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Roger McKellips


1923 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Roger McKellips Obituary
Roger McKellips

Roger McKellips was born January 26, 1923 to parents, E.F. (Mac) McKellips and Amy (Cook) McKellips in Alcester, SD. He died August 18, 2017 at Dow Rummel Village, Sioux Falls, SD. He graduated from Alcester High School in 1941 and was a proud member of the 1941 State "B" basketball championship team. He attended Morningside College for one year, enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served in India and China during WWII. On April 23, 1943, he married Wilma Linduski of Sioux City, IA.

During his service years, their first daughter, Sherran was born. After returning from the war, he moved the family to Lawrence, KS, where he attended the University of Kansas, graduating with a business degree in 1948. During their time in KS, two more daughters, Kathryn and Beverly, were born.

Following graduation, the family moved to Alcester, SD where Roger began his banking career, joining his father at the State Bank of Alcester. In 1952, his son, Gary, was born. Roger was an enthusiastic supporter of agriculture and economic development causes, and was instrumental in helping many farmers and businesses get started. He led the formation of numerous local non-profit organizations to provide for a nursing home, residential developments, apartments, and the Alcester Community Foundation. Roger was also a dedicated public servant, serving 6 terms in the SD Legislature, both as Senate Minority and Majority Leader. Roger was the Democratic candidate for Governor in 1978. No job was too big or too small for him to undertake, from inspiring the SD Legislature to fly to Washington DC on behalf of agriculture during the Ag Recession of the 1980's to collecting cans every week for the Alcester Lions. Roger was a charter member of the Alcester Lions Club and a life-long member of the United Church of Christ. His banking career lasted 60 years and he was inducted into the SD Hall of Fame in 2003.

Roger had a fiercely competitive nature and loved bowling, golf, playing pinochle with the guys at Ron's Farm Supply, hunting, fishing and traveling. He and Wilma enjoyed years of world travel. His children and grandchildren will be forever blessed by his love for family, sense of humor, and work ethic. In 2008, Roger and Wilma moved to Dow Rummel Village in Sioux Falls, although they never lost their love for Alcester. The family would like to thank Dow Rummel staff and Pastor Tim Worthington for their excellent care.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Phyllis Purdy; daughter, Kathy Solberg; and grandson, Brian Sommervold. He is survived by his wife, Wilma, of 74 years; children, Sherran (Merlyn) Sommervold, Chancellor, SD, Beverly Livingston, Sioux Falls, SD and Gary (Deb) McKellips, Alcester, SD; son-in-law, Wendell Solberg, Alcester, SD; 7 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at 10:00 AM Saturday, August 26 at the Alcester Elementary School Auditorium. Burial will be at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Alcester, SD. Visitation will be from 5:00-7:00 PM Friday, August 25 at the United Church of Christ in Alcester, SD with a prayer service beginning at 7:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Alcester Community Foundation at PO Box 524, Alcester, SD 57001.
Published in The Argus Leader on Aug. 23, 2017
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