Roger Vanatta, 79 of Milbank died on Sunday, November 17, 2013 at Milbank Area Hospital.
His funeral will be at 2:00 P.M. Thursday, November 21, 2013 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Webster, Rev. Daniel Ostercamp will officiate. Burial with military rites will be at Webster Cemetery.
Visitation will be at the funeral home on Wednesday 5-7 P.M. with a 7 P.M. prayer service.
Memorials may be directed to: Grant County Cancer Fund, C/O ICAP, 210 East 5th St., Milbank, SD 57252; Living Word Lutheran Church, 1303 East 4th Ave., Milbank, SD 57252 or St. John’s Lutheran Church, 820 Main St., P.O. Box 36, Webster, SD 57274.
Roger Lee Vanatta, the youngest child of Glen Vanatta and Georgia (Ahlers) Vanatta was born on Sunday, April 8, 1934 at Webster, South Dakota. He was baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith. In his youth he resided in the Webster area, attending school and spending much of his time with his grandparents on their farm. On May 17, 1951, at the age of seventeen, he joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed on the east coast and toured the Mediterranean.
Upon his discharge, in March 1955, he moved to Kent, Washington. It was at this time that he met and married the love of his life, Arlyus Huwe on August 30, 1958 at Auburn, Washington. After their marriage the couple resided near Sumner, Washington. In 1970 they moved to Berthoud, Colorado, where they resided for over thirty years. Roger worked at Boeing, Neo Data and Group Publishing until he retired in 1999. In 2010 they decided to move back to South Dakota where they had both grown up.
He was a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Longmont, Colorado. Roger had a great sense of humor, was an avid reader and loved fishing and hunting. Not so long ago he went target shooting with his son and was still able to hit a bulls eye. His laughter would fill a room. He loved music and was known to break out into song. Even singing to his dog, Autumn!
Roger passed into his eternal rest on Sunday, November 17, 2013 at Milbank, South Dakota at the age of 79 years, 7 months and 9 days.
Roger is survived by his wife of 55 years, Arlyus of Milbank, SD; one son, Vance (& friend, Stacey Gurnsey) Vanatta of Loveland, CO; one daughter, Cary (Joe) Ford of Evans, CO; three grandsons, Stephen Vanatta, Jeremy Downey and Zachery Downey; two great grandchildren, Aly and Kameron; his siblings, Nona Jenson of Sioux Falls, SD, Jerry (Pat) Vanatta of Deer Park, WA; Kay (Denver) Curtis of Bothel, WA, Bill (Joan) Vanatta of Seattle, WA and Vicky (Skip) Ericksen of Post Falls, ID; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Julius and Florence Ahlers, his father, Glen Vanatta, his mother Georgia Donut, sisters, Irene Kirchmeier and Jane Casale, and a brother, Clarence Vanatta.
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