Ardeth Kocourek has touched countless lives in Bennett County, the surrounding area and South Dakota. She came to Bennett County in the late 1940s from Iowa to teach Vacation Bible School. She then left to complete her bachelor's and master's degrees. Later, she returned to teach commercial classes at the high school.
She was active in farming activities with her husband and still operates machinery during busy times of the year.
Friends describe Ardeth Kocourek as a remarkable person. She has been a member of the Association for Family Community Education since 1956 and has held offices on the local and county level. She has served as a member of the County Extension Board, the State Extension Advisory Board and the State Library Commission.
Ardeth was a 4-H leader for 25 years and continues to be supportive of young people in the community. She currently works as the Bennett County School Librarian and is upgrading the libraries in the elementary school and high school. She was a teacher in the Bennett County School District for many years.
She is also a very active church member and recently completed two years as the Interim Lay Pastor for two churches, one in Martin and one in the Tuthill area. She has also been choir director. Ardeth was one of the South Dakota Commissioners to the General Assembly, which is the Presbyterian Church national organization. She is a member of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and the Bennett County Education Association. She received the Friend of 4-H Award in 1972 and again in 1986.
Ardeth and her husband, Frank, who is deceased, are the parents of four sons and two daughters, including Kitty of Sublette, Kansas; Elden of Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama; Tom of Shore View, Minnesota; John of Box Elder, South Dakota; Steve of Port Byron, Illinois; and Klara of St. Paul, Minnesota. Betty and Peter, all of Goodwin, South Dakota; Lucy of East Grand Forks, Minnesota; and Tony and Michael of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They have 41 grandchildren.