Gary Jorgensen, age 89, of Murdo, South Dakota, died on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at the Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital.
Garret (Gary) Frank Jorgensen was born February 18, 1929 to Thomas K. Jorgensen and Anna K. (Graff) Jorgensen on the homestead south of Van Metre, SD. It was a busy day, considering that Gary’s birth was preceded by a lengthy wrestling match to determine who would see the world first – Gary or his twin brother Andrew “Bud” Jorgensen. Legend has it that Gary won the match.
Gary was raised with eight siblings on the homestead where they survived the Great Depression growing vegetables, raising poultry and cattle, and selling cream and butter. Gary attended school at East Harrington Township Country School through the 8th grade and then the family moved to Murdo in 1943 where he attended Murdo High School, graduating in 1947.
Gary worked for the Kuhrt Dairy milking cows and delivering milk, and he worked for ranchers breaking horses during his high school years. Bud and Gary started breaking saddle horses and draft horses when they were 11 years old. Gary began working for William Francis Plumbing and Heating in 1947. In April of 1964 Gary founded Gary’s Plumbing, Heating and Electric and spent the next 45 years working throughout western South Dakota as a Plumbing, Heating, and Electrical contractor.
Gary married Marjorie Thorn on May 27, 1947 and to this union daughters Margaret Carol and Lorna Gay were born. Gary married Betty Parker on August 9, 1953 and to this union son David Austin, and daughters Donna Jean and Teresa Louise were born.
Gary’s last years were spent in the loving care of the Philip Nursing Home. Gary enjoyed western music, hunting, fishing, and the challenge of figuring out work projects. He loved his community and friends in Murdo and to the end was figuring and planning how he would get back home by building a senior living center in Murdo.
Gary is survived by his children Lorna Kittelson and husband Steve of Brooklyn Park, MN; David Jorgensen and wife Kathy of Covington, TN; Donna Eckert and husband Bill of Okaton, SD; Teresa Hatheway and husband Jerry of Murdo, SD; 11 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren; his twin brother Andrew “Bud” Jorgensen and his wife Elenor of Loveland, CO; his sister-in-law Mrs. Walt (Ople) Jorgensen of Worland, WY, and a host of relatives and friends.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Betty; two daughters Margaret Jorgensen and Donna Jorgensen as an infant; brothers Leonard, Walter and Louis (Tex); sisters Blanche, Lauriena, Bergetta, and Kathryn; and his granddaughter Kayla Jorgensen.
Memorials may be directed to the Murdo Nutrition Center, P.O. Box 392, Murdo, SD 57559.
A visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. (CDT) with a prayer service at 7 on Sunday, June 24, at the Messiah Lutheran Church in Murdo.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. (CDT) on Monday, June 25, at the Messiah Lutheran Church in Murdo with Pastor Ray Greenseth officiating.
Interment will be held at Murdo Cemetery.
Arrangements are with Rush Funeral Home of Philip.