Kenneth Jeffries, 81 of Pierre, SD, died on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at Rapid City Regional Hospital. Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 4 at Faith Lutheran Church with visitation starting one hour before the service with burial at Scotty Philip Cemetery.
Kenneth L. Jeffries was born April 30, 1929, to Vincent and Ruth Jeffries in Dupree, SD, and passed away Nov. 30, 2010. He was raised on a ranch at Cherry Creek and Little Ireland and graduated from Dupree High School. After graduation he taught rural school for one year and then owned a pool hall. He maintained it was easier working with gamblers and drinkers than teaching adverbs, adjectives and pronouns.
He married Cora Lightfield in 1950 and to this union six children were born. Many thought he should have been a standup comedian, but he really supported the family as an Ironworker. His story is that he and a small handful of close personal friends single-handedly built the Oahe Dam. He worked on the missile bases in Tucson, AZ; Rapid City, SD; and all over North Dakota. He logged many a mile working on power plants in Beulah and Garrison, ND, while living in Fort Pierre. He worked for and with Ray Lawhon, including time as a mechanic at Ray’s Truck & Tractor Service.
Jeff loved a good game of cards, old cars, collectible antiques and history. He was an avid reader and a self-nominated critic of the government. If a roadside marker had the word “Fort” in it, he was going to stop and learn about it. In terms of family and friends, he was one of the wealthiest people in South Dakota. Jeff’s warm smile, his sense of humor and his compassion for others created friendships wherever he traveled.
He lived a thousand good stories and he retold them with a flair for exaggeration and a grain of truth. He always said not to let the truth get in the way of a good story. Grateful for being entertained their entire lives are his wife Cora; children Jill (Terry) Perfect; Deb (Ron) Dusseau; Jim (Leah) Jeffries; Bob (Julie) Jeffries, Ron (Kathy) Jeffries; and Melody (Todd) Peters; his sister Jackie Birkeland; two grandchildren adopted through love: Jenny (Bret) Madson and Sonya (Jason) Sikkink; 17 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.
Memorials may be directed to St. Mary’s Dialysis Unit.
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