Curtis A. “Curt” Hallberg, aged 94 years, 7 months, and 25 days; went home to his eternal reward on August 28, 2019, at Avantara in Milbank, SD. Visitation will be at Mundwiler Funeral Home on Tuesday, September 3, 2019, from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm. The funeral service will be at Living Word Lutheran Church on Wednesday, September 4, 2019, at 11:00 am, officiated by Pastor Kent Groethe. Burial with military honors will be in the Milbank City Cemetery.
Curt, born on January 3, 1925, at the family farm near Stockholm, SD, was the fourth of five sons of Ephraim N. Hallberg and Ellen Marie Berg Hallberg. Curt was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith at Tabor Lutheran Church in Strandburg, SD. Curt attended public schools in Grant County and graduated from Milbank High School in 1942. He was the last surviving member of his high school class. Curt was drafted into the Army near the end of World War II and was nearly completed with basic training when the war ended. The drill instructor told them, “Fellas, it’s over, go on home”. Well, it wasn’t quite that easy. Curt proudly served a year and half in Occupation Forces Europe, serving in France and Germany. After his Army service, he returned to Grant County and spent the remainder of his life there.
Acting upon a dare from his buddies and brothers, he asked the pastor’s daughter on a date. That relationship blossomed and he was united in marriage with Elaine Ruth Johnson on June 2, 1950, at Tabor Lutheran Church. To that marriage six children were born; Richard, Cecile, Renee’, Daniel, Donna, and Ruth. He was proud of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and enjoyed visiting with them whenever possible. He was a member of Living Word Lutheran Church in Milbank.
He worked in Stockholm and Milbank in several jobs. He enjoyed playing baseball and softball in his younger years and was an avid Minnesota Twins fan. He was the Grant County Assessor for several years before becoming the business manager for the Milbank Public Schools. He took pleasure in knowing he signed all six of his children’s high school diplomas as the business manager. After he retired from the school system, he went on to work part time for years for the Milbank Lions’ Club public transportation bus as a driver. He became friends to all who rode with him and known as “Grandpa” to many young passengers. Curt was a 70 plus year member of the Birch-Miller Post 9 of the American Legion in Milbank and served that organization in many capacities. He spent many years and much effort trying to get the National American Legion to place an American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame in Milbank, the home of American Legion Baseball. He sang for many years with the Milbank Miltones Barbershop Chorus. He enjoyed singing at church and will be remembered for that joy. His favorite hymn is Children of the Heavenly Father. He had a gift of gab and was always able to find someone to visit with. He never met anyone he didn’t know. On November 11, 2010, he went to Washington, DC with many other South Dakota WW II veterans and enjoyed many national memorials. When visiting the FDR Memorial, he proudly told his fellow veterans it was constructed with Grant County granite.
He is survived by his loving wife of 69 years, Elaine; his children Richard (Sharon) Hallberg, Smyrna, GA; Cecile Cotner, Bentonville, AR; Renee’ Noehre, Bentonville, AR; Daniel Hallberg, Napa, CA; Donna (Steven) Bucher , Plankinton, SD; and Ruth (David) Gulck, Milbank, SD. Also surviving him are his grandchildren: Dane (Marisa) Hallberg, Andrew (Sarah) Hallberg, Lainie (Craig) Adams, Hanna Noehre, Erin Noehre, Bert (Erin) Bucher, Ellen (Brian) Kluth, Alexander (Kelsey) Gulck, and Emelia Gulck; seven great-grandchildren survive him:Arden Hallberg, Agnes Hallberg, Kirby Hallberg, Owen Many, Harper Many, Colin Adams, and Nathan Adams. He will be missed by his many cousins, nieces, nephews, and in-laws. He was preceded in death by his parents; son-in-law, Lee Cotner; and his brothers: Earle, Laverne, Milton, and John (all veterans of WWII and Korea).
In lieu of flowers, his family requests donations be made to The American Legion or the Strandburg Tabor Lutheran Church Cemetery Fund.