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Wagner, SD 57380
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Donald R. Juffer

1931 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Donald R. Juffer Obituary
Donald R. Juffer

Donald Roy Juffer was born on September 27, 1931 to parents Gerrit T. and Gertrude (Brouwer) Juffer in Ireton, Iowa. He passed away at his home in Wagner on December 24, 2015 at age 84. A private service for family was held on December 25th.

Don was baptized and confirmed at the Christian Reformed Church of Ireton. He attended Ireton Christian Elementary School; further, completing graduation from Ireton High School in 1949. Don proceeded to continue his education at Iowa State in Ames, Iowa. Early on in his college career, Don's older brothers, Gerald and Pat, proudly entered deployment with the military service; leaving his father with less help. Upon his father's request, Don returned home to Ireton to assist with the family bank. Doing so, Don found his passion and calling as a banker. In 1951, Don's brothers returned home safely and returned to the family bank.

Don chose Wagner, SD for the next chapter of his life. He met Bly and Juanita Wilson who graciously opened their home to him; he resided there for six years. He began work at Commercial State Bank where he built up a respectable work ethic that was easily recognized and admired. While working at the bank Don embarked on the opportunity to further his education with summer courses over a period of three years and graduated from the prestigious Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, WI. Don united in marriage with the love of his life, Della JEAN DeRaad, on June 28, 1956.

In 1969, Don's brother (Pat) passed away. Once again, his father called upon him to return to Ireton to help with the family bank. Don declined the opportunity and chose to stay in Wagner where he and Jean had already started a new home and family of their own.

Don had a great love for the community of Wagner. He had many great visions and dreams for the possibilities of Wagner and he felt called to do what he could to make the town and surrounding areas better for future generations. This calling led him to be a significant member of the community as he served on numerous boards for several different organizations. Some include: Commercial State Bank, Frei Insurance Agency, Juffer Real Estate, Wagner Native Ethanol, District III, Wagner Community Hospital, Industry and Commerce, Good Samaritan Society of Wagner (he was an instrument in getting this established in Wagner), St. John's Lutheran Church, Wagner Area Growth, Wagner Rotary, Elks, Masons, Randall Hills Country Club, Fort Randall Marina, Wagner City Councilman and Mayor. Don was a key part of getting the Veteran Hospital located in Wagner and worked closely with many tribal members on different issues throughout the years. Don worked diligently on the Wagner Community School establishment and evolvement to continue creating opportunities for education. In recognition for his service and commitment to the community and the people, Don was honorably recognized for his contributions. Upon other items, he enjoyed riding as the Wagner Labor Day Parade Marshall as a recognizable figure of the community. A special award Don took pride in was the Governor's Tokeya Mani in South Dakota's Order of the White Buffalo, given by Gov. Frank Farrer on Dec 30, 1970 for his deeds and accomplishments. In the Sioux language, Tokeya Mani is the "one who goes ahead"; giving Don the special acknowledgement that he excelled among his fellow citizens. Don's impact to the community was at large, to say the least.

Don admired the beauty of the outdoors and valued hunting, fishing, and traveling. Jean accompanied Don in all of his travels around the world, reaching nearly every country. He always said one should never go back to the same place for the next one is even more fun. Countless hours were spent with his children on the Missouri River, teaching them to fish, water ski, and admire camping. Don received much joy in spending time with his children and grandchildren on the river and instilling in them that very same love. He treasured the many adventurous trips he took with close friends and always enjoyed sharing those stories with his family. He enjoyed all of the seasons of the year. A huge garden and a luscious green lawn were always a summer priority; whereas he welcomed fall and winter for the opportunity to bring out his prized cowboy boots. Don and his family members embarked on several fishing trips throughout the years; some favorite destinations include Mobridge, Lake Milton, MN, and Canada.

Don took great pride in his grandchildren. His cooking skills led the Juffer grandchildren to believe their grandfather was the most amazing cook in the world. Later in life, they would discover that their grandfather had a rare and admirable talent in the kitchen. After setting a beautiful table and having a full meal, there was always room for popcorn; which was the best because "grandpa made it". Don was always there for his grandchildren, loving them, supporting and encouraging them, and always leaving an impact on them.

He spread his love of life by impacting people daily. Working often and so closely with people, he genuinely believed in the good of every individual he came into contact with. His friendly, approachable demeanor, honesty, professional knowledge, responsibility to ethics, and other skills made Don a prominent figure for the community which he loved so much. He was a main stay and champion for many and will always be remembered for his contributions to people individually and the community as a whole.

Don is preceded in passing by his parents Gerrit and Gertrude, father and mother-in-law Leon and Freida DeRaad, wife Della JEAN Juffer, son-in-law Ron Williams; and the following brothers and sisters-in-law: Ted and Adeline Juffer of Omaha, NE, Gerald Juffer of Ireton, IA, Preston (Pat) and Betty Juffer of Ireton, IA, Herman Juffer (1st wife Joann Gustafson) of Decorah, IA, Arlin and Pauline of Sibly, IA, Leo Juffer of San Diego, CA, Cliff Young of Onawa, IA, and Phil Abbott of Eagle Grove, IA.

He is survived by his three children: Gerrit (Michele) Juffer of Wagner, SD, Donna Juffer-Williams of Brandon, SD, and Jeff (Melonie) Juffer of Wagner, SD; nine grandchildren: Kirk Williams of Minneapolis, MN, Katherine Williams of Brandon, SD, Jacqueline Juffer of Lincoln, NE, Kathleen Juffer of Vermillion, SD, Sidney Juffer of Wagner, SD, Cody Juffer of North Sioux City, SD, Tory Juffer of Sioux Falls, SD, Sierra Juffer of Wagner, SD, and Schylar Juffer of Wagner, SD; brother Marvin (Sandra) Juffer of Hutchinson, MN; sisters: Ruth Young of Onawa, IA, Verla (Jerry) Jungling of San Diego, CA, and Elna Juffer of Craig, IA; sisters-in-law: Joyce Abbott of Mesa, AZ, Audrey (Gene) Dominic of Grand Island, NE, and Mary Jane Juffer of Texas; and nieces and nephews.

Respects and a memorial service will be announced at a later date.

Published in The Argus Leader on Jan. 24, 2016
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