Willis Kurtenbach, age 91, of Brandt, SD passed away on Saturday, November 19, 2022 at the Hendricks Community Hospital in Hendricks, MN. Funeral service will be at 10:30am on Saturday, November 26th at the Bethel Lutheran Church in Astoria, SD. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7pm on Friday, November 25th at the Bethel Lutheran Church in Astoria. Visitation will resume one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial with Military Honors will be at the Bethany Cemetery, Astoria, SD. Houseman Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangements.
Willis John Carl Kurtenbach was born on March 3, 1931 in Brandt, South Dakota to Preston and Emma (Tolk) Kurtenbach. He was raised on the family farm around Brandt and Astoria and he graduated from Astoria High School. Willis served his country in the United States Navy from 1951-1955 during the Korean War. Upon his honorable discharge from the service he returned home to farm for the remainder of his life. Willis was united in marriage to Donna Nielsen on November 14, 1953. Together they were blessed with four children which they raised on the family farm instilling values of hard work and faith. They milked cows for nearly 40 years and worked the land for even longer. He enjoyed gardening, woodworking, playing cards and hunting and fishing. Farming was a way of life but Willis truly enjoyed farming for his entire life. Time spent with his family was the most important thing to him. He was a member of Bethel Lutheran Church where he served on the church council and ushered. He was also a member of the Bakken-Engen American Legion, Post #103 of Astoria, SD.
Grateful for having shared Willis’ life is his wife of 69 years, Donna Kurtenbach, Hendricks, MN; his four children: Wayne (Kathy) Kurtenbach, Toronto, SD, Marlene King, Toronto, SD, Darla (Jim) Poss, Brookings, SD and Lisa (Steve) Vandendriessche, Marshall, MN; 11 grandchildren: Chad (Sarah) Kurtenbach, Rob (Rachel) Kurtenbach, Alicia (Jared) Gass, Jesse (Emily) King, Brady (Erin) King, Cody (Kayleigh Boucher) King, Kari (Casey) Culver, Jerad (Carolyn) Poss, Jordan Poss, Kayla (Chris Kubitz) Vandendriessche, Shauna (Tory Miller) Vandendriessche; great-grandchildren: Pierce and Ava Kurtenbach, Trey, Liam and Crew Kurtenbach, Isaac, Eli, Everly and Israel Gass, Brody Hall, Kendall and Colt King, Briar King, William and Leo Poss and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents; his brothers: Vern, Virgil, Donald and Preston Kurtenbach; grandson, Ryan Poss and granddaughter, Alissa Vandendriessche.