Donald “Don” D. Kees, age 76, of De Smet, SD, passed away on Thursday, January 28, 2021, at the Avera De Smet Memorial Hospital. Private family memorial services will be at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 3, 2021, at Osthus Funeral Home in De Smet. Rev. Jim Millman will officiate. The service will be Live-Streamed on Facebook.
A public visitation will be at the funeral home on Wednesday, prior to the service, from 5-7 p.m. Face masks are encouraged.
Burial of his ashes will be at the Spirit Lake Cemetery, rural De Smet, later this summer at the conclusion of a celebration of life event. Honorary pallbearers will be Dave Lyng, Gary Isenberg, Brian Karels, Kevin Pommer, Tom Ruppert, and Scott Shafer.
Don was born on October 4, 1944, to Donald and Delores (Glass) Kees, in Oklahoma City, OK. He was a graduate of Ellsworth High School in Ellsworth, WI. He was united in marriage to Ramona Jeske in 1965. To this union two children were born. Don started working with Waldorf Paper Products in St. Paul, MN, as a shipping clerk in 1966. He relocated his family to Dell Rapids, SD in 1973 to become a sales representative for the company. Through mergers and acquisitions, Don also worked for Hoerner Waldorf, Champion International, Stone Container Corporation, Smurfit Stone Container Corporation, and RockTenn. Although he officially retired in 2013 with 46 years of service, Don continued servicing his customers, who had become his close friends, as a broker for WestRock.
Moving his family to rural De Smet in 1979 provided Don an opportunity to share his passion for hunting and the outdoors with his friends, family and customers. What started as the K&L (Kees and Lyng) Duck and Goose Camp on the shore of Spirit Lake eventually grew into Plum Creek Lodge. One of Don’s greatest legacies will be the lifelong connections and relationships built between his guests over cups of coffee before the hunts and celebratory drinks at the end of the day. Don was ever the optimist, everyone’s friend, and always had a story to tell.
Don is survived by his children, Tina Kees of De Smet, SD and Matt (Melissa) Kees, also of De Smet, SD; former wife, Ramona Kees; three grandchildren, Max and Meyer Kees and Johnna Webster; two great-grandchildren, Booker and Storm Webster; two brothers, Dennis (Mary) Kees and Doughlas (Maureen) Kees, both of Wisconsin; and his sister, Dawn (Kevin) Laundry of Minnesota.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Dean.
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