Duane L. Bessette_______________________________
Duane Lee Bessette, age 65, of Philip, S.D., died Sunday, November 17, 2013, at the Rapid City Regional Hospital.
Duane Lee Bessette was born January 3, 1948, in Rapid City, the son of Ernest and Mary (King) Bessette. He was raised in the Scenic area, where he received his education in the New Underwood and Wall school districts, graduating from Wall High School. He grew up enjoying the farm-ranch activities, such as 4-H, where he showed rabbits and prize Beefmaster calves.
He worked for Wall Drug after graduating from high school, then joined the U.S. Navy for a short time.
He was united in marriage to Peggy Kleinschmidt in 1967. To this union were born two daughters. They made their home in Wall. He furthered his education by going to school in New York for telephone communications and afterward became foreman of Golden West Telecommunications for the Wall-Kadoka rural areas. In 1973, the family moved to Kadoka where he spent the next few years serving with Golden West.
In 1987, he married Joan Molnar and lived the next two years in Wall. They moved to Reno, Nev., where they spent two and a half years as RV park managers. In August 1992, he received a heart transplant in Salt Lake City, Utah. They moved back to South Dakota after a year, finally settling in Philip where they have lived since.
Duane enjoyed his flowers, garden, and especially spending time with his grandkids and family. He also enjoyed fishing and camping in the hills.
Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Joan, of Philip; two daughters, Tracey Feldman of Wall and Sheila Herbaugh of Kadoka; one stepson, Terry Molnar and his wife, Amanda, of Monument, Colo.; one stepdaughter, Corina Erickson and her husband, Don, of Lennox; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; two step grandchildren; two step great-grandchildren; one brother, Ron Barney and his wife, Stella, of Westminster, Colo.; two sisters, Kathy Newmann and Jean Dennis, both of Rapid City; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Duane was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Mary Bessette; his paternal grandparents, James and Victoria Bessette; his maternal grandparents, William and Georgia King; and his sister, Diane Frye.
A memorial has been established. Memorials may be sent to Joan at P.O. Box 141, Philip, SD 57567.
No services are planned at this time. At his request, his body has been donated to the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine.
Arrangements were with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip.
His online guestbook is available at www.rushfuneralhome. com