Stadem Reunion 2004, in Two Parts



Part I: Stadem Reunion,

July 1-4, 2004,

Bryant Dakotan Article on the Reunion Reprinted in:

Part II, Samtaleren, With Additional Samtaleren News

Part I:


Seventy-eight people, mostly descendants of the late Alfred and Bergit Stadem, gathered for a four-day family reunion at the family farm northwest of Bryant on July 1-4. The largest attendance to date, the number was swelled by family members and vbisitors from Brazil and Mexico. They brought out the implications for mission of this year's theme, "Jesus, Still Lead On", a favorite hymn of Mrs. Stadem, who in 1903 immigrated from Norway at age 17.

One of the Stadem grandchildrfen, Calvin Taylor, formerly of Brazil and now from Knoxville, TN, showed slide pictures of a recent trip to Norway, where he visited relatives on both Bergit's and Alfred's sides of his mother's family. The mission he has represented in both the United States and Brazil, New Tribes Mission, now as an affiliate in Norway, the home of his ancestors.

Highlights of this year's reunion were memorials to two Stadem daughters, one son-in-law, and two nieces, who have died during the past two years. Daughters, Estelle Rangen of Fort Shaw, MT and Ruth Harrington of Sioux Falls, SD, were remembered for their boldness in witnessing of their Christian faith. Mrs. Rangen was remembered for striking up conversations with fellow cancer patients while undergoing treatments together and Mrs. Harrington for giving out "Jesus" stickers and gospel tracts to total stranges in public places.

The Stadem's son-in-law, Hans Spilde, of Sioux Falls, was remembered for a near-death experience he had related to his children that was so beautiful it made his recent death a fearless passage. The Stadem's nieces, Shirley Wellington of Watertown, SD and Hazel Zakariasen of Mesa, AZ, were remembered by their cousins, Pearl Ginther of Puyallup, WA, Cora Taylor of Brazil, Alida Spilde of Sioux Falls,. Leroy Stadem of Sioux Falls,and Maxine Stadem Haugom of Watertown.

The family also gathered for presentations by Dan Templeton on the work in Brazil, by Cora Taylor on the nature and challenges of faith, and by Rennard Svanoe, Stadem grandson, on his work in Mexico. Besides his wife Grace, Mr. Svanoe was joined by Mexican colleagues, Mariano Quitana and Rosaria Zapien, in presenting their work with the Tarahumora Indians of the Copper Canyon area. A 25 cent sale was held by granddaughter, Miriam Rinderknecht, to benefit Cora Taylor's family and their work in Brazil. Cora told of her new home built to accommodate twelve guest families.

Mrs. Rinderknecht also organized a style show utilizing clothing items modeled by the children and youth at the reunion. Modeling and dancing were used to bring out themes of the spiritual significance of colors in the Judeo-Christian tradition. The young people also enjoyed frisbee-golf, fireworks, a go-cart, swimming and campfire sing-alongs.

A discussion on the future of the farm and of family reunions there was held to determine how to proceed after the recent death of owner, Mrs. Harrington. Her wish to have the family continue the 21-year-long tradition will be honored by the new owners, Leroy and Elisabeth Stadem, and their five children, to be named co-owners. Present officers were re-elected for next year.

The family formed a choir for the worship service at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Bryant on Sunday, July 4, and sang a medley of "The Old Rugged Cross" and "Amazing Grace." Dan Templeton played "What a Friend We Have In Jesus" on the musical saw and was joined by his wife, Beth Ann, and children, Dan and Becky, on a song sung in both Portuguese and English, "The Longer I Serve Him, the Sweeter He Grows".

Attendees took a group, as well as individual family pictures, other shots on a compact disk were offered to family members by Russ DelVon Schaefer. Calvin Taylor joined his mother in distributing to each family a copy of a book on how the Bible portrays the gospel from Genesis to Revelation called, "The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus" by John R. Cross.

