Harlan Williams, formerly of Webster, SD, crossed the thin veil from this world into waiting arms of his Lord and Savior, Jesus, Saturday December 7, 2019, at Ava’s Hospice House in Sioux Falls, SD, with his children by his side. Harlan would have celebrated his 87th birthday in January. His celebration of life will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at River Community Church, 511 E 7th St, in Dell Rapids. Visitation with the family present will be one hour prior to the start of the service. Internment, including a graveside service, will be in the Webster Cemetery at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 14, 2019. The public is welcome to both services.
Harlan was born in Webster, SD on January 15, 1933, the third of eight siblings born to Hilman O. and Evelyn (Jacobson) Williams. He was baptized, confirmed and a life-long member of St. John’s Lutheran Church. He attended country school through the 8th grade, ‘walking up hill both ways to attend, with one bike shared by eight.’ He graduated from Webster High School in 1950. He enlisted in the US Army, where he served from 1953 through 1955. He was transferred to the US Army Reserves in order to care for the family farm upon his father’s illness.
Harlan met his life-long partner and love, Maxine Graves, at a dance in Waubay, SD. They married February 8, 1959 in Waubay. They lived on and worked the family farm until 1978. During this time, their four children, Sandy, Chuck, Terri and David were born. The farm became the gathering place for all, including extended family and anyone who needed people to call family. It was here that Harlan taught his nephews and nieces the value of hard work over their summer stays, Maxine welcomed all with open arms and amazing food. Harlan was most at home surrounded by the dust and dirt of the fields and animals, with his family along his side.
Harlan and his family moved into Webster in 1978 to manage the American Legion Club #40, where he had been a long-term member, and served as commander. He and Maxine were partners in this endeavor until 2003, when they retired and moved to Groton, SD to be closer to grandchildren. He returned to his roots of farming through involvement and work on a local family farm for several years, which he thoroughly enjoyed. He continued to live in Groton following Maxine’s death until 2014 when he moved to Dell Rapids, SD to live with his daughter, Sandy and her family, in order to receive dialysis and the care he needed. His Earthly life peacefully came to a close following a brief stay at Ava’s Hospice House.
Harlan was best known for his humor, pranks and teasing, of which anyone who knew him has a story to tell. Children of all ages, along with dogs of all sizes, were immediately drawn to him. Some of this was motivated by his soft heart and laid-back demeanor, along with candy and treats he always had on hand. His dedication to God, his family and country largely defined who he was.
Those keeping Harlan’s memory alive are his children, Sandy (Jack) Koenig, Terri (Joe) Williams Murray, David (Angie) Williams, along with his grandchildren, Nathan and Jay Koenig, Karen Williams, Patrick, Shanon, Mariaha, Caidince, and Mason Murray, Amanda, Benjamin and Jesse Williams. Great grandchildren include Mariah and Katherine Koenig, Kevin Koenig, and Kason Murray, as well as many nieces and nephews. Siblings include Leon Williams and Mary Burke. Preceding him into eternal life are his wife, Maxine, son, Charles (Chuck), grandson, Kevin, parents, Hilman and Evelyn, and siblings Helen, Betty, June, Charles (Chuck), and Roger.
Memorials may be sent in care of Harlan Williams at Kahler Funeral Home, 107 W 4th St, Dell Rapids, SD 57022, www.kahlerfh.com.