Charles Dean Sour, better known as “Chuck” or “Charlie” to most people, joined the angels in Heaven on June 6, 2022. Surrounded by family, he passed peacefully in his farm home in Hazel, after relying on home health and hospice care for several months to help keep him comfortable while he endured the deteriorating effects of end stage metastatic prostate cancer. He was 85 years old.
Visitation will be Thursday, June 9, 2022, from 5pm-7pm at Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel in Watertown. Funeral services will be Friday, June 10, 2022, at 10:30am at New Hope Lutheran Church in rural Hayti with Rev. Randy Eisenbeisz officiating, followed by burial at Pleasant View Cemetery in Hayti. Pallbearers will be Chuck’s thirteen grandchildren and honorary pallbearers will be his twelve great-grandchildren. The service will be live-streamed via the Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel website.
Chuck was born on August 19, 1936, at the family farm house in rural Bryant to Robert and Evelyn (Flavin) Sour. He was one of eight children, although one of his sisters died at birth. He attended Dixon #4 rural school growing up, and then due to circumstances that required his help doing morning chores for aunts, uncles, and even a teacher, he went back and forth from attending Hayti High School at the beginning of his freshman year and then transferring to Hazel High School and being a student there for the rest of his freshman year and his entire sophomore year. He then went back to Hayti during his junior and senior years of high school and graduated from Hayti High School in 1956. He spent the summer before his senior year working road construction on the Highway 37 project by Mitchell where he said he was the first one to show up for work every morning that summer. He was a lifelong hard worker and loved being early for everything. He would say “it doesn’t cost you anything to be five minutes early rather than five minutes late.” During his high school years, Chuck played football and ran track—he was very speedy back in the day, often winning the 100 yard dash in 10.3 seconds and once scoring six touchdowns in one game as a running back on his six-man football team.
Chuck married Betty Jean Abraham on April 8, 1957, in Henry, South Dakota. This marriage was blessed with six children—five daughters and one son. Chuck and Betty celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this year. They endured a busy life of raising children and farming.
After marrying, they were lifelong residents of Hazel where with Betty’s family’s help—specifically her grandmother Frances Abraham—they built a farm, a home, and a life he was very proud of. Destined to be a farmer like his father, Chuck said he learned how to drive a tractor at the young age of six years old. This was the beginning of his lifelong career as a farmer in which he spent over 75 years doing farm work—he was even helping combine in the fields after he turned 85 years old! He was recognized as the Outstanding Young Farmer in 1967 when he was 31 years old and was presented with a plaque for that. Chuck was also a self-proclaimed “horse nut”—he loved everything about horses—working with them, training them, raising them, riding them, and watching them perform. He has told stories of his beloved horse named “Kernal” that he raised as a colt and trained to do all sorts of tricks. While raising his family, Chuck considered starting a part time career of raising horses, but it didn’t work out as planned as interest rates shot through the roof and people couldn’t afford to buy horses. Chuck and Betty raised and trained a World Champion Reining mare named Sue. Chuck shared this passion for horses with his family and his community by leading the Hamlin County Horsemen 4-H Club with Betty for over 20 years. He would also saddle up some horses for the grandkids to ride whenever they came to visit the farm.
Chuck also served the community in several ways by serving on a number of boards including the Hazel Farmer’s Elevator Board, the Sioux Rural Water Board, and the Hazel School District school board. He was a member of New Hope Church and also helped with the cemetery board there for four years. Other hobbies of his included watching the Minnesota Twins, attending his grandchildren’s activities, and cheering on the Hamlin Chargers. For being lifelong fans and supporters of the Hamlin Chargers, Chuck and Betty were presented the Robert Sour Spirit Award in 2017, and they were also honored by being named the 2020 Hamlin Homecoming Grand Marshals. Chuck was an avid sports fan and rarely missed attending his children’s and grandchildren’s sporting events. Over the past five years he had especially taken a liking to watching game shows, rodeos, and music channels on TV. He also never missed an opportunity to take his family out to the Pizza Ranch, claiming that it was his “night to cook”! He had the best stories, the greatest smile, and such a kind and generous heart.
Charles is survived by his wife, Betty of Hazel; his six children: Joan (Tony) Koth of Eugene, OR; Julie (Bryan) Gums of Brookings; Bob Sour (Mary Ellen Johnson) of Hazel; Jean Sour of Harrisburg; Linda Larson of Rapid City; and Marilyn Sour of Watertown; special family friend, Chris Frakes of Rapid City; sister, Marlys (Gene) Popham of Watertown; brother, Richard (Sue) Sour of Sun City West, AZ; sisters-in-law: Anita Abraham of Hazel, Juanita (Gordon) Burke of Watertown, and Marilynn Sour of Watertown; brother-in-law, Larry (Ollie) Abraham of Hazel; thirteen grandchildren: Daniel Schneekloth, Kathy Gums (Rob Schoenwald), Kristie (Nolan) Miller, Law Larson (Cara Enright), Valerie (Ryan) Lee, Lindsay (Nate) Jordahl, Tracy (Zach) Wysong, Samantha (Travis) Eastman, Sarah (Devon) Wilson; Jamie Cordrey; Lacy Koth (Jamie Hinken), Amanda (Matt) Chapman, and Ryan Koth (Katie McKirdy); twelve great-grandchildren: Logan, Landon, and Liam Lee; Zayda, Elyza, and Cruz Wysong; Lauren and Huntley Eastman; Dekker Jordahl; Trey and Taya Schoenwald; and Dominic Chapman.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters: Donna Truman, Phyllis Kitterman, and infant sister Marilyn Sour; twin brothers, Larry Sour and Jerry Sour; twin great-grandsons, Brantley and Granger Eastman; great-granddaughter, McKenzie Jordahl; and brother-in-law, Carlos Abraham.
The family would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Prairie Lakes Home Health and Home Hospice services and all the wonderful nurses who helped us honor his wishes and help us care for Chuck in his home.
Memorials may be directed to the Hazel Cafe.