Meals for this year's event were catered by Mary Ward of Bryant.--end of BRYANT DAKOTAN ARTICLE


Part II:

DISCUSSION OF OWNERSHIP OF THE FARM [this appears to be part of the following section III, the Business Meeting Minutes, but has been published separately ahead of the Minutes. In a now evident rush to change the whole operation of the venue after the homegoings of Bernice, Estelle and Ruth, many things were put in place and implemented.--Ed.]

Lee & Liz Stadem explained the process by which they are now the owners of Plain View Farm. It had not been their desire to own the 11 acre site,but for the immediate future the property will be held in thenames of Lee & Liz and their five children.

The basic annual costs of ownership are:

taxes: $628,

insurance: $400,

water: $360,

and electricity:

$140 and also maintenance in connection with the reunions.

[Note: All these expenses or most could have been given to the caretakers in exchange for rent and maintenance, but present eldest Stadem Pearl Ginther's wise and practical suggestion of a caretaker and family possibly too was not taken, so the farm continued unprotected, neglected for an entire year except for a yearly cleanup and three day reunion. This continued to be the sad and expensive policy until the Stadem couple moved on to homestead in 2018. Was it necessary to do it that way?--Ed.].

Comments: Calvin Taylor asked, "Is the intrinsic value to the five Stadem children and Lee & Liz of this property worth the cost of ownership of the farm and the expenses incurred therein?"

Steve Stadem said, "Take a year to digest this. Think about the ownership of Plain View Farm being in the Stadem names, but the farm would remain open for reunions like in the past. Reunion attendees can continue to help keep up the place with various types of maintenance jobs."

[Ron, belatedly 2019: "Everyone, God has a divine purpose for Plain View Farm. Based on what our grandparents did here in the past, there is a ministry for Plain View Farm we can all share in creating and everyone in our families and the surrounding communities will be greatly blessed. How about it? God is still able!"




The meeting was called to order by Lee Stadem at 1:00 pm on Friday, July 2, 2004 [In retrospect, in my late seventies, and being able to review the records of the last twenty and more years of the farm's operation, I would have wanted to see the business meetings held only on even year reunions so that more of the Stadem Relationship could give input and be a part of the decision making. Even in 2004, a few people seemingly predominated to set the policies for the coming decades, which once set in place tend never to be changed but go on like traditions, whether working out okay or not.--Ed.]

Judy Stadem led the group in prayer. The minutes of the 2003 meeting were read and the report of the treasurer was read. Kari Stadem moved and Allison Lungren seconded that both be approved. Motion carried [according to Sven Swenson"s Rules of Order?--Ed.].

Bills: Lee Stadem submitted a bill for mowing and repairs;

water heater repair $28.58;

Mower repair $100.00;

gas & mowing $72.33;

and mouse poison $6.35,

for a total of $207.56.

Bernie Iserman moved and Curtis Coats seconded that the bills be paid. Motion carried. NOTE: Reimbursement will be made to Lee Stadem for purchasing the Sunday noon catered meal in Watertown.

Holding "every other year" reunions seems to be working for the majority. Those attending during the off years enjoy the relaxing time and opportunity to gather at the farm every year.

Food/Meals: Suggestion for smoother operation were given. Chairs are stored in the building between the Spise Hutte and the Heritage House. As the chairs are not to be left outside, they have to be brought out before and put away after each use. Please request more fruit and veggies from the caterer next year. For the rest of this year, please use servers to dish out the food as we ran out of food at noon [hilarious!--Ed.]

Kari Stadem moved and John Brown seconded that the caterer be encouraged to use more paper rather than Styrofoam products. Motion carried.

