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Paul M. Cihak

Paul Marvin Cihak, 39, Sturgis, died Thursday, August 4, 2004, near Rochford.

Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday, August 9, 2004, at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church with Father Arnold Kari as celebrant. Father Tim Hoag was con-celebrant.

Burial followed at the St. Aloysius Cemetery in Sturgis.

A man who started his life with the name Paul Marvin Cihak was born on February 25, 1965, in Winner, SD, to Marvin and Betty Cihak. He grew up in Mission, SD, shooting and stuffing dead animals and playing pranks on people he knew.

In 1975, the family moved to Philip, SD. There, Paul was crowned "Mr. Irresistible" at Philip High School and graduated in 1984. He played – as well as received – many awards and honors in football, basketball, cross country, and track.

Paul was a 12-year member of the S.D. Army National Guard. He served with the 153rd in Philip and the 665th in Rapid City. Upon graduation he went to Auto Body School and then to Black Hills State University where he played football for the Yellow Jackets as #15, and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.

Paul then became a husband by uniting in marriage to Mary Elizabeth Farrell of Sturgis, SD, on April 29, 1989, at Saint Francis of Assisi Parish in Sturgis.

Paul and Mary furthered their marriage to make their home in a tiny apartment with their two children, Kayleigh and Krista. Many good memories of licking the beaters clean, "Going on Bear Hunts," and making "Snow Bunnies" were spent there. From the apartment, the family ventured into the "Pink House" where Kathleen (Kitty) and Jhett joined the young couple.

As a few years passed, the family of six moved their family to the house in which they currently live. Paul fixed up and remodeled the entire upstairs of this house, as well as the basement to make it more their home, because Paul and Mary always wanted to build a house somewhere in the hills.

The very liked "Ups Man in Brown" would leave the UPS Center in Sturgis with his Big Brown Truck and take on his regular route in Spearfish, with four Mt. Dews to get him through every work day. He would make the same drop-offs and pick-ups as well as taking the time out of his shift to talk to regular customers of different businesses. When he would get off work, he would always take the time to sit back, scratch his feet on the carpet, drink a Busch Light, and talk to his loving wife and children about their day, as well as his own.

Paul very much enjoyed being "Mr. Fixer Upper", whether it was fixing a tiny nail-sized hole in the wall or completely tearing out a wall in the house. He was always there to lend an extra hand to anyone who needed help with what they were working on. He also loved coaching. No matter what sport, his kids were participating in that day, Paul was there coaching either officially or from the sidelines. Whether his kids liked it or not, Daddy was always there screaming and helping his kids out to be better at their game (no matter what kind of game, he was there coaching). He also loved coaching through the TV at his favorite football team, the Miami Dolphins.

Paul enjoyed hunting and fishing with anyone but best of all with his second daughter, Krista, and only son, Jhett. With his oldest daughter, Kayleigh, as his right-hand mechanic, he would do everything he could to fix the many car problems she had. He also loved spending one-on-one coaching time with third daughter, Kitty, helping her out in every way to be the best she can be. With the love of his life, he and Mary would spend time showing affection in the kitchen, cleaning up the yard, and going out on little dinner and movie dates.

Another awesome attribute Paul had was basting the thanksgiving turkey until perfect.

He had a wonderful sense of humor and was always full of life. Paul always went the extra mile for anyone he knew. He loved playing practical jokes on everyone whether you knew him for five minutes or for a lifetime, but most of all he was very easy going, well rounded, athletic, and one of the best men anyone could ever know.

Up until his death, Paul would spend every extra day, evening, weekend, even his vacation time at the place he loved the most, Rochford, SD. There, he transformed a run-down house into a dream cabin you might see in magazines. He spent much of his time working up at the cabin and most of that time he spent with his brother, Kenner. The two would work day and night putting in homemade cabinets, installing a custom-built floor, or even something simple like painting or caulking a window seal. In Rochford, Paul worked, played, and relaxed, but no matter what he was doing or who he was with, that is where he was the happiest.

Grateful for having shared his life are his one and only true love, Mary; his three daughters, Kayleigh “Bun-Run”, a 2004 graduate of Sturgis High School, Krista “Boo-Boo”, an incoming freshmen to Sturgis High School, Kitty “Kit Mt. Dew”, continuing at the Middle School as an eighth grader; and his only son, Jhett “Buck”, going into Middle School as a fifth grader; his mother, Betty Cihak and Gregg Fritz of Lake Poinsett, SD; two brothers, Kenneth “Kenner” Cihak and his wife, Shelby, and their children, Grace “Pillsbury” and Olivia “Ole” of Spearfish, SD, and Kurtis Cihak, and his wife, Aimee, and their daughter, Tennielle “Tiny” of Billings, MT; his sister, Patricia Cihak of Lakewood, CO; paternal grandparents, Ed and Lucille Cihak, Wagner, SD; two brothers-in-law, Pat Farrell, and his children, Ashley and Adam of Brighton, CO, and Brenna Haserman of Upton, WY, and Jim Farrell and his wife, Patti, of Sturgis; and a host of other relatives and friends that he loved very much.

Paul was preceded in death by his father, Marvin Cihak in 2001; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Roy and Rita Farrell; and his maternal grandparents, Milo and Signe Novak.

A memorial in the form of an athletic scholarship has been established in Paul's memory.