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1120 E. Main Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
Phone: 605-624-2829
Fax: 605-624-2931
Phillip Sommerfeld


Monday, July 4th, 1938 - Tuesday, April 21st, 2020
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Phillip Harold Sommerfeld (III) died Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at the age of 81 at Bethesda of Beresford, Beresford, South Dakota with his wife of 59 years, Karen by his side.

Phil was born on the 4th of July, 1938 in St. Paul, MN. He was the first child to Phillip Harold (II) and Florence Josephine (Freeman) Sommerfeld. As a toddler, he earned the nickname, “Busy Buzzy” which later was shortened to, “Buz” a moniker used affectionately of him by his family for the rest of his life.

Phil graduated high school in Atlantic, IA in 1956 and from Iowa State University with a degree in Wood Technology in the Fall of 1960. Upon graduation he married his long-time sweetheart, Karen Kay Tuttle at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on January 3, 1961. They had two children, Jan and Jeff.

In the Fall of 1961, he began his service in the US Army and was a Second Lieutenant artillery officer stationed at Ft. Sill in Lawton, OK. He was discharged from the Army in 1963 after nearly being deployed during the Cuban Crisis.

Phil worked as a very successful salesman of building materials in his early career and stayed in that industry until he retired from Window Technologies a custom wood window manufacturer in Lincoln, NE as the Vice President of Sales in 2001.

In retirement, he enjoyed maintaining his acreage in Roca, Nebraska and fishing in his pond. He also was a member of the Isaac Walton League where he was very active.

Phil is survived by his wife, Karen, daughter Jan (John) Painter, grand-daughter Kathryn Painter and grandson, Robert Painter. He was preceded in death by his son, Jeffrey Hayes Sommerfeld and by his brother, Robert Sommerfeld.

Phil was interred in Bethania Cemetery, Viborg, South Dakota on Thursday, April 23, 2020.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Bethania Cemetery
    Intersect of 291st street & 453rd Avenue
    VIBORG, SD 57070
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
Private family graveside services will be scheduled.


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Private Condolence

Love, Barry and Sherry

Posted at 03:40pm
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. We will always treasure the fond memories that we had with you and Buz.
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Love, Barry and Sherry purchased flowers and planted a memorial tree for the family of Phil.


Richard Tuttle

Posted at 07:09am
God speed Buz, the most loving and loyal husband my sis could ever imagine. A loving,teaching and nurturing father. You told me great stories and taught me how to shoot, i nearly got as good as you and you were the best. Today we well say goodbye but that is just for now as we shall meet again. I LOVE YOU. Richard D.

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