Obituary: Donald “Don” Lewis Van Liere 1933-2017
Donald “Don” Lewis Van Liere, 83, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, due to complications with heart disease.
Don was born on April 22, 1933 in Colton, South Dakota, to Ike and Gertie Van Liere. He graduated from Colton High School in 1952, then attended one year of college at SDSU. After college Don worked for his father’s company. From 1954-1956, Don served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Japan.
In 1956, Don married his high school sweetheart, VerDonna “Donna” Emery. Earlier this year they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. During those years they raised four children and Donna’s brother, Robert “Uncle Bobby” Emery. From 1960-1972, Don was a co-owner of Brookings Livestock Auction. From 1968-1972, he operated the Denver Livestock Auction, and then transitioned to working for Jansma Cattle Company as a livestock broker. This became his true passion. In 1996, Don and his son, Timothy, established Black Hills Cattle Company. His son proudly continues to operate the business.
Don enjoyed hunting and was an avid fisherman. He particularly loved to fish for walleye in the Missouri River with his brother, sons, nephew, and grandsons. In 2004, Don and his brother, Merle, won the S.D. Governor’s Cup Fishing Tournament. His family looked forward to his annual fish fry every summer.
Don was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ike and Gertie, and a brother-in-law, James Edwards. Don is survived by his wife, Donna; children, Victoria (Tim) Sweeney, Todd Van Liere, Timothy Van Liere, Marci (Mark) Bachman, and Robert Emery; siblings, Evelyn Edwards, Raymond (Marilyn), and Merle (Betty); grandchildren, Ryan Sweeney, Mitchell Bachman, Vincent Van Liere, Clayton and Cordell Jordan; daughter-in-law, Rebekkah Van Liere, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation was from 5-7 pm on Tues., January 3, 2017 at Kirk Funeral Home. Funeral services were at 10 am on Wed., January 4 at First Assembly of God. Burial will follow at Pine Lawn Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Black Hills Works. An online guestbook may be signed at the Kirk Funeral Home’s website.
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