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David "Dave" L. Finstad

April 4, 1943 ~ July 21, 2022 (age 79)

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David L. “Dave” Finstad, age 79, of Bradley, SD, passed away on Thursday, July 21, 2022, at USD Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls, SD.  Funeral services will be at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, July 29, 2022, at New Life Evangelical Free Church in Watertown.  Pastor Michael Wallenmeyer will officiate.  Music will be provided by Mary Modica as pianist.  The service will be live streamed via the Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel website.


Visitation will be at the Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel in Watertown on Thursday, July 28, 2022, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. and prior to the services at the church on Friday.


Burial will be at Calvary Lutheran Cemetery, rural Bradley, SD.  Honorary pallbearers will be all of Dave’s musician friends.  Active pallbearers will be Darrell Finstad, Lanny Flatten, Sean Helwig, Mike Bjerke, Jim Biswell, Mike Tomlinson and Richard Rasmussen.


Dave was born on April 4, 1943, to Lester and Helga (Bjerke) Finstad, in Bradley, SD. On October 12, 1963, Dave was united in marriage to Carol Hilmoe in Bradley.


Today it was important for Carol to share something she loved hearing Dave say: "I have three loves. Black cows, guitars and my woman."


Yep. That was Dave.


Let's get to the nitty gritty. You're here because you loved Dave. And he loved you. The man touched so many lives. He had a great smile, strong handshake and one of the warmest greetings you'd ever experience. He'd listen. He'd encourage. And man could he ever fill a room with his great raspy laugh that obviously came from the Bjerke side. We miss all of those things. With his passing, he left a big hole.


People were drawn to him. They called and visited wanting to share their triumphs and tragedies. Or to just shoot the breeze. Even if he was immersed in a western or watching the Twins with mom, he'd pick up his phone or answer the door to give you his time and attention. If you popped into the farm, a seat at the kitchen table, coffee and cookies were always offered. After spending time chatting with Dave you always felt better. Many will never forget how he'd greet you with a chipper, "Well, hey!!!"


Yep. That was Dave.


It's downright weird seeing his steel without him. Those beat up hands caressing the strings and a toeless foot working the pedal. Despite all of his various ailments, he made that thing sing. There are a lot of talented steel players. But none of them could sound like Dave. He had such a big heart and he wore it on his western jacket sleeves. The beautiful sound he made was his heart pouring right through that instrument. (He made hardened felons cry in the South Dakota State Pen.) You'd not only hear his steel... you'd feel it.


And you'd go, "Yep. That was Dave.”


The man's heart and soul cherished his family. His friends. His farm. And his faith. Having Carol by his side for nearly 60 years of marriage, children he was proud to have raised, and all his much beloved grandchildren, he'd often ask, "How can a man be so blessed?" In return, today, we're asking, "How could we be so blessed to have known him?"


In his final years and days he suffered. Never really talked much or complained about it. Even on his hospital deathbed, mere hours before he passed into paradise, he was cracking jokes and acknowledging every person able to make it to Sioux Falls to say "Goodbye." Struggling for each breath and in pain, he still remembered everybody gathered and the special relationships he had with each of them. He was smiling during this time and trying to comfort us as he was dying. Two hours before he passed he was praying and reciting scripture.


Yep. That was Dave.


But here's a message Dave really wanted hammered home today: "Don't cry for me!" And he meant it. He knew without a doubt he was being called into Heaven to be with his Lord and Savior. He's free from all his pain and suffering. He's with his mom and dad, brother Dougie and daughter Susan. He's with all of his family and friends who preceded him.


Someday it'll be our turn to shuffle off this mortal coil. And we'll be in paradise. We'll hear the unmistakable sound of the sweetest steel pickin' cascading out of a beautiful farm house. We'll knock on the door and hear a friendly, "C'mon in!" We'll see our dear friend once again behind his steel with a fresh cup of coffee. And he'll greet us all with a hearty, "Well, hey!"


And we'll be able to say, forever…


"Yep! That IS Dave!


Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Carol of Bradley, SD; sons: Scott (Sarah) Finstad of Bradley, SD, Mark (Sharon) Finstad of Watertown, SD,  and Brad (Lisa) Finstad of Bradley, SD; daughter, Lisa (Mark) Flora of Minneapolis, MN; 8 grandchildren: Kaci (Nate) Flaa, Amanda Finstad, Heather (Ethan) Marcus, Jamie Finstad, Josh Finstad, Austin Finstad, McCartney Flora, and Sky Flora; 2 great-grandchildren: Abigail and Mika; and sister, Donna (Lanny) Flatten of Bradley, SD.


Dave was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Susan Kay; his parents, Lester and Helga Finstad, his grandparents, and his brother, Dougie.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to the Calvary Cemetery Fund in rural Bradley, SD, or the Bradley Christian School.


Arrangements by Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel




To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


July 28, 2022

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Crawford - Osthus Funeral Chapel, Watertown

Funeral Service
July 29, 2022

1:00 PM
New Life Evangelical Free Church
1530 SD Hwy 20
Watertown, SD 57201

Video is available for this event

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