John Thomas (Tommy) Udager, age 85

John Thomas (Tommy) Udager

John Thomas (Tommy) Udager was born on December 28, 1930, to Ole and Alice (Hansen) Udager in Faith, SD, with the help of a midwife. He was baptized into the Bethel Lutheran Church in Faith. Tom was raised on the family ranch 16 miles west of town;  attending grade school at the one room country school and high school in Faith. Tommy enlisted in the army and served in the Korean War from 1953-1954.  After his honorable discharge from the army he returned to the ranch where he raised horses, cattle, and sheep.


Tommy married Eva Lorraine Keegan on December 11, 1951, and to this union was born four children, Doug, Dan, Doyle and Kristy. In 1973, the ranch was sold and Tom, with his family, moved to town and went into the trucking business. In 1978, Tom and Eva purchased the Jack & Jill Food Store in Faith, which they operated until 1988. After selling his trucks, he worked for several area ranchers until the time of his retirement in 2006.
He enjoyed fishing, rodeo, horses and a good game of pinochle or pitch. He also enjoyed a good shot of Blackberry Brandy. At an early age he enjoyed riding bareback broncs and later, team roping with his friend Marvin Derflinger. At age 50, he decided to ride bulls in the old timer’s rodeo.
Tommy passed away on April 27, 2017, at the Ft. Meade VA Medical Center following a brief illness.
Thankful for having shared his life are his children, Doug of Jacksonville, Fla., Dan (Brenda) of Sturgis, Doyle (Deanne) of Buckeye, Ariz., Kristy (Jerry) of Faith; a sister, Helen Samuelson of Cheyenne, Wyo.; a brother, Melvin Udager of St. Maries, Idaho; 10 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews.
Tommy was preceded in death by his wife, Eva, in 1988, his parents, Ole and Alice; brothers, Oscar, in 1958, Carl in 2011; sister, Diane, in 2005; daughter-in-law, Diane, in 2007 and one great-granddaughter, Josephine Grace Fees.
Graveside Services will be Monday, May 8, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. at Black Hills National Cemetery with Pastor Connie Eichinger officiating.
Condolences may be sent to the family at

The Pioneer Review

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