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April 12, 1927 - December 11, 2022
Service Date December 30, 2022
Visitation will be held on Thursday, December 29, 2022 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Friday, December 30th at 10:00 a.m., at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church followed by burial at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.
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James Anthony Etzkorn, age 95, passed away peacefully with family in Rapid City, South Dakota on December 11, 2022.
James (Jim) was born on April 12, 1927, to Anton Charles and Bernese (Loughlin) Etzkorn at St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre, South Dakota. Jim lived on the family farm in DeGrey and attended grade school at Riverview where he either walked or rode a horse to school. Jim attended High School in Pierre, SD often milking cows to pay his room and board while staying in Pierre.
Jim met Ruth Evelyn Shoemaker in Pierre and they were married on November 10, 1950. Shortly thereafter, he enlisted in the United States Army in December of 1950, training to become a paratrooper. He remained in the Army for the next two years stationed in Ft. Campbell, KY and Ft. Benning, GA prior to being Honorably Discharged in December of 1952.
Returning to Pierre, South Dakota with Ruth and his daughter Catherine, Jim began to work for the State of South Dakota as a Heavy-Duty Scale Inspector for the State’s Public Utilities. He remained in this position for 25 years. During this time, Jim was also very beneficial in assisting in the development of South Dakota’s state employee retirement benefits plan. While living in Pierre, their family expanded by four more children, Charles, Carol, Monica, and Robert. Jim’s love of the Black Hills and family led him to purchase a cabin in the Hills where they vacationed frequently.
In 1979, the USDA offered Jim a position in Kansas City, MO where some of the family moved in September. He was employed as a Federal Scale Inspector until 1982 where he then transferred to the Dairy Branch until he retired in May of 1992 with 15 years of Federal Service. During his retirement he enjoyed hunting, collecting, and tinkering in his garage. Jim and Ruth returned to South Dakota in 2000 and settled in Rapid City. After moving to Rapid City, Jim became a connoisseur in making wine and brewing beer. He won several ribbons at the Rapid City Central States Fair for his wine and beer. Jim made many friends wherever he went, as Jim loved to visit with people and had many stories and jokes to tell.
Jim is survived by his children Catherine (Van) Simpfenderfer, Charles (Linda) Etzkorn, Carol (Tony) Boggs, Monica (Jeff) Honza, and Robert (Teresa) Etzkorn, 11 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren, his sister Mary Aasby, and his brother Terrance Etzkorn. Jim was preceded in death by his parents Anton and Bernese, his grandson Paul Simpfenderfer, his wife Ruth, and his sister June Guthrie.
And as Jim would say: “Have a good day today and a better day tomorrow!”