Judy Stadem offered to be the caterer for next year's reunion promising to use healthier foods [no hot dogs, no hamburgers, no steaks, no pies, cookies, ice cream, etc.? Another tie with the community is thereby broken, as the Bryant Ward's Store caterer is dropped rather abruptly, which would seem to be a vote of no confidence or inability to work out a menu to suit the younger wives and husbands now in charge. No consultation with the wider Stadem Relationship was considered necessary, and they had no say in this change, which I thought was ill advised, for the reasons given. Judy, who makes excellent salads, could have worked along with the caterer, not supplanted her, and eventually taken over completely, so that there was a healthy assortment of salads and meat dishes, if that was thought a good idea by everyone. By the way, Ward's Store in Bryant lost our yearly catering, which may have led to the decline in revenue that caused the Ward's Store to open a bar, which shared the same building of a small grocery and three motel rooms. Also, did any of the contractors and carpenters present at the meeting question the letting the farm house go unheated years and years now after Tom's passing, with metal siding Tom put on, thinking he and Ruth would retire there, that would later lead to rotting of the underlying former wood exterior?--Ed]. Mary Coats volunteered to help administer this meal program. Steve Stadem moved and John Brown seconded that Judy's offer be accepted. Motion carried.

Date next year: Elisabeth Stadem moved and Naomi Iserman seconded that next year's reunion be held June 24, 25, 26, and 27, Motion carried. It was further suggested that when determining the dates of the 2006 reunion, it should be held on days other than the July 4th weekend, preferably prior to July. [why? the July 4th holiday and days preceding and following are traditional family event days, and wasn't the reunion such? Separating the two events would create hardship and even conflicts in families' attendance at the reunions. It devolved into a work-party only on the off-year reunions.--Ed.]

Projects: John Brown moved that a list be made prioritizing the jobs needed to be done. This list should be printed in the Samtaleren. Then at reunion time workers can be prepared by bringing tools and materials. Steve Stadem seconded. Motion carried. Project manager will be Steve Stadem.

Further suggestions of needed repairs were: 1) Fix the persistent drip in the bathroom; 2) Replace the front tractor tire which is cracked; 3) Install water at the Spise Hutte.

New Barn: A materials list has been prepared for a new barn [the committee took seven years to come up with it.--Ed.]. Perhaps some year we would have a "Barn raising" [the "some year" turned out to be 2010, six years after, and only the foundation and bottom level was laid and framed, with serious building beginning in 2011 and continuing on, with the facility still unfinished in 2019, which makes it a 21 or 22 year project to date--Ed.]. It is also possible that a metal pole barn could be built instead of a copy of the former wood barn.

Thank You: Bonnie Hilt offered to give to the farm two old (but rarely used) ovens which would need to be installed into a cabinet, if such ovens could be used. It was noted that Bonnie Hilt donated the "hand washing sink" unit this year.

Gloria Brown thanked the cleanup crew that labored in the house and the out buildings to make them usable for the reunion. We need to thank and honor the young persons for their work and for using their talents and gifts of this reunion.

Officers: In order to pass around the officer jobs a list of responsibilities or duties for each job needs to be prepared. The 2005 officers will be: President, Pete Stadem, Vice Pres, Steve Stadem, Sec./Treas. Eloise Hefty, and Historian, Rennard Svanoe. At the time of the next large reunion in 2006, the officers shall be: President, John Brown: Vice Pres. & Reunion Manager, Ria Schaefer. These officers were voted upon and approved.

Announcements: Later the whole group pictures and family groups pictures will be taken in front of the Heritage House. Russ Schaefer offered to send a CD Rom of the pictdures he has taken at the reunion to each family in attendance desiring a copy. (Thank You, Del Von!") Mim's Boutique items are on the front porch and are available for 25 cents each. The money collected will be donated to Cora Taylor. Tomorrow six girls will be involved in Liturgical Dance e under the direction of Mim Rinderknecht.

