Gerald Arthur Drenth, 72, Lismore, died Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, at his home surrounded by his family.
A memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30, at Zion Presbyterian Church in Ellsworth. A private family burial of cremains will be at a later date. A time of fellowship will be from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at the Dingmann Funeral Home in Adrian and also one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday.
Gerald Drenth was born Jan. 20, 1947, to Arthur and Henrietta (Mulder) Drenth. Gerald began his grade school education at a country school in Midland township and graduated in 1965 from Ellsworth Public School. After graduation he attended Nettleton College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Gerald spent most of his young life living on the family farm by Ellsworth. Besides farming, Gerald also owned and operated an implement business in Lismore and Ellsworth. He was also an owner-operator truck driver, with his favorite job working with the wind towers.
The military was a big part of Gerald's life. He entered the Army in January 1967 and was proud to serve his country during the Vietnam War. He was awarded many medals including the Army Commendation Medal for heroism. He lived by the words inscribed on his lighter, “You haven't lived until you have almost died.” He protected members of his platoon without regard for his own life. He was a sergeant in the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. He was honorably discharged in February 1970.
Gerald married Anna Boltjes on Sept. 11, 1976. They resided in Lismore.
Gerald enjoyed fishing, boating, hunting, camping, flying RC airplanes, drones, flying an Ultralight aircraft, a Cessna 152 airplane, and watching old western movies. He especially enjoyed being with his grandchildren.
Gerald was a member of American Legion Post #636 of Lismore and of the Southwest High Flyers near Rushmore.
He is survived by his wife, Anna; four children, Tricia (Willie) Ziebarth, Harrisburg, South Dakota, Jim (Fran) Drenth, Sioux Falls, Mike Drenth, Lismore, and Carrie (Eric) Olson, St. Helens, Oregon; five grandchildren, Maddie and Brookie Ziebarth, Cheyanne Olson and Arthur and Ernest Drenth.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Arrangements were provided by Dingmann Funeral Home in Adrian, dingmannandsons.com.