Mark D. Merchen, age 80

Mark D. Merchen


Mark D. Merchen, age 80, of Kadoka, S.D. died Thursday, May 26, 2016, near his home.
When time came for Mark to come into this world, Mom was taken five miles to Norris on a stone boat sled. The snow was so deep the horses could hardly pull the sled. Then a friend drove her to Martin via Belvidere and Kadoka. Mark was born on February 29, 1936, a leap year baby. (He celebrated 20 birthdays.)
Mark attended his first six grades of school at Hill Crest School in Washabaugh County. The family then moved to Kadoka. 
At age 17, Mark volunteered for four years of service in the U.S. Air Force. He was stationed in San Antonio, Texas, and Puerto Rico. He was a mechanic for the B-29. After leaving the service, he still enjoyed going to air shows and seeing the planes he worked on.
Mark came home to Kadoka and started farming with his dad. He continued to use his mechanical expertise in farming, as he could fix almost anything (if he said bad words, it seemed to work a lot better!) Some of his techniques were not conventional as he wore out a couple of pickups pulling equipment with his truck instead of using a tractor. 
He was always generous with his time and resources. He enjoyed his nieces and nephews, his grandnieces and nephews, and his buddy, Theo. He was known to give most any child a couple of bucks. He spent the last months with his good dog, Babe.
Survivors include two brothers, Harry Merchen, Jr. and his wife, Jeanne, of Rapid City, and Widd Merchen and his wife, Lana, of Gordon, Neb.; two sisters, Jeanine Gage and her husband, Dean, of Sioux Falls and Ronnell Grotzke and her husband, Vernon, of Bozeman, Mont.; a sister-in-law, Carol Merchen of Rapid City; several nieces and nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Mark was preceded in death by his parents, Harry Merchen, Sr. and Mildred (Beard) Merchen; a brother, Melvin Merchen; and an infant sister.
Memorial services were held Tuesday, May 31, at the Presbyterian Church in Kadoka with Vernon Grotzke officiating.
Music was provided by his niece, Julie Churchwell. Ushers were Aaron Mansfield and his nephew, Todd Merchen. Pallbearers were his nieces and nephews.
Interment with military honors was held Wednesday, June 1, at the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.
Arrangements were with the Rush Funeral Chapel of Kadoka.
His online guestbook is available at www.rushfuneralhome. com

The Pioneer Review

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