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Edward M. Ptak

Edward M. Ptak, age 94, of Pierre, formerly of Philip, died May 20, 2008, at St. Mary's Hospital in Pierre following a short illness.

Ed Ptak was born November 1, 1913, in Tabor, SD, the eldest of three sons born to Thomas Ptak and Rosie (Kortan) Ptak. They enjoyed growing up on a farm south of Dante, SD. He attended high school in Geddes and Wagner.

Following graduation, he received a teaching certificate from Springfield Teacher's College and taught school in a small country school. He enlisted in the National Guard, 109th Engineer Combat Battalion when WWII broke out. His unit was called up and he served from 1941 to 1945 in both Africa and Italy.

In the spring of 1945, he returned to the United States for a short leave when the treaty to end the war was signed and he was discharged. He married his high school sweetheart, Stella Cihak, in Dante. They lived there several years and ran Ed's Bar. In 1960, he went back to school, finished his degree and moved his family to Philip where he spent the next 30 some years as a high school teacher, coach, principal and superintendent.

He retired in 1976, after which he and Stella spent their winters as "snowbirds" in Mission, TX, returning to Philip in the summers. Ed spent many years with the Haakon County Ambulance crew.

Ed was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying hunting and fishing all of his life.

Survivors include his wife, Stella, of Pierre; three children, a daughter, Barbara Joy and her husband, Larry, of Pierre, son, Timothy and wife, Trudy, of Minot, ND, and son, John and fianceé, Karolea, of Central City, SD; four grandchildren, T.J. Ptak and Tonia Kirk of Minot, ND, Jaremy Joy of Iwakuni, Japan, and Joshua Joy of Fargo, ND; four great-grandchildren; a brother, LaVern Ptak of Moline, IL; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother Orville.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 22, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Philip, and one hour preceding the services on Friday.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Friday, May 23, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Philip, with Father Ron Garry as celebrant.

Interment with military honors by the Sturgis Honor Guard will be held 3:00 p.m., Friday, May 23, at the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.

A memorial is established.

Arrangements are with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip.

Written tributes may be made at www.rushfuneralhome.com