Owen Spanton, age 91, of Milbank, died Friday, July 22, 2016, at St. William’s Care Center in Milbank.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, July 28, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. at American Lutheran Church in Milbank with Rev. Carl Larson officiating. Burial will follow in the Milbank City Cemetery with full military honors. Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27, at Mundwiler Funeral Home and will continue on Thursday for one hour prior to the time of service at the church.
Casket bearers will be Paul Sestak, Ben Johnson, Zach Spanton, Dillon Dwyer, Charles Berkner, and Curt Berkner. Honorary bearers include Owen’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Owen Edward Spanton was born on June 16, 1925, in Marietta, MN, to Edward Francis and Mabel Blanche (Upton) Spanton. He attended school in Milbank through the 11th grade. On October 27, 1943, Owen was drafted into the United States Army Air Corps at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. While in the military Owen served in Hawaii and earned the Distinguished Unit Badge, the American Theater Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal, the APT Ribbon, and the Victory Ribbon. He was honorably discharged on February 26, 1946, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Following his honorable discharge, Owen returned to Milbank and was united in marriage with Mary Lou Harder on December 13, 1947. This union was blessed with 60 years together and four children. The family moved to Anaconda, MT, for some time while Owen worked in a smelting plant. They then returned to South Dakota, settling near Stockholm. Owen began farming and also worked for his brother-in-law, Quentin Lee, at Lee Well Drilling. He then worked for Berkner Excavating for over 20 years until he retired at the age of 79 to care for his wife.
Owen was a member of American Lutheran Church in Milbank. He enjoyed fishing and collecting fishing memorabilia. He took pleasure in going on outings: attending a Minnesota Twins baseball game and visiting the Mall of America. Owen liked horses and baking and was proud to have been a golden glove boxer in his younger years. Above all, Owen loved spending time with his family and he cherished each moment spent with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Owen is survived by his children: Mark Spanton, Jeff (Debbie) Spanton, Cindy Spanton, and Julie (Bill) Dwyer, all of Milbank, SD; two grandsons: Dillon and Zach; four granddaughters: Heather, Ilia, Samantha, and Gina; eight great-grandchildren; brother, Warren “Swede” (Betty) Spanton of Watertown, SD; sister-in-law, Shirley Poppen of Milbank, SD; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary Lou; daughter-in-law, Debbie Spanton; brother, Bob Spanton; sister, Gervaise Lee; and an infant brother, Murray Spanton.