June 18, 1942 - May 2, 2023
Service Date: May 9, 2023
Visitation will be on Monday, May 8, 2023, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., with a Vigil starting at 5:00 p.m., at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at 11:00 a.m., at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, followed by interment at Black Hills National Cemetery.
William Max (Bill) Birrenkott, 80, of Lemmon, S.D., passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023.
Bill, a stunningly handsome man, was born in Aberdeen, SD, to Sylvester and June (VanRiper) Birrenkott on June 18, 1942. The oldest of four children, he spent his childhood in Lemmon with his two brothers and one sister. Bill was an excellent student and successful athlete through high school. He grew up hunting, fishing and carousing with friends and family. Stories of their antics still echo the area accompanied by hearty laughter.
Upon graduating as Valedictorian from Lemmon High School, Bill attended SDSM&T where his years were filled with not only education but the brotherhood of the Triangle fraternity. He graduated with a BSEE in 1965 and completed his MBA at UNC. Through ROTC, he proudly served in Vietnam as a Lieutenant in the United States Army Corp of Engineers and earned a Bronze Star for heroism in ground combat.
Bill married the love of his life, Rochelle Marie Polk, in February of 1965. In their 58 years together, they raised two children (and many dogs!) in a home that Bill built. Always active in his community, he served as president of the Jaycees, head of the PTA at Meadowbrook Elementary school and devout parishioner of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. He was instrumental in the development of the local YMCA. Bill’s professional career includes working for Black Hills Power and Light and Elk River Municipality. He enjoyed playing racket ball, camping, hunting, fishing and socializing with his many dear friends. Bill was a voracious reader, connoisseur of cribbage and he had master points in duplicate bridge.
William Max Birrenkott is survived by his wife Rochelle of 58 years; son John Birrenkott of Morrison, CO, daughter Lisa (Murray) Shattuck of Erie, CO; brother Robert (Regina) Birrenkott of Tampa, FL, brother Peter (Julie) Birrenkott of Rapid City, SD. Six grandchildren. William was preceded in death by his parents and his younger sister, Susan Birrenkott.