Upon motion by John Brown and second by Gloria Brown the meeting was adjourned. --Eloise Hefty, Secretary



REUNION FUND: Beginning Balance, August 2003----------------------------------------------$701.86

ADJUSTMENT---Overstatement of 2002 Registrations due to NSF check-------------------.- 30.00

INCOME:----------Meal registrations---------------------------------1,631.00


TOTAL INCOME-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1,701.00

TOTAL EXPENSES-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------$1,807.26

NEW BALANCE, REUNION FUND, August 2004----------------------------------------------------$565.60

FOUNDATION FUND: Beginning Balance, August 2003--------------------------------------------$1.195.26

NEW BALANCE FOUNDATION FUND (Qtr. ending 6-30-04)--------------------------------------$1.196.15



Myron "Mike" Stadem: Death of Another second cousin of Lee & Sisters. Ben and Norman Stadem, brothers of Severt Stadem, were uncles of Mike who had the farm directly south of Plain View Farm, on which the "Buffalo Ring" can be found today. The following is the obituary which was handed out at the funeral:

Myrton "Mike" S. Stadem was born on April 23, 1932 near Bryant, SD, the son of Sevgert and Mildred (Erickison) Stadem. He grew up in Bryant and Sioux Falls and graduated from Bryant High School in 1950. Mike served in the United States Navy during the Korean Conflict from 1950-1954. When he returned after his discharge, he attended Northern State Teachers College and graduated in 1958. After graduation, Mike taught in Hayti and Castlewood. Mike married Pat Gard in June 4, 1960 in Bryant. In 1964 Mike began teaching I n Dell Rapids and taught there until 1993. After teaching, Mike worked for Integra Plastics in Madison until he retired I n 2003. Pat died on December 24, 2001.

Mike died on Sunday, August 8, 2004 in Sioux Falls, SD. He was 72 and was preceded in death by his parents and his brother. Mike was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Dell Rapids, the Dell Rapids American Legion Post, Past president of the SD Coaches Association, the SD Baseball Hall of Fame as an umpire, and was an avid baseball fan that participated in seven decades of baseball.

Those left to cherish his memory are his four sons, Mark (wife Marilyn Schmitz) of Baltic, Chad (wife Sara) of Baltic, Scott of Brandon, and Ryan (wife Diane) of Dell Rapids, his daughter, Shawn of Sioux Falls, his five grandchildren, his sister Darlene Robbins of Whitehall, MT, and his two nephews.


"IT MUST BE. . .", A Tribute to Mim Svanoe Rinderknecht,

by Cousin Ron Ginther


It must be the love of Jesus to open so wide her door--

She filled hundreds of boxes to help the unemployed and poor.

It must be the love of Jesus that she clothed so many homeless--

The number is enough to shame us all and should at least embarrass.

It must be the love of Jesus to feed the hungry under the highway span,

And drive the truck herself (to show a woman can!). It must be the love of Jesus, she cared for others above herself.

\ People meant more to her than personal affluence, a nice neighborhood, comfort and wealth.

It must be the love of Jesus, nice folks will never know.

They give to ease a conscience, or merely make a show.

It must be the love of Jesus, so extravagant and free,

That even Christians object to the "waste" and think ykou're gone a little crazy!

It must bwe the love of Jesus to take one person to change the world.

The Pharisees, it scandalized, and with scorn their lips were curled.

It must be the love of Jesus that doesn't know when to stop.

You know she's got when she sees a mess and is the first to grab a mop!

It must be the love of Jesus that's lost all worldly pride,

for whom our comfort zone means nothing, because she's taken the Samaritan's side.

It must be the love of Jesus--have we finally got the point?

The same love saved your sin-sick soul, in your condo or honky tonk joint!

It must be the love of Jesus that we should have in equal part--

or do we let go a trickle and for the poor don't really care?

It must be the love of Jesus that exposes the poverty within,

For when we think love's too costly, that's when we starve spiritually within.

It must be the love of Jesus that opens the Pearly Gates wide,

But if we don't follow our Master, we'll never walk through inside.

it must be the love of Jesus to show us our lack though it hurts,

He'd rather see us turned to givers than miss a reward big as Myrts.*


Note to Tribute Poem: "Give and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over shall be given into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye use, it shall be measured back to you." Luke 6:38. This verse was one of Aunt Myrtle's favorite verses, for she was always quoting it in my hearing. Her daughter Mim certainly took it to heart.--R.G.



