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Marvel M. Forgey

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Donald Jerry Denker Sr., 91, of O'Neill, died Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024 at the Arbor Care Center in O'Neill.

Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024 at Biglin's Mortuary in O'Neill with a 7 p.m. prayer service.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024 at the mortuary in O'Neill. Rev. John Nelson will officiate.

Burial will be in the Highland Cemetery in Farifax, SD with military rites provided by the Fairfax American Legion Post 187.

Memorials may be made to the family for future designation.

Donald was born on Nov. 18, 1932 in Fairfax, SD to Otto and Rose (Smolik) Denker. He graduated from Fairfax High School in 1950.

  Donald enlisted in the U.S. Army on March 17, 1953. He served in the infantry in Korea during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged on March 8, 1955. Donald then returned to Fairfax and worked for the Fairfax Grain and Feed Elevator. 

  Donald married Bette Lunn on Nov. 28, 1957 in Fairfax. To this union four children were born Doug, Donald Jr., Kathy and David. They made their home in Fairfax until 1964, when the family moved to Sioux Falls, SD. There Donald worked for a large dairy just outside of town.

  In 1970, the Denkers moved to O'Neill. Donald worked for P & P, which eventually became National Farms, and is now Christensen Farms. He retired in 1996.  

Sadly, he lost Bette on Oct. 18, 1998, after a long battle with cancer.

  Donald loved to ride his motorcycle. After he turned 40, he joined the Retreads Motorcycle Club. He and Bette took many longer trips on their motorcycle, going to Sturgis many times, and even a trip all the way down the west coast. Donald liked to fish, go dancing and head down to the Golden Age Center to play pool and cards. In his final months in the nursing home, he looked forward to his weekly card games with Mary Lou Clark, Ramona Babl and Caroline Clark Oberle. He was a pet lover and always enjoyed spending time at his farm with the dogs and cats. 

  Donald was a member of the O'Neill Eagle's Club, the O'Neill American Legion Simonson Post 93,and the UMVA Motorcycle Club. 

  Donald is survived by his four children Doug Denker of Atlanta, GA, Don (Joan) Denker of O'Neill, Kathy (Max) Magwire of Spencer and David (Debra) Denker of Rockford, IL; seven grandchildren Beau (Erin) Denker, Sydney Denker, Lilly Magwire, Bailey Denker, Chloe Denker, Allen Denker and Tina Denker; six great-grandchildren Jewel Denker, Arya Denker, Eric Denker, Weston Keyes, Gage Keyes and Remy Magwire; special friend Mary Lou Clark and her family; Bette's brother Gene Lunn of Vermillion, D; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Bette Denker in 1998, two grandchildren Andrew Magwire and Elsie Magwire, his two brothers Allen Dale Denker and Bobby Denker, his sister Delora Denker and Bette's sister Lynelle (Mike) Stahlecker.        

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