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

“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...Read More »
1 of 8 | Posted by: Billy Fuller - Brookings, SD

“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...Read More »
2 of 8 | Posted by: Mark Boetel - Fargo, ND - Friend

“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...Read More »
3 of 8 | Posted by: Shirley Evenson-Woods

“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...Read More »
4 of 8 | Posted by: Jim phyllis Anderson - Lennox, SD

“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,...Read More »
5 of 8 | Posted by: Kim Compton - Brookings, SD

“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...Read More »
6 of 8 | Posted by: Linda Koerten - Plover, WI

“Sure going to miss this great lady! Deepest sympathy to all of you. Let your memories hold her near. ”
7 of 8 | Posted by: Deb Leibel - Gregory, SD - Friend

“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...Read More »
8 of 8 | Posted by: Bryan & Angel Nelson - Gregory, SD


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.

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

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.