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

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Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home

Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home
101 Gerkin
Gregory, SD 57533
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Memories & Candles

“JaySorry about the loss of your dad. He was a great guy. Sending hugs your way.Love Beth Bolander-Ulvestad ”
1 of 27 | Posted by: Beth Bolander-Ulvestad - SD

“Want to say how sorry we are to lean of Brent's passing. He was such a friendly happy-go-lucky person even through all the tough times and illness. I...Read More »
2 of 27 | Posted by: Charlotte Piper - Wood, SD

“His faith and courage was inspirational for all. ”
3 of 27 | Posted by: Pete & Lynn Jacobs - Rochester, MN

“Though Dad was in the Army and we lived all over, he tried to get our family out to Winner, SD and Karney, NE every so often to see relatives. It...Read More »
4 of 27 | Posted by: Bernie Wortman - Evans, GA

“I knew Brent since early high school in Winner. He was always a bunch of fun and mischievous. Would often see Brent on occasional return visits to...Read More »
5 of 27 | Posted by: Rick & Twila Hartford - Hickory, NC

“Here is to one of the most kindest, most special, most loving man that I've ever known. Brent had a heart bigger than anyone and he loved spreading...Read More »
6 of 27 | Posted by: Vonda (Tatum) Hand - Platte, SD

“Although Brent's life was cut off way too soon, he touched the lives of many in a most positive way. He led a full life and we are sorry to see him...Read More »
7 of 27 | Posted by: Connie Musilek - Avondale, AZ

“I am so saddened to hear of Brent's passing. He was a friend for many years and always will be. Everyone's memories sound so much like the Brent I...Read More »
8 of 27 | Posted by: Connie Miller - Tyler, TX

“I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you. ”
9 of 27 | Posted by: Cheree Pederson

“I remember Brent from High School and later as a Winner Community citizen. I was a "Falcon" - he was a "Warrior". I always appreciated his humor and...Read More »
10 of 27 | Posted by: Lindsey Anderson - Hot Springs, SD

“So sorry for your loss. Sending my condolences to your family. Keeping you all in my prayers! ”
11 of 27 | Posted by: Monica Drapeaux - Geddes, SD

“Brent know the love that went with you and continues with Bev and your family Rest in Pease. ”
12 of 27 | Posted by: Annette Bell - Strasburg, CO

“I am sorry about your loss. He was an very good friend & will be miss by a lot of people around here ”
13 of 27 | Posted by: LeRay & Melvin Smith - Dallas, SD

“He is home resting with God the Father almighty. ”
14 of 27 | Posted by: Marcia Kindt - Mitchell, SD

“brent was a good guy he was there when my sister was killed in 1975 cindy sexton he stayed at our house all nite we were best freinds and lil and...Read More »
15 of 27 | Posted by: kevin an angie sexton - UT

“Our prayers and hearts reach out to all the family. Brent will remain an insipiration if faith , love , and compassion to us and many others. May God...Read More »
16 of 27 | Posted by: Della Boyd , Gary Zimbelmann and family - SD

“Lots of good times working with Brent. I will miss his Friendship until we meet again. Thinking of all of the family during these hard days. May God...Read More »
17 of 27 | Posted by: John Harter - Winner, SD - Friend

“Brent was an AMAZING man that always thought of others before himself. He will make heaven more fun than imaginable. Dad will be happy to see him...Read More »
18 of 27 | Posted by: Sue (Shedeed) Jorgensen - SD

“Having memories of years ago when I spent so much time at the Joe Janak home. God bless you, Brent, and your family. Thinking of all of you and...Read More »
19 of 27 | Posted by: Donella Pauli - Mondamin, IA

“We met Brent while Tim was in St. Mary's waiting for a lung transplant. He was one of the kindest and most positive man we met. Tim and Brent had...Read More »
20 of 27 | Posted by: Tim and Lori Reusch - Meriden, IA

“What a courageous gentleman. We are all blessed to have known Brent. He will be truly missed.My thoughts and prayers to the family. ”
21 of 27 | Posted by: Rae Gene Larson - Sioux Falls, SD

“My heart goes out to you Bev and the rest of Brents family. He was such a loving man. He fought a hard battle but father in heaven has decided it...Read More »
22 of 27 | Posted by: Shelia Beck - Omaha, NE - Friend

“Bev and family. I am so sorry for your loss. Wishing you peace and comfort. ”
23 of 27 | Posted by: Wanda Brown - Callaway, MD

“I met Brent approximately one year ago. He was such a positive person and he made me a better person because of it. He will be forever missed! ”
24 of 27 | Posted by: Don Springer - Millville, MN

“I first meet Mr. Janak during a blizzard. He took us into his home...that is the kind of man he was. Prayers to his family. ”
25 of 27 | Posted by: Mary Aurelia Keefe - Wood, SD

“I have known Brent almost my whole life. He worked for my dad for many years when I was younger. I will miss him calling me Sweetie and seeing his...Read More »
26 of 27 | Posted by: Kim Nagel - Winner, SD - Friend

“Brent was always a happy person with such a nice smile. He is in our prayers! Our condolences to all of you. ”
27 of 27 | Posted by: Kathleen (Meyer) & Rich Mc Kean - NE


Brent Joseph Janak was born May 5, 1954 to Joseph and Bernetta (Erickson) Janak in Winner, SD. He has an older brother Duwayne, older sister Delaine, and twin sister Beverly.

