Cover photo for Lt. Col. Myron D. "Van" Van Gerpen's Obituary
Lt. Col. Myron D. "Van" Van Gerpen Profile Photo
Lt.

Lt. Col. Myron D. "Van" Van Gerpen

Lieutenant Colonel Myron D. "Van" Van Gerpen at age 90 died of natural causes on May 11, 2021, with his loving family by his side. Funeral services will be 2:00 PM on Monday, May 17, 2021, at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton, South Dakota, with Reverend Errin Mulberry officiating.  The public is invited to attend the funeral or to watch the live stream on Myron’s obituary page at www.wintzrayfunealhome.com.  Burial will be in Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, South Dakota, at 3:00 PM on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, with military honors provided by the Ellsworth Air Force Base Honor Guard.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the funeral on Monday at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home. Colonel Van Gerpen was born October 4, 1930, on a farm south of Avon, SD, the son of Dan and LuVerne (Bochman) Van Gerpen. Van attended Avon High School for 2 years and graduated from Springfield High School in 1948 and from the University of Wyoming in 1963. He enlisted in the US Air Force in 1951 and in 1954 was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and obtained his pilot wings. He spent most of his Air Force career as a jet fighter pilot serving in Europe, Vietnam and many bases in the United States. He retired after 24 years of service in 1975. On July 21, 1953, he married Muriel Smits of Corsica and they lived in numerous places in the states and Europe. After retirement from the Air Force they moved to Tyndall, SD and joined the MJ Implement business with his brother. In 1977 Van started Falcon Aviation, a fixed base operation and charter service, in Yankton, SD. His love was flying and he also enjoyed big game hunting. Van will be dearly missed by his five children: Maureen (Robert) Jackson, Tracy, MN; Melinda (Gale) Otto, Tracy, MN; Myrna (Jim) Eben, Ada, MI; Merrill (Sandi) Van Gerpen, Yankton, SD; Morris Van Gerpen, Yankton, SD; 15 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren; one sister Marella (Ed) Miedema, Rapid City, SD and numerous nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death were his parents, his beloved wife of 67 years on February 14, 2021, one infant sister, Myrna, and brother, Milton.  

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