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Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home

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

“This comes a bit late, but I want to offer my sympathies to Louie's family on behalf of Honor Flight. It was an honor and a privilege to get to know...Read More »
1 of 4 | Posted by: Bill Casper - Rapid City, SD

“My thoughts and prayers to the family. Louie was a great guy who always had a smile for everyone. I know Aunt Donna will miss talking to him on...Read More »
2 of 4 | Posted by: Lorraine Besmer - Custer, SD

“Sorry to hear of your loss. I met them a few years ago when our great uncle was at Silver Threads. They were across the hall. Such nice folks to...Read More »
3 of 4 | Posted by: Maria Talsma - Gregory, SD

“Our sympathies are with you at this expected, but hard time. We know this is God's plan for Louie. Knowing he is not suffering and in a much better...Read More »
4 of 4 | Posted by: Randy & Gaile Sachtjen - Burke, SD


Louis (Louie or Lou) Francis Papousek was born October 28, 1924 near Gregory, South Dakota to Joseph B. and Frances (Musilek) Papousek and went to his eternal home on April 11, 2016, at the home of his daughter, Margo Dunn, in Malibu, California.

Louie grew up on the family farm near Gregory with his parents and siblings: Agnes, Joe (Joseph C), Bob (Robert), and Donna. Louie lived a full and diverse life filled with adventure and many rewarding experiences. He attended a one-room county schoolhouse which was later moved to Gregory and is now known as the Gregory Historical Schoolhouse. He was a smart student so was able to skip a grade. He left school during the 9th grade, but never stopped learning and trying new things. His parents eventually sold the farm and moved to Burke and opened up a café. His father passed away in 1948 and his mother passed away in 1965, both in Burke.

Louie was a mechanic extraordinaire and could fix anything! He proudly enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served his country during WWII from March 1944 – May 1946 in the Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign as a Motor Machinist's Mate Second Class. A highlight in Louie's life was traveling to Washington, D.C. on the Honor Flight in September, 2010 to view the WWII Memorial. Over the years, Louie was a member of the American Legion and Elks Club.

Louie and Vera Luree Willuweit started dating after meeting at a dance. In 1948, they made their first trip to California along with his mother, Frances Papousek and future step-father Anton Nikodym. Louie was baptized and confirmed on February 21, 1949 at the Grace Lutheran Church in Burke. He was united in marriage to Vera at the same church on April 17, 1949. To this union, one daughter, Margo, was born one year later. The family continued to embrace the Lutheran faith throughout their years together.

In the early years of their marriage, Louie had numerous jobs including working in the oil fields of Wyoming, as a carpenter, delivering Storz beer in Burke, and working in auto shops in Martin and Winner. In 1959 Louie and Vera sold their house in Winner and followed his brother Bob to Tucson, Arizona. The next summer, Louie took a job at the San Manuel, Arizona copper smelter.

In 1962 the family moved to California where Louie became an owner/operator of a Caterpillar tractor, often working for Gary Inglett and with many former South Dakotans. Vera served as his office manager and bookkeeper. Later he invested in a dendrite rock business with Bob Stober. Louie fondly remembered the time that he spent up in the mountains in Beaver, Utah living the life of a "mountain man", drinking the spring water, breathing in the fresh air, and growing a beard. He enjoyed creating belt buckles, clocks, and other art pieces with the picturesque dendrite rock giving them to family and friends as presents.

In 1990 Louie and Vera retired to Wall, SD. In addition to spending the winter months with their daughter and her family in Malibu, they took many exciting vacation trips ranging from the Butchart Gardens in Vancouver, Canada to the Redwood Forest of California to Cape Canaveral and the Epcot Center in Florida.

Vera suffered strokes in 1996 and 2000, so they moved to Silver Threads in Gregory in 2001. Four years later Vera entered the Avera Rosebud Country Care Center. Until Vera's passing in 2010, Louie was a faithful and loving spouse visiting and feeding Vera almost every day when he was in Gregory. He made sure that there was always cake and ice cream served at the nursing home for her birthday and their anniversary.

Louie continued to spend part of the year with Margo. March, 2011, while in Malibu, Louie suffered a heart attack, but he was determined to recover so that he could attend the 4th of July wedding of his only grandchild, Sean Dunn, to Megan Myer in Dayton, Oregon. One week after returning to Malibu in October, Louie suffered the first of a series of major strokes that required him to receive 24/7 care at Margo's home until his passing. Visits by family members were the highlight of his final years - especially visits by his remaining sibling, Donna Fode, in person, or via Skype. Niece Patti (Papousek) Ciasca worked as a partner with Margo to care for "Uncle Louie" during his final years.

Louie enjoyed fresh and salt water fishing, scuba diving, hunting, being outdoors, and eating. He believed in the value of hard work, perseverance, and commitment to his immediate and extended family. Louie's smile, generosity, unconditional love, and support will be missed by all those who knew him.

Louie was preceded in death by his parents Joseph B Papousek, Frances (Musilek) Papousek; step-father Anton Nikodym; his wife Vera; in-laws Rudolph and Bertha (Ring) Willuweit; son-in-law Richard C Dunn; sister Agnes and husbands Frank Remter and John VerMaas; brothers Joseph and wife Laverle (Remter) Papousek, Robert and wives Evelyn (Hall) Papousek and Betty (Drey) Mason Papousek; brothers-in-law Edwin Fode, Henry Kortmeyer, Ervin Willuweit, Marvin Jones; sister-in-law: Lena (Willuweit) Miller.

Louie is survived by his daughter Margo Dunn of Malibu, CA; grandson and wife, Sean and Megan (Myer) Dunn of Hillsboro, OR; sister Donna Fode of Byron, MN; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Elsie (Willuweit) Kortmeyer of Bonesteel, SD, Delbert Miller of Burke, SD, Inez (Willuweit) Jones of Burke, SD, Doris (Willuweit) and Lew Bailey of Tyndall, SD, Ilah-Lee (Staack) Willuweit of Gregory, SD; and a host of nephews, nieces, and other family and friends.

Donations may be made to the Czech National Cemetery, Gregory, South Dakota.

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Funeral services for Louie Papousek were held Saturday, April 23, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. at St. John Lutheran Church with Pastor Clark Gies officiating. A prayer service was held Friday evening at the church.

Music was provieded by Leanne Sinclair, pianist, and

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