Howard Bechen


Howard Bechen, 92, of Mitchell and formerly of Artesian, died Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, at Avera Brady Health and Rehab in Mitchell. 

Funeral services were held Saturday, Jan. 25, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Mitchell.  Burial was in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Artesian. Visitation was Friday, Jan. 24, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church with a prayer service. Bittner Funeral Chapel directed the arrangements.

Howard James Bechen was born on May 30, 1927, to Ruben and Elizabeth (Mader) Bechen.  He was born in Kadoka and joined the Navy after graduating high school in May of 1945.  Howard served in both World War II and the Korean War. 

After returning from the wars, Howard met and married Marg Moore. They were married on June 20, 1952. They were the proud parents of ten children. In January of 1982 the good Lord called Marg home. He then met Mary Beaner, and they were married on Dec. 23, 1983.

Howard was involved in many things other than ranching and farming. He was a member of the St. Charles Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, the Artesian Saddle Club, the Moose Club, the VFW and the Artesian America Legion. He was a 4-H leader and received numerous conservation awards. He enjoyed riding horses to check his cattle, as well as camping and boating for relaxing. 

Howard is survived by his wife, Mary (Beaner) Bechen; his children, Doug (Renee) Bechen of Whitewood, Sandy (Dick) Krantz of Winner, Merl (Diane) Bechen of Mitchell, Larry (Carn) Bechen of Chaska, Minn., Joe (Donna) Bechen of Winfred, Brad (Kathleen) Bechen of Huntsville, Ala., John (Gayle) Bechen of Letcher, Tom (Marie) Bechen of Mitchell, Barbie (Greg) Becker of Little Elm, Texas, and Dave (Brenda) Bechen of Mitchell; 34 grandchildren; and 28 great-grandchildren.

Howard was preceded in death by his first wife, Marg (Moore) Bechen; infant grandson, Ian Bechen; parents, Ruben and Elizabeth (Mader) Bechen; brothers, Russell, Donald and Edward Bechen; in-laws, Loraine, Carol, and Joyce Bechen, Melvin, Earl, and Bonnie Moore, and Joe and Bill Beaner; and one niece, Dixie Zoelle.

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