Selmer ‘Ted’ Utne, 78

Selmer Theodore “Ted” Utne Jr., age 78, of Waubay, SD, passed away peacefully with family at his side Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, at his home.

Memorial services will take place Saturday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Waubay. A luncheon will immediately follow the service at the Waubay Legion. Inurnment will be in the Ortley Cemetery.

There will be visitation Saturday morning at the church at 11 a.m., continuing until the service begins.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made in Ted’s memory to a charity of your choice.

Fiksdal Funeral Service of Webster is in charge of the arrangements; Fiksdalfuneral.com.

Selmer Theodore was born Nov. 11, 1939, to Selmer Sr. and Doris (Cooper) Utne at Webster, SD. The family made their home on a farm near Ortley, SD.

Selmer “Ted” was baptized and confirmed at St. Ottos Catholic Church in Webster, and later confirmed as an adult at Zion Lutheran Church in Waubay, SD. He attended school in Ortley and Waubay.

When Ted was 17 years old, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. While serving his country, he obtained his GED.

He was stationed in Germany for three years. Upon his honorable discharge in 1960, he returned to Ortley, where he worked various jobs including construction of pole barns and grain bins, as well as hauling flax straw.

Ted also lived in Rapid City, where he assembled missile sites. He then moved to Minneapolis, and took employment with Downing Box Company.

Ted was united in marriage to Jeanette Tesch April 4, 1964, at Zion Lutheran Church in Waubay. The couple made their home in Minneapolis. To this union, three children were born; Paul, Lisa, and Julie.

In 1966, Ted took a position as a lineman with Northern States Power Company, later known as Xcel Energy. In the late ‘60s the family relocated to Howard Lake, where Ted worked positions for the company at Minneapolis, St. Cloud, and Howard Lake.

Ted endured a life-altering accident June 1, 1984, that contributed to his ongoing health issues. In 1992, he retired from NSP; and in 1993, the couple returned to the Waubay area and built a home in the country near Blue Dog Lake.

Ted was a kind man, known for his generosity to others. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and playing cards. He often would open his home to hunters and fisherman.

A great storyteller, Ted cherished time spent with his family and friends. He will be remembered for his courage and strength and love for his family.

He was a member of Zion Lutheran Church, and lifelong member of the American Legion in both Howard Lake and Waubay. He also was a Boy Scout leader for many years, passing several Eagle Scouts throughout his leadership.

Ted will be forever loved and greatly missed by his wife, Jeanette Utne of Waubay, SD; son Paul (Jodi) Utne of Howard Lake; daughters Lisa (Mark) Koller of Howard Lake, and Julie (Darin Manthie) Utne of Annandale; 10 grandchildren (and one on the way); as well as three brothers; James Utne of Watertown, SD, Bill Utne of Ortley, SD, and Tom Utne of Summit, SD; and one sister, Mary Jo Whitted of Sioux Falls, SD.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Richard Utne; infant sister Barbara Utne; and two nieces.

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