Clayton Kjerstad, age 67, of Wall, South Dakota, died on Monday, September 3, 2018 at the Rapid City Regional Hospital.
Clayton Keith Kjerstad was born to Konrad and Mary Jean (Winkowitsch) on September 18, 1950 in Rapid City. He grew up on the family farm/ranch in Quinn. He attended grade school at the Hidden Valley Country School and he graduated from Wall High School in 1968; where he played football, basketball and track. He was a member of the high school 440 yard relay team and they still hold the school record. After graduating high school, Clayton spent one semester at SDSU, Brookings, SD. Then he went to BHSU, Spearfish, where he attended 2 ½ years of college; while working at the Homestake Gold Mine with his best friend, Steve McDonnell. Clayton married Charlene Ramsey of Philip, on June 23, 1973. They spent their first 9 months living with Clayton's family; while Clayton dug a basement and added an addition to the little house on the Briggs Place, where they made their home in February 1974. Clayton had worked for Estes Brothers Construction the previous year and used his carpentry skills building their home with the help of his friends and neighbors. Clayton and Charlene's first son, Allen Thomas was stillborn on April 10, 1975. Charlene drove and worked in Philip, at the First National Bank until daughter, Rachel Day was born November 5, 1976. Then Charlene became Clayton’s right hand- being involved in all the farming and ranching endeavors. Later, son, Brennan Jerome was born July 27, 1978, son, Jordon Charles was born April 25, 1981, son, Conrad Clayton was born January 4, 1987 and daughter, Muriel Marjorie was born January 20, 1989. Clayton's children were the most important part of his life. He was proud of them and loved all of them very much. Clayton and Charlene rented their first land and started farming in 1973. He acquired land and expanded continuously in hopes he could give his children opportunities to return to the farm/ranch. Clayton was also a great steward and cherished all the land he was able to acquire. Starting in 2002 Clayton’s kids started moving home to join the operation. Clayton was heavily involved in all the major decisions but assigned the majority of the decisions to his children for them to gain experience. Brennan came home after graduating college from SDSU. In 2006, Jordon graduated from BHSU and moved home. In 1994 with the growing family and all the trips driving back and forth to school in Wall, Clayton bought Charlene a lot in the Shearer Addition, and started the process of building her a new home. After 22 years living on the home place the family moved into their new home in Wall, May of 1995- just before Rachel graduated from high school. In 2011 Conrad came home after graduating. Clayton was so proud that his five children all graduated college and chose to move back home. It was his idea to start a beauty shop in Wall so Rachel could have her own business and be back near the family. Clayton was proud and happy when Rachel married Darin Buhmann and he joined the family operation. Can't forget Muriel, she graduated from BHSU with an elementary education teaching degree. She’s always been part of the busy times with helping the family harvest and helping with the cattle operation. Clayton was elated and relieved when Muriel met and married Jeremy Nehl. Muriel’s the only kid of Clayton’s who hasn’t made it back to the farm/ranch. He knew after his daughters’ marriages that his girls would be taken care of; so he wouldn't have to worry about them too much. The highlights of Clayton's life were his children and their activities. First, he and Charlene coached baseball for a few years in the middle of their busiest work season. They traveled to other states to watch their kids participate in AAU track and wrestling besides the school sporting events. They especially enjoyed all the SDSU football games that Brennan & Conrad played in during their college days. They regretted missing some of Brennan's games as Jordon, Conrad, and Muriel were still in school in Wall and Brennan was in Brookings. They were able to attend all of Conrad's SDSU games and even traveled with the team to the out of state games. Those were some of their greatest trips. He also enjoyed listening to Rush Limbaugh on the radio whenever he could. Clayton is survived by his wife of 45 years, Charlene; daughter, Rachel Buhmann and her husband, Darin and their children, Bria Beatrice, Breckin Keith and Chessa Char; son, Brennan and his wife, Laurie and their children, Austan Jerome, Lexi Ann, Westan Roger, and Daltan Clayton; son Jordon and his wife, Rachel and their children, Kyler Christopher, Karmyn Charlene, Karley Catherine, Kacy Claudia, and Katelynn Charlotte; son, Conrad and his wife Kalie and their sons, Carsten Clayton, Rush Stanley, and Avin John all of Wall; daughter, Muriel Nehl and her husband, Jeremy Nehl, Rapid City; his mother, Mary Jean Kjerstad, Aunt Marjorie Winkowitsch, Quinn; brother, Vergil and Judy Kjerstad, Rapid City; sisters, Sandra and Tom Ehle, Duluth, MN; Debra and Lee Neville, Rapid City; Twila Kjerstad, Quinn; Sherri and Dave Forman, Austin, MN; Sharla and Gerald Julson, Quinn; mother in law, Beatrice (Bea) Ramsey, Spearfish; sister in laws: Claudette & Dick Raczuk, Lake Havasu, AZ; Cindy & Steven Severson, Rapid City; Cleo & Peter Rowe, Spearfish; Candee & John Kitterman, Wall; Cathy Johnson, Rapid City; brothers in law; Claude Ramsey, Spearfish; Casey (Louisa) Ramsey, Blair NE; and Clay Ramsey, Rapid City; aunt Evelyn Kjerstad, Rapid City; aunt Vera and Dennis Bachman, CA; plus numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins.Clayton was preceded in death by a son Allen Kjerstad; his father Konrad Kjerstad; and his father-in-law Charles Ramsey.
A memorial has been established.
A memorial visitation was held from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, September 6, at the Rush Funeral Chapel in Wall.
Memorial services were held 3:00 p.m. Friday, September 7, at the United Methodist Church in Wall with Pastor Russell Masartis officiating.
Arrangements are with Rush Funeral Home of Wall.