Harold Rinehart, 89, of Highmore, passed away Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011 at the Highmore Health, Highmore, SD.
Harold E. Rinehart was born in Everly, IA, on Feb. 22, 1922 to Oscar and Henrietta (Peterson) Rinehart. The family moved to Harrold, SD soon after Harold was born. He was their second son. His brother John was 1.5 years older. Harold and John were good pals until John passed away in 1928.
Harold attended Hilltop Rural School South of Harrold through the 8th grade, which was fairly common in those days because he was now the eldest son. He spent most of his growing up years helping his family in the ranching and farming operations. The dry years in the ’30s found Harold spending long days in the saddle driving cattle over 100 miles from home to available sparse grass and then driving them back to winter on thistle hay and peanut cake supplement feed.
In 1935, the family moved to McPherson County, SD. Thirteen-year-old Harold and eight-year-old brother Bob drove 120 cows and yearlings north. It was quite a feat for a couple of kids. In the summer of 1938, Harold traveled with a threshing crew into North Dakota. He sent most of wages home to help support the family.
In 1941-1942, the family returned to Everly, IA. Harold drove an International M Farmall tractor to Iowa, pulling a hayrack filled with feed bunks and hay. Most of the family belongings and a few horses went by truck, but the cattle were shipped by rail from Ipswich, SD.
In 1944, Harold jumped at the opportunity to return to north central South Dakota to be a ranch manager. He learned of a local country schoolteacher and began courting her by leaving flowers and messages on the blackboard for her to find in the mornings before classes started.
On Nov. 3, 1948, he married Marilyn Hagenlock. In 1950, they purchased the McNamara Ranch, located in northwest Hyde County. During the first decade they built up the ranch with approximately 1,000 head of sheep. Eventually he replaced the sheep with cattle, starting with Herefords and Angus crossbreeds. In 1969, Harold went to Las Vegas to look at a newly imported breed of cattle from France. The exhibit showcased the Limousin bull, Prince Pompadour. Harold sent son Brady to artificial insemination (AI) school and they proceeded to breed the herd Limousin. At one time the Pompadour Hills Ranch ran one of the largest registered herds in the nation.
Harold was one of the founding members of the North American Limousin Foundation, member 90F. They began showing cattle across the country. In 1976, they took their first carload of bulls to the Denver Stock Show and won Grand Champion. Another accomplishment in Denver was winning with the first high percentage black heifer. In 1985, he won the prestigious Grand Champion Carcass contests at the National Western Stock Show.
Harold started the very first club calf sale in his area. He began the area 4-H Rodeo and horse show. He served on many boards throughout his life – township, County Commissioner, Sedgwick Our Savior Lutheran Church, Dakota Energy, Conservation, and the South Dakota Limousin Association. He judged many horse shows in central South Dakota and the Wild West Days Rodeo in Faulkton.
Harold and Marilyn traveled to France, England, New Orleans, the Denver Stock Show, the National Finals Rodeo and Hawaii.
After a stroke in 1987 he began his rehabilitation and therapy with quiet dignity in his own way. Even though he couldn’t throw his leg over a saddle any longer, he wasn’t going to give up on horses. It was then he began his revisiting his youth, harnessing and breaking team horses once again. Instrumental in his recovery was a great Percheron team, “Bert and Ernie,” that would respond to his voice and gentle hand on the reins. Wagon trains, parades and feeding cattle with the team became his joy. Another joy was attending as many auctions as he could. It was a treat to see him come home with load of “treasures,” a big grin and a twinkle in his eye.
In 2004, Harold and Marilyn moved into town. His “new ride” became a blue golf cart decorated with a set of steer horns and the campstool brand. In 2010, he moved to the Highmore Nursing home.
Harold will always be remembered for his wit and soft spoken words. He enjoyed people in general and figured everyone had a story. He loved to pull a good prank and wasn’t surprised when it made full circle. He was a proud man and those who loved him – a gentle giant that will forever be in our hearts.
Blessed to share in his extraordinary life, his wife Marilyn of 62 years, 10 months; his children: Barbara Rinehart (special friend Ed Halverson) of Arthur, NE, Deborah Rinehart-Harter (Richard) of Highmore, Brady (Wendi) Rinehart of Highmore, David (Beth) Rinehart; 8 grandsons; 2 granddaughters; 6 great grandchildren; brothers: Robert (Marybelle) Rinehart of Baudette, MN and Lowell (Frankie) Rinehart of Highmore; sisters: Marge (Bill) Daniels of Georgetown TX, Edith (Kenny) Williams of Georgetown TX, Lois (Bud) Knothe of Litton IA, and Mary Calvert of Hot Springs AK; and numerous nephews and nieces.
He was preceded in death by parents Oscar and Henrietta; brother, John; and sisters: Norma and Betty.
Luze Funeral Home of Highmore has been entrusted with Harold’s arrangements.
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