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Vincent James Flemming, a beloved member of the Florence community, peacefully passed away at Avera Wakonda Heritage Manor in Wakonda, SD, on November 8, 2023. He was surrounded by the love of his family and the compassionate care of the Avera Wakonda Heritage Manor staff.
A visitation to celebrate Vincent's life will be held at Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 17, with a Rosary service beginning at 7:00 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will take place at Blessed Sacrament Church in Florence on Saturday, November 18th at 10:30 a.m. Father Greg Tschakert and Father Denis Meier will be the celebrants. Music will be provided by Carolyn Maag as organist and LeAnn Maag as song leader.
Vincent will be laid to rest at Esterly Cemetery in rural Florence immediately following the Mass. Military graveside honors will be conducted by Codington County Post #17 of the American Legion, Watertown, the Frank H. Adams Post #750 of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Watertown, and the Military Funeral Honors Team of the SD Army National Guard. Honorary pallbearers will be Vincent's grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Active pallbearers will be Doug Flemming, Dean Flemming, Mike Flemming, Greg Flemming, Kyle Knutson, and Devon James.
Vincent was born on April 14, 1933, to Frank Theodore Flemming and Veronica Mary (Cauley) Flemming near Florence, South Dakota. Raised on the family farm, he graduated from Watertown High School in 1951 before serving in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany during the Korean War. On May 25, 1959, he married Shirley Ann Gilbery of Lake Preston, SD, and together they raised eight children on a farm south of Florence. In addition to their commitment to farming, Vincent and Shirley co-founded Flemming Electric and Repair, servicing the local communities.
Vincent was a family man at heart, finding joy in the growth and achievements of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. His warm hospitality extended to five foreign exchange students, and he dedicated countless miles to support his family's education, sports, careers, and passions.
Vincent's zest for life was evident in his daily rituals - morning coffee, donuts, card games, and assembling puzzles. Even as his memory faded, he retained the ability to play pinochle and count cards. Vincent was known for striking up conversations with strangers, turning them into friends he hadn't met yet. He especially enjoyed finding ice cream, sharing it with family and friends brought a smile to his face.
Vincent's commitment to community service was remarkable. He served on the Florence School Board, Fuller Township Board, Florence Volunteer Fire Department, East Dakota Water Development Board, Fraternal Order of the Eagles 1362, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 750, and the Watertown Knights of Columbus. His leadership was instrumental in bringing rural water to the Florence area as part of the steering committee for Clark Rural Water.
Vincent was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Veronica Flemming; brothers Bernard Flemming and John Flemming; sister Mary Jo Flemming; in-laws Fred and Eveline Gilbery; brothers-in-law Charles Gilbery and Kenny Gilbery; and grandchildren James Flemming and Maria Stangeland.
He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Shirley, along with brothers Paul (Connie) Flemming, Florence, SD; Francis Flemming, Watertown, SD; sister Madelyn Kozitza, Burnsville, MN; sisters-in-law Joan Hemp, Florence, SD, and Janice Flemming, DeKalb, IL; children Margaret (Mark) Knutson, Jordan, MN, Charles (Marie) Flemming, Volin, SD, Edwin (Jackie) Flemming, Florence, Veronica Flemming-Ward, Sioux Falls, SD, Barbara (Jason) Stangeland, Pierre, SD, Leslie (Sarah) Flemming, Bloomington, IN, Matthew (Marcie) Flemming, Elk Point, SD, Denis (Kristi) Flemming, Sturgis, SD; 17 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The Flemming Family expresses gratitude to the staff at Avera Wakonda Heritage Manor and Avera at Home Hospice Yankton for their exceptional care during the last years of Vincent's life.
Vincent had a deep love for babies and children. In lieu of flowers, he wished that attendees bring baby and children's items to adorn the altar at his funeral. These items will be donated to the Foster Closet, specifically new pajamas and books or gift cards for purchasing items. The Foster Closet provides support to children from newborn to 18 years old across the state of South Dakota.
May Vincent's memory be a source of comfort and inspiration to all who knew him.
Arrangements by Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel www.crawfordosthus.com Watertown, Hayti De Smet, Bryant