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Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home

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

“Mavis and Tony meant more to my father Lyle than anyone. Tony was not only Dad's uncle, but best friend in his youth. Dad is suffering from Alzheimer...Read More »
1 of 5 | Posted by: Donnie Hambek - Spearfish, SD

“Sorry for your loss, you are in our thoughts and prayers. ”
2 of 5 | Posted by: Ron, Debbie and Cody Vogt - SD

“Mavis(Mrs. Hambek) was my 2nd grade teacher at Washington School north of Gregory. She was so kind and patient and I learned so much from her...most...Read More »
3 of 5 | Posted by: Mitzi Drey - Sioux Falls, SD

“Mavis was my first and second grade teacher and she gave me a love for school for my first five years of school. She was caring and helpful. I...Read More »
4 of 5 | Posted by: Joan Brown - Bassett, NE

Three hearts bound together for Eternity “Rest in peace dear Aunt ”
5 of 5 | Posted by: Merrill McFayden - Gregory, SD


Mavis June (Becker) Hambek was born June 26, 1927 to Rudolph and Zelma (Painter) Becker on the farm 9 miles south of Herrick, SD. She attended the Goodman school that was ¾ of a mile north of the home place. Her first grade teacher was Edna Goodman. She said the best years of grade school was her 7th and 8th grades because her teacher was her sister Opal. Mavis attended Naper High School graduating in 1944 as class valedictorian about a month before her 17th birthday.

Mavis married Harry Cressman in 1946. She married the love of her life, Anton Hambek June 1, 1949 bringing her two year old daughter Margaret Ann into the marriage. The first dance at their wedding dance was the blue skirt waltz and they danced their way through married life until Tony's legs could no longer take the strain.

Mavis lived most of 81 years on the home place south of Herrick. In the fall of 2008, they moved to Gregory to be closer to healthcare. Mavis continued to be active outside and "sharecropped" as many of her neighbor's flower beds or other available soil as she could to produce tomatoes and cucumbers.

After Tony passed away in May of 2011, she continued to live in her apartment in Gregory. She entered the Avera Rosebud Country Care Center in July of 2017 and lived there until she passed away August 23, 2017 at the age of 90 years, 1 month and 28 days.

Although it was not her first career choice, Mavis became a teacher because both her parents and been teachers as well as her brother and sister. Her education was obtained by attending summer school at Southern State Teachers College in Springfield, SD as well as various extended learning courses. She was a teacher throughout her life and taught in a variety locations but mostly in one room country schools. During winters in Texas, she helped teach English to children in the area.

Mavis retired from teaching in 1971 to become a housewife. That didn't mean she stayed in the house! In the fall of 1971, Tony and Mavis started a dairy herd and continued this operation until 1988. Mavis said it was the most enjoyable job she ever had which, in consideration of being kicked, stepped on and dirty tails in the face, is saying something!

Mavis was a member of the VFW auxiliary and held various offices throughout the years. She was also a member of the Rosebud Rebekah Lodge.

Joys of Mavis's life in no particular order were gardening, square dancing, dancing of any kind, playing cards, her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and certainly not the least her relationship with the Lord.

Mavis and Tony joined the Methodist Church in Gregory shortly after their marriage and transferred to the Jamison, NE church after they moved to the home place south of Herrick. They joined the Berean Church after they moved to Gregory.

Mavis was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Tony, sister Opal (Ray) McFayden, sister-in-law Adeline Becker, and brother Paul.

Mavis leaves to mourn her daughter Margaret Ann Hespe of Springview, NE, sons Andrew (Della) of Kearney, Rudolph of Herrick, Jeffrey (Kelley) of Sioux Falls and Steven (Sharon) of Seward, NE; nine grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, four step grandchildren, eight step great grandchildren and one step great, great grandchild, and one brother Rudy Becker.

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

Funeral services for Mavis Hambek, 90, of Gregory, SD, were held Friday, August 25, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at the Berean Church in Gregory with Pastor Frank McMillen officiating. A prayer service was held Thursday evening at Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home.

Music was provided by Janeen Hlavka, pianist. Congregational hymns were "Sweet Hour of Prayer" and "In the Garden." Soloist Geoff Smith sang "Amazing Grace, My Chains are Gone" and "Because He Lives."

Carolee Cavanaugh and Judy Whitepipe were in charge of registration.

Flower attendants were Heather Hespe, Emily Hespe, and Nellie Hespe.

Casket Bearers were Lance Hespe, Luke Hespe, Morgan Hespe, Marshall Hespe, Merrill McFayden, and Stephen Hambek.

Honorary Casket Bearers were the Burke VFW Auxiliary.

Interment was in the Czech (Bohemian) National Cemetery, Gregory, SD.