October 17, 2019

Duane Letcher - Daily Leader Extra : Obituaries

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Duane Letcher

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Posted: Friday, October 4, 2019 4:36 pm

Dr. Duane Allan Letcher, 77, of Wentworth, SD passed away on Friday, September 27, 2019. A Private Family Memorial Service was held.

He was born January 9, 1942 to Christian and Gertrude Letcher in Mitchell, SD, where he was raised with his older brother Dale. He graduated from Mitchell High in 1960.

In the fall of 1960 he started at SDSU in Brookings, SD. He earned his Bachelor of Science in 1965 and accepted a position in the College of Engineering as an instructor and research assistant. He earned his Master of Science degree in 1967 and then became a full time instructor and faculty advisor to 20 freshmen students. The fall was always his favorite time of year as it was when the students came back to campus.

He married his true love, Margaret Carla Olson on August 9, 1969 at Lone Rock Lutheran Church, rural Flandreau, SD. Margaret grew up on her family farm just down the country road from the church. They then moved to Morgantown, WV where Duane was accepted as a Research Scholar in Curriculum and he began pursuing his Doctoral Degree and Margaret worked as a nurse at West Virginia University Medical Center. In 1971 he accepted a research position with the College of Mineral and Energy Resources at WVU and in 1975 he earned his Doctoral degree. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. His academic career moved the family to Rock Springs, WY where he was the Dean of Academic Affairs at Western Wyoming College. Their careers took them to Norfolk, NE and Sioux City, Iowa where he was the Executive Vice President at NECC and WITCC where he was also the Chief Operating Officer.

Duane retired from his extensive career in higher education in 2002 and he and Margaret moved closer to family to The Lakes Golf Community southeast of Madison, SD. Family was of utmost importance to Duane. He was never viewed as a very social person, but he put all of his efforts and energy into his family. He and Margaret put on some extensive miles traveling to Montana and Colorado to support their grandchildren and cheer them on. He and Margaret led an adventurous life that was also very courageous. They took calculated risks that led two small town kids from SD to WV and eventually back home. But they took with them that small town farming work ethic that allowed them to achieve the life they did while instilling those values in their children and grandchildren.

Duane was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his daughter Kristin (Scott) Garsjo of Billings, MT and their children Carter and Kamryn; his son Nathan (Amy) Letcher of Denver, CO and their children Colson and Kresten; his brother Dale (Sheila) Letcher of Mitchell, SD and a host of other family. He is preceded in death by his parents, and his wife of nearly 50 years, Margaret.

Miller Funeral Home in Sioux Falls, SD assisting with arrangements. For online obituary and guest register go to the website at www.millerfh.com.