Frank and Marie Kloiber, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Vern and Lucille Wermers, brother-in-law Richard Corner, and numerous uncles, aunts, and cousins.