Richard Linke


Richard L. Linke, 70, of Woonsocket, passed away on Thursday, July 27, 2023, after a long illness, surrounded by his family at home on hospice care.

A private memorial service with immediate family only will be held at a later date. Any memorial gifts in Richard’s memory are to be directed to the building fund of Spirit of Faith, PO Box 535, Woonsocket, SD 57385.

Richard “Rich” Linke was born Nov. 23, 1952, at the Methodist Hospital in Mitchell to Helen (Smith) and A. Lloyd Linke. He grew up on the family farm. He attended Cuthbert Grade School through fifth grade and then went to Woonsocket, where he graduated in 1971. Rich attended college one year at Dakota State and then returned to his home roots to farm.

Rich and Vicki Berg were married on Nov. 25, 1972, at Bethany Lutheran Church in Woonsocket and celebrated their 50th anniversary last year. They were blessed with three children.

Rich lived an active and full life. While in high school, he was Homecoming Chief, named to the First Team All-State nine-man football team, started on the 1971 State B Basketball Tournament Team, and qualified for the State Track meet.

Trapshooting was another sport that Rich excelled at. He won numerous state titles as sub-junior, junior and men’s in singles, doubles and handicap. Rich competed at the Grand National in Ohio many times. His best finish was tying for first in the Men’s Handicap. Also, Rich enjoyed hunting pheasants, ducks and geese.

Rich’s favorite sport was baseball, and his favorite team was the New York Yankees. He started in Little League and went on to play amateur baseball until the age of 46. Rich also coached his son, Jay, in Legion baseball and his daughter, Jenna, on the traveling girls’ softball team, Woony.

A big part of Rich’s farming was spent in the melon business. It was a family business started by his mother’s Smith grandparents in 1912. The family celebrated 100 years raising melons in 2012.

Rich and Vicki started the tradition of family trips to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

Rich was baptized and confirmed at Cuthbert United Methodist Church. He was a member of Spirit of Faith Lutheran-Methodist Church in Woonsocket.

Rich is survived by his wife, Vicki L. (Berg); his children, Jay (Wendy) Linke of Mitchell, Lisa (Dustin) Budde of Sioux Falls, and Jenna (Patrick) Marler of Mitchell; six grandchildren; brother, Jim Linke of Woonsocket; sister, Barb (Mark) Clayton of Yankton; niece, Bobbi Clayton of Sioux Falls; sister-in-law, Joyce Brown of Rapid City; sister- and brother-in-law, Janis and Tom Weatherford of LaDora, Iowa.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Helen and A. Lloyd Linke; sister, Susan Linke; aunt, Rose Linke; niece, Natty Clayton; parents-in-law, Ruth and Vernon Berg; and brother-in-law, Mark Berg.

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