Donald McCuen, age 88, of Volga, passed away Thursday, April 2, 2020, at the United Living Community in Brookings.
Due to the current corona pandemic, a private family funeral will be held Monday morning, April 13th at First Lutheran Church in Volga. From 11:15 A.M. until 11:30 a.m. there will be a drive-by visitation outside of First Lutheran Church for friends and distant relatives to drive by and show their support. At 11:30 A.M. we will be going in procession from Volga to Prairie Queen Cemetery near Nunda if anyone would like to follow in procession.
The private funeral will be streamed live on Facebook on the First Lutheran Church of Volga Facebook page at 10:30 A.M. on Tuesday, April 13, 2020. A recorded video of the funeral will be available to view on the Eidsness Funeral Home website. Eidsness Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Donald was born at home on August 30, 1931, to Roy and Henrietta (Vaselar) McCuen near White, SD. He was educated in country schools near White, Lake Campbell and Elkton. He worked for SDSU before entering the Navy on December 6, 1951. Don was stationed out of San Diego, CA. He traveled all over the world on a destroyer, The USS Stembel DD644, during the Korean War. Don was honorably discharged on December 1, 1955.
Don married the love of his life, Phyllis Mae Clark on May 7, 1955, in Bellflower, CA. After his honorable discharge from the Navy, Don and Phyllis lived in Minneapolis, MN, where he worked for Northrup King. Later they moved back to South Dakota, where he farmed with his father-in-law near Nunda. Don and Phyllis raised their four children on that farm. Phyllis passed away on June 6, 2000. In May of 2007, Don bought a house in Volga and lived there until moving into ULC on March 5, 2020.
Don loved farming. After retiring, he continued to help his son-in-law farm by doing field work which affectionately earned him the title of "Digger Don." He was even featured on the cover of the Feb. 2007 issue of the Corn and Soybean Digest magazine chisel plowing his field. The photo was taken by his nephew Greg Lamp.
Don was known far and wide for his jokes, one-liners, and ability to tell a story that always left you laughing and wondering if it was really true. He was a kind and patient man. Don was quick to smile and did his best to make every person he met laugh. Anyone that had the pleasure of meeting him walked away with a memory of him.
Don was an excellent pool player, loved a good rodeo (especially if his grandson was in it), golfing, taking a drive in the country, going to the cabin and sitting on the deck and looking at the lake. He truly enjoyed the pheasant hunting opener with his kids and all his nephews and nieces at his farm. Don got a lot of enjoyment from visiting with his friends at the local establishments. He was proud of and loved his family and extended family -- his kids, grand- and great-grandkids, sisters, nieces and nephews and friends. Each could tell a funny story about Don. He is deeply missed and when someone brings up one of his stories or one-liners, we will smile. In the words of Don: "catch ya next round."
Don is survived by his children, Monty McCuen of Brookings, Jan Christiansen (Doug Chaney) of Garretson, Kay (Dan) Ziegler of Volga; daughters-in-law, Nancy McCuen and Amy McCuen both of Sioux Falls; grandchildren: Carly (Adam) Ellsworth, MJ (Meredith) McCuen, Chelsey (Adam) Burtis, Allison McCuen, Andrew (Amanda) McCuen, Tiffany (Charlie) Millman, Joe (Brigitte) Giegling, Kaitlin Giegling, Jace Christiansen, Zack Ziegler, Nikole Ziegler, and Jakob Ziegler; 12 great-grandchildren; sister, Shirley (Arnie) Adams; and many nieces and nephews.
Don was preceded in death by his wife Phyllis; his son, Ron McCuen; his parents Henrietta and Roy McCuen; his father- and mother-in-law, Lester and Marguerite Clark; sisters Dorothy (Don) Even, Bethyl (Darrel) Lamp; and his in-laws, Margie (Marlow) Podoll, Doug (Pat) Clark and Leo Clark.