James “Jim” DeWolf Huntsinger


Huntsinger, Jim_oval-2October 19, 1935 ~ December 22, 2017

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.

Share this post:
  • Mary & Paul Heier says:

    Our deepest sympathy.
    To great neighbors and friends.
    Paul & Mary Heier

  • Jami Huntsinger says:

    Thank you so much for your sweet words.

  • Bill Musolf says:

    Jim and I were fellow members of Dakotans at the University of South Dakota. I remember him as a really great guy and fun to be with.
    I am impressed with the variety of occupations he had over his lifetime and that he was so successful at all of them. My sympathy to his family.

  • Craig Krsnak says:

    Been doing business with Jim since I started in the insurance business 27 years ago. He was a great man that I really looked up to and one of the most sincere and truly classy guys in our business. Not once did Jim not get back to me with answer but I’m going to miss our conversations the most.
    Prays are with your family.

  • I am so sorry to learn of Jim’s death. He was a unique gem. I met him at the ”U”, and we became lifelong friends. Knew them when they lived in Belle Fourche… Knew Marilyn at the ”U” too..she a Theta, I am a Pi Phi, and remained friends ever since. So sorry for your loss, but Marilyn is smiling now!

  • Tim and Melody says:

    To Jims’ Family, Our deepest sympathy, our prayers and thoughts are with you.
    He will be deeply missed, we so much enjoyed his friendship and company.

  • Bonnie Shea says:

    Jamie, So sorry to hear about the loss of your Dad. Fr. Jose announced it at Mass this morning. Saw his picture with the obit and he must have been a wonderful man. Sorry I did not get to know him. He sure accomplished a lot in his life. Dear Jamie, our hearts go out to you as our prayers. With heartfelt sympathy, Michael and Bonnie Shea

  • Ann (Binfit) Vetch says:

    I’m a 1953 classmate of his in Aberdeen–he was great in letting us know about our classmates
    passing away etc. Thanks to Jim–My sympathy to hi family–Ann Vetch

  • Msgr. Charles M. Mangan says:

    J.M.J. To Jon and Jami, It was a joy to see and speak with your +Dad. May he rest in peace. I offered Mass for his Soul. May the Love of Jesus Christ and His Mother and Saint Joseph comfort you now and always.

  • Kristie Taylor says:

    Jami and Jon,
    I saw your dad’s obit in the Rapid City paper. So sorry for your loss. I have good memories of your family and how giving they were. It’s hard when we lose our parents. God bless you and yours in this time of sorrow. Hope our paths will cross again.

  • Charlotte. Trebilcock says:

    Jami and Jon
    We can’t believe he’s gone. We always had great intentions of getting together more often and sadly that option is no longer ours. Jim was such a kind thoughtful man. There will be a huge empty space in our lives now that he’s gone.
    We send you all of our love.
    Chuck and Charlotte

  • Dr. Tom Aman says:

    Jon and Jami, grandchildren and greats:
    I sent an email c/o of your dad to ensure you got this. I was deeply saddened to learn of your loss. Please check your dad’s email for my message. I will miss your father, but as with you and yours we will have wonderful memories to comfort us in our loss.
    Jim sent me a photo of us standing next to his father, Ivan. We were freshmen at USD and member of Lambda Chi Alpha men’s fraternity. Our friendship lasts over 60 year, and he will always be in my memory bank as I know he will be in yours. Dr. Tom Aman AG 551 LXA Class of 1957 USD.

  • Rieta Arbuckle Walker says:

    Sympathy to all of you who mourn.
    Marilyn and I were school mates. Sometime after she became ill, Jim wrote to me. That is how I know loved and respected her so and was so devoted to her.
    What a remarkable life Jim lived!

  • John Mehlhoff says:

    Jon and Jami:
    I worked one summer for Jim and Marilyn on their ranch in Hosmer. I helped Jim install miles of fencing that summer and we had the best corner posts in the county! Sorry to hear of his passing he was a great man.
    God Bless You and GO Coyotes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Recent Comments