Donald Duane Jellema
January 20, 1932 ~ March 7, 2018
Donald Jellema 86, Brandon, passed away at home on Wednesday, March 7, 2018.
Visitation with family will be 2-4pm, Sunday, March 11, 2018, at Heartland Funeral Home, Brandon. Funeral services will be 11am, Monday, March 12, also at Heartland Funeral Home. Interment will follow at Hills of Rest Cemetery in Sioux Falls, with Full Military Honors.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established towards Don’s favorite charities.
Don Duane Jellema was born on January 20, 1932 to John and Agnes (DeJong) Jellema in Orange City, IA. He was the 9th of 10 children. Don moved to Sioux Falls during his high school years. He graduated from Washington High School in 1949. While in high school he discovered his love of boxing and helped to form a Golden Gloves boxing team. He also worked at John Morrell’s to support his family following the death of his father.
In 1952 Don joined the Army making it his career and serving his country for 23 years. In 1953 Don married the love of his life, Louella Jellema. They recently celebrated 64 years of marriage.
While in the service Don was active in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He was most proud of becoming a photographer for the Army and serving the majority of his years as a member of the Dept. of the Army Special Photo Operations. His collection of Vietnam photos taken during the war are archived at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX, and his photos as well as photos from his DASPO team have been used in several publications. He was very proud and spoke highly of the men he served with and supervised in his DASPO team.
Don enjoyed traveling the world with his family as his career took them to Texas, New Jersey, Louisiana, Germany, Virginia, Illinois, Hawaii and finally back to South Dakota to be near family as he was ready to retire in 1976.
Following retirement he held several jobs including USPS and an independent insurance adjuster. Don and his son Joel helped settle claims in Texas after Hurricane Alicia.
In his spare time Don enjoyed playing cards, especially pinochle, feeding and befriending the squirrels in his backyard, making music with family & friends, spending time with family, and had a passion for studying his Bible and sharing with others the message of Grace.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Louella; sons, Joel (Wendy), Brandon, Kevin (Cheryl), Sioux Falls; daughter Laurel, Sioux Falls; grandson Josh Bittner; granddaughters, Sondrae (Jacob) Spade and Ashley (Jeramiah) Zuraff; and 7 great grandchildren.
Don is preceded in death by his parents; 4 brothers; and 5 sisters.