Sylvan K. Williams

Sylvan K. Williams, age 95, of Pierre, formerly of Philip, South Dakota, died on Monday, May 13, 2019 at the Care and Rehab Center in Pierre.
Sylvan Keith Williams was born in his parents' log house along the Bad River on Triangle Ranch near Cottonwood, South Dakota on October 13, 1923.

The second of four sons born to William H. K. and Esther Williams, he grew up on the ranch where he loved learning from his father about agricultural production. His mother, a teacher, inspired in him studious habits and a great curiosity for knowledge. Upon graduating with honors from Philip High School in 1942, he enrolled in the SD School of Mines & Technology where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Sylvan was drafted into the Navy and served the last two years of WWII, part of that time in the Pacific Theater. He returned to meet and marry his sweetheart, Laurel Hyatt, in 1947 and continued his studies receiving his Masters Degree at the University of Illinois. Returning to his Alma Mater at SDM&T he was teaching there with a wife, a new home, and a baby girl, when the Lord called him to be a pastor. As Sylvan witnessed, providence paved the way and he entered McCormick Seminary in 1951 to be ordained in 1954, serving his first church at Onida, South Dakota.

Reverend Williams went on to pastor churches in Lead/Whitewood and Sioux Falls. Later he and Laurel served in Oskaloosa, Iowa, retiring in 1984 from Platte Presbyterian Church in Platte, South Dakota. His favorite hobby was photography, at which he excelled, with prairie wildflowers, plants and animals his favorite subjects. Sylvan and Laurel loved to travel, as a family and later a couple, to all parts of America, touring most of our National Parks. Still, his favorite trip was always “home to Triangle Ranch”. In retirement they lived at the ranch for a while then Spearfish, SD, spending winters in Mission, Texas.

Laurel passed away in Texas in 2004 and was laid to rest at the home ranch. A few years later Sylvan married their mutual long-time friend, Marian Lemkuhl and moved to Pierre. They, too, enjoyed traveling and wintering in Texas. Marian passed away in 2012.

Grateful for having shared his life are his daughter, Judy Hoffman, of Pierre, and his cousins, nephews, nieces, Marian's family, and a host of other relatives and friends.

Sylvan was preceded in death by his parents; both his wives; three brothers, Jesse, Vint and Pat Williams; and his son-in-law Gene Hoffman.

Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. MDT on Monday, May 20, at the United Church in Philip with Pastor Kathy Chesney and Pastor Rolly Kemink officiating.

Interment will be held at the Triangle Ranch Family Cemetery near Philip at a later date.
Arrangements are with Rush Funeral Home of Philip.

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
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