KATIE ZERR: They will know they are not alone


There are times that being the editor of a local newspaper is one of the toughest jobs one could imagine. This is one of those weeks.

As I returned from vacation on Saturday night, I was refreshed and ready to dive into this week’s paper. What started out as enthusiasm was quickly tempered by a parade of sad and heart wrenching news.

In a conversation with a friend, I was informed a Mobridge man had drowned while fishing in Lake Oahe. It wasn’t until Sunday afternoon that I found out the missing man was Dan Figuracion, one of the nicest people I have known in a long time.

Dan was intelligent, kind, talented and a solid human being. He was one of those men who makes single women say “all of the good ones are taken.”

He wasn’t South Dakota born and bred, but he fit into the Mobridge community and was one of those people who always made you smile during a conversation with him. Dan was always upbeat and easy going and the world is a darker place without him.

On Monday I heard the news about Casey Spiry and it was like being hit with a bag of bricks. How can one family go through so much in such a short period of time? After losing Nard last year, to have to deal with the seriousness of this type of accident and the worry that comes with it, is so much to ask of this family.

But their faith is strong and they have a community that will be there for them to help.

They need the thoughts and prayers of this community as Casey has long road to recovery ahead of him.

Late Tuesday morning came word that four Selby residents were injured in an accident near Hayes, and as the information trickled in, I learned that Keith Lemburg,  Marjorie Lemburg, Vi Lemburg, and Anita Mindt, had all suffered serious injury and were air-flighted to Sioux Falls for treatment of those injuries.

Because of laws that protect the privacy of victims of accidents of this kind, information about those injuries is sketchy.

I did talk to members of the Spiry family and know that there is good news in Casey’s case, but it will take a long time for him to recover. He is a strong young man and will fight to get back on his feet.

Unfortunately, no further information about the Lemberg accident is available through the news end at this time.

Some weeks reporting the news is challenging and exciting and I can’t wait to get into the office everyday. There are other times, like this week, that it is most difficult to sit at a computer and write about people you know and care about going through such terrible times. It is very difficult to keep personal feelings out of reporting when one is writing about friends and family.

Although my job is sometimes tough to do, it is nothing compared to what the families of our friends and neighbors are facing right now.

Now is the time to show people what being a friend and neighbor really means.

As we try and comfort Ruth Ann for the loss of Dan and embrace Chas, Brady and Karlie to give them strength and pray that the Lemburg and Mindt families pull through this tragic accident, we need to remember they will find comfort in strength in our actions.

Our community has been through tragedies before, but somehow this time it feels different. As we mourn Dan, pray for the Spiry, Lemberg and Mindt families, we must find strength in our community.

Time and time again, this community has come together to help those who need us. Again, our friends will know they are not alone.


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