Bart Parsons, age 92, of Milesville, South Dakota, died on Saturday, October 21, 2023 at the Scotchman Living Center in Philip.
Visitation will be held Tuesday, October 24, from 5-7 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at Rush Funeral Home in Philip.
Funeral services will be held 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 25, at Hardingrove Community Evangelical Free Church in Milesville with Pastor Gary Wahl officiating.
Barton Lee Parsons, better known as “Bart” by family and friends, was born September 13, 1931, in Manderson, South Dakota, the fourth of seven children born to Bill and Helen (Elshere) Parsons. The family had moved there to find work during the early dust bowl years of the depression. The family moved back to Milesville, South Dakota in the spring of 1935.
Bart attended grade school in Milesville and graduated from Philip High School in 1949. After high school he began farming and ranching in Milesville. During the summer of 1950, a traveling missionary named Bob Huff spent part of the summer living with the family. During that time, Bart accepted God’s free gift of salvation at the age of 19, shortly after his father died in an accident.
He married Janice Thorson on February 5, 1958. Together they raised their children: Sharon Olivier of Milesville, Nancy Hohwieler of Lincoln, Nebraska, Earl Parsons of Milesville, and Mike Parsons of Spearfish. Bart and Janice were faithful members of the Hardingrove Evangelical Free Church and attended Sunday morning services their entire life together.
Bart loved to farm and ranch. He loved cattle and horses, good crops and green grass, rodeos, and baseball games. He enjoyed visiting with friends and family, playing cards, and going for drives with Janice and friends just exploring the country. On one Sunday drive with their good friends, Dick and Gene Hudson, they drove about 500 miles just exploring.
Bart and Janice attended many rodeos over the years, from the local rodeos around Milesville, Philip, and Faith, to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. He had an autographed picture of himself and rodeo saddle bronc champion, Billy Etbauer.
Bart was an extremely hard-working man who worked to provide for his family. He was generous, sharing what he had with those in need. He had the gift of conversation and county strike up a conversation with almost anyone. Bart had a sharp mind, whether working out math problems in his head or figuring out what cards his opponent had in the game of 4-ponit pitch. He always claimed to have only read two books in his life: Smokey the Cowhorse and The Enchanted Castle; but we all know he read the Bible very night. Bart was also a very humble man; so much so that he did not even tell his family about receiving the Heartland Limousin Commercial Producer Award at the Black Hills Stock Show in 2002.
Survivors include his wife, Janice of Milesville; sons, Earl (Jodi) Parsons of Milesville and Michael (Melody) Parsons of Rapid City; daughters, Sharon (Bryan) Olivier of Milesville and Nancy (George) Hohwieler of Aurora, NE; ten grandchildren: Tyler Olivier and Stacy Lewis, Shea Olivier, Andy and Kylie Hohwieler, Bradley Hohwieler, Jordan and Michaela Hohwieler, Rachel Parsons, Sarah Parsons, Bailey and Dylan Terry, Carter Parsons, and Landon Parsons; two great-grandchildren: Liam Olivier and Hallie Hohwieler; brother, Billie (Connie) Parsons of Milesville; sisters, Doris Berry of Milesville, Mary Slovek of Philip, and Leah (James) Waddell of Phoenix, AZ; and many other relatives and friends.
Bart was preceded in death by his parents; son-in-law George Hohwieler; brothers, Boyd Parsons Sr. and Dean Parsons; brothers-in-law Kenneth Berry and Frank Slovek.
Arrangements are with Rush Funeral Home of Philip.