Bessie Nance (Whitebread) Baars

(September 17, 1918 - February 8, 2008)

The Lusk Herald
February 20, 2008

Bessie Nance Trohkimoinen Baars

Bessie, 89, Sturgis, died Feb. 8, 2008, at Sturgis Regional Senior Care.

Bessie was born Sept. 17, 1918, in Freeport, Ill., to Edgar and Bessie (McKee) Whitebread. She came to South Dakota with her parents when she was three years old. Bessie attended rural schools and graduated from Sturgis High School. She went to Beauty School in Rapid City then owned her own beauty shop in Vale. She met Emil Trohkimoinen at a dance and they were married on Sept. 25, 1940. To this union, two children were born, Hazel and Don.

Emil and Bessie farmed in the Vale area until 1955 when they bought the Trohkimoinen home place, two miles south of Vale. Bessie began working at the Fort Meade VA Medical Center in 1961. She worked there until her retirement in 1985. Emil passed away after 40 years of marriage on Feb. 2, 1981.

In 1988, Bessie met Harry Baars, a rancher from Wyoming that shared the same interests as Bessie. They were married May 19, 1989. They lived at the ranch south of Lusk. Harry passed away in 1996 and Bessie returned to South Dakota where she lived in Vale and Spearfish before moving to the Sturgis Regional Senior Care Center in 2006, where she has resided since.

Bessie was a member of the Alladin Club and the Community Bible Study. She loved visiting with people and playing cards.

Survivors include her daughter, Hazel (Wilbur) Knaub, Vale, SD; her son, Don (Bobbie) Trohkimoinen, Vale, SD; seven grandchildren; thirteen great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents and both husbands. Memorials have been established to the Vale Fire Department and to the Vale Cemetery Association.

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