Eldon Lavern Esmay Sr.

Eldon Lavern Esmay Sr. (91) of Murdo, South Dakota passed away Wednesday September 29th, 2021.

He was born to Charles and Zella (Stark) Esmay on the family homestead north of Murdo February 23, 1930. He attended East Harrington country school and graduated from Murdo High School in 1948. He then attended South Dakota State University where he studied agriculture. After graduating Eldon farmed and ranched with his father before serving in the Army during the Korean War. He was married to Margaret Cross on October 20, 1957. He was honorably discharged from the Army in February of 1961. He later served in the Army National Guard. He farmed in Presho while working on the Milwaukee Railroad for many years before moving back to his hometown of Murdo. He was honorably discharged from the Army National Guard in February of 1982 at which time he became part of the American Legion Post 75. Eldon and Margaret raised 5 children and many foster children together in Murdo before retiring to Leola South Dakota in 1990. He moved back to Murdo in 2018 with his daughter to be closer to his sister Phyliss “Sis” and brother-in-law Allen “Chip” and other family and friends.

Eldon had the gift of conversation and enjoyed visiting with everyone he met. He never met a stranger. He was known for his great physical strength and kindness, always willing to help anyone in need. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends, nature and raising animals, especially his chickens. He also enjoyed hunting and was an expert marksman. He insisted on teaching his children and grandchildren proper gun safety.

He was preceded in death by his parents Charles Esmay and Zella (Stark)(Esmay) Beckwith; stepfather Ellis Beckwith, wife Margaret Esmay; son Kerry Esmay; stepbrother Leslie Beckwith; grandson Charles Corliss, one son-in-law and three nephews.

He is survived by his sister Phyliss Peters (Allen) of Murdo; children Danielle Esmay of Murdo, Eveline Corliss of Sioux Falls, James Esmay (Tammy) of Renner, and Eldon Esmay Jr. (Shelli) of Tea; 14 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; numerous nephews and nieces.

Visitation will be held one hour prior to the funeral service at the church with family present.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. CST on Thursday, October 7, at the Community Bible Church in Murdo with Pastor Jim Karg officiating. The funeral can be viewed at www.isburgfuneralchapels.com and can be found at the bottom of Eldon’s obituary.

Interment will follow at the Murdo Cemetery with lunch to follow at the Murdo senior center.

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
Telephone: (605) 859-2516
E Mail: ads@pioneer-review.com

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