Clyde Hafner

Clyde Hafner, of Bison, passed away on Saturday, March 18, 2023 at CHI Health St. Francis in Grand Island, NE.
Funeral services for Clyde will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, 2023 at the Bentley Memorial Building in Bison, SD.  Pastor Charlotte Kvale will officiate with burial to follow in the Bison Cemetery.
Visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 on Friday, April 28, 2023 at the Evanson Jensen Funeral Home in Lemmon, SD. 
Clyde M Hafner drew his first earthly breath November 4, 1942 in Bison, South Dakota and was placed in the loving arms of his Mother, Stella Rue Hafner and Father, Hugh Lawrence Hafner.
He joined siblings: Orein, Joann and Don on the family farm south of Bison, SD.
Clyde attended Lone Tree grade school and graduated from Bison High School in 1960. While young, he participated in 4-H and worked diligently enough to win a trip to the National Western 4-H Roundup during the Denver Stock Show. He was active in various sports events in school. His favorite past time was being with friends. He worked various jobs after he got out of school. He spent several years working with Jim Long building houses and other jobs Jim had lined up.   He served Uncle Sam in the South Dakota National Guards and did his training at Ft Leonard Wood in Missouri. He completed the Engineer Equipment Assistant Course in 1965. When his dad became ill, he returned home to put in crops. He and his dad had a special relationship as they could work together without much talk. Their souls seemed to communicate with each other. They had a great respect and love for each other. Before his dad took his last breath’s, he held Clyde’s hand and said, “I have to go”, and Clyde knew what he meant. Their faith in God was a great bond between them.
A blind date (because of two of their high school friends) to a dance in Hermosa  and  after dating for a couple of years   lead to the marriage of Clyde and Lorretta (Lorrie) Bekken from Newell, May, 25, 1968. They lived their “love” story for fifty-five years on the place where Clyde grew up south of Bison. They were blessed with two boys, Terry and Rick, who helped Dad and Grandpa with farming and ranching. Early in their marriage, they purchased Lorretta’s Aunt and Uncle’s ranch near Zeona along with a part of the ranch where Lorretta’s Dad grew up.  They were able to work the north place and south place together to make a ranching operation with cows.
They were members of the American Lutheran Church in Bison. Clyde served several terms on the church council and in the late seventies he served two terms on the West River Church Conference Board. He represented The Bison church at a District meeting in Sioux Falls in 1973 where he met up with his conformation pastor, (LeRoy Flagstad) who asked him what he was doing there…. Clyde looked at him with a grin and said, “The same thing you are.” LeRoy, with a grin back, said “that was my foolish comment.”  The past few years they attended church at Zeona where Lorretta was baptized as an infant. It was a great way to be a part of the community where they kept their cows. Friendships were strengthened.
Clyde spent many hours and years serving on the Perkins County Fair Board. He had a hand in building the Bentley Building so people would have a place to gather.  He was onboard when the rodeo started again. He and his wife were honored as Friends of the Fair in 2022.
   He served several terms on the Lone Tree Township Board.
He enjoyed working with his friends participating in the Rogers-Smith #255 Legion Post in Bison. They did color guard duties at funerals and parades. He considered it part of his duty as an American who had training in the Armed Services.
The last several years Clyde was able to do what he dreamed about. He had been in love with horses all his life – He was able to collect a few special horses who kept him walking to the barn, even when he didn’t feel good.
Clyde was a kind, patient person. His family was blessed to have him. His granddaughter was the love of his life. He loved his boys, but she really stole his heart. He loved following her to rodeos to watch her become a well-rounded young lady. It wasn’t just rodeos, he encouraged her in the practice arena too. It was always heart touching to hear her volunteer to sing the National Anthem before a rodeo. He also didn’t miss many of her volleyball games or plays and he was so proud of her artwork and photography.
His life was challenged with Cancer the last 14 years. He was able to try many new treatments in Bismarck, Billings and the last one was in Grand Island NE where he was to receive his second infusion of a highly radioactive drug that had already made a big difference in his numbers.  Hours before he was to receive the 2nd treatment, Sepsis entered his body and God said, “It is your time to come home to me.”
Clyde is survived by his wife, Lorretta, son Terry and wife Tracy; Grand daughter Nicole and husband, Clayton Lau and great grandson, Thaddeus.  His sister, Joann Aaker, brother Don and wife Barbara, Sister-in-law Rose Hafner and several nieces and nephews,
He was preceded in  death by his son, Rick in 1994, his parents, Hugh and Stella, brother Orein; Lorretta’s parents, Marrietta and Tillman Bekken and her bothers, Percy and John.
Condolences may be sent through our website at

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