Burdette C. Solum, age 85, of Watertown, SD, passed away on Friday, December 28, 2012 at Prairie Lakes Hospital in Watertown. A Funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 3, 2013 at the Holy Name Catholic Church in Watertown with Father John Lantsberger, Father Michael Wensing and Father Jerome Holtzman officiating. Becky Lubbers will be the song leader and Donna Williams will be the organist. Interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Watertown, SD. Military Honors will be conducted by Codington County Post 17 of the American Legion and Watertown Army National Guard Funeral Honors Team. Visitation will be from 4:00-7:00 p.m., with a scripture service at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, at the Holy Name Catholic Church.
Pallbearers will be Burdette’s grandsons: Pat Solum, Chris Solum, Matthew Solum, Brady Solum, Jesse Nygaard, Kyle Solum, and Brent Solum.
Burdette Solum was born in Watertown on August 16, 1927 to Clarence and Maggie (Sumner) Solum and was raised on a farm near Florence, SD. He graduated from Florence High School and soon after, at the age of 18, was drafted into the Army at the end of World War II. Upon returning from the service, he enrolled at South Dakota State University in Brookings. Being a member of the SD National Guard, his unit was activated during the Korean War. When his 24 month tour of duty was over, he returned to SD and completed 21 years of military service as a member of the South Dakota Army National Guard.
On August 19, 1952, Burdette married Phyllis M. Wensing. The couple lived in Brookings for a short time allowing Burdette the opportunity to complete his BS degree in Agricultural Economics from SDSU. Upon graduation and after moving back to Watertown, he began his 36 year banking career at First Citizens National Bank, now Wells Fargo Bank, serving as its president for the last 10 years of his banking career before retiring in March of 1989.
After retiring from the bank, Burdette entered the world of politics and completed 5 terms as a respected member of the House of Representatives in the South Dakota Legislature.
Burdette was very active in community service. Included among the many boards and organizations he has served are: Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce, Watertown Rotary Club, Prairie Lakes Hospital Foundation, Watertown Area United Way, SD Bankers Association, SDSU Alumni Association, SDSU Foundation, Jaycees, and The American Legion.
Burdette is survived by his wife, Phyllis; his sons Roger (Lisbeth), Greg (Peg), Bob (Janet), and Jon (Stacy) all of Watertown and Mike of Dell Rapids; 18 grandchildren; 9 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters, Ann Aker of Elkton, and Ruth Bludorn of Henry.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Alvin.
Arrangements by Wight, Comes & Sogn Funeral Chapel, www.wcsfc.com.