John Grate, age 67

John Grate


Funeral services for John Grate, age 67, of Isabel, SD, were held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, February 1, 2016 at the Isabel Community Center in Isabel, SD. Rev. Frank Gantt  officiated with burial in the Hillview Cemetery in Isabel.
John Eugene Grate was born on April 15, 1948 in Rushville, NE to Clarence “Clem” and Lillian (Funkhouser) Grate. He came to the Isabel, SD area in 1950 at the age of two with his parents and siblings. They settled in the Gopher, SD area. He attended country school, Sunshine Bible Academy and graduated from Isabel High School in 1966.
John took over the ranching operation in March, 1966, at age seventeen, after the death of his father. He remained ranching there and was currently ranching with his son, Reid. Ranching was John’s life. There was no place else on earth that he would rather be then at the ranch. He had a special love for cattle, horses and cattle dogs. He enjoyed riding his saddle horses and tending his cattle. He refused to use a four wheeler and always had a team or two of draft horses which he enjoyed using during winter to feed his cattle. He always looked forward to calving in the spring and the rides on horseback through his cattle throughout the year.
John so enjoyed taking his team and wagon to the Coal Springs Antique Show and Threshing Bee and other activities giving people of all ages rides. He helped organize some wagon train trail rides and so enjoyed attending these events. He loved the quiet of the prairie, the landscape and the wildlife.
He married Norma Reiger on September 20, 1980 in Lemmon, SD. To this union, three children were born, Zane, Prairie and Reid. Later he found a very special love with Marlene Schock Mertz. They married on November 1, 2008 at Lincoln, ND and lived happily ever after. His family and friends were a very important part of his life. He accepted and loved his step-children and step-grand-children treating them also like they were his own. To know him was to love him as he was a very genuine caring and loving person who treated others with respect. He would invite almost everyone who came into the yard in for coffee and a visit. His Christian faith was extremely important and he was a member of St. Luke’s Church in Lemmon, South Dakota. He served as treasurer of the Coal Springs Antique Club.
John passed away on Friday, January 22, 2016 at the St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck, ND.
Left to mourn his passing are his wife, Marlene, Isabel, SD; sons, Zane Grate, Gillette, WY and Reid (Barbara) Grate, Isabel, SD; daughter, Prairie (Paul) Reinbold, Gladstone, ND; grandchildren, McKayla and Dawson Grate and Edison Reinbold; step-son, Stacy Mertz, Lincoln, ND and Jeremy Mertz, Fargo, ND; step-daughters, Barbara (Patrick) Roth, West Fargo, ND and Rebecca (Vincent) Scherr, Rugby, ND; step-grandchildren, Kylie, Jace, Kelcey and Dylan Scherr, Spencer and Mason Roth; sister, Wilma “Billie” Syfie, Rapid City, SD; brother, Lyle (Shari) Grate, Gardland, TX; sister-in-law, Lorraine Aase, Mission Hill, SD; brothers-in-law, Raymond (Sharon) Schock and Richardt (Sandy) Schock, both of Bismarck, ND, Ernest (Linda) Schock, Turtle Lake, ND; sisters-in-law, Loretta Neff, Turtle Lake, ND, Sally Krein, Erna Schock, Caroline (William) Mertz, Darlys Schock, all of Bismarck, ND, Esther (David) Mehrer, Alexandria, MN and Ann (Walt) Frisbee, Medford, OR; along with many nieces, nephews and many, many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Clarence “Leo” Grate and one in infancy; sisters, Norina “Dottie” Manthei and Dannette “Danne” Grate; brothers-in-law, Ferris Syfie, Paul Manthei and Meinhart Schock; nephew, J.C. Syfie; and grand-nephews, Rex Mitteider and James Bennett; and one grand-niece, Charlotte Aase.

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
Telephone: (605) 859-2516
E Mail:

Sign Up For Breaking News

Stay informed on our latest news!

Manage my subscriptions

Subscribe to Newsletter feed
Comment Here