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Lois J. Prokop

Lois J. Prokop, age 90, of Kadoka, died Thursday, October 13, 2005, at the Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital in Philip.

Funeral services were held Monday, Oct. 17, at the Concordia Lutheran Church in Kadoka with Pastor Ann Schlossnagle officiating.

Music was provided by JoAnne Stilwell, organist, with congregational hymns. Readers were Rose Gil and Sheri Webster and a poem by her nephew, Orville Balzer. Register book attendants were Sheri Webster, Tammy Ann Prokop and Gailya Logan. Ushers were Thad Stout and Claude Allen Berry. Pallbearers were Cliff Parke, Owen Ferguson, Clee Brakke, Charlie Carlson, Janet VanderMay and Dave Hemmingson.

Interment was in the Kadoka Cemetery. Rush Funeral Chapel of Kadoka was in charge of the arrangements.

Lois J. Prokop was born February 1, 1915, in Cherry County, NE. She passed away October 13, 2005, in Philip.

As a baby, her family, Orville and Hazel Hampton, moved to Wellsburg, SD, in Haakon County. They lived in the Philip, Kadoka, Wanblee area for many years.

Lois graduated from Philip High School and went on to marry Otto F. Prokop in 1932. They lived on the last place to be homesteaded in Jackson County and eventually added land and cattle to create the Half Diamond Seven Ranch. The Half Diamond Seven was known for good Hereford cattle and warm hospitality and Lois' kitchen fed many a hand, neighbors, family and people just passing through the area.

Lois has a daughter, Bonita, who ranches in Custer, SD, with her husband, Clair. Her son, Veryl, ranches on the home place and near Kadoka with his wife Marilyn. Remaining family includes four grandchildren, Sheri (Harris) Webster and her husband, Ray, of Custer, Jane Harris and Dean Hitshew, also of Custer, Tammy Ann Prokop of the Minneapolis, MN, area and Charlie Prokop, Kadoka.

She is also survived by six great-grandchildren, Anthony Webster, Rapid City, Andrew Webster, Spearfish, Joey Harris-Phillips, Custer, Jenna Harris, Custer, Jake Harris-Raver, Custer, and Jazmin Hitshew, Custer. She was blessed with two great-great-grandchildren, Derek and Addison. Brothers and sisters include Harry Hampton, Redondo Beach, CA, Mary Tucker and her husband, Charles, Tillamook, OR, Rose Lewis and her husband, Gil, Bryan, OH, and Russ Hampton and his wife, Patricia, of Keizer, OR. She loved and was loved by many nieces and nephews. 

Lois was a wonderful historian and spent many hours assisting people with family information, and doing research on the history of the Jackson and Haakon county areas. She helped to author the Jackson-Washabaugh County History Books and also authored  the book Women, Horses and Show 'Biz, a biography of  Madge and Grace Runyan, champion lady bronc riders and trick riders in the early 1900s.

Lois also wrote for The Kadoka Press for many years, keeping the area informed on the Wells Community news.  She wrote numerous articles over the years for area papers and was instrumental in the founding of the Kadoka Museum.  A member of the South Dakota Historical Society, Lois was also a proud member of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.

Lois was a charter member of the Kadoka Senior Citizens and served in many capacities at the Concordia Lutheran Church including being an avid quilter with the Ladies Guild. She loved playing cards, especially Hand and Foot with her friends at the "Apartments". She and Otto spent many hours producing music at dances and for the family at get-togethers, Otto on the fiddle and harmonica, Lois playing the banjo. They loved to square dance and spent many evenings attending dances around Western South Dakota and especially the old-time community picnics and dances. The old Sauser house shook with the sound of foot stomping and fiddle music.

Lois was active in the ranching business until her death and loved her cattle and horses. Her hobbies included numerous handcrafts with thousands of stitches crocheted and  many quilts gracing the homes of friends and family. She was also an able handyman, rebuilding broken appliances and little projects around the house. Lois learned to run a computer at age 88 and enjoyed keeping in touch with family and friends through technology. Her favorite pastime was working crossword puzzles and she was rarely caught without a puzzle at hand and a good, sharp pencil.

Lois was preceded in death by her husband, Otto; her parents, Orville and Hazel Hampton; brothers, Leslie and Don Hampton; and a sister, Violet.   

A memorial has been established.