MILLER — Garry Dearborn, 72, of Miller, passed away Tuesday, November 17, 2020, at the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minn.
A celebration of life will be 3 p.m. today, at St. Lawrence Community Church in St. Lawrence with Pastor Jim Hofman officiating. Masks are highly encouraged at the service.
Garry’s wishes were for a casual service with comfortable attire to be worn.
Garry was born April 22, 1948, in Miller to Dwight Dearborn and Evelyn (Johnson) Dearborn. He attended South Hand County rural schools - McCool and Ohio through eighth grade. He participated in basketball, football, and track at Sunshine Bible Academy, where he graduated in 1966. He then graduated from Southern State College in Springfield with an associate’s degree in auto mechanics in 1968.
On June 20, 1970, he married his highschool sweetheart, Carol Johnson, in Timber Lake. They farmed in Hand County until retirement.
Garry followed in his father’s footsteps. He became a farmer, partnering with his parents and brother, Randy. His son, Chad, now operates the family farms. Following Dwight’s death, Garry assumed his Dad’s position in serving the local Rural Electric Cooperative as a director. Eventually, he became the president of the Dakota Energy Cooperative board and remained in this role until the time of his death. Garry took this role very seriously. While in office, he attended training and studied the issues in order to guide the cooperative with wisdom and forethought. He actively mentored cooperative directors and managers. He steadfastly considered the best interest of cooperative members in all of his decision making. He diligently advocated for the members of the cooperative with persistence and tenacity.
He served on the South Dakota Rural Electric Association (SDREA) board. Garry represented SDREA on the South Dakota Value Added Agriculture board. He enthusiastically supported the growth and development of agriculture and ag-related businesses in South Dakota and all across the nation! Additionally, Garry served on the Ohio township board for several years.
Garry was a family man with a great sense of humor! He and Carol worked as a team, shoulder to shoulder, throughout the ups and downs of farming. In his children, he instilled the value of hard work and the importance of having fun. First and foremost, he taught that all jobs are to be completed with excellence. Grandpa Garry was a dedicated grandfather, who enjoyed time with his grandkids and encouraged them to approach life with a sense of humor. He took immense joy in his family!
Garry was passionate about stock car racing. He took great pride in his son’s racing adventures and faithfully worked on Chad’s pit crew.
Near the end of Garry’s life, he told Carol, “If I wanted to live to be a 100, I would have taken better care of myself and chosen a different occupation. Better off doing something I enjoyed!” As an older man, he exuded a posture of contentment and satisfaction with his life and a recognition that he had made mistakes along the way. However, these same mistakes, he believed, made life more interesting and provided learning opportunities.
Thankful to have shared in his life include his loving wife of 50 years, Carol Dearborn; son, Chad Dearborn, both of Miller; daughter, Jeannie Short; and grandchildren, Kathlynn, Alexander and Kristoffer Short, all of Rapid City; his brother, Randy Dearborn of Miller; sisters, Sharyl Jasper of Spearfish and Mary Dearborn of Sioux Falls; Johnson brothers and sisters-in-law; several nieces, nephews and cousins, as well as many dear friends.
Garry was preceded in death by his parents, Dwight and Evelyn Dearborn; parents-in-law, Ralph and Ruth Johnson; brother-in-law, Paul Klamm, and son-in-law, Mason Short.
Memorials can be directed to the Sunshine Bible Academy Agriculture Education.
Please click on the following link to donate, https://app.etapestry.com/onlineforms/SunshineBibleAcademy/1.html
Reck Funeral Home of Miller has been entrusted with Garry’s arrangements.