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Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home

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

“Tim, I am sorry to hear your father passed. I never met him but he must have been a good man because you sure were a kind young man. My mother,...Read More »
1 of 3 | Posted by: Jana (Rundall) Poston - Weiser, ID

“I am so sorry for your loss. My condolences to the family. ”
2 of 3 | Posted by: Daniel Ferwerda - Phoenix, AZ

“I'm so sorry to hear about my uncle Merle. My condolences to the family. I wish I could of made up there. I apologize for not. ”
3 of 3 | Posted by: Ray and Kim Talsma - Plainview, TX


Merle Ray Talsma was born July 21, 1934 at home on a ranch (Uncle Maine's) west of Springfield, South Dakota, the son of Ray and Donia (Unruh) Talsma. Merle went to a rural country school through the 8th grade. He worked on the ranch with his father until he entered the military in 1957. While in the military Merle was stationed in Germany. Merle left the military in 1959.

Merle met his wife Shirley Kreinbuhl while she was attending college in Springfield. They were married on May 8, 1959 in Chamberlain, South Dakota. They resided in Springfield where they had three children. In 1965 they purchased a ranch and moved to Iona, South Dakota.

Merle was a very soft spoken individual who was always willing to do anything for a friend. His kindness in life spilled over into the lives of his children and grandchildren. He could frequently be seen taking one or multiple of his grandchildren to the water or showing them his love of Hereford cattle and horses. Merle loved his dogs and enjoyed hunting.

Merle passed away on July 19, 2017, at the age 82 at the Avera Rosebud Country Care Center.

He is survived by his children: Tim (Cindy) Talsma and their two children, Kayla (Curtis) Begeman and their daughter, Alice, and Tanya (Tucker) Whitney; Keith (Maria) Talsma and their two children, Jennifer Talsma, Kevin (Amber) Talsma and their children: Michael, Summer, Lana, Jerrit, Jabin and Elli Talsma; Sherri (Lucky) Wynia and their children, Saddi Wynia and Kole (fiancé Elizabeth Sayler) Wynia; siblings: Joyce Lukkes; Molly Nichols, Rose Adema, John (Gladys) Talsma, Pete (Tommy) Talsma, Bob (Mary) Talsma, Lyla (Dennis) Brandt, Georgia Talsma; sister-in-law: Donna (Don) Straw. Loving and missing Merle also are many special nephews and nieces.

Merle was preceded in death by his wife Shirley, parents Ray and Donia Talsma, father and mother-in-law Walter and Alice Kreinbuhl, very special friends Barney and Clara Hornstra and Frank and Dolly Kreinbuhl, brother Larry Talsma and his daughter Tanya, brother-in-laws Wayne Nichols, Con Aubert, and Max Kreinbuhl.

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

Funeral services Merle Talsma, 82, were held Saturday, July 22, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Gregory, SD with Father Jonathan Dillon and Deacon Andrew Clark, officiating.

Music was provided by Katie Opp, pianist, and Geoff Smith, soloist, singing "On Eagles Wings" and "Rock of Ages."

Granddaughters Jennifer Talsma, Kayla Begeman, Saddi Wynia, Tanya Whitney, Amber Talsma, and Elizabeth Sayler were in charge of registration and flowers.

Casket Bearers were Keith Talsma, Kevin Talsma, Lucky Wynia, Kole Wynia, Tim Talsma, Tucker Whitney, and Curtis Begeman.

Honorary Casket Bearers were Merle's brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, Buster & Marlene Schuiling, and Carol Feyereisen.

Interment was in the Iona Cemetery, Iona, SD.

Military Honors were given by the Gregory American Legion and the National Honor Guard.