Don Ehlers photo

Don Ehlers

Don Ehlers of Midland, South Dakota, died on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at the Philip Nursing Home at the age of 82. 

Donald Henry Ehlers - better known as “Don” by his family and friends - was born October 15, 1937, near Hamar, North Dakota, to Henry “Hiney” and Edith (Baker) Ehlers. He was the oldest of four brothers. He lived with his parents and attended rural elementary school near home for eight years. 

Don enlisted in the U.S. Army for three years and was stationed in Arkansas, Texas, and Colorado where he specialized in missiles. After Don was honorably discharged, he traveled home where he met Sally Nemec in Pierre on a blind date. They were united in marriage on February 11, 1961 in St. William Catholic Church in Midland. He and Sally had four children: Donald Dwayne, Cheryl Ann, Rory Allan, and Pamela Sue.

Don worked for the Ernest Nemec family on their registered Hereford ranch for 23 years. Don and Sally moved from the Nemec homestead to establish their own place in 1984 and continued ranching for many years.

Don was a member of the American and South Dakota Hereford Association. As the children grew, Don and Sally caught “polka fever” and enjoyed dancing and camping around several states for 30-plus years. He was a member of the St. William Catholic Church in Midland and the Bad River and Ballroom Swishers dance clubs. He had a special love for horses and farm sales.

Survivors include four children, Donnie (Bonnie) Ehlers of Midland, Cheryl (Marty) Hook of Mobridge, Rory Ehlers of Ft. Pierre, and Pam Cook of Mitchell, Nebraska; seven grandchildren: Rachel (Jake) Ritzman of Hopkins, Minnesota; Devon (Haley) Ehlers of Philip, Dixie Ehlers of Midland, Stephanie Waller (Wayce) of Gillette, Wyoming, Hunter Hook of Illinois, Nicolette Cook of Kearney, Nebraska, and Walker Cook of Lincoln, Nebraska; three great-grandchildren, twins Alexis and Madison, and Brody Gisi all of Gillette, Wyoming; two brothers Henry (Connie) Ehlers of Phoenix, Arizona and Marlin (Mary Lou) Ehlers of Tolna, North Dakota; sister-in-law Arlene (Darrel) Ehlers of McHenry, North Dakota; many cousins, nieces, and nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Don was preceded in death by his wife Sally on October 30, 2019; his parents; brother Darrel Ehlers; a grandson Dylan Ehlers; a granddaughter Cassidy Cook; a son-in-law Morgan Cook; brother and sister-in-law Ray “Mac” and Teresa McLaughlin; brother-in-law John Fosheim; and great nephew, Brennan Ehlers.

Memorials may be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association at

Cards and memorials can be sent to:
The Ehlers Family
22169 SD Hwy 14/63
Midland, SD 57552

A come and go viewing was held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, May 29, at St. William Catholic Church in Midland.

Mass of Christian Burial was held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 30, at St. William Catholic Church in Midland with Father Gary Oreshoski as celebrant. 

Interment with military honors were held immediately following the funeral service at the Midland Cemetery.
Arrangements were with Rush Funeral Home of Philip.


The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
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