John Grassel

Mitchell

John Grassel, 93, of Mitchell, formerly of Artesian, died Thursday, May 17, 2018, at Avera Brady Health and Rehab in Mitchell.

Funeral Mass was Tuesday, May 22, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Mitchell. Burial was in Mount Pleasant Cemetery at Artesian. Visitation was Monday, May 21,  with a scripture service at 7 p.m. at Bittner Funeral Chapel in Mitchell. 

John Grassel was born May 22, 1924, in Sanborn County to Joseph and Mary (Maddox) Grassel. He grew up on his parents’ farm, attended country school in Afton Township and graduated from Artesian High School in 1942.

On May 10, 1947, he married Arlene Doyle. They started their first Hereford cattle herd with the purchase of six heifers and a bull. He did veterinary work for Doc Leider in Howard. An accomplished horseman, he moved and doctored cattle on horseback beyond his 80th birthday. He enjoyed giving rides with his horse and buggy and was often seen in local parades. 

John was a longtime member of St. Charles Catholic Church in Artesian, where he was the choir leader and soloist for many years. He became a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church when he and Arlene moved to Mitchell in 2010. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus, Hereford Association, Stock Growers and the Moose Lodge. 

He is survived by two daughters, Kathleen Grassel of Albuquerque, N.M., and Karen (Dan) Hilgenberg of Milbank; daughter-in-law, Wanda (Dave) Clarke of Howard; sister, Raeburn Moore of Mitchell; five grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. 

He was preceded in death by his wife, Arlene; sons, Mike and Bernard; eight infant children; brothers, Ted and Francis; and sisters, Mary Jo Vetter, Ruth Hinker, Eleanor Unterbrunner and Monica VanOverschelde. 

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