Obituary: DALE MCPHERSON
October 2, 1929 – January 13, 2023
Dale McPherson, age 93, passed away peacefully in his sleep on January 13, 2023. Dale was born on October 2, 1929, to Eugene and Ida (Thiers) McPherson, being the youngest of eight children. He grew up 26 miles east of Sturgis on a 20,000-acre Hereford cattle ranch, where his father and grandfather were the first to bring straight whiteface cattle west of the Missouri River. It was during that time that Dale got his first taste of auctioneering as the McPherson kids would take turns selling livestock to each other as they did chores …. they all agreed that Dale sounded the best and the rest is history.
Dale attended school in a one-room rural schoolhouse through 8th grade, then like some of his brothers, attended Aggie School, now South Dakota State University, in Brookings, SD, graduating in 1947. Dale also took classes at the National College of Business in Rapid City. After his Army tour of duty to Germany with the United States Army, Dale was honorably discharged and returned to his roots, where he continued his education while embarking on his lifelong auctioneering career.
Dale met his sweetheart of 64 years, Dorothy (Bostic) McPherson in December 1957 in Sturgis, SD. On April 20, 1958, he and Dorothy were married in the First Presbyterian Church in Sturgis, SD. They have two sons, Kevin Dale, and Todd Eugene McPherson. Survivors include his wife, Dorothy (Bostic) McPherson; two sons: Kevin & Angela McPherson and Todd McPherson; grandchildren: Carter McPherson, Brooke & Matt Sukalski, Stevie Beth & Jake Wiedenbach, Bergan & Troy Horton, Cadence Gerlach, Ethan Gerlach, Kassi McPherson & Alex McPherson and six great grandchildren with Silas James Horton born on January 18, 2023. Long time hired hand Jason Kewatt (35 years and still going & busy reminding us all, where stuff is).
Dale is preceded in death by his parents Gene & Ida McPherson, brother Joe & Elma, brother Don, brother Earl & Celeste, brother Glenn, brother Arnold & Maxine, sister Mae & Bud Keffler, sister Edna & Vernon Watkins
Dale began working for the Sturgis Livestock Exchange in 1948 with Jim Madden and Harley Roth. In 1969 Dale was selected as the first South Dakota State Champion Auctioneer. The contest was hosted by the Sturgis Livestock Exchange. Over his career as a well-known Livestock Auctioneer, he sold at livestock auction markets in 1948 at the Sturgis Livestock Exchange. He also sold in such places as Wall, SD, Rapid City, SD, Edgemont, SD, Rushville, NE, Chadron, NE, Crawford, NE, Kimball, SD, Mitchell, SD, Highmore, SD, Ft. Pierre, SD, Presho, SD, Hettinger, ND, Bowman, ND, Belle, Fourche SD, St. Onge, SD, and livestock auction markets in Wyoming, Minnesota, and Iowa. If you’ve bought or sold cattle in South Dakota or any of the surrounding states, chances are high that Dale McPherson has been at the microphone.
However, it was the Faith Livestock Commission Company in Faith, SD that McPherson considered home, selling there for over 54 consecutive years. Dale looked forward to the excitement of the Kool Deadwood Nites Classic Car Auction held in Deadwood, SD. every August.
Even after “retirement” in 2006, Dale continued to be active in the auction block with all the McPherson Auction & Realty auctions, as well as selling at the Black Hills Auto Auction in Rapid City every Friday for nearly 25 years.
In addition to livestock, Dale sold real estate, farm and ranch equipment, production bull sales, construction equipment, industrial machinery, automobiles, classic cars, estate auctions and was the first to embrace and conduct online auctions in the state of South Dakota.
McPherson is a founding charter member of the South Dakota Auctioneers Association (SDAA), having held every office in that association. In 2002, he was inducted into the SDAA Hall of Fame, Then Governor Rounds crowned April 28th as “Dale McPherson Day ” in the state of South Dakota. In 2021, Lt. Governor Rhoden presented Dale with Governor Noem’s Gold Challenge Coin in recognition of all his accomplishments.
He has been a lifelong member of the National Auctioneers Association and served three years on its national board of directors. In 2005, Dale was awarded the Agri-Businessman of the Year for the Black Hills Stock Show. In 2019, Dale McPherson’s family was awarded the Pioneer Spirit Award from the Black Hills Stock Show.
Dale is known for being active in community organizations including the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, Deadwood Chamber of Commerce, Western Junior Livestock Association, Rapid City Rotary Club, and St. Jude’s Research Hospital. He was a church elder in the First Presbyterian Church in Rapid City and Sturgis. In his 76 years of auctioneering, Dale was a key component in an uncountable number of charities, fundraisers, calcutta’s, wildlife preservation auctions, and benefit auctions of all types having helped raise millions and millions of dollars over all the decades.
Memorials in Dale’s honor have been established at the following places:
First Presbyterian Church – Rapid City – Capital Improvements Fund.
Monument Health Rapid City – Children’s Expansion.
Central State Fair Foundation – Rapid City, SD
Memorial Donations can be made to those organizations and mailed to McPherson Memorial PO Box 8204 Rapid City, SD 57709
Visitation and a time for stories will be on Friday, January 20th from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm at Osheim & Schmidt Funeral Home (2700 Jackson Blvd. Rapid City, SD 57702.)
Celebration of Life services will be held on Saturday January 21st at 2:00pm at First Presbyterian Church (710 Kansas City Street, Rapid City SD 57701) and immediately followed by a pie, bars, cookies, candy bars and sweets reception to celebrate Dale’s sweet tooth.
Burial will be on Monday January 23rd at 9:00am at the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, SD with full military honors rendered by the South Dakota Army National Guard and the VFW Post 1273.