Bernard John Gottsleben
Superintendent of Schools in Montrose and Lake Preston
was born on January 27, 1922 in Clark, South Dakota the son of
Elizabeth (May) Gottsleben. He died on Monday, December 3, 2007, at Avera
McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD at the age of 85.
BJ Gottsleben received his education in Clark,
SD and graduated from Clark High School in 1940. He
attended S.D. State University before serving in the U.S. Army from 1942 until
1945. After serving in the military, he continued his education at SDSU and
graduated in 1947.
He married Helen L. Hess June
24, 1946, in Clark. He was a teacher and coach at Winfred,
SD. He was employed as
superintendent of schools in Montrose,
SD and superintendent of schools in Lake
Preston, SD. In 1984, he and his wife moved to Brookings,
Bernard Gottsleben was a
member of the St. Thomas More Catholic Parish, the Knights of Columbus, the
Golden K Kiwanis, the American Legion and served on the Board of Directors of
Boys State Counselor for 40 years. He enjoyed all sports and was an outstanding
athlete, especially in track. He also enjoyed golfing and spending time with his
family and friends.
BJ is survived by his wife,
Helen of Brookings; his children, Mary Barse of Norman, Okla., Sheila Hazelroth
of Maitland, Fla., and
David Gottsleben of Vermillion; and six grandchildren.
was preceded in death by his parents, brother (Joe) and sister (Helen).
Funeral services will be
Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in St. Thomas More Catholic Parish at Brookings with the
Rev. Michael Wensing officiating.
Burial will be in St.
Thomas More Catholic Cemetery at Brookings.
Watertown Public Opinion, Watertown, SD. Wednesday,
December 5, 2007.
Sheila, Helen, Mary and
Helen Louise Gottsleben
Louise Hess Gottsleben, 92, of Brookings, passed away Monday, July 27,
2015 at Stoneybrook Suites, in Brookings. Helen
Louise was born on March 31, 1923 in Clark County, South Dakota the
daughter of Peter and Laura (Bickett) Hess.
Helen attended grade school at
Hess School and attended Junior High at Mobridge, SD. She graduated from
Clark High School in 1940. She continued her education at the South Dakota
Beauty Academy in Sioux Falls and graduated in 1941. She was employed at
Roberts Beauty Shop in Arlington, SD until 1943 when she was appointed by
J. Edgar Hoover to work in the Personnel Department of the FBI, in
Washington D.C. for three years. She was united in marriage to Bernard J.
"BJ" Gottsleben on June 24, 1946 in Clark, SD. They lived in the
communities of Doland, Winfred, Montrose, Lake Preston and Brookings, SD.
Helen was employed by the Lake Preston School District as school secretary
from 1975 until 1984, when she and BJ retired and moved to Brookings.
was an active volunteer in church and community organizations in the
communities where they lived. She was a member of the St. Thomas More
Catholic Church where she was a lector and Eucharistic Minister. Helen
served as the President of the South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary from
1973 until 1974 and was active on the national level for the next ten
years. She received appointments in the various programs sponsored by that
organization which included National Vice President, Northwestern Division
and National Field Service Director. She was involved in the American
Legion Auxiliary Girls State of South Dakota for 33 years including 17
years as Director and Chairperson. She was also a Girls Nation Counselor
in Washington, DC in 1975, 1976 and 1982. She enjoyed singing, spectator
sports, crafts, contemporary writing, art, government and current events.
She especially enjoyed attending her children's and grandchildren's
activities in school and in the community.
is survived by her two daughters, Mary Barse and husband Steve, of Norman,
OK and Sheila Hazelroth and husband John, of Maitland, FL; one son, David
Gottsleben and wife Helen, of Yankton, SD; five grandchildren - Matthew
Barse, Laura Barse Anderson, Kendra Gottsleben, Matthew Hazelroth and
Dasha Hazelroth, two step-grandchildren, two great grandchildren, two
step-great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in
death by her parents; husband; two brothers, Francis and Albert Hess and
two sisters, Genevieve Hynes and Kathryn Heim. - The family requests that
in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to the South Dakota Art Museum, 936
Medary Ave., Brookings, SD 57007.
