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Shorty Woitte

Shorty Woitte

Shorty Woitte


- August 24, 2020

Shorty Woitte, age 94, of Midland, South Dakota, died on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at the Kadoka Nursing Home.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, August 28, at the Midland School Gym in Midland.

Private family interment with military honors will be held at the Midland Cemetery.

Kandus “Shorty” Berton Woitte, son of Benjamin and Katherine Woitte, was born on August 31, 1925, in Milbank, South Dakota, joining one sister, Nina Bork, and two brothers, Arlen and Willard. The Woitte family lived on a farm 5 miles south and 2 miles east of Milbank, South Dakota, where his parents raised purebred Berkshire hogs.

He attended grade school in Milbank, and in 1939, he started high school there. In 1942 the high school burned down, and he went to school at different locations until 1943, when he graduated.

Shorty joined the Navy in June of 1944 and was sworn in at Omaha, Nebraska. He was sent to Seattle, Washington, and then to Farragut, Idaho to Camp Ward for his training. He served in the Navy on the USS Lauderdale until February of 1946 when he returned to Milbank, South Dakota. He did odd jobs around the area until he joined a haying crew. He came to Midland in the winter of 1946 and met his future wife, Annetta “Mickey” Martin. On February 25, 1948, they were united in marriage in Kadoka, South Dakota. They lived for a short time in Milbank and Huron before permanently settling in Midland, where they welcomed eight children into their home.

In 1948, Shorty began working at the Oscar Merkle Service Station as a mechanic. As a side job, he sold television sets and installed television antennas all over the territory. He worked for Oscar until 1965 when he purchased Dave Hemmingson’s Texaco Station in Midland and went into business for himself. He and Mickey owned and operated the station until July of 1978. Shorty then went to work at the Midland School as the custodian and bus driver for Midland Independent School until 1990, when he retired.

Shorty served his community in a variety of ways. He was the Fire Chief in Midland for 14 years, served one three-year term as Badlands Fire District Director, two terms as the Badlands Fire District President, and was also a Charter member. For his service, he was installed in the South Dakota Fire Service Hall of Fame and in the Fire District Hall of Fame. Shorty also served two terms on the Midland Independent School Board and was president when the district reorganized and built the new auditorium. Additionally, he ran the basketball clock for 50 years for the school district.

He was a member of the American Legion Post 143, a member of the Midland Museum Board, President of the Senior Citizens center, and served on the Haakon County Planning Commission. He volunteered as an usher at Open Bible Church. Additionally, he served as President of the Cemetery Board and President of the Museum Board. In his spare time, he loved to hunt, fish, and work in his garden. Shorty was a serious pinochle card player and taught all of his children the game. Family gatherings revolved around seeing who could beat him and his assigned partner.

Grateful for having shared his life are his eight children: Kandace Nelsen of Sioux Falls; Rex Woitte (Linda) of Rapid City; Budd Woitte (Sue) of Ridgecrest, California; Robin Opitz (Josef) of Midland; Joseph Woitte (Bobbi) of Midland; Leslee Meek (Terry) of Hopkinsville, Kentucky; Kristin Woitte (Joyce) of Vancouver, Washington; Eric Woitte (Gala) of Tea; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and numerous friends.

Shorty was preceded in death by his beloved wife Annetta “Mickey” (Martin) Woitte on May 26, 2017; his parents; and his grandson, Anthony Woitte.

A memorial is established to the Midland Fire Department and EMS. Cards and memorials may be sent to P.O. Box 127, Midland, SD 57552.

Arrangements are with Rush Funeral Home of Philip.



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