Donald John Hoftiezer, age 89, of Watertown, SD, passed away on Friday, December 11, 2020, at Prairie Lakes Hospital. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, December 21, 2020, at Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Watertown. Rev. Steve Anderson will officiate. Music will be provided by Daniel Tsukamotto as organist and Jackie Wettested as the soloist. Family is requested to meet at the church on Monday by 10:00 a.m. for a family prayer service. The funeral service will be live streamed via Crawford-Osthus webpage and Facebook live. Face masks are required for both the funeral service and the visitation.
Visitation will be at the Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel on Sunday, December 21, 2020, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Burial will be at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Watertown, SD. Military graveside honors will be conducted by the Funeral Honors Team of the U.S. Air Force. Honorary pallbearers will be all of Don’s Pinochle buddies. Active pallbearers will be: Lucas Hoftiezer, Grant Hoftiezer, Nate Gast, Rylie Hoftiezer, Jadyn Hoftiezer and Mark Bayles.
The family prefers memorials to be directed to Prairie Lakes Cancer Center, or the Glacial Lakes Humane Society.
Donald John Hoftiezer was born on September 21, 1931, to Albert and Bertha (Bleeker) Hoftiezer, in Castlewood, SD. Don grew up and graduated from Castlewood High School in 1950. He worked on the family farm before joining the Air Force in December 1951. He received his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. He received orders to go to Pusan, Korea in 1952 and remained there until 1953. Don returned state side and was stationed in Cheyenne, WY, in 1953, as an inspector until his honorable discharge in December 1955.
Don was united in marriage to Geraldine “Jeri” Junso on December 17, 1955 in Watertown, SD. They moved to Castlewood where Don worked with his dad, Albert, in the plumbing business and Jeri worked for Northwestern Bell Telephone Co. The couple moved back to Watertown in 1960, where they raised their family. In 1963, Don was employed by Redlinger Brothers Plumbing and Heating. He earned his real estate license in 1970 and his plumber’s contractor license in 1972. In 1971, he joined Jeri, who was a broker and partner in Munson and Hoftiezer Real Estate (which later became Hoftiezer Real Estate.) He also served on the board for the Watertown Board of Realtors and contracted new homes during the 70’s and 80’s.
Church was very important to Don. He served on the board of trustees at 9th Avenue Methodist Church, now Cornerstone United Methodist Church. He firmly believed you should still wear a suit and tie to church.
Don was also very active in the community as well. He served on the Watertown Park and Rec Board for six years and was instrumental in getting Koch Softball Complex built. He served on the Watertown Teener’s Baseball Board and coached for several years as well. He was on the committee that strived for water quality in the Kampeska watershed. Don excelled at the games of basketball and baseball. Baseball and fast pitch softball were his passions. When his boys would tease him about his batting average, he always said, “pitchers aren’t supposed to hit.” He loved the outdoors, hunting and fishing and especially his fishing trips to Canada with his church group. Family was also important to him and to Jeri, they rarely missed any games played by their kids and grandchildren. He had many laughs with his morning coffee groups and his pinochle posse. Don loved his dogs as family and almost always had a dog in the house. Duffy, his last dog, may have been his favorite. He would still tear up any time he talked about him.
Don is survived by his wife, Jeri, of Watertown, SD; his children: Sandy Hoftiezer, Greg (Kathy) Hoftiezer, and Doug (Marnie) Hoftiezer, all of Watertown, SD; five grandchildren: Crystal (Nate) Gast, Lucas (Kaylie) Hoftiezer, Grant Hoftiezer, Rylie and Jadyn Hoftiezer; and two great-grandchildren: Braelyn and Gavin Gast.
He was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers: Jim, Gene and Eldon.
89 years of life, 65 years of marriage, a loving family and spending his last days of life in his own home. A life well lived! Rest easy, Don, Dad, Grandpa, and Great-Grandpa, we’ll see you on the other side.
Arrangements provided by Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel. www.crawfordosthus.com
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