Published: Yankton Press & Dakotan, July
31, 2015 (Internet, August 2015).
- War stories, Charles Woodard would tell you, aren't always some haunting
recollection of battlefield carnage or heroics.
Some begin with an oddly intoxicating whiff of perfume.
Some are kept with the crystal glasses in the hutch.
While most of those war stories have roots in places called Anzio and Iwo
Jima, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq, many are told by people who never carried a
gun and never wore a uniform.
are veterans of war, too, says Woodard, an English professor at South
Dakota State University who edited a new book that's just out called "On
The Homefront: South Dakota Stories." For they are the spouses, children,
parents and loved ones touched and often changed by war and what it
brought into their lives.
"War, because it is an especially
intense human experience, has almost limitless effects and consequences,"
Woodard said. "I especially want people to understand that there are more
veterans than there are people who have worn uniforms, and more casualties
of war than there are names on memorial walls." They
are people who understand what it means to honor and remember a father or
a brother or an uncle today on the 66th anniversary of the bombing of
They are the folks that Al McIntosh wrote about in his weekly column for
the Rock County Star Herald in Luverne, Minn., during World War II -
people Ken Burns recently brought back to life in his documentary, "The
story of war and its effect on the lives of people is especially
significant in Helen Gottsleben's Brookings home today. She buried her
Gottsleben, on Thursday. At age 85, the veteran and longtime educator
died Monday from the ravages of emphysema and pneumonia.
the haze of grief, Helen Gottsleben still remembers a spring day in 1942
when she sat in the recreation center at Fort Mead, Md., holding the hand
of her fiance in the last minutes before he departed for Europe and World
had taken a job in the personnel section of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation and had ridden the bus from Washington, D.C., to see him
off. It was a Sunday, and he had given her an engagement ring just a few
"We didn't say a lot,"
Helen Gottsleben recalled. "He was
not a talker; he was a good thinker. We just held hands and sat there."
remembers that he seemed terribly calm, not like someone ready to sail off
to war. He must be worried, she thought. He had to be scared.
Finally, as she boarded the bus to leave, he quietly told her four words
to which she would cling for the next two years.
will be back."
she believed him "because I had faith that he would be taken care of."
Gottsleben did return, on Christmas Day 1945. They were married six months
planned to become an educator before he volunteered for military duty, the
course of their 61 years together was influenced by the war, Helen Gottsleben said.
of small-town Clark, S.D., Helen Gottsleben planned to become a beautician
after high school. But emboldened by B.J.'s enlistment, she took a job
with the FBI instead and journeyed outside the safe cocoon that was South
After he came back, they both became active in the American Legion. She
took leadership roles in the auxiliary, including the American Legion's
Girls State program.
he was haunted by his war experiences, he never talked about it, and she
didn't ask, Helen Gottsleben said. They looked forward, never back.
Still, their children - Mary Barse, Sheila Hazelroth and David Gottsleben
- understood that their father's military duty had an effect on all of
talked about war in glorious terms," Hazelroth said. "He lived through it
and did what he had to do. It was a thing to be endured, not a thing to
it also engendered in his children a sense of patriotism, David Gottsleben
we grew up in a family where that commitment was easily understood," he
said. "They didn't have to speak to make it known how they felt. For them,
it was honoring the flag. You just understood."
is a story - like thousands of others - worth preserving, Woodard said.
"They contribute to the most important kind of history," he said. "The
history of the human spirit."
ArgusLeader.com, information ... anytime, anywhere, Sioux Falls, S.
D., Dezember 2007.
Thomas More Catholic Cemetery,
Bernard J Gottsleben
WORLD WAR II
Jan 27 1922
† Dec 3 2007