TABOR — Emil and Evelyn Beran, life-long residents and supporters of the Tabor area, have been chosen as the 2019 Czech Days dedication honorees.
Both Emil and Evelyn’s ancestors were amongst the many Europeans who immigrated to America from Bohemia in the 1860’s and 1870’s looking for land and opportunity. Evelyn’s great-grandparents homesteaded land adjacent to what would eventually be the town of Tabor; both her great grandfather and grandfather were amongst those first owners of lots originating the town of Tabor. Emil’s grandparents homesteaded land in the Lakeport area in the late 1800s.
Growing up, Evelyn spent many hours assisting her parents working in the Blachnik Meat Market in Tabor. She attended all her public school years in Tabor graduating from Tabor High School in 1933. Evelyn then attended The Schuyler Beauty School in Sioux Falls and came back to Tabor opening Tabor’s first beauty shop “The Kur-lee Beauty Shop”. Her shop was located in what at that time was the old Queal Lumber Company office located in the southwest corner of Sokol Park on the main street where the marquee is located at today.
Emil grew up on a farm in the Lakeport area southeast of Tabor attended the Lakeport country school and worked for area farmers while growing up. He loved the farm life and devoted his entire life working the land. When visiting his grandparents who lived in Tabor while Emil was growing up, he recalled setting up pins in Tabor’s two lane bowling alley and being paid with a soda. His parents also lived in Tabor in their retirement.
Emil and Evelyn were married on Oct. 7, 1940 at the Presbyterian Church west of Tabor. The Berans moved to their farm in the Elm Grove area which is located four miles southeast of Tabor where they farmed and raised their family having lived there for 68 years.
Over the years, the Berans traveled to Europe several times visiting the homeland and keeping in contact with the distant relatives throughout the years. They were charter members of the Czech Heritage Preservation Society and assisted along with many others in translating Joseph Dvorak’s book “History of the Czechs in South Dakota” and also members of the Tabor Chamber of Commerce. Being members of the community all of their lives, the Beran’s were called upon many times to answer questions about town history and town residents from the early years or they were asked to do English translation of letters written in Czech for many people. Evelyn enjoyed local history and compiled family histories for both, her and Emil’s family as well as a booklet on the Blachnik country school.
In 2009 the Berans decided to “retire” and have their grandson Brian and family move to the farm while they would eventually move into the Tabor community into the same house that Evelyn was born in. They enjoyed meeting people, giving tours of the Blachnik museum, and watching their family grow going to events are much as they could. The Berans were chosen as Czech Days Parade Marshals in 2010.
Emil and Evelyn have two children Darrell (Ann) Beran and Sherry (Dennis) Povondra. They also have three grandchildren Brenda (Dave) Fryda and Brian (Amy) Beran and Mark (Crystal) Povondra. Their great-grandchildren are Braden and Max Beran, Emma Lynn Povondra, and a deceased great-granddaughter, Ava Grace Underberg.
Both were blessed with long lives; Evelyn passed away on Sept. 22, 2014, at the age 99 and Emil passed away on Feb. 2, 2017, at the age of 102. They worked hard, gave of themselves, and lived their lives to the fullest. They were extremely proud of being part of the Tabor community and were grateful for having the opportunity to promote the Czech Heritage for generations to come.