Harold W. Reinschmidt, age 89, of Yankton, South Dakota died Thursday, October 24, 2013 at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton.
Funeral services are 10:30 AM, on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Yankton with Reverend David Gunderson officiating. Burial will be in the ZCBJ Cemetery in Wagner, South Dakota at approximately 2:00 PM on Tuesday. Military honors will be provided by the Wagner American Legion Post 11 and VFW Post 7319. Visitation is one hour prior to the funeral at the church on Tuesday. Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Yankton.
Pallbearers are James Eggers, Paul Eggers, David Reinschmidt, Jerome Radack, Charles Zacharias, Dennis Merkwan, Doug Ramsdell and Brett Newman.
Harold W. Reinschmidt (Dutch) was born March 16, 1924, on the farm south of Wagner. He was born to Henry (Hank or H.B.) and Clara Reinschmidt. He had three brothers, Willard (Curly) Reinschmidt, Doyle Reinschmidt and Henry (Junior) Stock and two sisters, Darlene Newman and Florene Ehrisman.
Dutch attended country school south of Wagner through eighth grade. Due to the Great Depression of the 1930s, H.B. sent Dutch to Oklahoma to live with an uncle and aunt, Edward and Theresa Reinschmidt, of Custer, Oklahoma, to enable him to attend high school. He attended Custer High School through the eleventh grade, and then moved to Enid, Oklahoma, for his senior year to live with his aunt, Lydia. He graduated from Enid High School in 1942.
He briefly attended college at Phillips University in Enid until H.B. asked Dutch to return to the farm. Dutch therefore returned to Wagner and farmed until he enlisted in the United States Army in March 1944 to fight in WWII. Subsequently, the Army sent him to the European Theater, and he saw action in France, Belgium, and Germany, earning him several commendations, including the Bronze Service Star for action in northern France and the World War II Victory Medal.
He was honorably discharged from the United States Army in April 1946. Instead of returning to the United States, he accepted a position as a civilian working for the
American Occupation force in Germany. Amongst other events during this time, he participated in the Berlin Airlift of 1948. He lived throughout Germany from 1946 through 1953, living in Esslingen, Frankfurt, Mannheim and Feudenheim. He met and married Else Foght, a native Dane also working for the American Occupation force in Germany.
Dutch and Else were married on July 16, 1948 in Frankfurt, Germany, by the German mayor of Frankfurt. Dutch and Else were then married in Struer, Denmark, in a religious ceremony a few days later. Ultimately, they decided to return to the United States to farm, arriving in Wagner, South Dakota in 1953. They farmed on the river bottom south of Wagner from 1953 until 1991. Dutch and Else worked extremely hard on the farm and ranch. Starting with land they purchased while still in Germany, they built a farm and ranch in southern Charles Mix County. In 1991, they retired and moved to Yankton.
During their many years as farmers and ranchers, Dutch was active in the community, and received conservation awards for his work on the farm/ranch.
Dutch had few hobbies, as his great passion was farming and ranching. While he was a modest person, he and Else built a farm and ranch of which they both were very proud. Their cow/calf operation was something he enjoyed in addition to farming. He always owned and loved horses, including Sox, which was his last horse. Given his desire for a better education, he and Else were fervent proponents of college for their children.
Survivors include two children: Barbara (Dr. Charles) Yelverton of Vermillion, SD and David Reinschmidt of Burbank, SD; one granddaughter, Nikita Reinschmidt of Burbank, SD; brother, Doyle (Norma) Reinschmidt and sister, Florene (Jim) Ehrisman, both of Wagner; sisters-in-law, Colleen Wiechmann of Wagner and Yvonne Stock of Omaha. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Else; brothers, Curly and Junior; and sister, Darlene.
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Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families!
Neil and Diane Von Eschen
Our deepest sympathy to you Jim and Barbara and your families. Harold was a true South Dakotan who loved his family, livestock and his farm. He was a great individual to work with over the years. He was a person who believed in fairness on not only issues that affected his farming operation but many other issues that benefited all South Dakotans. He will be greatly missed.
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