Virgil Dittes, age 91, of Milbank, SD, passed away on June 24, 2020, at his home in Milbank.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, June 27, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at Living Word Lutheran Church in Milbank. Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the church on Saturday. Pastor Kent Groethe will officiate, and interment will be in Milbank City Cemetery. Friends and neighbors are invited to join the family in procession from the church to the cemetery as Virgil takes his last ride by his own all-terrain vehicle. Individuals may line their vehicles along the cemetery road and entrance to the cemetery as the family travels to the gravesite.
While maintaining social distancing guidelines, we are now able to gather for visitations and services. The use of face masks by attendees is recommended, and we will continue taking the necessary steps to keep our facility clean. For those who prefer or require continued precautions, webcasting and/or livestreaming is available in most situations. Expressions of sympathy during this time can be left on the condolences page available with the obituary on our website.
Virgil Earl Dittes was born on March 31, 1929, in Graceville, MN, to John and Emma (Gommer) Dittes. He grew up in the Corona, SD, area and attended rural school through eighth grade. Virgil went to work as a farmhand and also worked as a mechanic until he founded San Joaquin Drum Company in Bakersfield, CA. He later founded and owned Underground Piercing Inc. in Osseo, MN, which specialized in laying underground cables.
On December 20, 1948, Virgil was united in marriage with Evelyn Mae Bryngelson in Milbank, SD. After they were married, the couple moved to Deadwood, SD, for nine years. They lived in South Pasadena, CA, for a time and Bakersfield, CA, until 1971. Virgil and his family moved to Osseo, MN, in 1971, where he operated his business until 1991 when he retired and sold the family business to his son. He and Evelyn did some traveling throughout the United States, starting with a two-month trip to Alaska. They would vacation in Apache Junction, AZ, or Fort Myers Beach, FL, during the winter months. They moved to Milbank, SD, in 2007.
Virgil was a passionate outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing, RV traveling, boating, water skiing, shooting, and logged thousands of miles on his ATV riding along with his ATV buddies in Arizona, in the Black Hills, and the Big Horns. Virgil was a member of the National Rifle Association and enjoyed Front Sight Gun Training. He was a founding member of Whittington Center, was a member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and a member of the Black Hills ATV Club.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 71 years, Evelyn of Milbank, SD; sons: Johnathan Awn of Santa Fe, NM; and Jim (Bonnie) Dittes of Deadwood, SD; daughter, Marcia Walton of Chino Valley, AZ; sister, Shirley Schultz of Milbank, SD; brother, Don (Janette) Dittes of Appleton, MN; grandchildren: John Dittes, Sage Awn, Dan (Sue) Dittes, Shelly Juul; step-grandchildren: Raymond (Jody) Wright and James (Lisa) Nash; and 20 great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Virgil was preceded in death by his parents, John and Emma Dittes.