George Daniel Gittings: 1944-2016
George Daniel Gittings was born March 25, 1944, the fourth of six children born to Lawrence and Margaret (O’Connell) Gittings, in Philip, South Dakota. He grew up two miles west of Billsburg and attended Hart School, before graduating from Philip High School in 1962. He was a part of the move from the old high school to the Armory. They gladly signed his diploma to get him out of there.
George joined the National Guards, and spent six months at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri for his basic training, and was stationed at Philip. He farmed and ranched with his dad and brothers until 1968.
On October 5, 1968, he was united in marriage to Sandee Blair in Philip, South Dakota. They made their home on the Gebes ranch two miles south of his parents farm-ranch. In 1971, George worked for Tom Foley for a year before working for Sandee’s dad and his dad, until May of 1974, when they moved to the Homer Wood place where they made their home until moving to the Missile Control Center two miles east in 2008.
When they moved, they also ran the Missile Inn Bed and Breakfast at their home. This fit right into George’s main activity of visiting with people. George was never afraid to help out anyone, and was a good neighbor to everyone. He also enjoyed teaching the grandkids how to drive a tractor and helped during the haying season.
George was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Philip. He was a dedicated member of the Knights of Columbus since 1962. He served as Grand Knight in 1967-1968, and has been the treasurer for the last 45 years. He also sold the majority of the football books as a fundraiser for the Knights for years. He was the Haakon County President of S.D. Farmer’s Union for over 30 years. He very much enjoyed going to Minnesota Twins game and was proud of the fact he made it to the Metrodome to watch the Broncos play the Vikings. You could always find George with a Pepsi and Hershey’s mini candy bars for the kids.
Survivors include his wife Sandee of Philip; two children Robin Gittings and fiance Kristi Eden of Philip, and Roxie Gittings of Rapid City; three grandchildren Jessica (Wade) McGruder, Kelsey (Bryce Dickerson) Gittings, and Kinsey (special friend Reanna Rogers) Gittings ; four great-grandchildren Daniel, Melodie, Kohen, and Jace; one sister Peggy Hook and her husband Dwilyn “PeeWee” of Philip; three brothers Leo Gittings of Florence, Arizona, Charles Gittings and his wife Diane of Summerset, and Joe Gittings and his wife Kathy of Philip; numerous nieces and nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends.
George was preceded in death by his parents Lawrence and Margaret (O’Connell) Gittings; a brother Larry Gittings in 1939; a sister-in-law Judith “Judie” Gittings; and a nephew Jamie L. “Spud” Gittings.
A visitation was Thursday, December 29 from 5-7 p.m. at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Philip with a prayer service at 7 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial was Friday, December 30, at 11 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
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