Donald Brekke


Donald Brekke, 78, of Sioux Falls, died Monday, Aug. 29, 2011 at Dougherty Hospice House following a lengthy illness.

Donald Grover Brekke was born on May 16, 1933 in Vienna, to Selmer and Eva (Grover) Brekke. He passed away on Monday, Aug. 29, 2011 at the age of 78 at the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls. Don grew up and attended school with his six siblings in Clark. He was a proud member of the United States Marine Corps, serving his country from 1953 to 1959, including time in the Pacific and Korea.

Don married the love of his life, Margery Fletcher, on June 30, 1956 in Garden City. Don and Marge began their married life in Pennsylvania while Don was serving in the Marines and returned to Garden City for a few years to farm with family. They had four daughters and lived in Brookings while Don attended college. Don graduated from South Dakota State University in 1967 and began his career in public service with Vocational Rehabilitation in Pierre.

The family moved to Vermillion in 1970 where Don worked in health education and planning leadership capacities on the campus of the University of South Dakota, including the Regional Medical Program, Health Systems Agency, Area Health Education Centers and Assistant Dean for the University of South Dakota School of Medicine. Marge and Don returned to Pierre in 1987 where he worked for the Office of the Attorney General as director of the State and Local Narcotics Control Program until retiring in 1994. Don had many professional accomplishments, but is well remembered for his involvement in the establishment of the four-year medical school in South Dakota.

Dons lasting legacy is his family. Don and Marge moved to Sioux Falls in 2000 to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Don loved being involved in the lives of each of his eight grandchildren and was their biggest fan at many activities. Don was truly the leader of his entire family and his relationship with his siblings, in-laws, nephews and nieces of all generations was very important to him. He had a fantastic sense of humor.

Don was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend to many. He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Margery; his daughters, Doneen (Rusty) Hollingsworth, Pierre, Cherie Brekke Michels, Sioux Falls, Angie (Lloyd) Uthe, Sioux Falls, and Darcy (Steven) Gerber, Lester, IA; his eight grandchildren, Shane and Kyle Hollingsworth, Julean and Chloe Grace Michels, Cameron and Bailey Uthe, and Kendra and Nicolet Gerber; a sister, Mary Jeanne Essig; and a brother, Dick Brekke; both of Washington, IL and his sister-in-law, LaVonne Brekke of Clark. Don was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Robert and Jim; and his sisters, Shirley and Joyce.

Visitation with family present was from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31 with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Funeral service was held on Thursday, Sept. 1 at 11 a.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3801 East 26th Street, Sioux Falls. Interment was in Hills of Rest Memorial Park, Sioux Falls.

Memorials may be directed to Westminster Presbyterian Church or to the Dougherty Hospice House.

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