Jeffrey Duane Harder

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September 23, 1965 ~ March 30, 2023

Jeffrey D. Harder, 57, Sioux Falls, died Thursday, March 30, 2023, at the Sioux Falls, VA Hospital. 

While no services are planned per his wishes, a Committal Service with Military Honors is being planned at the SD State Veteran’s Cemetery, at a later date.  Please check back for updates on the time and date. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in Jeff’s memory, to the VA Medical Center in Sioux Falls.

Jeffrey Duane Harder was born on September 23, 1965, in Aberdeen, South Dakota, the sixth of seven children to Ellsworth D. and Elizabeth (Matthews) Harder. As a teenager, he joined his mother in Minneapolis and graduated from Southwest High School in 1984. He then enlisted in the United States Navy to follow in his Uncle Paul’s footsteps. He served as a Communication Watch Officer on a frigate in the Pacific Fleet. His service brought him to such places as San Diego, Australia, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Upon being honorably discharged in 1993, he lived in San Francisco for several years before moving back to his family in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Throughout his life, Jeff faced adversity, specifically navigating health-related concerns in the last thirty years. He proved resilient, evading death on a number of occasions. Most recently, he fought a valiant battle against pancreatic cancer, but ultimately succumbed to its hold in the early hours of March 30, 2023, at the VA Medical Center in Sioux Falls.

Jeff is survived by his siblings, Cathleen (Dwight) Bollinger, Jean (Tom) Bormes, Michael (Linda) Harder, Gail (Jim Lundberg) Spartz, Patrick (Sally) Harder, and Cara (Brent Johnson) Harder; as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Jeff was preceded in death by his parents.

Jeff’s favorite band, the Go-Go’s, sang, “I wanna be worlds away, apart from the day-to-day. I know I’ll be okay when I get worlds away.” Jeff is now “not quite sleeping but still dreaming,” and memories of him – that cute little red-headed boy – will live on.

“I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

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