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Delbert Hortness

1925 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Delbert Hortness Obituary
Delbert Hortness

Sioux Falls - Delbert Erwin Hortness, age 90, from Veblen, SD, passed away Saturday, September 17, 2016 at the Good Samaritan Home in Sioux Falls, SD.

Memorial Service for Delbert Hortness will be held at 2:00 pm Saturday, October 8, 2016 at the Peever Lutheran Church, 113 Third Street, Peever, SD.

Del was born November 20, 1925 to Danish parents Holger and Efra (Petersen) Hortness on the family farm outside of Peever, SD. He graduated from Peever High School in 1944 where he played on the basketball team. He farmed and raised cattle with his parents after graduation and also coached the Peever High School basketball team from 1947-1949. He was inducted into the U.S. Army in January, 1949, attended leadership school at Fort Riley Kansas and was honorably discharged from the Service at Fort Ord California.

Del played baseball a number of years for the Peever town team and also officiated high school basketball games in South Dakota and Minnesota in the 1950's. Del was an avid follower of high school basketball. He often drove Peever High School players or cheerleaders to away basketball games, sometimes providing the entertainment with his phenomenal yodeling. Del attended countless high school basketball games coached by his brothers and nephews. He also attended hundreds of basketball, football and baseball games of family members across four decades; sometimes traveling as much as 6 hours in a day to watch a single game and then returning home for chores the next morning.

Del was one of the first to raise Registered Red Angus cattle in S.D. Del worked a number of years at the ASCS office in Sisseton and as a substitute rural mail carrier. He continued farming and caring for his parents until 1978 when he and his father sold the farm outside of Peever and Del moved to a farm near Veblen. Del was an avid Los Angeles Dodger fan attending the World Series in 1965 and 1966 in California. Many nights on the farm were spent listening to Dodger games on the radio. Del also enjoyed bowling in league play in Sisseton with friends. There are many fond memories of he and his siblings singing in harmony on the farm while doing chores or in the home. Nephews and nieces remember the many Sunday afternoons or evenings after chores playing "barn ball" with whiffle ball and bat; with parts of the roof of the barn determining how many bases a hit was worth. He greatly valued family and always had time for play with nephews and nieces, whether it was playing checkers or carooms, putting puzzles together, taking you to a ball game, giving you a ride on the tractor or on his horse Lightbulb, or just going to town for a shake or malt - Del made you feel special.

There were also the trips to Big Springs, to rodeo events at Hidden Valley or Old Agency, to the sales barn in Sisseton, to town for groceries, or to Lloyd's station for Wednesday night cards - he made every outing an adventure. Del loved country western music and often played his 45 rpm records. Del grew up when farming was done by horses. He experienced a time when neighbors and family gathered together to help each other with the harvest, pitching bundles, feeding the threshing machine, hauling grain to the elevator; where women worked all day in the sweltering heat preparing meals for the workers and delivering lunches to them in the fields. He drove cattle by horseback to the pastures in the hills west of Peever. He lived through the poverty and devastation of the drought in the early 1930's and it had an impact on him by the way he lived his life; he took great care to get the most out of everything he owned and wasted nothing. He was quick to lend a helping hand to a neighbor or friend that needed help when they were sick or injured, yet he was the last to ask for anything for himself.

Del had a terrific sense of humor and newcomers were often unsure if he was telling the truth or a yarn until he would burst into laughter at the end of his story. He was a beloved son, brother, and uncle and will be greatly missed.

He is survived by his brother, Stanley (Dorothy) Hortness of Sauk Centre, MN; Sister-in-law, Maurine (Wallace) Hortness, Sioux Falls, SD; his dear friend, Lois Brakke, Veblen, SD; and twenty nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Holger and Efra; infant twin siblings, Hjalmer and Amelia; brothers, Harold (Viola), Melvin (Bernice), Pete (Deloris), Wallace; sister, Norma (Donald) Remund; nephews, Rick Remund, Harold (Buzz) Hortness; and four infant nieces and nephews. Online register at
Published in The Argus Leader on Oct. 2, 2016
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