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Arvis Echo Simkins

Arvis Echo Simkins

Arvis Echo Simkins passed away at Winner Regional Healthcare Center in Winner, SD, on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. Funeral service will be Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, at the Witten Baptist Church, Witten, SD. A lunch will follow until 12:00 noon with burial in the Winner Cemetery at 12:30. Visitation will be Friday evening from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Mason Funeral Home in Winner, SD, with a prayer service at 7:00 pm.

Arvis Simkins was born in the homestead home six miles southwest of Witten, SD, on April 22, 1918 to Swan and Ruth (Power) Nyberg. She was born with her identical twin who died at birth. At the age of seven she suffered from a severely burned arm caused from falling into a tub of boiling water that her mother was using to wash clothes.

Arvis attended Winner High School for her freshman year and then Benson High School in Omaha, NE, graduating in 1936. After attending one year at Springfield Normal School in Springfield, SD, and earning a certificate to teach, she started her forty-year teaching career. Arvis married Ervin "Hun" Eli Simkins on March 19, 1939, and to that union three boys were born: Alfred (who died as a baby), Eugene and Douglas.

Arvis started teaching at Witten School in 1953. The family moved from Winner to a newly-built home four miles south of Witten in 1954 and lived there until her death, with the exception of her stay at Elder Inn in Winner the last six months of her life. She and her two sons attended Witten Baptist Church where Arvis was a member until her death at age 95.

Over the years Arvis enjoyed basketball and would gladly sit on the bench as the scorekeeper. She treated several high school students to the State Bs for years.

As a devoted teacher she especially enjoyed her many years at Witten School and believed each child was capable of learning to read. She herself loved books, crossword puzzles, and watching Jeopardy.

After retiring this busy, active lady made dozens of quilts, embroidered, crocheted, knitted and loved using her little black Singer sewing machine. In all projects her stitches had to be done to perfection or they were redone.

So much of her time at home was spent making hundreds of gift packets for many community organizations. She was an active member and held an office in many of these organizations and loved to attend and participate in their meetings and activities. Arvis, at the age of 90 would remember Teachers Day by baking and delivering food & goodies to teachers and students in area schools.

At home Arvis loved taking care of her laying hens and visiting with family, neighbors and friends when they came to pick up their egg orders. Her family believes this beautiful lady lived life to its fullest and because of her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ she is enjoying her first days of eternity in heaven walking with her Savior.

Arvis was preceded in death by her husband, mother, father and infant son. She is survived by her two sons, Eugene and wife Carol (Schilling) and Douglas and wife Lynne (Lenker); eight grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.