Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, May 30, 2015, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Milbank with Father Gary DeRouchey celebrating the Mass. Burial will follow in the St. Lawrence Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be held Friday, May 29, from 5-7 p.m. at St. Lawrence Catholic Church with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue on Saturday morning for one hour prior to the time of service at the church.
Casket bearers will be Vernice’s grandsons: Scott Reents, Chris Giessinger, Matthew Szymanski, Josh Stengel, Nathan Giessinger, Jason Szymanski, Jonathan Giessinger, Jim Nawrocki, Jacob Szymanski, and Luke Szymanski. Honorary bearers include Vernice’s granddaughters: Jennifer Reents, Tasha Mulligan, Kim McDonald, Sarah Giessinger, Rachael Stengel, Esther Stengel, and Allison Nawrocki.
Vernice Arnita Szymanski was born on June 28, 1923, in Labolt, SD, to Carl “Manny” and Mollie (Napen) Englund. She attended Vernon #2 school for seven years, then attended Milbank High School, graduating with the class of 1940. Vernice moved to Milbank that same year and spent a few months working as a waitress. She then became employed at Schad’s Bakery and later spent time as a sales person at JCPenney Co. until 1943.
Vernice met Ed Szymanski in Milbank and the two became engaged in 1941 before Ed was drafted into the United States Army. In May of 1943, Vernice took a train to Los Angeles, CA, to meet and marry Ed. They were united in marriage on May 1, 1943, by Father O’Malley at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Los Angeles. To this union, six children were born.
After the war in 1945, Ed and Vernice returned to Milbank. Ed reopened the Milbank Hatchery, where they hatched thousands of chickens weekly. Vernice helped at the hatchery, doing bookkeeping and loading feed until the business was sold.
Vernice then began working for the Milbank Veterinary Clinic for 7 ½ years and Torness Furniture for a short period of time. She then began working at St. William’s Home as the Activity Director, a job she held for 14 years. During this time, Vernice also volunteered for Meals on Wheels, the Thrift Shop, Catholic Daughters, Gospel in Action, Visiting Committee, and the Hospital Auxiliary.
Vernice was a faithful member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Milbank. She enjoyed singing, dancing, handwork, and doing crafts. Vernice especially loved spending time with her family.
Vernice is survived by her six children: Rose Reents of Des Moines, IA; Sandra Giessinger of Houston, TX; Mary (David) Stengel of Milbank; Pat (Dieter) Nawrocki of Des Moines, IA; Mike (Mary) Szymanski of Coeur d’Alene, ID; and Mark (Jeanne) Szymanski of Aiken, SC; 17 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Edna Englund of Milbank; and by many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Ed Szymanski; three sisters; four brothers; son-in-law, Byron Reents; and grandson, Mark Szymanski.