Thomas R. Landers, 82, of Hot Springs, SD died Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011 at the South Dakota State Veterans Home in Hot Springs.
A memorial service will be held at the St. John’s Lutheran Church, Maverick Junction, Hot Springs, SD on Wednesday August 24, 2011 at 11 a.m., with burial to follow at the Evergreen Cemetery at Hot Springs.
Tom was born July 3, 1929 at the Hot Springs Sisters Hospital in Hot Springs, to George W. and Augusta Landers. He graduated from Chadron Prep School at Chadron, NE, and then entered the U.S. Air Force becoming a First Lieutenant pilot serving a tour in Korea. He then returned home to marry Barbara D. Hageman on Oct. 16, 1955. Barbara then joined him in Japan after he completed ferrying a B-57 jet fighter bomber from Georgia to Japan.
Tom enjoyed history and visiting historical places, reading and keeping up with current events. He loved attending his children’s activities and spending time with friends and family visiting. He liked flying small planes to check the cattle and to attend business meetings and was a member of the Edgemont Flying Club.
After leaving the service Tom returned to the family ranch that had its start in 1885. He continued the family business of buying and selling cattle and having a yearly purebred Hereford bull sale. He attended auctioneer school in Billings, MT, and operated an Auctioneer and Real Estate Business in Hot Springs. He had a lot of fun auctioning for the Hot Springs High School After Prom Party, Golf Calcutta’s and other community fund raisers.
Tom loved being involved in organizations that promote agriculture and was very active in the South Dakota Stockgrower Association becoming both the President and serving on the Board of Directors. Tom was also an area Vice President of the National Cattleman’s Association for Region Three. Tom is a past President of the Fall River Farm Bureau Association and also served as a Fall River County Commissioner. Tom and his wife Barbara were the recipients of Fall River Outstanding Agriculture Producer of the year 2008.
Tom also enjoyed politics and served various times as Fall River County Republican Chairman and State Committee Representative. He was a delegate at the National Republican Convention and he and Barbara were honored in 2006 as Fall River Outstanding Republicans. He was a member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars and St. John’s Lutheran Church.
Left to cherish Tom’s life is his wife of 56 years Barbara of Hot Springs; children Tamar (Darrell) of Nebraska, Jay of Hot Springs and Grant (Allison) of New Jersey. Also surviving him is his brother Harry (Margaret) of Montana and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and an infant daughter.
A memorial has been established in Tom’s name to benefit the Michael J. Fitzmaurice South Dakota State Veterans Home.
Arrangements have been placed in the care of McColley’s Chapel of the Hills in Hot Springs. Written condolences may be made at http://www.mccolleyschapels.com.
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The annual University of Nebraska-Lincoln High Plains Ag Lab Research Update and Advisory Board Meeting is scheduled for Feb. 9 at the Western Nebraska Community College campus in Sidney.