Francis Vander May

July 22, 1927 - Nov. 25, 2015
Francis Vander May, age 88, of Long Valley, S.D., died Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, at the Rapid City Regional Hospital in Rapid City.
Francis Joseph Vander May was born July 22, 1927, at White River, S.D., to Leonordus and Katherine (Crampton) Vander May. He attended grade school at Plainview, Wanblee and Berry schools in Washabaugh County. Two and one half years of his high school were spent in Wanblee. He attended Wanblee High School until attending his last year and a half at Kadoka High School, graduating in 1944. 
   Francis worked on his father's farm northeast of Long Valley after graduation. In 1951, he joined the National Guard and was discharged in 1954. 
   On May 19, 1954, he married Norma Walkowiak at St. Michael's Church in Spalding, Neb. Eight children were born to this union, Debra, Mark, Chris, Nancy, Kevin, Pamela, Julie and Matt. They resided on the same place he grew up on northeast of Long Valley all their married life. 
   Francis was a member of Sacred Heart Parish of Norris all his life until it closed in 2005. Then he became a member of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Kadoka. He served as trustee at Sacred Heart Church in Norris for many years and was a director in BankWest for 17 years.
   He and Norma enjoyed traveling. Some memorable trips were with Bishop Harold Dimmerling to Italy where they had an audience with Pope John Paul II, many of the central European countries, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada and Poland. Francis shared his quiet sense of humor, and told captivating stories that would entertain and delight, even after hearing them more than once. Whenever something was broken, Norma never had to worry because she knew Francis would fix it somehow.
   Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Norma of Long Valley; eight children, Debra Kussman and her husband, Rick, of Scottsdale, Ariz., Mark Vander May and his wife, Cindy, of Long Valley, Chris Grable and her husband, Rich, of Rapid City, Nancy Donnelly and her husband, Scott, of Rapid City, Kevin Vander May and his wife, Diane, of Norris, Pamela Dixon and her husband, Will, of Rapid City, Julie Carlbom and her husband, Dan, of Spearfish, and Matt Vander May and his wife, Melissa, of Long Valley; 25 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; a brother, Leo "Harry" Vander May and his wife, Bertie, of Long Valley; and a sister-in-law, Betty Vander May of Kadoka. 
   He was preceded in death by sister, Irene Zickrick and her husband, Kenneth Zickrick, Sr., and one brother, Loyd Vander May.
Mass of Christian burial was celebrated Monday, Nov. 30, at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Kadoka, with Father Tyler Dennis as celebrant.
Altar servers were Jarrett Vander May, Isaiah Hogen and Elijah Hogen. Lectors were Cindy Vander May, Diane Hogen and Janet Vander May. 
Music was provided by JoAnne Stilwell, pianist, and the Our Lady of Victory choir.
Ushers were Kenar Vander May, Tere Vander May and Ryan Dixon.
Pall placement and gift bearers were Heidi Jordan, Bethany Zipprich, Amy Juso, Ashley Grable, Rebecca Vander May, Morgan Dixon, Mackenzie Carlbom, Sydney Carlbom and Lindsey Vander May.
Pallbearers were Chris Kendrick, Kanan Vander May, Brian Grable, Eric Vander May, Derek Vander May, Taylor Dixon, Connor Carlbom, Dylan Vander May, Dallas Kendrick and Gabe Kussman.
Honorary pallbearers were Bud Olney, Bob Holcomb, Frankie Bauman, Harry Merchen, Jr., Calude Allen Berry and Stephen Little Thunder.
   Interment was at the Kadoka Cemetery.
   A memorial has been established to Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church and the Kadoka Care Center.
   Arrangements were with the Rush Funeral Chapel of Kadoka.
   His online guestbook is available at

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