Ronald Ginther sent $5.00 in April to help with the Samtaleren mailings, and also sent a poem he has written as a tribute to Mim Rinderknecht. At the reunion Pearl Ginther gave $20.00 to be applied toward Samtaleren costs. Later she mailed pictures for distribution and included another $5.00 for postage. Thank you very much!

Russ DelVon & Ri8a Schaefer sent a computer disk with all the pictures they took at the reunion. Each family in attendance received one. I'm sure I speak for all when I say, 'A big, heartfelt, Thank You to both of you!"


A girl, Jetta Kathryn Hefty, was born May 1, 2004 to Brian and Jenny Hefty, and joins 3 year old Zachary at home.


Please note the changes in the addresses [to many to replicate here--Ed.], phone numbers, emails, etc. Several address changes were sent in by Janelle Swenson. Note Joe Rangen's new address. Colette and Mike Christenson have moved from Minnesota to Dauphin Island, Alabama. (Hope you were spared from the recent hurricane damage!). Ken & Carleen Newton's daughter Kenna & Sasan Tavassoli have moved to Gr eat Britain. Dan & Beth Templeton are living with their daughter in Virginia until July of 2005. Cora Taylor is in the States living with son Calvin in Knoxville, TN. Bonnie & Joe Hilt have move into Rapid City, they were about 10 miles north at Blackhawk. Our genealogist Barbara (Vorseth) & Vernon Benson have moved into a new condo, not too far away as they have the same telephone number.

Pearl Ginther wrote, "What a great time we all had at our reunion with 82 relatives and guests (Actually the number is 84 with visitors). I know Gloria and her family truly enjoyed coming this year, and what a help she was to take me in the wheel chair at the airports and Leroy to drive me around the farm in the golf cart!!! I truly enjoyed the testimonies and what different ones of you spoke out from their hearts--that was truly enjoyable--and Alida isn't slow to give a witness of her faith in the Lord Jesus. When my family heard what good time I had, they are already preparing for our next family reunion. Ronald sure liked the butterfly plaque from Ruth's things. I'm taking exercise classes two or three times a week. My eyes are so blurry. I can barely see what I write. Please pray for me! Thanks, I had a great 95th birthday!! My family gave me a delightful party at a Chinese restaurant. [Mother received a true miracle with her cataract surgery by a Norwegian (!) but unbelieving doctor. He ran out of the room when she showed 20/20 vision in the eye operated on, for she had already made clear to him she trusted in God for success, even at her age! We believed his own blind eyes were opened and he saw God was guiding his hand and also healing her eye perfectly after the surgery, surely evidence that would cause him to find faith in Jesus her Lord.--Ed.].

Bradley Stensaas, 37, son of Eloise Hefty, is engaghed to Traci Steevber, married on December 4, 2004. Traci works as a compliance representative for a [a company] in Sioux Falls. She also trains horses and helps riders to know their horse better. She keeps horses and [trains them] outside of Chancellor. Bradley, a mechanical engineer, works for Hefty Seed Company, Baltic, SD.


Since the Samtalerens are sprinted infrequently, if you have input regarding any jobs needing to be done by reunion "volunteers" next year, or input regarding the job descriptions of Reunion Officers' responsibilities [and anything?] needed before the 2006 reunion, please send it to Lee Stadem. (This refers to suggestions made at the Business Meeting and referred to in the Minutes.).



Part III, Stadem Reunion 1997, Minutes and Updates of Family Events and Increases

Plain View Farm Home Pages: The Introductory (or Front Door)

Rangen Central

Stadem Families Saga Continues

Stadem Families Master Photo Album

New Main Linking Page

Plain View Heritage Farm Roadmap Directory

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