Kennedy Ann Tomsha, 18, of Tulare, SD, passed away in Huron, SD on Friday, November 3, 2017 from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. In keeping with Kennedy’s loving and generous spirit, it was her decision to donate life through organ and tissue donation so that others may live.
Her funeral service will be 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at the Tulare United Church in Tulare. Pastor Lorah Houser Jankord will officiate. Burial will follow in the Crandon Cemetery, rural Crandon Township.
Visitation will be Wednesday, November 8, from 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., at Thelen-Hyke Funeral Home in Redfield. A prayer service and time for sharing will follow at 7:00 p.m. Family will be present beginning at 5:00 p.m. to accept condolences.
A second visitation will be held at the Eastern Star Chapel, from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m., on Thursday, November 9. Visitation will continue at the church prior to the funeral, from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. Thelen-Hyke Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements. (www.thelen-hykefuneralhome.com)
Kennedy Ann Tomsha was born December 30, 1998 in Aberdeen, SD to Tom Tomsha and Wendy (Beck) Tomsha Quinn. She grew up on the Tomsha farm and enjoyed going to “Dawnie’s” Daycare. Kennedy attended Hitchcock-Tulare School and graduated in May of 2017. While in school, she participated in cheerleading, FCCLA and sports. Kennedy was always involved in blood donor clinics and was the recipient of a red cord for her graduation ceremony as part of the Red Cord Honors Program. She recently started college at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion; her goal was to major in Biology and become a Physician's Assistant.
Kennedy enjoyed reading and spending time with friends. She liked to bake and cook and always left a big mess. Kennedy was known by name at every “Buckle” store in the state as she had a passion for clothes. The laundry room at home served as her personal closet.
The residents and staff at the Eastern Star Home in Redfield became an important part of Kennedy’s life after she began working as a CNA. She had a special connection with everyone at the nursing home.
Kennedy loved life. Her smile, sparkling eyes and outgoing personality will never be forgotten.
Kennedy will be missed by her father, Tom & Jill Tomsha of Tulare; her mother, Wendy & Chris Quinn of Sioux Falls; her sister, Madison Quinn of Sioux Falls; and her grandparents: Linda Tomsha and Rich Bottum of Tulare; Doug & Ann Murfield of Watertown, SD and Jim & Verna Ellenson of Redfield. She is also survived by her aunts and uncles: Ron & Deb Kopplin; Darcy & Paul Bruns; Shannon & LeJean Beck and Brandon Beck and cousins: Nick & Rachel Kopplin and son, Lincoln; Darin & Lana Kopplin and daughter, Ellys; Bailey Kopplin and Nathan Aesoph; Dylan Bruns; Aidyn Bruns; Tristan Beck; Melissa & Austin Zastrow and children: Micah, Zoe & Malachi; and Justin Ellenson and children: Tim & Hannah. Kennedy’s special friends include Kaytlyn Boomsma and Riley Zastrow.
She was preceded in death by her grandfathers: Harry Tomsha Jr. and Kenneth Beck and her favorite babysitter, Dawn Woodward.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions will help establish a scholarship in Kennedy’s name at the Hitchcock-Tulare High School.
As we prepare to help the Tomsha family say good-bye to Kennedy, we are asking for help from her family, friends and her community with the following:
- We do expect many people to attend both the visitations and funeral service. Please do not let this deter you from coming and supporting the family at the funeral home or church. Extra seating has been added in both facilities. And please note the start times of each service.
- For the funeral on Thursday afternoon, Tom and his family would prefer to see everyone at the church. However, if the church reaches full capacity, you may be directed down the street one block to the school where the funeral will be live-streamed. We cannot express strongly enough how much it would mean to the family to see the church full before the overflow area is used.
- Regarding register books at the visitations and funeral:
- Please note that we will have multiple register books available to sign, but all the pages will be combined into one book for the family.
- PLEASE sign the book and include your FULL mailing address. It is extremely helpful to the family to have all the addresses in one place. Even if you include your mailing address in a card, please record your mailing address in the book as it is easier for the family to use the register book for addresses than searching through cards. It is extremely frustrating for families to search for mailing addresses especially when many people are not listed in telephone books any longer.
- If you sign the book with your complete address, the people signing after you are more likely to do so as well.
- Please only sign the register book once - if you sign the book at one of the visitations or prayer services, please do not sign again at the funeral.
- Please watch for the bright yellow “no parking” or “family only” parking signs that will be placed at the church prior to the funeral.
- Please consider carpooling to the cemetery. Crandon Cemetery is a small rural cemetery. There will be parking available off the road, in a field adjacent to the cemetery, but carpooling would be appreciated. We will have funeral home staff directing vehicles to park.
On behalf of Kennedy’s family, we thank you. Thank you for assisting us with everything listed here but most of all, thank you for supporting this family in your thoughts, prayers and actions.
Kelly and Bonnie Hyke and Staff
Thelen-Hyke Funeral Home