DE SMET — William J. Cronkhite, 92, of De Smet, died Sunday, March 10, 2013, at De Smet Avera Hospital in De Smet. His funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in De Smet. Burial will be in the St. Thomas Catholic Cemetery, De Smet.
Visitation will be at the Osthus Funeral Home in De Smet on Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. with a prayer service beginning at 6:30 p.m.
William Joseph Cronkhite was born Nov. 8, 1920, to Earl and Velma (Corlett) Cronkhite. He graduated in Bryant in 1939. He operated a P.D.Q. truck and farmed. He entered the military service on Sept. 14, 1942. He trained in America and England with the 28 Infantry Div. He served in the Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes and Central European Campaigns. He received the Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster and the Bronze Star Medal with the V for valor. He was declared limited service and was transferred to the Army Air Corp. and served as Motor Sgt. He was discharged Oct. 23, 1945.
He married Margaret Larson on Nov. 19, 1945.
He served on the Bryant Farmers Union Board of Directors for 27 years, the country school board of reorganization for 12 years, was a County Commissioner for eight years, and was a member of the American Legion for 60 years. He was on the De Smet Development Board, a member of St. Thomas Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus in De Smet, a member of De Smet Chamber of Commerce, and was on the board of directors for Kingsbury Farm Mutual Insurance Co. where he was also an agent.
He is survived by his son, Robert (Pam) Cronkhite of Sioux Falls; three daughters, Judith (George) Eastland of Bay City, Mich., and Janis Warrick and Susan Cronkhite, both of Sioux Falls; two brothers, Clifton Cronkhite of Sioux Falls, and Kenneth (Lori) Cronkhite of Bryant; and one sister, June Noem of Bryant; four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren,
He was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret, in 2007.For the complete article see the 03-12-2013 issue.
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