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Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home

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

“Uncle Rudy honored his nieces and nephew in the Knittel family with poems t Christmas We tried to answer back with our poem but his wit surpassed...Read More »
1 of 6 | Posted by: Lois Besmer - rapid city, SD

“When I think of Uncle Rudy I have to smile. He was such a large part of my life. He would bring home-made ice cream and a sunflower from the side of...Read More »
2 of 6 | Posted by: Marcia Updike - Atlanta, TX

“My thoughts and prayers are with all of you, your dad and grandfather was a wonderful talented man. May your memories help you through this...Read More »
3 of 6 | Posted by: Laurita McNulty - Mitchell, NE

“My memories of Rudy as a classmate and friend date back to 1940. We were good friends during those years. He was a fun loving and musically talented...Read More »
4 of 6 | Posted by: Myrtle Osnes - Gregory, SD

“I love this man who made such an impact in our family. Sleep tight uncle Rudy ”
5 of 6 | Posted by: Nancy Riddle - Weatherford, TX

The Sunday Dinner Gang “Lynn and I are so thankful to have known such a wonderful man to call Uncle. The time we spent at Sunday dinners at the cafe will be a memory to...Read More »
6 of 6 | Posted by: Merrill and Lynn McFayden - SD


Rudolph Clement Becker was born on October 14, 1922 on the family farm south of Herrick, SD, the third of four children of Rudolph and Zelma (Painter) Becker. He attended school at the Goodman country school, Naper High School, and graduated from Burke High School in 1940.

Rudy attended Springfield Teachers College and taught for 2-3 years until he was drafted to serve in WWII in June of 1943. He was a medic in the 101st Airborne Division and came home when the war was over in 1945.

On September 18, 1945, Rudy married Adeline Steppat at St. John Lutheran Church in Gregory. To this union three daughters were born.

Rudy and Adeline lived in Gregory where Rudy worked hauling eggs and cream on a route. Then they moved to Mitchell where Rudy worked at a garage. In March of 1948 they moved to a farm eight miles northwest of Naper, NE where Rudy farmed. In 1969 he started working as a mechanic in Jamison for Kaupp's. Rudy stayed working in Jamison for various owners, working full time then part time until 2005. He still enjoyed going down for a good games of cards though.

Rudy and Adeline retired and moved off the farm in 1996 and moved to Burke, SD. Upon Adeline's death in 2006, Rudy moved to an apartment, then TLC Assisted Living in Burke, and then to Tieszen Memorial Home in Marion, SD.

Rudy was very active in many organizations. He was a member at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Jamison where he was an elder, sang in the choir, and in later years was the organist. He also sang in the choir at St. John Lutheran Church. He was a life member of the V.F.W. Of Post 9950 in Burke. Rudy was the Commander of the Post and District Commander along with numerous other positions through the years. Rudy also belonged to the American Legion Post 28 of Burke and the Rosebud Coin Club. He enjoyed playing cards with the Thursday night card bunch.

Of all the many things that Rudy did that was important to him, besides family, was music. He could play many pieces of music by ear. He played accordion at Four Corners with his father Rudolph and his brother-in-law Tony Hambek for many years. Rudy also played at various functions with his electric piano. He belonged to the musical group until he moved to Marion.

Rudy passed away on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at Tieszen Memorial Home in Marion at the age of 95.

Rudy is survived by his children: Glenna (Richard) Burns of Sioux Falls, SD, Janet Vargas, of Freeman, SD, and Betsy (Gary) Raymer of Stuart, NE; six grandchildren, Tony Burns, Sioux Falls, SD, Elizabeth (Shane) Drahota, Mankato, MN, Brian (Tara) Raymer, Stuart, NE, Alana (Vance) Schneider, Kansas City, MO, Cory Raymer, Omaha, NE, and Jessica Raymer, Atkinson, NE; two great grandchildren, Dayne Drahota and Zella Raymer; along with many nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents, wife Adeline, brother Paul, sisters Opal McFayden and Mavis Hambek, brothers-in-law Ray McFayden and Tony Hambek, and all of Adeline's sisters, brother, and their spouses.

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

Funeral services for Rudolph Becker, 95, were held Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. St. John Lutheran Church in Gregory with Pastor Marcus Ring and Pastor Clark Gies officiating. A prayer service was held Wednesday evening at the church.

Music was provided by Melanie Hannahs, organist. Congregational hymns were "Holy, Holy, Holy," "Heaven is my Home," and "I Know My Redeemer Lives."

Lynn McFayden and Marcille Grim were in charge of registration.

Casket Bearers were Tony Burns, Merrill McFayden, Andy Hambek, Jeff Hambek, Steve Hambek, and Lance Hespe.

Honorary Casket Bearers were Howard Martin, Rick Harrison, Paul Harrison, and all of Rudy's friends.

Military Honors were by the Burke VFW and the National Guard Honors Program.

Interment was in the Graceland Cemetery, Burke, SD.