Emil VanErem, age 93, of Milbank died Friday, August 21, 2015, at St. William’s Care Center.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Milbank with Father Gary DeRouchey celebrating the Mass. Burial will follow in the Milbank City Cemetery.
Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Monday, August 24 at Mundwiler Funeral Home with a prayer vigil at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue for one hour prior to the time of Mass at the church on Tuesday.
Casket bearers will be Daniel Thole, Lee Thole, Jodi Gronholz, Corey Reiffenberger, Gary Fredrichsen, and Lon Moen.
Emil Maximillian Van Erem was born on January 17, 1922, in Big Stone City, SD, to John Henry and Frances (Pepka) VanErem. He attended rural Big Stone #1 school and graduated from Big Stone City High School with the class of 1940. On June 8, 1943, Emil was united in marriage to Dorothy Kohl. To this union, four children were born. They later divorced and Emil remarried ViDella Koch on January 29, 1968.
For a large portion of his life, Emil was a farmer. He farmed for 24 years in Big Stone Township and Grant County, South Dakota. Emil also owned the 7-75 Supper Club for 7 years and from 1975-1982 he worked for Menzel Lumber. Afterward, Emil became an independent carpenter until his retirement.
Emil was a member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Milbank. He served on the Odessa City Council and volunteered for 15 years with the Odessa Fire Department. A great carpenter, Emil enjoyed woodworking and was known for being able to fix anything. He also took pleasure in bird watching, watching the Minnesota Twins, and shaking dice with his friends downtown. Emil loved gardening and always had an abundant garden that would produce the “biggest” vegetables for him to boast about with his friends.
Left to cherish his memory is his wife, ViDella VanErem of Milbank; children: David VanErem of Milbank; Douglas (Pat) VanErem of Bonita Springs, FL; Rebecca (Allen) Fordyce of Canby, MN; James (Terri) VanErem of Brookings, SD; five step-children: Lisa (Leo) Reiffenberger of LaBolt, SD; Laurie Thole of Big Stone City; Linda Bale of Sioux Falls, SD; Thomas Steinlicht of Ledgerwood, ND; Terry (Kay Ellen) Steinlicht of Charleston, SC; step daughter-in-law, Linda Steinlicht of Wilmot; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, step-grandchildren, and step-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; step-daughter-in-law, Barb Steinlicht; brothers: Bernard VanErem and Vincent VanErem; sisters: Rosella Dittes and Agnes Fine; and step-son, Nick Steinlicht.