Brent enjoyed the outdoors and riding his bike and was an accomplished skateboarder. In high school he developed his love of cars. Brent attended St Mary's Catholic School through the 6th grade then he attended Winner Public School where he graduated in 1973.

After high school, he worked at numerous jobs including Mike's Body Shop, Grossenburg's, and Nagel's Body Shop. Brent also sold fire alarms and worked at KWYR as a DJ. He started his own business Brent's Body and Glass in 1990 where he did body and glass work in addition to towing, U-Haul rental and fixing bikes for the "Bikes for Kids" program.

Brent married Lil Engel on February 21, 1976 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Winner. Their son Jay was born on August 14, 1980. Lil died unexpectedly on March 15,1993.

Brent was active in many civic groups over the years including the Masons, OES, Jaycees and most recently the Rotary Club.

Brent later married Beverly Beck at the United Methodist Church in Winner on July 26, 2003. Together they enjoyed attending family functions, watching Nascar, and taking care of their dogs.

Brent used his auto body skills to restore his 1934 Chevy Master Sedan name "Lil 34". His car was a highlight of any car show it was at and it won numerous awards. Brent is a former member of "Street Masters" car club of Pierre, and current member of "Prairie Cruisers" car club of Winner. Brent loved Nascar and he and Bev attended several races including one on their honeymoon.

Brent enjoyed talking to people and making new friends. He rarely missed a family function or visiting someone in the hospital. He enjoyed talking to his grandkids, nieces, and nephews in his Donald Duck voice.

Brent was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in 2013. He faced his illness courageously, always had a smile, and was ever hopeful. On February 18, 2014 he was put on the active transplant list. He then moved for 6 month to Northfield, MN and waited for a donor. While there Brent volunteered at a local Senior Center.

On August 7, 2014 the doctors said he could go home. He wasted no time packing and headed for Winner. Brent's health continued to decline and the doctors thought he should be in Rochester so they could monitor his care. So On October 23, 2015 he checked in at St. Mary's Hospital.

Brent spent two months reading through the Bible while in Rochester waiting for new lungs. His faith was deepened and strengthened through it all. He was a man of his faith. Brent told Bev "when I come home, I want to read through the Bible together". Brent was an inspiration to everyone at St. Mary's Hospital. He was always encouraging others and excited when his new friends received their transplants. Brent enjoyed all the visitors this last year and especially appreciated the group of Mennonite girls that would come to the hospital and sing to him. Brent waited patiently at the hospital for 11 ½ months. Brent passed away on October 3, 2016, his long, hard fought, inspirational battle for breath was over.

Brent loved his family and made sure they felt comfort through his struggles. He told them it has been an incredible ride. I know where I am going and there will be no more pain, all is good.

He was preceded in death by his mother, his first wife Lil, father and mother-in-law Darrell & Maysie Engel, and brother-in-law Darrell Engel Jr.

Brent is survived by his wife Bev Janak, Winner, SD; son Jay (Sarah) Janak, Gregory, SD; three grandchildren Mason, Miley, and Madden; father Joe Janak, Winner, SD; brother Duwayne Janak, Gray, GA; sisters, Delaine (Dale) Larson, Sioux Falls, SD, and Beverly (Randy)Sprenkle, Sioux Falls, SD; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

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

Funeral services for Brent Janak, 62, of Winner, SD, were held Monday, October 10, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Winner with Pastor John Britt and Pastor Val Rush officiating. A prayer service was held Sunday evening at the church.

Julie Ann Farley and Donna Gloe were in charge of registration.

Music was provided by Josephine Green, pianist. Soloist Erin Grossenburg sang "One More Day." Jim & Coni Halverson sang "Amazing Grace, My Chain Are Gone." Congregational hymns were "In the Garden" and "Precious Lord Take My Hand."

Cora Lookbill, Laurie Anderson, and Diane Smith in charge of flowers.

Casket Bearers were Wendell Burtz, Bob Week, Dean Engel, Gary Gasperson, Dewayne Engel, Maurice Gustafson, Roger Janak, Bob Anderson, and Charlie Knight.

Honorary Casket Bearers were all of Brent's friends too numerous to mention and the staff at St. Mary's Hospital.

Interment will be at a later date at the Winner Cemetery, Winner, SD.