Evelyn Kahler

  • Born: October 19, 1934
  • Died: June 20, 2017
  • Location: Gregory, South Dakota

Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home

Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home
101 Gerkin
Gregory, SD 57533

Tel. (605) 835-9111

Tribute & Message From The Family

Message From The Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Evelyn by adding your memories and photos.

Evelyn Marie (Marts) Kahler was born October 19, 1934 in Agate, NE, to Dwight and Eva (Burkhart) Marts. She was the third of six children. Evelyn grew up on ranches in Bonesteel and Gregory riding horse, haying and helping her mom with gardening and her young siblings.

Evelyn graduated from Bonesteel High School in 1952. She then went on to get her teaching certificate from Springfield College. She taught in a country school south of Gregory.

Evelyn met Harold Kahler and they were united in marriage at St. John Lutheran Church in Gregory on August 14, 1955. They lived in California until the fall of 1962. While in California they adopted their two oldest children, Dwight and Kathryn. Then they moved to Colorado and lived on her parents ranch for six months before moving to South Dakota. They had four more children after coming to South Dakota. They moved to Brookings in 1975 and Evelyn went to work in town. She worked at the Entomology Lab for SDSU where she enjoyed her study of bugs. Evelyn was there until her retirement in 1997.

After retiring they bought a home in Gregory and moved back to where they originally started as a couple. Evelyn enjoyed her garden, family, friends, and going on the bus to the casinos. Evelyn was a member of St. John Lutheran Church in Gregory.

Evelyn passed away Tuesday, June 20, 2017, at Avera Gregory Hospital at the age of 82 after a short bout with cancer. Mom joined Dad in heaven exactly 17 years later.

Evelyn is survived by her six children, Dwight of Brookings, SD, Kathryn Miller of Gregory, Douglas, of Brookings, Daryl (Donna) of Brookings, Donald of Gregory, and Dale of Brookings; eleven grandchildren Eva, Tiffany, JD, Thomas, Matthew, Michael, Zachary, Jarrett, Jacob, Jasmine,and Savanah; 12 great grandchildren; three brothers Guy Marts, Jerry (Ann) Marts, and Tom (Robyn) Marts; two sisters-in-law Phyllis Marts and Evelyn Boortz; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband Harold, parents Dwight and Eva Marts, brother Ralph Marts, sister Esther Marts, sisters-in-law Betty Ann Marts and Esther Matthews, brothers-in-law Ted Kahler, Ivan Boortz, and Art Kahler.

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Funeral services for Evelyn Kahler, 82, were held on Saturday, June 24, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. at St. John Lutheran Church in Gregory with Pastor Marcus Ring officiating. A prayer service was held Friday evening at the church.

Music was provided by Leanne Sinclair, pianist. Congregational hymns were "Rock of Ages," "God Loved the World So That He Gave," and "I'm but a Stranger Here." Soloist Lee Marts sang "Amazing Grace."

Karen Robertson and Ann Marts were in charge of registration.

Flower attendants were Joy Serr, Lisa Johnson, and Dannielle Miller.

Casket Bearers were Thomas Miller, Matthew Miller, Michael Miller, Justin Kahler, Jarrett Kahler, and Jerry Marts Jr.

Honorary Casket Bearers were Zachary Kahler and Jacob Kahler.

Interment was in the Colome City Cemetery, Colome, SD.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I did not die.


Condolence & Memory Journal

I wanted to extend my condolences to Evelyn's loved ones and fellow friends in the passing of a truly exceptional individual. She was one of the most devoted and hardest workers for the Plant Science Department that I have had to pleasure to have known. Her tireless efforts were done during the early years when I was new to SDSU almost 30 years ago. She was always striving to do things at the very highest level and her work was done with a great deal of pride and resulted in an amazing level of success. I will always remember Evelyn's intense love for her family and she always shared her praise for all her family members accomplishments freely with me and others. Her many stores about her family were always reflective of someone with a great amount of love and respect for especially Harold and her children; however, she was also kind and caring to everyone else. We all will miss this wonderful lady.

Posted by Billy Fuller - Brookings, SD - Coworker   July 05, 2017

I offer my sincere condolences to the family of Evelyn. I got to know many of you while living in Brookings, and you are a very special family. I worked with Evelyn for several years at SDSU. She was a hardworking, dedicated, and wonderful woman. I was also blessed to know her as a friend. She was affectionately referred to as "Mom" by many on our crew, and she diligently made sure things were done right under her watch. She was never afraid to work hard out in the field, and I remember her thorough dedication in caring for the grasshopper colonies. She trained many people from around the US on the intricacies of rearing several different grasshopper species. She was a valued member of our team, and a major contributor to the National Grasshopper Integrated Pest Management program. She rarely took vacation time, but I remember her having to scold someone who she left in charge of her "hoppers" that didn't quite do it correctly. They didn't make that mistake again. I am deeply saddened at her passing, and I'll be praying for God's comfort for all of you as you mourn the loss of this dear woman.

Posted by Mark Boetel - Fargo, ND - Friend   June 28, 2017

Mama Kahler was so good to me. She made me feel as if I were her own daughter. We worked together for a short time sorting bug traps and splitting sunflower stalks at SDSU. Always had great conversations. My condolences to the family, especially you Kathy. Much love to you all!

Posted by Shirley Evenson-Woods - Family Friend   June 27, 2017

This lady was a good freind and like a mother to us will be miss until we meet again Prayers for the Family as u go thru these difficult times God Bless U All

Posted by Jim phyllis Anderson - Lennox, SD - Friend   June 23, 2017


I first met Evelyn in the spring of 1990 at the Plant Science building at SDSU. Evelyn was the "Grasshopper Lady". She fed and raised grasshoppers, trapped them, built the cages, and traveled all over the states to other universities to give speeches and lectures. Evelyn was proud of her grasshoppers and boy was her knowledge about them vast. She had to teach her new and younger bosses all about her grasshopper raising and breeding program. You see...... Evelyn had the touch, breeding grasshoppers in a cage is not as easy as you think. I remember one time Evelyn had to make sets of the five different stages, (called instars) of the grasshoppers in little bottles of formaldehyde so the field techs knew what to look for when scouting fields. I went to Evelyn's office to get my set and she informed me that she saved the best set for me. I jokingly asked her if she had named them too. She stared at me a moment and then she replied, "no Kim, they're only grasshoppers". I felt kinda sheepish and then she turned around with a grin on her face and a twinkle in her eye as she said, "except for big Pete there!" RIP Evelyn, I will miss you my friend!

Posted by Kim Compton - Brookings, SD - Friend   June 23, 2017

Such a beautiful lady! So sorry to hear of her passing. Wish I could be there, but not possible. My condolences to her family. She will be greatly missed. Thinking of you all.

Posted by Linda Koerten - Plover, WI - Family   June 23, 2017

Sure going to miss this great lady! Deepest sympathy to all of you. Let your memories hold her near.

Posted by Deb Leibel - Gregory, SD - Friend   June 22, 2017

Donny and Kathy,
So sorry to hear of Evelyn's passing. She was such a joy to visit with! May the peace of the Lord comfort you at this time. Hugs to the both of you.

Posted by Bryan & Angel Nelson - Gregory, SD - Friend   June 22, 2017

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