Allen D. Kasperson, age 83, of Watertown, SD, passed away on Monday, September 5, 2022, at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, ND. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, September 12, 2022, at Grace Lutheran Church in Watertown. Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett will officiate. Music will be provided by Marcia Jelsma as organist with Becky Sprouse as soloist. The family is requested to meet at the church on Monday by 10:00 a.m. for a prayer service.
Visitation will be at Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel in Watertown on Sunday, September 11, 2022, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. and prior to the services at the church on Monday.
Honorary pallbearers will be Dale Christiansen, Lowell Lupinek, Brian Pieper, Dave Wicks, the staff at DK Diesel, and Lake Area Technical College staff and friends. Active pallbearers will be Joey Miller, Mitch Miller, Mark Miller, Rex Gerber, Blaine Wollman, Rick Amundson, Mike Amundson and Chris Amundson. Military honors will be conducted by Codington County Post #17 of the American Legion, Watertown, and the Military Funeral Honors Team of the SD Army National Guard.
Allen Dean Kasperson was born on July 28, 1939, in Odessa, MN, to Oscar Kasperson and Cora (Larson) Kasperson. He attended school in Marvin, SD, and graduated from South Shore High School in 1958. After graduation, Allen worked for Aesop Construction on the Interstate Highway system constructing several miles of both I-29 and I-90 across South Dakota. He went on to earn his Associates Degree in Diesel Technology from the North Dakota State College of Science in 1964.
Allen was blessed to meet the love of his life Karen (Goebel) Kasperson and they married on February 16, 1974. They devoted and supported each other and remained in a loving and caring marriage for over 48 years. Karen was crucial in not only raising their three children but encouraging Allen to excel in all of his passions.
Allen was called into service in the U.S. Army from 1964-1966. After graduating basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, Allen became a Radio Teletype Communications Specialist at Ft. Stewart, GA, and was eventually stationed at the Gablinge Kasern Army Base in Augsburg, Germany. Allen performed with exemplary service during the Cold War at many European locations including West Berlin, Frankfurt, and with Norwegian military forces north of the Arctic Circle. Allen remained a dedicated, patriotic, and loyal veteran for the rest of his life.
Allen began his 31-year career at the Lake Area Vocational Technical Institute (LAVTI) in 1969. He began instructing first in the Diesel Technology program for 10 years until being promoted as the Department Supervisor of Automotive Technology from 1979-2000. During this time, Allen and the Lake Area staff developed the automotive program into one of the finest in the entire nation. The international CEOs and executives of GM, Ford, and Toyota all sought advice on the development and training for auto mechanics from Allen and his automotive co-workers. Allen and his family would like to thank all of the current and former staff members and his beloved students that developed LAVTI from a small regional technical school into the nationally ranked Lake Area College it has become today.
During this time at LAVTI, Allen was first approached to pioneer research into the Ethanol fuel industry in 1988. Beginning on small engines, Allen researched and progressed America’s renewable energy capability with E10 Blends, the first Flex-Fuel E85 cars, and E-30 blender pumps. Allen’s billion dollar plus impact on American energy and corn grower profits was nationally recognized and respected by the American Coalition for Ethanol, the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council, and multiple State leaders including Senators Tom Daschle, Tim Johnson, and John Thune, Governors George Mikkelson, Walter Dale Miller, and Bill Janklow. Allen’s research was also instrumental on the building and operations of many ethanol plants including: Glacial Lakes Energy (Watertown, SD), Redfield Energy, POET Bioprocessing (Groton, SD), and many more across South Dakota and Minnesota.
In 1973, Allen founded DK Diesel Injection Inc. (with partner John Dagel) as one of the best Diesel technician repair companies in South Dakota. In 1984, Allen moved the business to its current location at 1800 4th AVE SW where it continued to grow as a key member of the Watertown business community. In May 2000, Allen sold the business to his trusted employees Rex Gerber and Blaine Wollman who have further expanded DK Diesel into the successful business it is today. Allen and his family would like to thank all of the current and former employees of DK Diesel for their hard work and friendship.
Even in retirement, Allen continued to work long days on auto machinery and Ethanol research into his later years. He loved being “under the hood” of antique cars or tractors for as long as he was able. Allen began a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease that slowly robbed him of his mental faculties.
Surviving Allen are his wife, Karen of Watertown, SD; oldest son, Gene of Plymouth, MN, middle son, Jeremy of Plymouth, MN; daughter, Jennifer and her husband, Hicham Hourtane and sole grandson, Idris Hourtane of Brooklyn, NY; sister, Karen (Richard) Amundson of Watertown, SD; along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.
In lieu of flowers the family prefers memorials be directed to Grace Lutheran Foundation or Lake Area Technical College Scholarships.
Arrangements by Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel www.crawfordosthus.com
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