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Two Thoughts on a Sioux Falls Funeral

funeral procession
(Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images)

Sioux Falls drivers amaze me. Most of the time they are rude, in a hurry, or preoccupied.

Today I was in a funeral procession. It went from 49th and Southeastern to Woodlawn Cemetery at 26th and Cliff. The normal rude, hurried, and preoccupied behavior disappeared. Every car driving south on Southeastern pulled over. Every vehicle on 26th stopped. Cars, business vehicles, even a motorcycle.

I am proud and thankful to live in a community whose citizens are willing to stop in the middle of their day to show respect for a grieving family.

The salute by law enforcement as we entered the cemetery was touching. The men and women of the VFW/ American Legion did a fine job of honoring the military veteran’s family with the folding of the flag, the three shot salute and beautiful playing of taps by a human, instead of a recording.

The man we buried today was not famous or rich. He was the quintessential ordinary man. Served in the Navy, worked for Morrell, and a pawn shop. He was married 50 years to the same woman. He raised a family, all of whom are contributing members to the greater good. His grand kids adore him. I will not use the past tense, because they will always adore him, as I know he will adore and visit them in various ways throughout their lives.

Confess I shed a tear at this man’s passing. He is the father of my daughter in law. I liked his attitude, outlook, and enthusiasm.  As we struggle with the “meaning of life,” I think Ken had it figured out. Work hard. Be happy in your work. Play with joy. Smell the roses, or in his case, the overall great outdoors( especially around his favorite fishing spots). Love your family, friends, and those who cross your path during your journey.

It is sad he died the day after his 50 anniversary party, and was buried the day before Thanksgiving. Through the tears, I am thankful he was a part of my life.


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