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Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Helen by adding your memories and photos.

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Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home

Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home
101 Gerkin
Gregory, SD 57533
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Memories & Candles

“to a great friend and co-worker at the Gregory school. We worked hard but we still had time to laugh and talk a bout the fishing . I thought of...Read More »
1 of 18 | Posted by: veronica frasch - gregory, SD

“It was a blessing to me to have been one of Helen's friends. She was a great help when I started working at Louie's Grocery Store because of her...Read More »
2 of 18 | Posted by: Barbara Fenenga - Gregory, SD

“Helen, will miss you very much. We will still have all the good memories of you and Marvin at the river camping. Will miss a friend. ”
3 of 18 | Posted by: Neil and Peggy Soper - CO

“Auntie Helen, We already miss you so much. I love You !!!!!!!!!! You are In our hearts always, CheyAnne treasures the memories she has of staying...Read More »
4 of 18 | Posted by: Linda and CheyAnne - Sioux Falls, SD

“Helen, I remember all the visits growing up and riding in the truck with Uncle Marve! I am so thankful you were able to meet Tyson! I will remember...Read More »
5 of 18 | Posted by: Tara Hyatt - NE - Niece

“Dear auntie, I was So blessed to be with you these last few weeks. you mean so much, always there to listen if needed. Always treated David so good...Read More »
6 of 18 | Posted by: lori, jamarcus and david - steen, MN

“Helen - my little sister. We talked for hours over the last few months. I heard your wonderful stories and memories and I shared mine with you as...Read More »
7 of 18 | Posted by: Ron Kerner - Brother

“May Helen rest in peace with the Lord! She had the most contagious laugh and was always smiling and friendly to all. Helen ...you are missed. ”
8 of 18 | Posted by: Deb Dede - Family Friend

“Dear Betty, Mary, and families, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You all are in my thoughts and prayers. May God comfort you by all the good...Read More »
9 of 18 | Posted by: Peggy Daughters Sale - Byers, CO

“Aunt Helen, Where do I even begin with you. You were the nicest person to everyone that you met. You weren't a person quick to judge and you were...Read More »
10 of 18 | Posted by: Heather - Steen, MN - Great Niece

“Helen - I can't believe you are gone from our lives. We have been through so much together. I keep listening for you to call for me but all I get is...Read More »
11 of 18 | Posted by: Anna Kerner - sister in law

“Ron, Anna and family You have my deepest sympathy. Helen REALLY is an amazing person and someone we could all look up too. I absolutley will miss...Read More »
12 of 18 | Posted by: Janet Flom

“Helen,God saw you were getting tired of the fight and called you home.You are now one of the beautiful flowers in his bouquet.I will never forget all...Read More »
13 of 18 | Posted by: Myrna (Schrader)Zimbelman - SD

“Helen, You fought a tough battle and I admire your bravery through it all. I already miss your laugh and I will cherish the many memories! We...Read More »
14 of 18 | Posted by: Tisha Hoffman - Fairfax, SD

“We Love you so much Helen. Love Mary, Misty, Sonya, Troy, Marie and Tyler ”
15 of 18 | Posted by: Misty Heinrich - Sioux Falls, SD

“Helen, You fought a long and hard battle and now you have found peace and the rest that you have long deserved. We will always have the...Read More »
16 of 18 | Posted by: Misty Heinrich - Sioux Falls, SD

“Helen, You had to leave us behind, but the memories we made together we will cherish and will last a life time. You fought long and hard, and now we...Read More »
17 of 18 | Posted by: Mary Swedlund, Sonya and Troy Heinrich - SD

“To Helen and her family; The memories of we kids growing up come flooding back at times like this and as we grow older. I will always remember the...Read More »
18 of 18 | Posted by: Alice Miner - gregory, SD


Helen Marie Svoboda was born on April 12, 1951 in Gregory, SD to Emil and Mary (Beavers) Kerner. She passed away at her brother Ron's home in Steen, MN on September 8, 2013 after a long battle with cancer at the age of 62.

Helen graduated from Gregory High School in 1969. She married Marvin Svoboda on July 20, 1974. They lived in Gregory and enjoyed camping and fishing with all of their many friends. Helen especially enjoyed being involved with the Rodbenders Fishing Club.

They also spent time exploring the banks of the Missouri River fossil hunting and traveling south for the winter months. During Marv's illness in 2001 they lived in Sioux Falls until his death in 2004. Helen continued to live in Sioux Falls and enjoyed working at Starmark Cabinetry until she was diagnosed with cancer in 2011.

Although they had no children together Helen enjoyed being with Marv's children - Allen, Amy, and Scott and was a wonderful Auntie to her nieces and nephews. They all have many happy memories of their time together.

Helen was preceded in death by her husband Marvin Svoboda and her parents, Emil and Mary Kerner, a brother-in-law Ronald Swedlund, and a sister-in-law Cheryln (Klein) Kerner.

She is survived by her two sisters, Mary Swedlund of Sioux Falls, SD, and Betty (Keith) Swedlund of Presho, SD; two brothers, Emil Kerner of Centerville, SD and Ronald (Anna) Kerner of Steen, MN; three aunts, Belva Serr, Eleanor Vakiner, and Mary Wempe all of Gregory, SD; an uncle Jim Beavers of Coeur D' Alene, ID; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and very special friends.

* * * * * * * * *

Funeral services for Helen Svoboda were held on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. at Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home in Gregory with Pastor Bill Serr officiating.

Recorded music was provided.

Emily Russo was in charge of registration.

Emil Kerner was the urn bearer.

Honored guests were the Rodbenders Fishing Club: Jolene Kulhavy, Joyce Shavlik, Bonnie Johnson, Darlene Opperman, Ginny Leibel, Lori Watson, Julie Mohr, Jolene Wehde, Teri Wegner, Rita Wegner, Valerie Lipscomb, Sue Schlueter, Ariel, Schlueter, Terri Frank, and Jeanie Hysell.

Inurnment was in the Bohemian National Cemetery, Gregory, SD.