WYNOT — Elmer Jerome Promes, 93, Wynot, died peacefully at his home Nov. 4, 2020, surrounded by family.
A private family Mass of Christian Burial was held Nov. 7 at Holy Family (Sacred Heart) Catholic Church, Wynot, with the Rev. Jim Keiter officiating.
Burial was at Sts. Philip and James Cemetery, St. James, with military rites by the Wynot American Legion Post 31 and the Legion Riders.
A public visitation and vigil service were Friday, at Holy Family (Sacred Heart) Catholic Church, Wynot. Face masks were required for the visitation and funeral. A livestream of the funeral service could be seen at www.facebook.com/WintzRay/live/.
Pallbearers were Jerome’s grandsons, Cody Christensen, Reggie Hochstein, Justin Kathol, Garrett Fischer, Jesse Keiser, Jed Lewis, Jeremy Promes, Joe Promes, Jake Promes, Zach Kathol, Connor Pick, Brandon Bernard and Will Littlejohn.
Jerome was born Dec. 31, 1926, in Wynot. He attended District #33 country school in St. James until eighth grade and received an honorary diploma from Wynot Public High School in 2001. Jerome married Marcella “Sally” Feilmeier Jan. 20, 1948, in Hartington. Together they raised a large family of 16 children on a farm outside of Wynot. Jerome and Sally were active members of Sts. Philip & James Catholic Church, St. James, and Holy Family Parish, Wynot, and were owners of Wynot Oil Company for 51 years.
Jerome was a true patriot. After serving in Okinawa in WWII, he became a member of the American Legion Post in Wynot, and the VFW Post #5283 and the American Vets Post #18, both in Hartington. Jerome also served on the Bow Valley Park Association board and drove the school bus for Wynot Public High School for many years. He served on the Cedar Security Bank Board for decades until his death.
In the likeness of Jesus, Jerome helped to feed loaves and fishes, to the masses. He was instrumental in getting the original fish fries started at the Am Vets Post #18 in Hartington years ago. He hosted the original fish fries at the Weigand resort in Yankton after Gavins Point dam was built in the early 1950s, and he cohosted Orville and Jerome’s Fish Frys for over 20 years in Hartington. When on the river, he rarely wore a life jacket and didn’t know how to swim. He would jokingly say, “If I was born to hang I’ll never drown.”
Jerome was a friendly and very humble man who always looked out for the underdog. It thrilled him to talk to the younger generations, especially his grandkids, sharing his wisdom and telling stories. He was a member of Ducks Unlimited for years and wouldn’t miss a good wild game feed. He was a man on the go and enjoyed playing guitar, singing old songs, playing cards, checking on his bluebird trail and dropping a few coins in the slots with his friends. As a strict Catholic, he allowed for no legitimate reason for ever skipping Mass. His most prized possessions were his strong faith in God, his large extended family, and his many friends and neighbors. Jerome took great pride in farming the land and felt honored to live on, and care for, the Promes Family farm. A good work ethic was core to his being, having frequently said, “life was hard work, but we always knew how to make it fun.”
Jerome’s life seemed to come full circle when he moved to town in 2016. He sends a heartfelt “thank you” to the wonderful people of Wynot for supporting him, looking out for him and always including him as he aged. He was so very grateful. You all truly warmed his heart.
Jerome is survived by his 16 children and their spouses, Connie and Bill Christensen, Hartington; Carol and Kenny Hochstein, Hartington; Dennis and Rose Promes, Wynot; Joanie and Kenny Fuchtman, Omaha; Jerry and Jenny Promes, Yankton, S.D.; Nancy and Rod Fischer, Hartington; Sheila and Don Keiser, Norfolk; Sally and Jerry Lewis, Norfolk; Cyril and Mary Ann Promes, Crofton; Janice and Doug Pick, Omaha; Joyce and Mike Bernard, Omaha; Dean and Denise Promes, Jefferson, Iowa; Daryl and Joetta Promes, Gowrie, Iowa; Lisa and Bill Littlejohn, San Diego, Calif.; Lori and Randy Olson, Omaha; and Sherrie and Clair Kathol, Glidden, Iowa; 59 grandchildren, 98 great-grandchildren with three more are on the way, three step great-grandchildren; and three sisters-in-law, Alice Beyeler (Ray,”Toke” Beyeler), Carol Promes (Gerald) and Sharon Promes (Irvy).
Jerome is preceded in death by his wife, Sally; infant twin sons, John and Joseph; granddaughter, Kari Hochstein; great-grandson, Harvey Christenson; great-granddaughter, Selma Hochstein; his parents, Joe and Ida Promes; his brothers, Irwin “Irvy” Promes, Carroll, Iowa; Ray Promes, Wynot; and Gerald “Red” Promes, Carroll, Iowa; his sisters, Lucille Arens (Julius), Hartington; Mildred Koch (Erwin), Wynot; and Mary Ann Promes, Wynot.