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Doug Simkins

Pause National Honor by Penka Kouneva, composer (BMI)
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Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home

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

“Lynne and family we are so sorry for your loss, we didn't know Doug but through talks with you we know he was a very special person and you loved him...Read More »
1 of 7 | Posted by: Ed and Susan Krogman - SD

“So sorry for your loss of Doug. We had not heard of his passing until noon today. Wish we could have joined you for services. ”
2 of 7 | Posted by: Bob and Ruth Farnsworth - Carter

“I am so sorry and prayers are for you and your families...I can't help to smile when I think of Doug..I worked with him for 20 years and to the last...Read More »
3 of 7 | Posted by: Liz Farley - Winner, SD

“So sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and all those who loved Doug. ”
4 of 7 | Posted by: Bonnie Haines - Sisseton, SD

“Rest in Peace, Marine!Semper Fidelis ”
5 of 7 | Posted by: Timothy W. Illingworth - Ambler, PA

“So sorry for you loss Lynne. ”
6 of 7 | Posted by: Melanie Niehus

“My deepest sympathy to you and your family. ”
7 of 7 | Posted by: Lori Jackson - SD - Friend


Douglas R Simkins was born October 25, 1952 to Ervin "Hun" Eli Simkins and Arvis Echo Nyberg Simkins. The family lived near Mission in Doug's early years. He was baptized in the Mission Lutheran Church.

Doug enjoyed observing and learning new things. He always loved nature and felt most at home in the country.

Doug was voted class president his junior year of high school in Witten, SD. He had hoped to graduate from Witten but the high school closed in the spring of 1969. Doug graduated from Winner High School in 1970.

His two best friends were Scott Bridgman and Duane Adel. He spent a lot of time at the home of Harold and Margaret Bridgman.

Doug attended Mitchell Vo Tech, then enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. One of his ocean deployments was Display Determination. Among others, he was on the ship U.S. Inchon. Doug was a head cook who organized many cooks under him.

When he spoke of his travels, he told of the beautiful colored water off the Island of Cyprus, and of visiting Valencia, Italy, and Barcelona, Spain. He attained the rank of Sargent E-5. He was awarded several medals: National Defense Service Medal, two Good Conduct Medals, and Letter of Appreciation.

Doug married Cheryl Ulmer. He adopted her son Brent, and they had two more children, Barry and Billy Jo. He loved being a dad, and enjoyed taking his sons hunting. During this time, Doug built and designed his barn and built the home, all while working full time. In the mid 1980's Doug and Cheryl divorced.

Doug was always a hard worker. He worked as a mechanic and welder on large farm equipment. Those who knew Doug well, knew how responsible, intelligent, organized and capable Doug was. He designed and built many trailers, fixed up antique tractors and was well known for his ability to fix up the old square-bale balers.

He was an avid reader, and especially enjoyed learning about the Civil War and WWII.

In 1995, Doug married Lynne Lenker Hallberg. They were married in Roger and Dawn Bridgman's back yard in Utah. Doug chose for their special song, "Keeper of the Stars." He believed, as the lyrics say, that it was no accident they found each other.

Doug celebrated sixteen years of sobriety on November 25, 2016.

Doug was a member of the Witten Baptist Church and was on the deacon board. The last year and a half he hardly missed a church service or Bible study. Doug was a lifetime member of the Winner American Legion.

When COPD became a part of his life, it complicated things, but Doug paced himself. Even tethered to an oxygen bottle, he resided the south side of the barn this summer and replaced the barn windows.

Doug passed away peacefully with family present on the evening of December 27, 2016 at the Avera McKennan ICU in Sioux Falls, SD.

Doug was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, and infant brother, Alfred.

Doug is survived by his wife, Lynne, sons, Brent Simkins, Barry Simkins (Springfield, SD), and Bill Simkins (Freeman, SD), stepdaughters Heather (Brian) Karstens (Sioux Falls, SD), and Hallie (Steve) Russell (Las Vegas, NV), his grandchildren, step-grandchildren, brother Eugene (Carol) and family, brother in law Ken (Cindy) Lenker (Lincoln, NE) and sister in law Karla Lenker (Muskegon, MI), nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Doug will be greatly missed. He was the essence of "A Country Boy Can Survive," until COPD and its complications entered his life.

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

As I sit in Heaven
And watch you every day
I try to let you know with signs
I never went away
I hear you when you're laughing
And watch you as you sleep
I even place my arms around you
To calm you as you weep
I see you wish the days away
Begging to have me home
So I try to send you signs
So you know you're not alone
Don't feel guilty that you have
Life that was denied to me
Heaven is truly beautiful
Just wait, you'll see!
So live your life,
Laugh again
Enjoy yourself, be free
Then I know with every breath you take
You're taking one for me.

May the peace of God which surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

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

Funeral services for Doug Simkins, 64, were held Saturday, December 31, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. at the Witten Baptist Church with Pastor Justin Day and Casey Bridgman officiating. A visitation was held Friday evening at Witten Hall from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Vicki Hubner and Evelyn Farley were in charge of registration.

Music was provided by Barb Chauncey, pianist. Sandy Kreeber sang "One Day at a Time." Luke Karstens played "Angels We Have Heard on High." Geoff Smith sang "Go Rest High on that Mountain." Casey Bridgman and Maurice Gustafson sang "I'll Fly Away."

Flower attendants were Ruth Krogh, Char Deaver, and Barb Hespe.

Casket Bearers were Cody Amidon, Kevin Curtis, Brian Horstman, Tauren Karstens, Brad Vogt, and Ryan Vogt.

Honorary Casket Bearers were his Witten and Winner classmates.

Military Honors were given by the Winner American Legion, Winner VFW, and the Marine Corp Honors Program.

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