James “Jim” DeWolf Huntsinger
Jim D. Huntsinger, 82, of Sioux Falls, died suddenly and unexpectedly, Friday, December 22, 2017, in Belen, NM, while spending the holiday with his daughter.
A Funeral Mass will be held 1:30pm, Thursday, January 4, 2018, at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Sioux Falls. Inurnment will follow at St. Michael’s Cemetery, Sioux Falls, with Full Military Honors.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Jim’s honor should be directed to St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Sioux Falls, or the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House.
James DeWolf Huntsinger was born October 19, 1935, in Aberdeen, SD to Ivan and Marion (DeWolf) Huntsinger. There, he graduated with honors from Central High School. After high school, Jim attended the University of South Dakota, enjoying being a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, the Dakotans, ROTC, and the SD National Guard, Private First Class. In preparation for his career as an electrical engineer in the army, he worked several jobs; he was a surveyor’s assistant, a draftsman, and a student engineer for Boeing in Seattle, WA, helping design the prototypes for the first Boeing 747. In December 1956, in Belle Fourche, SD, he married the love of his life, Marilyn Jean Smiley. Jim then enlisted in the US Army in 1958,as a commissioned 2nd Lieutenant during the Vietnam War Era. While in the army, he also worked on missile projects in Huntsville, AL, that eventually helped the US travel to the moon. He was stationed in El Paso, Texas, where he served as a Personnel Officer and an Explosive Ordnance Expert. While diffusing a WWII bomb, he was injured in an explosion, leaving him hearing impaired. He was honorably discharged as a 2nd Lieutenant, in 1962, after serving a time as the youngest base commander.
This event changed Jim and Marilyn’s plans to remain in the army; they moved to Westkota Ranch in Belle Fourche, SD, where he was foreman. After three years, Jim and Marilyn, with their children Jami and Jon, purchased their own ranch, moving to Hosmer, SD, in 1965, where they ranched for 17 years. Jimwas an expert horseman and excelled at animal husbandry, studying veterinary science in the Roscoe Veterans Class on the GI Bill; he truly loved ranching. He also served as a County Commissioner for Edmunds County (2 terms); President of the Hosmer Civic Club; a 4-H Leader; a member of the Board of Directors for Edmunds Co. Livestock Improvement Association; a member of the Hosmer American Legion (40 years).
In 1978, Jim sold his ranch, moving to Aberdeen, SD, where he was General Agent for Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Company. There, he was a member of the Elks Club, serving as an officer, and taught insurance classes at Northern State College. They later moved to Sioux Falls, expanding the business there. When Marilyn became ill, he devotedly took care of her. During this time, he became a devout Catholic, joining St. Joseph’s Cathedral, where he served as a Eucharist minister and the Tour Guide Director, attended numerous religious classes, sponsored converts, belonged to the Knights of Columbus, and tutored students at O’Gorman High School. Jim loved to watch sports, especially his beloved Cubs and USD teams, and to tell stories, talk, and joke with his numerous close friends.
Jim will be deeply missed by his two children, Jon David (Deborah) Huntsinger, Manson, IA, and Jami Lynn Huntsinger, Belen, NM; his three grandchildren, Mallory (Dan), Melissa (Nic), and Stephanie Huntsinger; and his seven great-grandchildren.
Jim was preceded in death by his beloved wife Marilyn, his parents, and his sister, Betty Lou Dugan. He was a wonderful husband and father, and friend to many.