Camping 01

Michael D. Rye

March 2, 1950 ~ November 11, 2022 (age 72)



Michael David Rye, age 72, of Brookings, SD, passed away peacefully on Friday, November 11, 2022, at The Neighborhood at Brookview in Brookings, SD. Funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. at Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Watertown, SD, on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.  Pastor Dave Nerdig will officiate.  Music will be provided by A.J. Sherrill as organist with Bret Werpy as vocalist.

Visitation will be at the Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel in Watertown on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. and will resume prior to services at the church on Wednesday.

Burial will be at the Ft. Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN, on Friday, November 18, 2022.  Honorary pallbearers will be LaVerne McPeek, Bernie Hanson, Bob Wagner and Darwin Fox.  Active pallbearers will be Michael Rye, Jeff Riley, Jonathan Scott, Andy Young, David Beckman and Rollie Isaacson.

Mike was born on March 2, 1950, to Donald and Susan (Selenski) Rye in Dawson, MN. After Mike graduated from Minneota High School in 1968, he went on to study at Southwest State University, until he enlisted in the Air Force and was stationed in Thailand and Taiwan during the Vietnam War. He even enjoyed Bob Hope’s USO Christmas Show in Vietnam when he was there. 

When he returned home, Mike farmed for a short period of time and then joined McLaughlin & Schulz in Marshall, MN, in the early 90’s and worked there for 20 + years. Mike moved to Watertown in 1994 where he accepted a position as the Street Superintendent and remained there for 26 years.

In 1995, Mike met Bonnie at a Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer event, and the rest was history.  They were married and joined their families together on August 3rd, 1996.

In 2015, Mike and Bonnie both retired and spent their summers at their lake home on Battle Lake and the winters playing golf, having dinner parties with friends, and playing shuffleboard in Mesa, AZ.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Susan Rye and his brother, Donnie Rye. 

Mike is survived by his wife, Bonnie Werpy-Rye of Brookings, SD; his children, Jason (Anne) Werpy of Brookings, SD, Joe Rye of Sugar Hill, GA, Matthew (Megan) Werpy of Rapid City, SD, Aaron (Jena) Werpy of Brookings, SD, Maria (Jonathan) Scott of Atlanta, GA; nine grandchildren; his brother, David (Monica) Rye of Waterville, MN; sisters: Carolyn Proehl of Winthrop, MN, Margaret (Steve) Loveless of Maplewood, MN, and Suzzette Tyson of Hastings, MN; along with many other nieces, nephews and friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer (2001 2nd Street W, Watertown, SD 57201) or Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1054 (P.O. Box 1062, Watertown, SD 57201) where he was a lifetime member and proud to be a member of the group.


Arrangements by Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel
Watertown, Hayti, De Smet and Bryant











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


November 15, 2022

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Crawford - Osthus Funeral Chapel
1311 4th St. NE
Watertown, SD 57201

Funeral Service
November 16, 2022

11:30 AM
Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer
2001 2nd Street West
Watertown, SD 57201

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