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Michael Charles Hiltunen

April 7, 1969 ~ May 16, 2018 (age 49)
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On Wednesday, May 16, 2018, Michael Charles Hiltunen, 49, of Volga formerly of Howard, was reunited in Heaven with his mother Mary, his nephew Michael, his grandparents Tom (Mrytle) Attletweedt and Harvey (Senia) Hiltunen.  He was born on April 7, 1969 to Rusty and Mary Hiltunen in Madison, SD, and grew up in Howard, SD. Mike never met a stranger in his life, and all who knew him are left on an earth know that it is darker because of his absence. Funeral services will be 10:30am, Monday, May 21, 2018, at Bethany Lutheran Church, Howard, with burial to follow in Graceland Cemetery, Howard, SD. Visitation will begin Sunday at noon to 4pm at Willoughby Funeral Home, Howard and resume with family present from 5pm to 7pm and Reflections at 7pm all at the church in Howard.

All who knew Mike understand how he was voted “Mr. Irresistible” in the Howard High School Class of 1987. Mike graduated from Augustana College in 1992 with a degree in Business Administration. But that was nothing compared to marrying the girl of his dreams, Heather Adler.  He told her parents he was going to marry Heather when she was only in 8th grade. Their dreams came true as they were united in marriage in 1993. Their loved endured. This August, Heather and Mike would have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.

Their love created a big, beautiful family of five children who will carry their dad’s love and kind spirit in their hearts forever. Erik-23, Peyton-20 (fiancé Tabin Elmore), Trent-17, Kendra-13, Brady-9, were born to a great man who loved them unconditionally, enjoyed every minute he spent with them, appreciated each of them as individuals, welcomed their friends like they were his own, and exemplified what true kindness and generosity looks like.

Mike was an avid Mets fan, and his love of baseball drove him to play amateur baseball for more than 20 years, and also coach Legion Baseball. Mike was incredibly hard working, and he purchased Rusty’s Food Store with his brother, Rick, and co-owned it until 2010 when he and Heather and their children moved to Custer, SD. There he bought Custer County Market and owned it from 2010 – 2015. In recent years he worked for USA Payroll and Harms Oil. Mike’s customers and staff were family to him, and the number of people who mourn deeply for him is immeasurable.

Mike was a well-known hunting guide and knew the Black Hills like the back of his hand.  He was at home and happiest hunting in the Hills and East River with friends and family, kicking back with good food, a cold one and stories at the end of the day. 

Mike was a slave to fashion and could always be counted on to perfectly match any pants and shorts with his Coca Cola sweatshirts and camo pants or shorts. Fortunately, his fashion sense is the only thing he did not pass on to his children.

Mike leaves behind his true love, Heather of Volga, SD; his five beloved children, Erik of Brookings, SD; Peyton (fiancé Tabin Elmore) of Brookings, SD; Trent, Kendra and Brady all at home in Volga. He is survived by his father, Rusty Hiltunen; brother, Rick (Pam) Hiltunen, both of Howard, SD and their daughters Senia (Zach Borg) and Katy; brother Scott (Lynn) Hiltunen of Yankton, SD and their daughters Steffi (and fiancé Jeremy Schrempp), Megan and Elle; a sister Jamie O’Brien of Brookings and her son Scott; parents-in-laws Jerry and Karna Adler of Howard, SD; brother-in-law Damon Adler and his daughter Claire; many aunts, uncles, cousins, and countless friends. 


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