Fred Sweeter, age 94 of Milbank died July 21, 2017, at St. William’s Care Center.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, July 26 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Milbank. Father Gary DeRoucey will officiate and burial with military honors will be in the Forest Hills Cemetery in Canton. Visitation will be at St. Lawrence, Tuesday, July 25 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a prayer vigil at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the mass at the church.
Casket bearers will be: Paul Farmer, Ken Sweeter, Jeff Sweeter, Jeff Lundborg, Greg Bierschbach, Matt Wellnitz, Duane VanBockern, and Ron Mead. Honorary bearers will be: Bob Nelson, Eddy Julius, June Julius, Don Sweeter, Pat Nelson, members of the Knights of Columbus, and the V.F.W. Grant County Post #3486.
Fred Sweeter was born on March 30, 1923, on the family farm. He was the son of Harry and Mollie (Meyers) Sweeter. He grew up on the farm and worked very hard as a young man farming alongside his siblings. Fred attended rural school in Lincoln County and attended one year of high school in Worthing, SD.
As the war continued in 1945, Fred was drafted into the United States Army on February 5, 1945. He was assigned duty in Okinawa in the search light battalion. He was honorably discharged on October 15, 1947. He returned to South Dakota and briefly worked with his brother at John Morrell. Fred was united in marriage with Lorraine Johnson on January 3, 1949. Lorraine was a registered nurse. They were blessed with 37 years of marriage, living on a farm south of Worthing for six years and later in Canton. Together they enjoyed fishing weekends at Big Stone Lake for many years.
Fred worked for Lincoln County Highway Department. His devotion to his employment was realized on snowy South Dakota highways and hot summer road work.
On September 23, 1988, Fred was united in marriage with Molly Kockx in Milbank. They enjoyed their lake home, spending time gardening and fishing from their dock. Together they volunteered, making that their career. Time spent delivering Meals on Wheels, Monday afternoon Bingo, and dozens of cookies were baked! Their strong faith was present every Saturday night at 5 p.m. Mass – 2nd row. Many holidays found Fred peeling potatoes and in the dishpan. The table was always full with family. Fred enjoyed a daily two mile bike ride on his three wheel bike, which included riding through the Flynn Nature Trail.
Fred was proud to be called a veteran. He and his nephew, Paul traveled to Washington, D.C. on May 21, 2010, with the Honor Flight. The experience was forever treasured.
Fred’s final months were at St. William’s Care Center. The staff grew to love him as much as he loved them!
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Molly of Milbank; daughter, Mary Sweeter of Sioux Falls, SD; step children: Jeff Lundborg of Colorado Springs, CO; Gail Kelley of Gering, NE; Penny (Ron) Mead of Milbank, SD; Julie (Greg) Bierschbach of Minot, ND; dear family friend, Jan Skorpik of Sioux Falls, SD; daughter-in-law, Paula Lundborg of Webster, SD; 11 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; siblings: Don (Helen) Sweeter of Worthing, SD; Elaine Farmer of Sioux Falls, SD; and Dorothy VanBockern of Canton, SD; and Fred’s dear companion dog, Fritz.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Lorraine, step-son, Tom Lundborg, siblings: Gerhard, Harold, Elmer, and Carol.