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Earl Boxa
  • The family would like memorials to be directed to the Gregory Rotary Club.
  • Gregory Rotary Club
    % Cheryl Sperl
    1225 Park Ave
    Gregory, SD 57533

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Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Earl 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

“Condolences to the family on the passing of your husband and father. from the Michigan Pheasant hunters. ”
1 of 9 | Posted by: Steve Koning - Muskegon, MI

“Earl and I graduated together in 1947. Since then we have had many class reunions and fun times together. He always played the guitar and kept us up...Read More »
2 of 9 | Posted by: margaret dooley - gregory

“Mrs. Boxa, I was sad to read of Earl's death today. I enjoyed the singing welcome when we walked through your home in Pierre prior to listing it for...Read More »
3 of 9 | Posted by: Jonelle Livermont Morales - MN

“So sorry to hear of the loss 0f Earl He was always there with a wave as we went by or a hello when face to face Loved it when he use to come to...Read More »
4 of 9 | Posted by: Pat Kayl - gregory, SD - neighbor

“Dear Betty,We are SO sorry to hear of Earl's passing. We send our sincere sympathy to you and your family at this difficult time. Our love,Dennis ...Read More »
5 of 9 | Posted by: Dennis and Shirley Eisnach - SD

“Earleen and family, I'm so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. You parents were always so friendly and kind. Best to you. -Michele ”
6 of 9 | Posted by: Michele Rounds Brich - Pierre, SD

“Our deepest sympathy to all of you. Earl was a kind and friendly neighbor that was willing to lend a helping hand the summer I hurt my back. During...Read More »
7 of 9 | Posted by: Merrill and Lynn McFayden - SD

“Betty, My thoughts and prayers are with you during this very difficult time! Donna Harrison ”
8 of 9 | Posted by: Donna Harrison - Sioux Falls, SD

“Betty, I am so sorry to hear of Earl's passing. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time of loss. My the...Read More »
9 of 9 | Posted by: Mitzi Drey - Sioux Falls, SD


Earl Glen Boxa was born February 17, 1929 to Yaroslav (Jerry) and Anna (Konop) Boxa in the family home in Gregory, South Dakota. He was the sixth of seven children. The family lived on several farms/homefronts within the Gregory area notably the Ring place (1/2 mile from the Gregory Buttes) and the Swanburg place two miles NE of Gregory. Earl helped his dad and mother in all capacities as carpenter or doctoring horses and working the farm. The family had various teams of horses in which he could still recall their names.

Earl was an avid hunter and trapper. He was known for making deer jerky after hunting season and then beef jerky with beef purchased over the counter. He had garden skills in which large crops of sweet corn, with large pumpkins and watermelons produced regularly. He had great joy weighing large watermelons at the lumber yard and delivering them to the nursing home, Legion, or bowling alley.

He graduated from Gregory High School in 1947. He enjoyed participating in sports and was unanimously selected in his senior year by all coaches as the Rosebud All-Conference Basketball Guard.

He then attended Southern State Teachers College where he excelled academically and athletically. He was nominated and selected to be in the Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities and was enshrined in the Southern State Teachers College Sports Hall of Fame.

Before he graduated, he was called to active service and served in Korea but not before he married his college sweetheart Elizabeth Shindelbower in a ceremony in the Catholic Church in Hamill, SD. After returning from Korea he completed his Bachelor's degree. Earl then went to the University of South Dakota and Michigan State completing his Masters. Beginning his education legacy, he was a coach, teacher, principal, and superintendent and worked at the State level in Pierre where he authored the book "The Organizational Structure for a Comprehensive Educational Program". He was one of two school superintendents who served both East and West River schools at the same time. He was proud of his shop students in Colome, SD in that during their class period, they would walk with rakes, shovels, tape measures, stakes, and string to build their running track around the football field.

As a veteran of the Korean Conflict, Earl became a life member of the American Legion and VFW. He served as Post Commander at the Pierre and Burke VFW Posts and the Gregory American Legion. He enjoyed being a member of the Gregory Rotary Club. He was proud to be a Paul Harris member and the work the Rotary Club accomplished.

For those who knew him, he was a walking encyclopedia of knowledge and enjoyed engaging in conversations of history, education, farm life or any world event. He loved entertaining by playing his guitar. He learned to play while in college at Springfield from Ceaser Ortiz, an exchange student from Mexico. Together they played well enough to win talent contests in various towns, winning a few silver dollars as prize money. Their playing began to be well known and were then considered too professional to compete, thus barred from further contests, but allowed to play as guest artists. So for the next 60 years Earl played at VFW conventions, community engagements, family gatherings, and for the grandchildren. And if you ever went to Earl and Betty's home you were greeted with them singing "Hello there, how are you?" when you arrived and "Goodbye now, you're leaving, thank you for coming…" when you departed.

Retiring from his state job he and Betty built a home (1993-94) on their farm that they have worked since 1958.

Earl passed away April 13, 2015 at Avera Gregory Hospital at the age of 86.

He is survived by his wife Betty of 62 years 9 months, his daughter Earleen Ann (David) Berge of Brookings, SD, his sons Gregory Lee Boxa (Bernadette) of Colorado Springs, CO, and Earl Michael Boxa of Gregory, SD, four grandchildren, and ten great grandchildren, sister Lillian Boxa Trautman, sister-in-law Ethy (Curtis) Schnabel, nieces Monica Qualm, Charlene Cerney (Paul) Dappen and son Tim, and Joleen (Tom) Eizember, nephews Alan (Nova) Trautman and Jerry Trautman, great niece and nephews, and lifelong friend Kirke Pratt.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one son Glen Mark at four years old, one grandson Andrew, brother Steve J. (Mildred) Boxa, three sisters Dorothy (Frank) Kreinbuhl, Josephine (Theron) Merrit, and Polly (Emil) Cerney, brother-in-law Elmer Trautman, and first cousins Bernard Baxa and Marge Baxa Republic.

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

A Christian Wake Service for Earl Boxa of Gregory was held Thursday evening April 16, 2015 at St. Joseph Catholic Church with Father Godfrey Muwanga officiating. Music was provided by Mary Beth Gergen, pianist. Congregational songs were "Blessed Assurance" and "You Are Mine."

A Mass of Christian Burial was held Friday, April 17, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. at the church with Father Godfrey Muwanga as Celebrant.

Kim Veskrna and Sandy Stukel were in charge of registration.

Altar Servers were Michael Clark and Joseph Veskrna.

Music was provided by Mary Beth Gergen, pianist, and the St. Joseph Choir singing "I Know My Redeemer Lives," "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," "Jesus Bread of Live," "The Song of Farewell," and "Eye Has Not Seen."

Eucharistic Ministers were Vince Berens and Rita Grim.

Lector was Bev Rubel and Cantor was Doris Jelinek.

Gift Bearers were Byron and Rita Grim.

Casket Bearers were Dan Baxa, Roy Stevicks, Ray Stevicks, Scott Anshutz, Daren Roggow, Byron Grim, Robynne Boxa, Brad Boxa, and Devon Boxa.

Honorary Casket Bearers were the Burke VFW and the Gregory Rotary Club.

Burial was in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery, Gregory, SD.