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Leola Ulmer
  • n lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the American Heart Association or St John Lutheran Church in Gregory.
  • St John Lutheran Church
    110 West 2nd St
    Gregory, SD 57533

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Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home

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

“So sorry for your loss! We enjoyed the times when we visited each other.Jim says you folks were his very best friends when he was a young man. Many...Read More »
1 of 6 | Posted by: Jim Shutt - Platteville, CO

“So sorry for your loss, Larry. I'll be thinking of you and the family. ”
2 of 6 | Posted by: Diane Ulmer - Kill Devil Hills, NC

“Jeff and Debbie,Our hearts and prayers are with you and your family.Donna and Tom Campo ”
3 of 6 | Posted by: Donna and Tom Campo - Atlanta, GA

“Carla and family,My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I worked with Leola at the Gregory Hospital. She was a great worker and her sense of...Read More »
4 of 6 | Posted by: Lori Watson - Colome, SD - Friend

“To Carla and the entire Family. I am so sorry for your loss. Leola was a very wonderful person. I enjoyed working with her. We loved to joke around...Read More »
5 of 6 | Posted by: Jackie Smith - Atkinson, NE

“Thoughts and prayers to the family. . .UD7EY ”
6 of 6 | Posted by: FORREST and Illene MAXWELL - MN

Leola Mae Ulmer was born February 9, 1944 to Jerry and Esther (Slykhuis) Vavruska in Gregory, SD. She grew up on different farms south of Gregory with her siblings Lois (Ron) Sinclair, Larry (Carol) Vavruska, and Lucille (Mark) Bradley.

In 1960 she married a neighbor boy Larry Ulmer and to this union four children were born Cindy, Jeffrey, Carla, and Timothy.

Larry and Leola moved to Kadoka shortly after their marriage where Larry worked on the missile sites. This is where Cindy was born. They then returned to the Gregory area where they worked on various farms. Jeff and Carla then came along on these journeys. In 1969 they moved to the Naper area where Tim was then born. In 1975 they purchased their own farm southwest of Naper and also milked cows. In 2000 they sold the farm and moved to Gregory. In 2003 with farming still in their blood, they bought a farm and moved to Freeman. Returning to their roots Larry and Leola moved back to Gregory in 2009.

Leola worked for many years along side Larry working on the farm and milking cows. She obtained her Nursing Assistant Certification and worked at Butte Healthcare Center. While in Gregory she worked at the Gregory Hospital and also later at Silver Threads. While they lived in Freeman she was employed at Bormann Manor in Parkston.

Leola enjoyed her garden while she was still able, putting together puzzles, and reading. She also enjoyed going out with her coffee group and visits from her special "adopted sister" Doris Olson.

Leola suffered a heart attack in 1996, then later a stroke in 2000 which left her struggling with dementia. Surrounded by her family, Leola passed away in her home on April 17, 2018 at the age of 74 years

Joining Jesus she follows her parents Jerry and Esther Vavruska, brother-in-law Mark Bradley, parents-in-law Albert and Hilda Ulmer, brothers-in-law Wayne and Harold Ulmer, and sister-in-law Irma Ulmer.

She is survived by her husband Larry of Gregory, four children Cindy (Rylan) Lindgren of Fairfax, Jeffrey (Debbie) Ulmer of Atlanta GA, Carla (Vic) Warnke of Gregory, and Timothy Ulmer (Kallene) of Woonsocket; her grandchildren Tonya (Dustin), Tina, Tamara, Kyle, Kayla, Brandon (Kelly), Megan, Lucas, Terrence (MacKenzie), and Trey; her great-grandchildren Alyssa, Samantha, Chance, Mya and Kaydence; and her great-great granddaughter Chloe, all of whom she took great pleasure in.

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

Funeral services for Leola Ulmer, 74, of Gregory, were held Saturday, April 21, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church in Gregory with Pastor Marcus Ring officiating. A prayer service was held Friday evening at the church with Pastor Bill Serr officiating.

Kelly Jansen and Mackenzie Ulmer were in charge of registration.

Music was provided by Leanne Sinclair, pianist. Congregational hymns were "Amazing Grace," "How Great Thou Art," and " The Old Rugged Cross."

Casket Bearers were Leola's grandchildren.

Honorary Casket Bearers were Doris Olson and Leola's coffee ladies.

Committal Service will be at a later date in the Czech Cemetery, Gregory, SD.

Upcoming Funeral Services

Czech National Cemetery

Gregory, SD