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Willy Tenold

Willy Tenold
Willy Tenold
- February 5, 2018

Willie "Willy" John Tenold was born April 3, 1938, to Peder and Astrid "Esther" (Rasmussen) Tenold in Buffalo, SD.  He was the 9th of 10 children and grew up on the family ranch 3 miles east of Reva, SD.  After Willie’s father died, he and his brother, Bob, purchased the family ranch where Willie lived until his death.  Willie and his siblings attended Jefferson and Reva country schools.  In 1956, he graduated from Hetttinger High School.

     Willie married Venoy Idella Smith February 6, 1971.  They raised 4 children on the family ranch where 2 children, Pete and Laura, continue the family operation to this day.  In 1960, Willie was named "Outstanding Young Rancher."  He was always active in the community including, serving on the Slim Buttes Lutheran Church Council, HC Weed and Pest Board, and measuring fields and grain bins for the FSA, to name a few.  Willie was always busy.  When he had everything in order at home, he and Bob did custom farming, haying, and corn chopping for the neighbors.  Willie enjoyed local history and was excited to help with the Harding County history books, taking a special interest in the churches and cemeteries.

     Willie’s favorite pastime was working on the ranch and he especially looked forward to farming in the spring.  In 1990, Willy was paralyzed in a tractor accident as he was getting ready for spring planting.  Special modifications allowed Willie to use the telephone and computer unassisted.  In 2001, Willie started working in Buffalo for his daughter, Angela, answering phones and keeping everyone on task.  Sonny Nation, Karen Brown, and Marilyn Parfrey became good friends in the years he spent at the Tatanka Plaza, sharing stories and when needed, encouragement.

     Willie always loved a good story and a hearty laugh.  After he retired from his town job, Willie commenced his true life’s passion – the phone tree!  Every day he called his people to visit, share a laugh, and lend encouragement.  "I’m in pretty good shape for the shape I’m in!," was his favorite line, and a good reminder to keep life’s troubles into perspective.  In 1977, Willie recommitted his life to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  His relationship with Jesus has sustained him through many trials and tribulations over the years.

     Some people may assume that Willie’s life ended 28 years ago from his accident, they would be mistaken.  This last chapter was a new beginning, and some of the best years of his life.  He watched his children grow to adulthood and enjoyed every minute spent with his grandkids and great-grandkid, Isabella Rose.  You may have seen him out in the field in his wheelchair directing Pete on a tractor repair, traipsing around the countryside with youthful chauffeurs, Laura and Julianna, sorting bolts at the kitchen table with Dalton and Jesse, supervising Alexis’ egg collection duties, or anywhere in the whole country with his lifelong travelling partner, wife, and caregiver, Venoy.  We joked that Dad’s accident was God’s version of "forced retirement," but the fact of the matter is, these were the years Willie got to enjoy his greatest treasure on earth, his family.

     Willy Tenold, 79, Reva, SD, died Saturday, February 3, 2018 at home in Reva.

     Willie is survived by his wife, Venoy; children, Angela & Dalyn McCann, Peder, Julianna, and Laura; grandchildren, Dalton & Ashley, Jesse Bill, and Alexis; great grand-daughter, Isabella Rose McCann; sisters, Mildred Peterson, Agnes Steinbach, Bertha Nelson, and Delores Coffield; brother, Robert and Norma Tenold; brother-in-law, Phil Hulse; Venoy’s brothers and sisters; and nieces and nephews too numerous to mention in this small space.

     Willie was preceded in death by his parents, Peder and Esther; sisters, Alpha Hulse, Luella and Richard Steinbach, and Florence and Jerrold Peterson; brother, Orvin and Eileen Tenold; brothers-in-law, James Peterson, Raymond Nelson, and John Steinbach; parents-in-law, J. Richard Smith, Ivan and Martha Smith Sabo; sister-in-law, Marie Smith; brothers-in-law, George Smith, Gene Ladson, and Keith Hanson; nephews, Ricky and Todd Tenold and Roger Coffield; and great-nephew, Tyrel Brengle; and cousin, Tommy Rasmussen.

     Visitation will be Wednesday from noon until time of services at the REC center.

     Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 7, 2018, at the Harding County REC Center in Buffalo.  Burial will follow at the Slim Buttes Cemetery.

     In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Slim Buttes Lutheran Radio Broadcast.

     Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals.com.



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