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Helen Muriel R. Kjos - Gillette News Record: Obituaries

Helen Muriel R. Kjos

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Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 11:15 am, Tue Nov 5, 2013.

Helen Muriel R. Kjos, 93, of Gillette, formally of Spearfish, S.D., died Monday, June 17, 2013, at the Close To Home Hospice.

Graveside services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, S.D.

She was born Feb. 12, 1920, in Rapid City, S.D., to Ned and Lera (Young) Ronning. Her father was born in Bergen, Norway, and she was proud of her Norwegian heritage. She was raised with her three siblings in the “Green” house on the hill in Philip, S.D. As a young girl she enjoyed working with her father in the family grocery store and meat market. Her father raised and bought cattle for use in the meat market and, as such, they always had horses and animals at the place. She and her siblings spent much time riding the country side with their favorite ponies.

Mrs. Kjos attended school in Philip, graduating high school in 1938. She attended Business School in Omaha, Neb., receiving a business certificate. She learned short hand, which she remembered all of her life. Even in the late years of life, she would write herself notes in short hand, unfortunately, she was the only one who could read them. She began her working career in Mitchell, S.D., as assistant to a group of attorneys.

During World War II, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked for the U.S. Navy in the War Department. She, along with two of her cousins, lived with five other young women in an apartment. She was never without a camera, as the boxes of pictures remaining are a testament.

She married Charles Dail Lobdell in 1943. To this union were born two boys. They divorced in 1953. As a single mother she raised her two boys with help from Grandpa Ned. She worked hard so the boys would have the necessities. She was an excellent example of an honest hard working mother. The boys do not recall her ever missing a day of work due to sickness, even walking to work when the weather would not permit the rear wheel drive ’50 Chevy to go. She began working at the First National Bank in Philip in 1954, retiring in 1985.

While in Philip, she made many close friends and enjoyed a life time of attending many types of clubs and parties always willing to help with what needed done. She and her close friend Carol attended school together in their early years and remained the dearest of friends their entire life, even able to have a brief phone conversation less than a day prior to her passing. She spent countless hours with her “craft projects.” She enjoyed many hours with two of her granddaughters teaching them to make stationary with hot glue and decorating them, as well as her “beading” projects.

She married Lester Kjos in Wall, S.D., in 1967, they enjoyed 40 years together. After they both retired, they traveled extensively in the Western U.S., Canada, Mexico and Hawaii. She also traveled to Europe twice and the United Kingdom twice to visit her son who was in the military.

She was a lifetime member of the Order of the Eastern Star, holding many positions. She traveled to Nova Scotia as a member of the Eastern Star as a cultural exchange delegate. She made friends there that lasted a lifetime. She also was a lifetime member of the American Legion Auxiliary.

She is survived by two sons, Bryan Lobdell of Pickerington, Ohio, and Barry Lobdell of Gillette; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Lester; parents; two sisters; a brother; and a granddaughter.

Memorials may be directed to the Close to Home Hospice in Gillette.

Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapels and Crematory Service of Spearfish. Online condolences may be posted at or attached to the obituary on the News Record’s website at

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