Elnoris Kjerstad, age 90 of Quinn, S.D., died Thursday, November 4, 2010, at his home in Rapid City.
Elnoris was born January 10, 1920, at the ranch northeast of Quinn to Emil, Sr. and Gurine (Ellingsen) Kjerstad. He grew up in the Quinn area and attended the Kruse Country School through the eighth grade and then attended high school in Quinn for six weeks. He then became employed by Knute Tennyson helping run his grocery and creamery store. He eventually purchased the creamery from Knute and also bought a freight line from Frank Gregson. After a few years, he sold them both to Cecil Kruse. His dad gave him 160 acres of farm ground and planted his first crop of winter wheat.
Elnoris was united in marriage to Ila Bean on June 14, 1941, in Rapid City, SD and to this union two sons were born, Jerald "Jerry" and Richard "Dick." They resided north of Quinn. In 1946, they moved to Rapid City where Elnoris did carpentry work for three years. They moved back to the ranch and he started building homes in the surrounding area. Later in life, he started his bee business which he continued for 25 years.
Elnoris served as a director for the Federal Land Bank in Rapid City for 18 years. He was on the Extension Advisory Board for the state of South Dakota for two years, Pennington County Extension Board for 20 years, and was a leader of the Riding Ranchers 4-H club for 20 years. He was a member of the Western Junior Livestock Show and served as president. He is a lifetime member of the Masonic Lodge and a member of the Naja Shriners where he served as president of the Four Rivers Shriners. Elnoris and Lyndell Peterson were the founders of the Good Neighbor Award. He was also a lifetime member of the Western South Dakota Buckaroos.
Elnoris had a lifelong love of music, especially his fiddle. He enjoyed playing for his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and for dances. His other joys included hunting, fishing, gardening and working in his fruit orchard.
Elnoris enjoyed his family very much. His wife, Ila, passed away in 2006. He later married Victoria Robertson. They made their home in Quinn and spent winters in Arizona and currently resided in Rapid City. They enjoyed spending time working the fruit trees and taking care of the bee operation. They continued to enjoy music, fishing and golfing, hobbies they both enjoyed together.
Elnoris was a member of the Wall United Methodist Church.
Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Victoria, of Rapid City, two daughters-in-law, Margy Kjerstad of Piedmont and Patty Kjerstad of Wall. Seven grandchildren, Kem Kjerstad and his wife, Mary, of Rapid City, Jem Kjerstad and his wife, Kelly, of Quinn, Kent Kjerstad and his wife, Stephanie, of Quinn, Kevin Kjerstad and his wife, Melissa, of Redondo Beach, Calif., Rick Kjerstad and his wife, Gianna, of Parker, Colo., Tina Hood and her husband, Derek, of Star, Idaho, Lisa Evans and her husband, Jason, of Parker, Colo.; 17 great-grandchildren, three step-great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; and one step-great-great-granddaughter.
In addition he is survived by his two sisters-in-law, Evelyn and Mary Kjerstad; his father and mother-in-law, Jesse and Cleo Robertson of Rapid City, two step-sons, Eric Garcia and Mitch Garcia and his wife, Jessica, all of Rapid City; two step-granddaughters; and one step-grandson; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Elnoris was preceded in death by his wife, Ila, their two sons, Jerald and Richard; seven brothers, Pete, John, Melvin, Emil, Jr., George, Lawrence and Konrad; two sisters, Anna Schreiber and Marie Reiner; and a granddaughter-in-law, Rosemary Kjerstad
Funeral services were held Wednesday, November 10, at the Wall Community Center in Wall, with Pastor Sheri Fadley officiating.
Music was provided by Dawna Rae Tsitrian, pianist, and Linda Eisenbraun, vocalist.
Ushers were Harlan Eisenbraun, Max Hauk, Rod Renner and Gordon Babcock.
Pallbearers were Kem Kjerstad , Jem Kjerstad, Kent Kjerstad, Kevin Kjerstad, Rick Kjerstad, Derek Hood and Jason Evans.
Honorary pallbearers were Dillon Kjerstad, Ryan Kjerstad, Brittany Kjerstad, Krysta Kjerstad, Paige Kjerstad, Quincy Kjerstad, Natasha Kjerstad, Katrina Kjerstad, Tiana Kjerstad, Louis Kjerstad, Elliot Kjerstad, Lauren Olson, Gillian Johnson, Blake Johnson, Sydney Kjerstad, Jenni Kjerstad, Jakob Kjerstad, Katie Evans, Sean Evans and Dawson Hood.
Interment with Masonic rites was at the Wall Cemetery.
A memorial has been established to the Western Junior Livestock Show.
Arrangements were with the Rush Funeral Chapel of Wall. His online guestbook is available at www.rushfuneralhome.com