June 19, 2019

Dallas Tonsager - Daily Leader Extra : Obituaries

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Dallas Tonsager

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Posted: Friday, May 24, 2019 3:15 pm

Dallas Tonsager, age 64, of McLean, VA and originally of Oldham, South Dakota, passed away Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at Inova Fairfax Hospital after a brief battle with lymphoma. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, May 28, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. and a funeral service will be held on Wednesday, May 29, at 10:30 am with lunch and time for fellowship following burial. Both will be held at the gymnasium in Oldham, SD.

At the time of his passing Dallas was the chairman of the Farm Credit Administration (FCA), a board to which he was appointed by President Barack Obama on March 13, 2015 and to which he was appointed chairman and CEO by President Obama on November 22, 2016.

Throughout his career, he held four Presidentially-appointed positions from three different Presidents of both political parties with the USDA and FCA and ran the SD Value-Added Ag Development Center, a nonprofit that helped the development of new ventures to create economic opportunity for farmers. Dallas was a non-partisan champion for family farmers and rural American his entire life, even while serving in political positions. He was known for his gentle nature and at the same time his passion for improving life for rural South Dakotans and rural America. Through his positions he touched millions of people through expanding broadband and cell service, business loans, farm programs and expanding access to credit.

Respect for Dallas is exemplified through many recognitions including honors as the state Rural Development Director of the Year in the 1990's and as a South Dakota State University Distinguished Alumnus, among others. He spent the earlier years of his life farming with his brother Doug and serving in advocacy roles with the South Dakota Farmers Union through the 1980's farm crisis and into the 1990's. Of most importance, he was a loving husband, father and grandfather and was a wonderful brother and friend.

Forever grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Sharon of McLean, VA; son Keith, daughter-in-law Lindsey and granddaughter, llia, of San Francisco, CA; son Josh of Washington, DC; brother Dennis and sister-in-law Sharon of Denver, CO; brother Doug and sister-in-law Sandy of Oldham, SD; sister Dianne Brei (Tonsager) and brother-in-law Jerry Brei of Hill City, SD and many nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.

He was the son of the late Gerald and June Tonsager also both of Oldham.

A memorial service will be held in the Washington, DC, area at a later date.