Ralph Stensland, age 93, of Hot Springs, SD, formerly of Milbank, SD, passed away on Sunday, June 25, 2023, at Eastern Star Home of South Dakota in Redfield, SD.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, June 29, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at Emanuel Lutheran Church in Milbank. Rev. Chris Davis will officiate. Visitation will be held on Wednesday from 5 – 7 p.m. at Mundwiler Funeral Home. A prayer service will be held at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue at the church on Thursday, one hour prior to the service. Burial, with military honors, will be held on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. (mountain time) at Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, SD.
Ralph W. Stensland was born on January 12, 1930, in Aberdeen, SD. He was the son of Edwin and Valborg (Pfeutzenreuter) Stensland. He grew up on the family farm near Helca, SD. He graduated from Hecla High School with the Class of 1948. On November 3, 1950, he enlisted with the U.S. Marine Corps. He served with the 1st Marine Division, Sergeant Infantry during the Korean War. After his honorable discharge on May 1, 1952, he enrolled at South Dakota State University and earned a B.S. Degree in Agronomy. He later earned a master’s degree in public administration from Northern Colorado University.
On October 6, 1961, he was united in marriage with Jeanette Jasmer in Leola, SD. Together, they were blessed with 62 years of marriage and two children.
Ralph had a long career with USDA Soil Conservation Service and worked in Leola, SD; Gettysburg, SD; Clark, SD; Ipswich, SD; Gregory, SD; Watertown, SD; Huron, SD; and Philadelphia, PA. He also served as an agronomy consultant and watershed planner with the Peace Corp in the Federation of Malaysia and with the US Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico. Upon his retirement in 1990, he moved to Milbank, SD, and worked with Grant County FSA on watershed planning.
Ralph was a faithful member of Lutheran Missouri Synod. He was also a member of Lutheran Laymen’s League for over 30 years, National Association of Federal Employees, American Legion Birch-Miller Post #9, DAV, Marine Corps League, and Korea Brotherhood of Survivors of How Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Regiment, 1st Marine Division. In his free time, he enjoyed reading, hunting, fishing, and traveling.
Ralph is survived by his wife, Jeanette of Hot Springs, SD; daughter, Suzanne (Kevin) Moore of Redfield, SD; son, David (Mel) Stensland of Kittery Point, ME; grandsons: Zachary (Marissa) and Zebulun (Shannon) Moore of Brewster, WA; and sister-in-law, Lila Davies of Rapid City, SD.
He was preceded in death by his parents: Edwin and Valborg Stensland; brother, Ramon Stensland; and two grandsons: Joshua and Joseph.