Ralph Kleinschmit

YANKTON, S.D.— Ralph Kleinschmit, 93, Yankton, S.D., died surrounded by family at his home early Aug. 23, 2018. A funeral Mass was Aug. 28 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Yankton, with the Rev. Fr. Larry Regynski officiating. Burial was in Sacred Heart Cemetery. Visitation, with a Vigil service and Rosary, were Aug. 27 at the Opsahl- Kostel Funeral Home and Crematory, Yankton, and continued one hour prior to service time at the church Tuesday. Arrangements were under the direction of Opsahl-Kostel Funeral Home and Crematory, Yankton. Ralph T. Kleinschmit, son of Theodore A. Jr. and Dorothy L. (Peitz) Kleinschmit, was born May 11, 1925, at Sacred Heart Hospital, Yankton, and was raised on the family homestead near Menominee. He was baptized, received his first communion, confirmed, and was also an altar server in the St. Boniface Parish, Menominee, and it was in the St. Boniface Catholic School where he received his education. Ralph worked and boarded on a farm starting at age 14. He married Clara Perk in 1948 at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, Crofton. He continued to farm until 1953, when he moved his family to Yankton. He first worked for a local carpenter, but when there was no work available for the winter, he went to work for Yaggie Mills, where he stayed for 41 years. During his time there, he worked in maintenance, and even earned a reputation as a prankster. In his spare time, Ralph remodeled his home, repaired anything broken, and often making the parts needed rather than buying them. Ralph considered his cattle his “hobby,”continuing to raise them until age 90. Ralph was a member of Sacred Heart Parish and was active with their Men’s Choir. He enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s birthday parties, as well as sporting and other events, which all kept him busy. Survivors include three sons, Joseph and Bobby (Montgomery) Kleinschmit, Yankton, S.D.; Kevin and Deb (Uhing) Kleinschmit, Menominee; and Frank and Roberta (Tejral) Kleinschmit, St. Helena; three daughters, Ruth and Roman Steffen, Menominee; Kathy and Louis “Chip” Brewer, Yankton, S.D.; and Barb Hansen, Yankton, S.D.; 30 grandchildren; 47 great-grandchildren (with two on the way); six great-great-grandchildren; one sister, Audrey Wuebben; and other relatives and friends. Ralph was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Clara, in 2004; two brothers, Marvin Kleinschmit and DelRay (Ida Jane) Kleinschmit; one brother-in-law, Jerome Wuebben; one son-in-law, Ole Hansen; three grandsons, Joseph Kleinschmit, John Steffen and Chris Steffen; one grandson-in-law, Barry Christensen; and one granddaughter-in-law, Becky Steffen.

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