Zack Richard Word, 82, died Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at the South Dakota State Veterans Home in Hot Springs.
Zack was born July 17, 1931, in Shattuck, Oklahoma, to Grady and Vera (Campbell) Word. Zack lived and worked on the family ranch with his parents and brothers until age 16. At this time Zack and his family moved to their new ranch near Kadoka, South Dakota. Zack graduated from Kadoka High School in 1949 and from South Dakota State University in 1953. While attending SDSU, Zack met his wife, Norma Jean Chamberlain. Along with academic pursuits, Zack also helped pioneer the SDSU Rodeo Team. Through ROTC, Zack received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant and subsequently served in Korea with the 8125th Sentry Dog Detachment of the 1st Light Infantry Division of the U.S. Army.
Zack returned from Korea to continue ranching and begin raising a family with Norma on their ranch near Belvidere, South Dakota. In 1965, Zack, Norma, and family moved to Martin, where he began a career with the Production Credit Association (later Farm Credit). This line of work eventually took Zack and his family to Winner and finally to Rapid City, where he retired. Zack loved and was proud of his family, travels, and civic service.
Zack travelled extensively with Norma, family, friends, and for volunteer work. He enjoyed visiting all 50 states and journeys to many foreign countries. Zack particularly enjoyed his travels to Eastern Europe when he volunteered with Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance. Finally, Zack embodied the concept of civic service. He served as Mayor of Martin, SD. He also joined Rotary Club, Lions Club, Stock Growers, Masonic Lodge, Shriners, and various church committees. He participated in tutoring in the public schools. In addition, Zack served on the boards of the SD Housing Authority and SDSU Alumni Association. Although not a formal civic group, many opportunities to help others came from The Coffee Group.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Don; and nephews Grady and Don Clay.
Zack is survived by his wife, Norma Jean (Chamberlain) Word; son, Scott (Brenda) Word, Pierre, SD; daughters: Kimberly (Gary) Steger, North Platte, NE; Rebecca (Mark) Word Orsag, Omaha, NE; Nanette (Dan) Word Goff, Orlando, FL; five grandchildren: Zack (Ellie) Word; Sara (fiancé Joe Coppock) Word, Taylor Steger, Jordan Steger, and Campbell Goff; brother, Robert (Mickie) Word, Kadoka; sisters in law: Phyllis and Marlene and many nieces and nephews.
Zack’s life was celebrated at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, May 24, at Canyon Lake United Methodist Church with Rev. Eric Grinager officiating.
Inurnment followed at 11:00 a.m. at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, with military honors rendered by the South Dakota Army National Guard and the VFW Post 1273.
Memorials have been established to the Salvation Army and Canyon Lake United Methodist Church.
His online guestbook is available to sign at www.osheimschmidt.com.