Gary Dean Lensegrav: 1940-2014
Gary Dean Lensegrav, 74 of Meadow South Dakota, passed away unexpectedly in the midst of cardiac surgery, Dec. 31, 2014, at the Rapid City Regional Hospital. He was born Nov. 8, 1940, to Olav and Edna (Wolff) Lensegrav in the back of Bee’s Café in Lemmon, South Dakota, with the assistance of a midwife.
He was a scrawny little boy and according to his mother, they “weren’t sure he would live until he was about seven years old.”
Gary proved quite the survivor, a man of small size but great kindness, strength, courage, and dry wit. Gary was happiest when surrounded by his family, working with his cows, or spending time nurturing his land. He was a very devoted husband and father who delighted in experiencing the joy and comforting the sorrows of his kids and grandkids.
He entered into the bridge unit of the Lemmon National Guard shortly after his high school graduation in 1958.
Ranching was truly his calling; it was more than just his life’s work. Back in the early 1970’s, he was one of the first ranchers to start raising Simmental cattle in the United States. A true cattleman, Gary always had a few girlfriend cows that were so tame that they would happily approach him in the pasture.
Gary was united in marriage to Virginia Capp Jan. 30, 1966 in Spearfish.
Gary is survived by the love of his life, Virginia, his wife of 48 years and their three children, Troy (Becky) of Flasher, North Dakota, Teryl (Nicki) of Meadow, South Dakota, and Tera (Wayne) Benson of Wellsville, Utah. Gary’s grandchildren, Laiken Weidmann, Lindsey Horner, Hailee Lensegrav, Morgan Lensegrav, Aiden Lensegrav, Emery Lensegrav, Ruby Lensegrav, Berkley Benson, and Beckett Benson along with great grandchildren Guillermo Arguello, Virginia Grace Arguello, and Odin Horner, appreciated his wisdom and felt his loving presence. He is also survived by his brother Dave (Rhonda) Lensegrav, Meadow; his sister Kathy (Warren) Otterberg, Washington, Iowa; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his older brother Larry who died in infancy, and a great grandchild, Lillian Horner.
The Funeral Service for Gary was held Jan. 8, 2014, at the Indian Creek Lutheran Church near Meadow with Pastor Harold Delbridge, officiating. Burial will be in the Gallaway Cemetery at Meadow with full military honors afforded by the Brattvet-Green American Legion Post #66 of Lemmon.
A Family Service will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday evening at the Evanson-Jensen Funeral Home in Lemmon.
Serving as casketbearers are Troy Lensegrav, Teryl Lensegrav, Leslie Lensegrav, Ken Lensegrav, Lee Capp, and Wayne Benson. All of Gary’s friends, family and neighbors are considered honorary bearers.
A memorial has been established.
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