Rolland (Ronnie) LeRoy Bjordahl, a third-generation farmer, died on December 13, 2021, ten days before his 91st birthday. Rolland was born December 23, 1930, to Oscar and Gladys (Guse) Bjordahl, on a farm east of Erwin, SD. In 1931, his mother died, leaving his father to raise seven children. In 1935, the family moved to a farm four miles south of Erwin, which remains the family farm today.
In 1945, his father married Hilda McKnight, adding two more children, James and Jean, to the family. After graduating from De Smet High School, Ronnie joined the National Guard in 1948. He was called into service in 1950, and spent time in Alaska during the Korean War. After his discharge in 1952, he came home to farm with his father.
He married Lavonne Steenson in September 1954. They raised their four children on the farm. Ronnie was a man who loved his family, his friends and the land. He never complained and always had a positive outlook on life. Ronnie also had a quick wit and sense of humor that will be missed by those that knew him. Before retiring, he spent almost every day of his life on the farm where he raised cattle, hogs, and crops. Throughout the years, he raised barley, corn, flax, oats, soybeans, sunflowers, and wheat. After his son Craig took over the family farm, Ronnie continued to be involved in farming as much as he could.
After retiring in 1993, Ronnie and Lavonne moved to De Smet, where they were very active in the community. Ronnie enjoyed golfing, playing cards, visiting with friends and being active in the American Lutheran Church of De Smet. A life-long Lutheran, Ronnie was recognized as the oldest member of the church prior to his death, having been a member since childhood. The couple also enjoyed a full travel schedule during their marriage. They went on many bus trips across the United States, as well as Canada, Mexico and 10 countries abroad. They wintered for 16 years in Mesa, Arizona, until they sold their Arizona home in 2012. In 2014, the couple took their final cross-country excursion, going on an 11-day Alaskan cruise/land tour where they hosted their four children, their spouses, and three grandchildren.
Ronnie is survived by his wife, Lavonne, of 67 years; his step-brother, Dr. Jim McKnight, of Brookings; four children: Mark (Joanne) Bjordahl, of Spring Hill, Florida, Dr. Kevin (Mary) Bjordahl, of Milbank, Craig (Margaret) Bjordahl, of De Smet, and Diane (Mark) Wollner, of Woodbury, Minnesota; six grandchildren: Dr. Paul (Joy) Bjordahl, Dr. Ryan (Kari) Bjordahl, Dr. Travis (Emily) Bjordahl, Megan Wollner, Christian Wollner and Brianna Bjordahl; two step-grandchildren: Amanda Kost, and Lindsey (Kyle) Wilson; 11 great-grandchildren, and three step-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 18, 2021, at American Lutheran Church in De Smet, SD. Visitation will be at the Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel in De Smet on Friday from 4-6 p.m. Burial will be at the De Smet Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the Avera De Smet Memorial Hospital Foundation.
Arrangments by Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel www.crawfordosthus.com
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