Boyd Duane DeGeest
Born on Thursday, October 1st, 1931, Boyd DeGeest stomped on the terra for 31,233 days, demanding his final breath in the wee hours of Wednesday, April 5th, 2017. He was 85 years old.
He was preceded in death by almost everyone he ever knew. He said goodbye to his wife of more than fifty years, Lois LaVon Bortnem DeGeest and his precious daughter, Lora Lane DeGeest Erpelding. Those who remain to tell the tales include his son, Paul, daughter-in-law Tess, and granddaughter Audrey, along with son-in-law Donald Erpelding and good friend Tonya Williamson.
Boyd was born in Armour, South Dakota to Jasper DeGeest and Irene Ptak DeGeest (later Bowers). An only child, he grew up in Huron, South Dakota, graduating from Huron High School in 1950. He joined the U.S. Army and served in Alaska during the Korean conflict before earning his bachelor's degree in lithography. He fell in love with Lois the instant he saw her in Nick's Hamburger Shop in Brookings, South Dakota. It's still there, too. Great burgers since 1929.
Boyd and Lois got married in June, 1954. They lived in California and Texas, then moved back to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to start a family -- after "running around" with Arnold and Elaine Connelly. Paul came along in 1967, followed by Lora in 1970. They all moved to Winona, Minnesota that year and lived in the blue house on Elm Street.
Apart from his family, Boyd's greatest passion was hunting and fishing with friends. He and his two childhood pals, Joe Poellinger and Dean Loeffelbein, combined to reduce the duck, goose, deer, antelope, and salmon populations to near extinction.
An unrepentant card shark and gambler, Boyd defied the rules at Sauer Healthcare by insisting on sneaking out to play poker and bridge several nights each week. His friends would often deliver him back to the nursing home well after midnight. He would sometimes smuggle liquid "medicine" for himself and others who will remain unnamed. They never really knew what to do with him there, but the care he received, especially near the end of his life, was gentle and loving. He made many friends among the staff and residents and his family is grateful for their love and respect for him. Special thanks to Misty and Jake for keeping a close eye on him.
All are invited to a memorial gathering to celebrate the lives of Lois and Boyd on Saturday, April 15th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Hoff Funeral and Cremation Services in Winona. Boyd always said that cut flowers were a waste of money, so donations in his name to the charity of your choice are suggested. Ducks Unlimited or Pheasants Forever seem appropriate.
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