Jesse Lyle Whitford

January 18, 2023Obituaries
Jesse Lyle Whitford

Jesse Lyle Whitford was born February 17, 1937 in Bixbie, SD, to Ira Alonzo and Ethel Agnes Whitford. He passed away January 15, 2023 at home with family by his side after a short battle with cancer.  He was the youngest boy of 10 siblings.

He spent his youth in Faith, SD, where he attended a country school.  He moved to Sturgis when he was 10 years old where he and the younger siblings of his family lived and attended school.  He joined the Navy when he was 17 years old – it was called the “Kiddie Cruise” because they could join at 17 and be out at age 21.  After leaving the Navy at age 21, he worked multiple jobs before joining the South Dakota Department of Transportation in 1968.  He worked for there for 26 years, 4 months and 2 days – retiring in 1995.

Jesse met Suzanne Iris Mollerud at a dance in Vale, SD, and they were married one year later on December 6, 1958.  They settled down in Sturgis where they raised their four children: Leslie, Keith, Wanda and Susie.  He and Sue enjoyed dancing at the Vets club and playing cards with friends in their younger years. When his children were young, he spent a lot of time with them fishing, hunting and teaching them various skills.  He found peace and happiness with his horses for many years and passed the love and skill of horseback riding onto several of his grandchildren. He was an avid walker and made many friends and acquaintances around town during his walks.  He was a kind, gentle man loved by his family, friends and co-workers.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father; brothers, Samuel, Myron and Merle; sisters, Corrine, Donna and Lois; and by his daughter, Wanda.  He is survived by his wife, Suzanne; three sisters, Janice, Sharon and Betty; and his children, Leslie (Robin) Whitford, Keith (Karen) Whitford, and Susie (Kevin) Kuntz; 10 grandchildren; and 22 great grandchildren.

Visitation will be at Kinkade Funeral Chapel, January 23, 2023, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.  A memorial service will be held at Kinkade Funeral Chapel on January 24 at 10:00 a.m.  followed by interment at Black Hills National Cemetery at 11:00 a.m.

Condolences may be sent to the family at