Edward J. Nemec, Jr.

Edward J. Nemec, Jr., 78, of Highmore, passed away Saturday, December 18, 2010, at Highmore Health in Highmore.

Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday, December 27, 2010, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Highmore with Father Paul Nereparampil officiating. Burial will follow at St. Mary's Cemetery, Highmore with military honors.

Edward John Nemec was born to Edward and Elizabeth (Puryear) Nemec on April 9, 1932, in Pierre, S.D. He grew up on a farm/ranch west of the Missouri River near Midland, South Dakota, and learned to love the open spaces of land, cattle, fields, and rolling plains. The second oldest in a family of seventeen children growing up during the Great Depression, "Eddie" grew up appreciating the value of hard work.

Eddie walked across the prairie to and from a rural school for eight years, and then went to Midland High School, where he graduated in 1950. He then began his life's work - farming. He started farming with his father on the family farm in Midland while many of his brothers and sisters still attended the rural school. This gave him the opportunity to become acquainted with the school teacher, Barbara Seiler from Vermillion, S.D.

In 1954, Eddie was drafted into the army, where he trained and served as a smoke generator operator. After his initial military training in El Paso, Texas, but before he embarked on his military assignment in Germany, Eddie and Barbara became engaged to be married. They kept up a romance by mail throughout his time in the Army. Upon his return to the United States, Eddie and Barbara began planning a wedding, and were married on June 28, 1957. The newlyweds then moved into a house that Eddie built on his father's farm. They lived and farmed there for a few years, while adding two children to their family. In 1961, they bought a farm of their own in Hyde County near Holabird, S.D.

Eddie worked long and hard for many years farming and raising cattle. Five more children were born, and he used his exceptional carpentry skills to build a new house for the growing family. Happy years passed as children grew and graduated. Family, farming and ranching were always his main passions, but Ed's interests also extended into other community and regional concerns. He was elected to the Mid-Dakota Water Development Board as the board's Rural District #4 Director, and for many years he was on the Board of Directors of the Farmer's Union Oil Company of Highmore, SD. He was a dedicated parishioner of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Highmore, where he was also a charter member of the Knights of Columbus. As Eddie aged, it was discovered he had Parkinson's disease and his health gradually failed.

Edward is survived by his wife of 53 years, Barbara Nemec; his seven children, Nicholas (Mary Jo) Nemec and Victor (Dee) Nemec of Holabird, Natalie (Dave) Syring of Edmond, Okla., Bridget (Jimmy) Drummond of Wolf Point, Mont., Rebecca (Todd) Loughrie of Red Lodge, Mont., Jennifer Nemec of Rochester, Minn., and Barnabas Nemec of Houston, Texas; eight grandchildren, Suzanne (Derek) McCloud, Ana Nemec, Erin Nemec, Brigette Nemec, Daniel Syring, Matthew Syring, Christopher Nemec and Natasha Nelson; two great-grand children, Mya and Avery McCloud; six brothers, Joseph of Des Moines, Iowa, Leo of Little Fork, Minn., Anthony of Gillette, Wyo., Benjamin of Holabird, Michael of Midland, and Mark of Hill City; eight of his 10 sisters, Elizabeth VanderMay of Kadoka, Francis Terkildsen of Kadoka, Wynn Bergeson of Ft. Pierre, Pauline Bruce of Hayes, Christine Ryan of Tolna, N.D., Audry Jones of Midland, Bernadette Knox of Highmore, and Rita Foreng of Sioux Falls; and dozens of nieces and nephews.

Edward has joined his parents, Edward Sr. and Elizabeth, and his sisters, Nora and Sister Edna.

Luze Funeral Home of Highmore was entrusted with Edward's arrangements. Visit www.familyfuneralhome.net