Richard Paul Eilts, 66, of Wakonda, South Dakota, passed away on Thursday, November 7, 2019, at Avera McKennan Hospital, in Sioux Falls.
Richard was born on December 18, 1952, to Raymond and Bernice Eilts of Hawarden, Iowa. He began his education in a little country school in Chatsworth, Iowa later graduating from West Sioux High School in Hawarden.
Richard entered the United States Army in 1972. He proudly served his country while stationed in Germany until he left the service in 1976.
He married Sandra Vander Feen in 1972.
After his military service, Richard attended and graduated from Sioux Empire College in Hawarden.
He farmed for a short time around the Hawarden, Iowa area before joining the United States Department of Agriculture as a Meat Grader, a position he held until his retirement in 2008.
He married Vikki Van Genderen in 1984. They moved to the Wakonda, SD area and started raising one of Richard’s other loves, Arabian horses. From there, they moved to the raising of Boer meat goats. Eventually they decided to move on from livestock in order to spend more time with family and travel.
Richard’s greatest love was for his family. The time spent with his wife, children, grandchildren, and his great granddaughter were the most treasured moments of his life. He was an accomplished carpenter, and jack-of-all-trades, ever wanting to help out wherever he could. He spent many hours enjoying making birdhouses and other small projects which he would give to his many friends. His children and grandchildren were happy recipients of his hand-made gifts.
Forever loving him and cherishing his memory are: his wife of 35 years, Vikki, his children, Jason of LeMars, Iowa, Angela of Beresford, SD, Joshua of Hawarden, Iowa, Colin of Alexandria, Virginia, and step-son Eric of Beatrice, Nebraska. Grandchildren Riley, Max, CJ, Dylan, Tanner, Tate, Tayden, RayLee, Wyatt, Dallas, Ben and great granddaughter Aryah.
Richard is also survived by his siblings: Gloria Unruh, Patsy Karr, Mary Lou Van Wyhe, and John Eilts.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Bernice Eilts, and his brother, Bobby Eilts.