Edward R. Bechen


Edward Bechen obit 18    Edward R. Bechen, 85, of Mitchell, formerly of Artesian, died Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell.
Funeral services were Monday, Dec. 19, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Mitchell. Burial was at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Artesian. Visitation with a 7 p.m. prayer service was Sunday, Dec. 18, at the Bittner Funeral Chapel in Mitchell.
Edward Reuben Bechen was born April 10, 1931, in Belvidere, to Reuben and Elizabeth (Mader) Bechen. They lived near Kadoka until the family settled on a farm near Artesian. Ed boarded in Mitchell and attended Notre Dame Academy his freshman year of high school. He then attended and graduated from Artesian High School in 1948.
Ed married Joyce Lohse on Dec. 1, 1951, at Holy Family Catholic Church in Mitchell. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, which took them to Denver, Colo., and San Antonio, Texas, where Richard was born. Ed specialized in training pilots with simulation equipment for the B52 bomber, which took him and his family to Limestone, Maine. After he was discharged from the USAF, they made their home on the Hollander farm north of Artesian. Soon after, the family welcomed Steven, Deb and Sharon.
Ed farmed the original Hollander homestead with his son, Richard, and grandson, Ryan, until his retirement and death. He raised exceptional Angus cattle and took pride in his bountiful crops.
He served several years on the Artesian School Board and the Cenex Board in Woonsocket. He was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church, American Legion, Elks Lodge and Moose Lodge. Ed held several offices including Governor of Lodge 875, regional offices, and obtained the Legion and Fellowship Degrees. He was honored with the Pilgrim Degree on May 22, 2010, the highest degree honor awarded to few members across the organization.
Ed is survived by his children, Richard (Deanna) of Artesian, Steven (Kathryn) of San Diego, Calif., Deb (Tom) Wettlaufer of Winfred, and Sharon (Marc) Hoelscher of Pierre; eight grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; brothers, Donald of Sandusky, Mich., and Howard (Mary) of Mitchell; and several nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce in October of 2014; parents, Reuben and Elizabeth; brother, Russell; sister-in-law, Marjorie Bechen; niece, Christine Mary Bechen; and in-laws, Arthur and Hazel Hollander, and Otto Lohse.

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