Gene W. Jorensen |

Gene W. Jorensen

Gene W. Jorensen, 66, Pleasant Valley, died Saturday, January 30, 2010, at the Rapid City Regional Hospital with his family by his side. He was a tough man and a great friend. If anyone needed a helping hand, Gene Jorensen was the first to step up. When cancer tried to stop him seven years ago, he never gave up. January 30, 2010, seven years and one day later, he said goodbye to this world and hello to greener pastures.

Visitation will be noon until 9 p.m. at the Kinkade Funeral Chapel on Wednesday and resume one hour prior to services at the church on Thursday. A family service begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the funeral chapel.

Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Thursday, February 4, 2010 at the First Presbyterian Church in Sturgis with Pastor Denzel Nonhof and Pastor Harold Delbridge officiating. Burial follows at the Pleasant Valley Cemetery.

A memorial has been established to a John T Vucurevich Regional Cancer Care Institute and the Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department.

Gene was born November 10, 1943 to Thomas “Pete” and Lucile (Blair) Jorensen. He spent most of his youth trying to achieve all he could in 4-H showing calves and receiving many honors for the pride he showed in his animals. He also helped his Dad on the ranch and attended a rural school in Pleasant Valley. He graduated from Sturgis Brown High School.

On April 18, 1964, he married Mary Kopp and together they made their home on the John and Calvin Blair Ranch at Tilford where they started their family with daughter Kathy and son Dale “Barney”. He enjoyed taking these two with him doing chores or whatever needed to be done. While at Blairs’ he kept the skating rink going on the place where people would come from miles around to skate and play hockey.

In 1970, he decided to go into his own business of raising hogs and was always very proud of having the largest hog operation in South Dakota. He also went into partnership building J&J Feeds at this time.

Throughout this time he always had a cow calf operation which was his life. He was a Meade County 4-H leader for 30 years and also spent many years helping with the Sturgis High School Rodeo.

For the past 20 years he was a representative for Superior Livestock which never seemed like a job to him. He always enjoyed meeting new people and adding another friend was very important to him. He could dial a wrong number and after 15 minutes of talking to the person on the other line, the person would be a new friend.

He enjoyed being outdoors, watching baby calves play in the sunshine, and being with is grandchildren. He was so proud that he and his two grandsons could get the haying done without any hired help.

Gene was diagnosed with cancer on January 29, 2003, and spent seven years fighting it, always courageous through all his treatments, never complaining and continuing to do all his ranch work and haying until the past few months.

He will always be remembered by his family and friends as being one of the toughest guys they ever knew. Gene lived for his family and his grandkids were his pride and joy and he even did a little bragging about them once in a while.

Gene’s strong spirit and kindness of heart will live on in the family and countless friends he leaves behind.

Gene is survived by his wife, Mary, of 45 ½ years; daughter Kathy (Steve) Brown, rural Sturgis; son Barney (Dawn) Jorensen, rural Sturgis; grandchildren Katie Brown (Sam Richardson), Black Hawk; Kyle Brown (Jessie Gunter), rural Sturgis; Brody and Cassidy Jorensen, rural Sturgis; mother, Lucile Jorensen, Sturgis; brother Robert (Linda) Jorensen, rural Sturgis; sister, Tootie (Ron) Florell, Holdridge, NE; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his father, Pete, and in laws John and Katie Kopp.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

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