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Neil William Smeenk

Neil William Smeenk

Neil William Smeenk


- June 18, 2019

Neil William Smeenk was born in Rapid City on May 15, 1951, the fifth of six children, to Doris (Maass) and William Smeenk.  Neil was raised on the family farm on Horse Creek, west of Newell.  He would gleefully dive into the middle of a fight with his three brothers--this likely helped create his tough and stubborn spirit.  

     Neil attended elementary at the Horse Creek School and high school in Newell, graduating from NHS in 1970, and then attended BHSU.  Following his time at BHSU, he went to work for his sister and her husband, Shirley and Jesse Hoese, at their ranch at Carlisle, WY.  It was during this time that Neil learned that his purpose on this earth was to be a rancher.  Jesse says that Neil learned how to ranch well in the tough Castle Rock country, not “forcing” the land.

     Neil married Jane Common on August 20, 1974, in Sturgis, SD.  Neil and Jane raised sheep, cattle, and their two children, Brandy Ruth (1976) and Ryan William (1978), on his beloved ranch at Castle Rock, along with Neil’s parents, Bill and Doris.  Neil earned the Master Lamb Producer for the State of SD in 1988.  During his time on the ranch, he built his family’s home.  He was a self-taught carpenter and mechanic with many other talents including being a seasoned stockman and roping competitor.

     On November 19, 2000, Neil married Denise Schipke in Piedmont.  With the marriage, he gained a stepdaughter, Dominique, a granddaughter, Nikita, and a stepson, Demian.  About this time, Neil and son, Ryan, started Castle Rock Backhoe Service.  They kept very busy and soon employed Neil’s brother, Lyn Smeenk, Neil’s son-in-law, Matt Mooney, and his stepson, Demian Heinert.  The ranch was sold in 2011 and they moved to the Schipke house west of Newell. 

     Neil enjoyed hunting, fishing, the ranch life, branding, and his family.  His children and grandchildren brought him the greatest joy.  He was always proud of their accomplishments and enjoyed watching them in their chosen activities.  Neil had a great love for children who could sense his gentle, generous nature and sense of them. 

     In the spring of 2019, he lived with his son, Ryan, and his family, at Vale, spending his final days with his nephew, Will Johnson.  On June 14, 2019, Neil passed away on the prairie he so dearly loved.

     Grateful for having been a part of Neil’s life are his daughter, Brandy (Jonathan) Smeenk, of Martin; his son and his wife, Ryan and Jamie Smeenk, of Vale; his beloved grandchildren, Kurtis and Haley Mooney, and Tayten, Tanner, and Tillee Smeenk; step-children, Dominique (Michael) Sterrett and Demian Heinert; step-grandchildren, Nikita Heinert and her children, Alayna and Daxtyn, Michael Sterrett, III, Hannah Sterrett, Logan Sterrett, Abrym Heinert, and Whitney Casteel; his siblings, Shirley (Jesse) Hoese of Carlisle, WY, Joan (Jim) Johnson of Spearfish, SD, Steve (Kay) Smeenk of Newell, SD, Lyn (Susan) Smeenk of Belle Fourche, SD, and Dean (Sue) Smeenk of Alexander, IA; as well as many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

     Preceding Neil in death were his parents, Bill and Doris Smeenk; special friend, Susan Fettig; and several aunts and uncles.

     Memorial services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, June 19, 2019, at the Austin Auditorium in Newell with Pastor Harold Delbridge officiating.  Inurnment will follow at the Smeenk Ranch Family Cemetery. 

     Memorials have been established at First National Bank for Neil’s grandchildren and the Castle Rock Fire Department.

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



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