Norma Berniece Rumrill Wika, devoted mother and grandmother, passed away at the age of 96 on August 2, 2012, at Golden Living Center in Pierre, SD.
Born to Guy and Marie Langland Rumrill on April 5, 1916, in Onida, SD, Norma spent all of her early years there, graduating from Onida High School in 1934. She then graduated from the Mankato School of Business, returning home to Onida to work in the Onida Bank. She married Onida coach Maurice Wika in January of 1942, between games at a basketball tournament in Pierre. She continued to work at the bank while Maurice served in the United States Army in Europe during WWII. In 1946, they moved to DeSmet, SD, where Norma made her home for the next 60 years. Three children were born to this union - Judy, Marcine and Jim. Norma worked at the Kingsbury County ASCS office for many years and was a member of American Lutheran Church, singing in the choir and holding offices in the Ladies Aid. She became a loyal supporter of DeSmet Bulldog and Lady Bulldog athletic teams and booster club, was a member of Eastern Star and the Twenty Club. Declining health forced her to sell her home in DeSmet and move to Bloomington, MN, to live with her daughter Marcine until 2005 when she moved into Golden Living Center in Pierre until her death.
Norma was a kind soul who had a very competitive streak, especially when playing cards. She made doughnuts, caramel rolls and various pies for her family and friends. She was a fixture at Bulldog and Lady Bulldog games for over 59 years, but she was also an avid fan of the Lakers, as well as the Cubs and the Yankees, with some grudging devotion to the Twins.
Norma devoted herself to her family, attending all of her children's and grandchildren's activities and routinely making lunch for them across the street from the school. She worked to create a loving and memorable childhood for her children and grandchildren, nurturing their ambitions and talents. The Wika family also spent many summers fishing at Lake Traverse. Norma loved to play golf, crochet and knit dishtowels and afghans, and play solitaire when she wasn't watching sports on TV and working on crossword puzzles. She has left a lifetime of memories that will forever be cherished by her family. Her grandchildren remember waking up to freshly baked cinnamon rolls, and being spoiled when they visited whether for a holiday, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, or hunting in the fall. They remember playing in the basement for hours on end, looking through boxes of memories, playing ping pong and sharing many laughs together. They cherish memories of going to the Frosty Korner for cheeseballs and ice cream. But most of all, they remember that she spent her life living for others.
Norma was preceded in death by her parents, her sister and brother-in-law Ethel and Fred Snyder, and her brother and sister-in-law Harry and Katy Rumrill. She is survived by her daughters Judy (Arden) Rapp of Pierre; Marcine Wiese of Burnsville, MN; son Jim (Kathy) of Spearfish, SD; ten grandchildren: Gretchen Rapp (Tony) Hind of Evanston, IL, Jonathan (Lindsey) Rapp of Pierre, Anne Rapp (Bertram) Rowe of Pierre, Megan Rapp (JD) Deal of Pierre, Lori Wiese (Roy) White of Burnsville, MN, Brian Wiese of New Brighton, MN, Dr.Michelle Wika (Troy) Chaney of Ft. Collins, CO, Maj.Josh (Lori) Wika of Sioux Falls, Dr.Courtney Huse-Wika of Spearfish, Carson Wika of Spearfish; 19 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.