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Charles “Chuck” Kerkhove

Charles “Chuck” Kerkhove, 93, passed peacefully at Tieszen Memorial Home in Marion, SD on August 12, 2022. 


Charles Henry Kerkhove was born November 19, 1928, in Gary, SD to Edward and Elvira (De Bruyckere) Kerkhove. Just before he turned 3, his family moved to Ben Clare, SD where he attended Sunny Side and Pleasant Ridge Country Schools. He worked on the farm with his Pa and brothers until drafted in 1950. 


Chuck served in the 1st Cavalry Division US Army during the Korean Conflict as a sharpshooter stationed in Korea (6 months) and Japan (12 months). He participated in the amphibious landing at Incheon, Korea under the command of three-star General Ridgeway. Sargent Kerkhove has a Combat Infantry Badge, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Army Occupation Medal (Japan) and an overseas service bar. Later received the Ambassador of Peace award from the Korean government.  He was Active Reserve (5 yrs) and honorably discharged in 1957.


He met the love of his life, Delores Even at the Arkota Ballroom. They married in her hometown on May 12, 1953. They lived together in Sioux Falls, Humboldt, Montrose, and Menno before Delores passed away in November 2016 after 63 years of marriage. They had 5 children: Robert, Lois, Charla, Adele, and Kay.


Chuck and his wife had a strong Faith and were church members in each community where they lived. He is a current member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Sioux Falls.


His true passion in life was service – to his country, family, community though it was important to have fun along the way. Many an enjoyable evening or snow day was spent playing cards, at times, slow pitch or a little golf (hole-in-one, 3rd hole at Larchwood). A little traveling with family and many local social gatherings.


Chuck was employed at John Morrell – working the Beef Kill allowed him to grow his family and funds to purchase a small, part-time farm in Humboldt. Retiring after 20 years, afforded him a pension and ability to get bigger farm in Montrose. He served on Montrose Public School Board (4 yrs).


The Montrose Coop Elevator hired him as grain grinder (3 yrs) before being promoted to Manager (12 yrs). Upon retiring in 1993, he continued as Secretary SE South Dakota Elevator Managers Association for 20+ years.


He was an American Legion Member for 70 years: while at the William H. Crippen Post 62 in Humboldt was Post Adjutant (2 yrs); the Ruste-Waul Post 154 in Montrose was Post Commander (12 yrs) and McCook County Commander (3 yrs). He was very involved in getting Bob Searl and Dennis Vogel elected State Commander. Also, many fundraising & promotion events to keep the community going … feather parties, dances, hog feeds. He is a PUFL member of the American Legion, VFW, and DAV.


Preceded in death by his loving wife, Delores; his parents, Edward & Elvira; eight siblings: 4 brothers - Frank, Albert, Ernest, and Emil; 2 sisters - Emma Kerkvliet, and Margaret Hanisch as well as Infant Emil & Infant Emma; “Special” brothers-in-law, Don Soehl & Neal Even; and son-in-law, Richard Getzin.


He is survived by: his sister, Marie Soehl of Sioux Falls; sisters-in-law Lorraine Buckmiller and Agnes Even; his children, Robert (Bob)and his wife, Vic of Montrose, Lois Getzin of Vermillion, Charla Cope of Sioux Falls, Adele Schmidt and Kay Kerkhove, both of Columbus, Nebraska; nine grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and many, many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.


Visitation will be in Montrose, SD at the Ruste-Waul Post 154 American Legion on Thursday, Aug 18 with family present from 1-5 pm. Funeral at St. Michael's Church in Sioux Falls, SD on Friday, Aug 19 at 10:30 am. Luncheon to follow. Military Honors and Burial at St. Ann's Cemetery in Humboldt, SD afterwards.


In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made to: Ruste-Waul Post 154 Veterans memorial project . . . PO Box 237, Montrose, SD 57048; VA Sioux Falls Healthcare System attn: Voluntary Service, Sioux Falls, SD; or Bishop Dudley Hospitality House.

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