Burial will be available to view via FaceBook Live
Dean D. Gackstetter, age 91, of Watertown, SD, passed away on Sunday, September 13, 2020, at a local care center. Private Memorial services will be held.
Private family burial will be at 3:00 p.m. Friday, September 18, 2020 at Mount Hope Cemetery in Watertown, S.D. The burial will be available to view via FaceBook Live. Military graveside honors will be conducted by the Codington County Post 17 of the American Legion and the Funeral Honors Team of the SD Army National Guard.
A public walk-thru visitation will be on Friday, September 18, 2020, at the Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel from 4-6 p.m. Face masks are highly encouraged.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, Lake Area Zoological Society, or Watertown Foundation in Dean Gackstetter’s memory.
Dean Duane Gackstetter, February 1929 – September 2020
Dean Gackstetter was born on February 11, 1929, in Hendricks, MN, the son of John and Erma (Derby) Gackstetter. He graduated from Huron High School, Huron, SD, in 1947. Subsequently, he graduated from South Dakota State University (SDSU) in 1951 with a degree in Pharmacy and a Commission as an Officer in the U.S. Army. He married Ardyce (Bjorklund) on November 21, 1950.
Upon graduation from SDSU, he served as an Officer in the Army Medical Service Corps. He was stationed overseas in Bordeaux, France, as a pharmacist and hospital administrator assigned to a U.S. Army Hospital Unit. He chose to leave the Army, was honorably discharged from military service in 1953, moved to Watertown, and was employed at Haggar Drugstore. He became a partner with Tom Haggar and then purchased the store five years later. He also owned a drugstore in Appleton, MN, and Hallmark Card & Gift stores in Yankton and Watertown. He sold all the stores and retired as a pharmacist and business owner in 1978. He served many years on the board of First Federal Savings Bank and was then elected Chairman of the Board and CEO. He remained at First Federal Bank until his retirement in 1993.
Dean was involved in both the local and State Pharmaceutical Associations. He also enthusiastically supported the Watertown Chamber of Commerce, serving on the Board of Directors and on many Civic committees. Additionally, Dean served on the Federal Home Loan Bank Board of the 8th District, Des Moines, IA, and was President of the South Dakota Savings and Loan League. In addition to successful careers as a pharmacist and in banking, he was President of the Board of Directors of Bramble Park Zoo, as well as a member of the Redlin Art Center Board of Directors. A testament to his lifelong devotion to his community, Dean was active in the Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, serving on the Church Board and later as President. He was also a member of the Watertown Rotary Club. He and his good friend Ernie Edwards co-chaired the project to bring a Navy A-7E attack jet to the City of Watertown, which is on display at the entrance to the Airport. They were also instrumental in relocating the National Guard Readiness Center to Watertown. In 2013, Dean was honored as an inductee to the Watertown Hall of Fame.
Over and above his many accomplishments, Dean was incredibly proud of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and enjoyed sharing time with them and hearing about their activities and achievements.
Survivors include his wife, Ardyce; daughter Wendy and her husband Sanford, Eden Prairie, MN; three sons--Gary and his wife Jeanne, Sioux Falls, SD; Tim and his wife Nancy, San Diego, CA; and Todd and his wife Patti, Sioux Falls, SD; ten grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by two sisters, Velma Pederson (Gackstetter) and Verna Paul (Gackstetter).
Arrangements by Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel www.crawfordosthus.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dean D Gackstetter, please visit our floral store.