Wednesday, December 2, 2020

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Frank Laurenz

Funeral services for Frank Laurenz, age 87, of Eagle Butte, SD will be 11:00 AM MT, Monday, October 19, 2020 at the Faith Community Center in Faith, SD. Interment will be in the Eagle Butte Cemetery under the direction of Kesling Funeral Home of Mobridge. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the center.

Frank Robert Laurenz passed peacefully away at age 87, Thursday October 8, 2020, at St. Alexis Hospital, Bismarck, ND. Frank was born August 27, 1933 at home 5 miles northeast of Eagle Butte, SD, the 6th child of Frank and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Weicker Laurenz. He grew up on the family farm with his siblings and attended the Eagle Butte School until his freshman year. Frank quit school (his greatest regret) and worked alongside his parents on the farm until age 19. Like most young men then, he farmed with draft horses – instilling in Frank a deep appreciation of mechanized farming. A desire for innovation was developed in his youth – and resulted in Frank’s many improvements beginning in his childhood with installing an electric pump to water the family herd. During his childhood, he developed a sound work ethic and determination that would frame his future life. In 1954, Frank volunteered to join the US Army with his buddies Louie Lesmeister and Darrel Eberhard. Frank proudly served in Korea, operating a 105 mm Howitzer mounted to a jeep. He earned his GED and was honorably discharged in 1955. After discharged from the Army, he worked for Lockheed in Los Angeles building airplanes. Frank married Maggie Miller in Los Angeles, CA, in 1955. They lived in a small pull behind trailer in the backyard of Frank’s sister and brother in-law’s home in Ontario, CA. Frank and Maggie moved back to SD in 1957, living in the same trailer now parked in Frank’s mother’s yard. They built a basement house in 1958, northeast of Eagle Butte. Frank installed indoor plumbing in the house, being one of the first in the area. During these early years, three daughters joined the family, Sharon, Lynn and Cheryl. The young family worked hard, but enjoyed spending evenings with friends and family in the Parade, Eagle Butte and Dupree areas, playing cards and dancing while the children played together. Frank continued to build the farm and ranch and took pride in his crops and livestock. Frank was known for having some of the best cattle in the area. Over the early years, he took jobs to help make ends meet- hauling hay with Fat Bringman and crop adjusting. Frank was a born mechanic and could fix any piece of machinery or build any structure. He also had quite the engineering knack, building a bobcat skidster, horse trailer and designing and patenting a hog confinement system, cattle oiler and a posthole digger. His inventions were well received, honored at trade expos and were sold throughout the US and Canada. During this time, Frank also had the opportunity to be part of US Ag Trade Com-missions to Europe, USSR and Soviet Block Countries. Unknown by his friends and family, the trips were also an observation of USSR activities for the US. After receiving clearance, Frank wrote a book detailing his life and his experiences in the communist countries. He was elected to the Moreau Grand Board and served as a Director for 1st Financial Bank until his death. Frank loved visiting and helping his family and friends fix machinery or work livestock. He also loved debating anything, even switching sides mid-stream to keep the debate going.  He loved helping the kids and grandkids learn to drive, operate machinery, fix fence, work cattle, fish and hunt. He also instilled in each a love of education. As the grandkids grew older, Frank thoroughly enjoyed attending their sporting events. Frank was fiercely proud of each of his grandkids and great grandkids, often telling them that they were good looking and smart like their Grandpa! Frank was loving husband, father and loyal friend and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Frank is survived by his daughters: Sharon (Shawn D.) Boehrs; Lynn (Keith) Watt; Cheryl (Eric) Bogue; 9 grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren; and sister, Bette (Raymond) Ross. Frank was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 65 years, Maggie; his parents, Frank and Lizzie Laurenz; sisters, Helen Rich, Marion Fett, and Ann Pinnell; brothers, Augie and Henry Laurenz; nieces, Sandy Laurenz and Tammy Iverson, brothers and sisters-in-laws, and special great granddaughter, Hannah Ganje.

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