James Henry Dwyer III, after a courageous three-year battle with cancer, passed away in his sleep at Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls, SD in the early morning hours on May 7, 2019.
James was born in Vermillion on June 12, 1954 to James H. Dwyer II and Ardiss Hall Dwyer of Wakonda. He had many childhood adventures with his siblings in his home town of Wakonda. He talked of these memories right up to his last days.
James moved from Wakonda in 1965 at the age of 11, when the family came to Vermillion, SD. At the age of 12, he began his long career as a cook working at the Cavalier restaurant in Vermillion. James graduated from Vermillion High School with the Class of 1972 and went right to work.
In his early adulthood, he ventured into business with The Varsity Pub. He became acquainted with many folks around town and discovered that he had a talent for bartending and cooking. He went to New Jersey and helped a friend open a restaurant. In 1980, James moved to San Diego to work for a residence security firm. In 1982, he made a move to Arizona and immediately went to work co-founding White Mountain Security in Pinetop. He came to enjoy the area, and stayed on, working for many years at the Pinetop Country Club where he organized fundraisers and was proud to raise money for worthy causes, especially Special Olympics. He organized golf tournaments and events where he would manage food prep, wait staff, and bartending. He was right at home bartending at Charlie Clark’s in Pinetop, as well as at other establishments.
His time off would be spent with his sister Jean and brother Dan, and nieces and nephews in Phoenix. He was always willing to help with a building project, home repair, or vehicles. He was an avid golfer and fisherman. He spent the off season down the Mexican coast fishing and boating with friends he met along the way. He became known in the area and was expected each year, sometimes staying for weeks at a time. He would bring clothes and shoes, and many things for the children of the area. To James, life in this little village was like his heaven on earth.
In 2007, he moved back to Vermillion to spend time with family. He worked as a cook for the Beta fraternity before he became ill. Even then, he made himself available to aging family members. He was a great help to hisparents, sister Debbie and his aunts in town. He loved to play cards with friends. He was known to help people out whenever he could.
He is preceded in death by his Father, James H. Dwyer and his nephew Justin J. Salem. He is survived by his mother Ardiss Dwyer, siblings, J. Scott Dwyer (Toni), Dan Dwyer, Joe Dwyer, Jean Salem (Tom), David Dwyer (Susan), Debbie Gapp (Steve), and many nieces and nephews.
The family will hold a memorial service at a later date. Condolences may be sent to Ardiss Dwyer, 946 E. Lewis St., Vermillion, SD 57069.