WEBSTER – Andrew “Andy” Block, 81, of Mitchell and formerly of Webster passed away Tuesday October 20, 2020 at Firesteel Heights Healthcare Center in Mitchell.
Mass Of Christian Burial will be 10:30 A.M. Saturday October 31, 2020 at Christ The King Catholic Church in Webster. Military interment will be at St. Otto’s Cemetery near Webster.
The family respectfully requests masks be worn. A luncheon will follow the burial at the parish hall.
Walk through visitation will be 5-7 P.M. Friday at the funeral home.
Andrew (Andy) Block was born on March 22, 1939 to Aleks and Barbara (Dargatz) Block at Waubay, SD. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Joseph Church in Grenville, SD. He attended country school through the 8th grade. He and his siblings grew up at Enemy Swim Lake. He spent his childhood fishing, swimming, and boating. During the winters they would cut ice blocks from the frozen lake, pack them in straw and store them to be sold throughout the summer at Doxie’s Resort.
At the age of 17, he enlisted in the military on Jan. 29, 1957. He served in the US Army as a marine engineer. He earned the Carbine exceptional badge and Rifle marksmanship badge. He was assigned to the 81st Transportation Co. (Boat) specializing in perfecting amphibious invasion techniques, stationed in France and Germany . He was honorably discharged and returned home in Jan. 1960. Over the years he enjoyed telling stories, of his adventures while being overseas, to his family and friends.
Andy married Joanne Tofley on July 1, 1960. They began their life together in Bristol, SD where Andy worked as a mechanic at Eschie’s Garage. He then worked at Main St. Garage in Webster, SD. He built a house in Webster for his family in 1964. Andy and Joanne were blessed with 4 children throughout their marriage. Brenda (DeCurtins), Jodi (Bistodeau), Lonnie, and Rhonda (Nelson). Andy formed his own construction business, Great Plains Construction in 1965. He erected metal buildings and grain bins throughout the Midwest region for almost 25 years. During this same time, he and his wife Joanne, owned and operated the Texaco gas station and car wash in Webster from 1972 – 1976. After Andy retired from the construction business, he started his own used car lot in 1990, Great Plains Auto. He operated his car lot business in Hot Springs, SD and also Box Elder, SD until 1999.
Riding motorcycles was one of his passions. He started in his 20’s and continued to ride into his 70’s! He also raced snowmobiles and earned many trophies during his years of competition. He rode horses over the years as well. He loved to ride through the woods in the Black Hills, blazing his own trail through the wilderness. Another favorite spot to take the horses, was the Snowy Range Mtn in WY. He loved to camp out by a mountain lake – with no boundaries, no deadlines, and no worries. He also did some kayaking around the lakes in the Black Hills. A favorite pastime over the years was hunting. He hunted deer, elk, antelope, buffalo, wild turkey, fox, rabbits, and other small game. A major highlight was when he took a trip to Canada in 1968 and shot a moose. One of Andy’s greatest pleasures was travelling. He loved going south – visiting Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. He also made a few trips into Mexico – enjoying the people and culture down there.
Unfortunately, the progression of dementia took him away from us on Oct. 20, 2020; at the age of 81. He had been a resident at Firesteel Healthcare Center in Mitchell since June of 2018. He will forever live on in our hearts. He leaves behind his wife Joanne, and children Brenda, Jodi (husband Alan), Lonnie, Rhonda (husband Mike). He will also be greatly missed by his 10 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren; and siblings Floyd, Maxine, Joyce and Nancy. He was preceded in death by his parents, son-in-law Russ DeCurtins, and siblings: Ralph, Clara, Nicholas, Norbert, Carol, and Arnie.
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