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Marlen Theodore Buttke

Grant County, SD

1939-40, 2748, Pactola, F-4

Marlen Buttke, 89, Milbank, died Monday, May 9, 2011, in a hospital at Milbank.

Funeral services will be Thursday at 2 p.m. in the Emanuel Lutheran Church at Milbank with the Rev. Jason Schulz officiating. The organist will be Gloria Hanson.

Burial will be in the Milbank Cemetery. Honorary pallbearers will be his friends and his pinochle group at the Milbank Senior Citizens Center. Active pallbearers will be Travis Berry, Chris Buttke, Shawn Dornbusch, Justin Berry, Moniqua Dornbusch, Darci Buttke, Lindsey Buttke, Laura Buttke, Chad Buttke, Marty O'Farrell and Lars Koepke.

Visitation will be today (Wednesday) from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Mundwiler Funeral Home at Milbank and will continue Thursday one hour prior to the services in the church.

Marlen Theodore Buttke, the son of Edwin and Minnie (Schwandt) Buttke, was born Dec. 17, 1921, in Springdale Township, Roberts County. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith at Trinity Lutheran Church in Corona and was currently a member of Peace Lutheran Church in Milbank. He graduated from the eighth grade at the Kilborn 1 school in Grant County. At the age of 16, he worked for the Conservation Corps for six months in 1938. He then returned to work on the family farm until 1942. At the age of 21, he joined the Maritime Service, going to Sheepshead Bay in New York City for training. He began sailing with the Merchant Marines in the spring of 1943 and continued through the spring of 1952 serving during World War II and the Korean War. He was proud to be designated as a lifetime member of VFW Post 750 in Watertown.

Nov. 28, 1952, he married Bertha "Mickey" Benting in Wilmot. They farmed north of Twin Brooks until the fall of 1957 and then moved to a farm southeast of Twin Brooks where they continued farming for another 10 years. He then began his employment with Dakota Granite Company where he was employed for more than 18 years. After his retirement from Dakota Granite, he took a part-time position as a field employee for the Agricultural Stabilization Conservation Service (ASCS), which he greatly enjoyed, retiring at the age of 80. In 2004, he sold the homestead near Twin Brooks and moved with his wife to their current residence in Milbank.

He enjoyed fishing, hunting and in his later years, playing pinochle at the Senior Citizen's Center.

Survivors include his wife of Milbank; one sister, Luella Buttke of Milbank; one brother, Delton Buttke of Milbank; five children, Joy (Gary) Berry of Milbank, Michael (Gwenda) Buttke of Fergus Falls, Minn., James Buttke of Sioux Falls, Teresa (Mike) Dornbusch of Milbank and Robert (Kelly Monaghan) Buttke of Toronto, Canada; nine grandchildren; two stepgrandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and four stepgreat-grandchildren.

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