Donald Duane Jellema

Jellema, DON_oval

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.

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  • Christi C says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Don. Him and Lou were the best neighbors!! We lived across from them over on 6th street for 15 years. I Remember him out blowing everyone’s driveways and down the street and around the mailbox’s and fire hydrant. They were always so helpful. 💜 I hope Lou is doing ok 💜 she help he learn how to decorate cakes. I remember them coming over when we brought our daughter home from the hospital. They made our neighborhood great. I never met his family but I’m so sorry for they loss of your husband Lou and I’m so sorry for his children. My prayer go out to all of you.💜🙏

  • Pastor Jeff Seekins says:

    Our prayers are with the entire family. We’ll always remember his unique chuckle! We thank God for Don and his stand for the gospel of the grace of God. Thank God for our home & hope eternal in the heavens, 2 Cor. 5:1!
    Grace to you all, Pastor Jeff and Barb Seekins

  • Holly Swenson says:

    Dear Joel, Wendy & Family,
    We were sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. What a nice write up on him and his life story. Blessed be his memory. Take care, Bobby, Holly & Luke Swenson

  • Susan Thompson says:

    My heart is sent to the Jellema family on their loss of a loved one, Don Jellema. I’m really sorry for your loss. God Bless you all.

  • C. Lewis says:

    It saddened our hearts to hear of your loss. May the God of all comfort assign peace to the Jellema Family and continue to give you the strength to endure. Wishing you much peace and love now and in the days to come. Acts 24:15

  • Cheryl Erickson says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Don was such a special neighbor to my parents . I have always felt very honored for my parents to have such special friends in Lou and Don. They became part of our family and Lou’s cake were always part of every birthday celebration we had. I am sadden on Don’s passing but so blessed to have know his friendship, Love to you Lou and all your family you are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Carolyn Filholm says:

    Sending Sincere sympathy to your family. May the Peace and Love of our Lord and Saviour be with you holding you in His loving arms. Lovingly, Carolyn and Dave Filholm

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