Bertha Oldenkamp, 99, passed away on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls in the presence of family members. After being widowed for 45-plus years, Bertha has joined her beloved husband “Hank” and their daughter Gertrude Jane in Heaven.The family will be present for a visitation on Sunday, June 3, 2018 from 4-6 p.m. at the Messiah Lutheran Church in Murdo, S.D.. Funeral services will also be held there on Monday, June 4, 2018 at 11 a.m. with burial following at the Murdo Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be directed to the Murdo Cemetery Association. Online condolences may be conveyed to the family at isburgfuneralchapels.com
Bertha was born to Paul and Elizabeth Noteboom on October 23, 1918 in Rock Valley, Iowa. At the age of twelve, Bertha, her parents, and 10 siblings moved to a farm southeast of Okaton, South Dakota. After completing eighth grade, Bertha helped out at home but also often worked in homes of relatives and neighbors to contribute to the family income. On September 24, 1938, Bertha was united in marriage to Henry Oldenkamp of Okaton.
On December 23, 1939, Bertha suffered serious burns in a tragic accident with the cooking stove. While recovering in the Pierre hospital, she gave birth to her second daughter in March of 1940 but was not able to return home for another two years. Hank’s Aunt Jennie Smol helped him raise daughters Bessie and Mary during this long hospitalization. After a third daughter Gertie was born in 1943, Hank entered the service and was sent overseas in 1944. Bertha was fortunate to have the help of her parents and other family members in caring for the children while their father was fighting in WW II. After Hank returned from the war (December 1945), the family moved to Murdo, South Dakota, where they were blessed with another nine children to make twelve in all (nine girls and three boys).
Over the years, Bertha began working outside the home in the local Highway 16 restaurant and the local truck stop. After Hank’s death in 1973, she moved to Pierre in 1979 where she cooked for Head Start and cleaned motel rooms until age 75. She spent the last decades of her life sewing, quilting, crocheting, and knitting. This fine handiwork has been passed down to both immediate and extended family members.
Bertha was a member of the Okaton Reformed Church, the Messiah Lutheran Church in Murdo, and the Faith Lutheran Church in Pierre. She served as a den mother for Boy Scouts and as a member of the VFW Auxiliary, was elected as chaplain of the district eight auxiliary in 1958.
Bertha was preceded in death by her husband Henry (Hank) and daughter Gertrude Jane (William) Smith, her parents Paul and Elizabeth Noteboom, siblings Dick (Harriet) Noteboom, Peter (Gertie) Noteboom, Jennie (Jake) DeYoung, Nancy (John) Daum, James (Helen) Noteboom, John (Elfrieda) Noteboom, Cornelius “Casey” Noteboom, and Henrietta (Johnny) Weaver. Surviving children include: Bessie (Robert) Roghair of Okaton, S.D.; Mary Ann (John) Van Rooyen of Phillip, S.D.; Benjamin (Suzanne) Oldenkamp of Kennebec, S.D.; Henrietta Oldenkamp of Rapid City, S.D.; Lynda Oldenkamp of Sioux Falls, S.D.; Pauline (Gordon) Paul of Ft. Pierre, S.D.; Bertha Oldenkamp of Watertown, S.D.; Doris (Phillip) Hubbard of Pierre, S.D.; Alfred (Alwona) Oldenkamp of Jonestown, TX; Robert (Dorothy) Oldenkamp of Rapid City, S.D.; and Betty Lou Oldenkamp of Sioux Falls, S.D.. Surviving siblings include Paul (Phyllis) Noteboom, Betty (Ed) Hauser, and Rena (Cornelius) Boersma. Left to cherish memories of “grandma” are 28 grandchildren, 66 great grandchildren, and 24 great-great grandchildren.