Patricia “Pat” Seehafer, age 75, of Milbank, died on Sunday, December 3, 2017, at Golden Living Center in Milbank.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 9, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Corona with Rev. Caleb Schewe officiating. Inurnment will be at Kilborn Lutheran Cemetery at a later date.
Visitation will be held on Friday, December 8, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Mundwiler Funeral Home in Milbank, and will continue at the church on Saturday, one hour prior to the service.
Music will be provided by Corrine Hanson, organist. Casket bearer will be: Delvin Schuler Jr., Rick Seehafer, Phil Seehafer, Kevin Berg, Warren Berg, and Dale Buttke.
Patricia Ruth Keller was born on August 8, 1942, to Mike and Iva (Schmidt) Keller in Lodi, WI. She was the fifth child in a family of 11 children. The family moved to Milbank when Pat was very young and she attended school in Milbank, graduating from high school in 1960.
She was confirmed at St. Lawrence Catholic Church. Through four years of high school, Pat was employed at Edwards Drug Store. After graduation, she attended a specialized computer school in Minneapolis and returned to Milbank to operate the computers at Milbank Mutual Insurance Company. She told family members that at that time, a single computer filled an entire room and the operators moved around within it.
Pat married Duane Dean Seehafer on August 25, 1961, at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Corona. The couple pursued dairy and grain farming on the farm that had been in the Seehafer family since 1913, when Duane’s parents began farming there. She and her husband, Duane, raised dairy cattle, sheep and grain near Corona on one of the state’s Century Farms until moving into Milbank in 2015.
Many years later, Duane and Pat added raising sheep to the operation, lambing out as many as 130 ewes some years. The couple raised five children on the farm and enjoyed attending their school events and activities when they didn’t conflict with the milking schedule. Pat’s love of children and animals culminated in a passion for volunteering with the 4-H program. As a volunteer 4-H club leader for 15 years and horse project leader, she impacted scores of children as they participated in the youth program. Her sense of service to the community extended to volunteering as an election worker for several years. Pat became a member of Trinity Lutheran Church and served the church as a Sunday school teacher, vacation Bible school coordinator, Bible study leader and often was one of the servers for funeral meals.
In her personal time, Pat loved to visit with and help her neighbors. She was an avid crafter for decades and in recent years would set up at local craft shows to sell her products, but mostly she enjoyed being out among the fellow crafters and the people who were shopping at these events. Pat enjoyed exploring and that facet of her personality manifested in various ways; it showed up in something as simple as bringing home exotic foods from the grocery store to teach her children about or as complex as researching novelty breeds of livestock and sneaking them into the farming operation against Duane’s wishes. Often this need to explore was relieved through reading a vast array of fiction novels.
The couple purchased a cabin at Big Stone Lake ten years ago and began to spend more time there and less time at the farm as the farm work transferred to the next generations. Pat enjoyed time spent at the cabin, whether fishing, reading or visiting with family members and neighbors.
Pat is survived by her husband, Duane; children and their spouses: Teresa (Tony) Gaier of Albuquerque, NM; Jeff (Holli) Seehafer of Twin Brooks, SD; Kris Prins of Estelline, SD; Todd (Brenda) Seehafer of Corona, SD; Brett Seehafer of Corona, SD; grandchildren: Jessica and Jennifer Seehafer; Jacob Prins; Danielle (Mark) Larson; Brady Seehafer; and Brent, Taylor, Caleb, Haeley and Sawyer Seehafer; siblings: Joan Schell; Susan (Butch) Jackson; Tim Keller; Mike Keller, all of Milbank, SD; Phyllis Hegge of Ortonville, MN; Jeanne Keller of Sioux Falls, SD; Colleen (Dave) Johnson of Rapid City, SD; Collette (Bob) Hill of Lyons, SD; and Mary (Jim) Nelson of Medera, CA; as well as many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, James Keller.
Memorial gifts can be made to the Grant County 4-H program or the Grant County Soccer Association to continue Pat’s support of youth development in the community.