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John Donald Haak, age 89, died after a brief illness on Thursday, October 6, 2022, at Marion, SD, surrounded by family. A Celebration of life service will be 10:30 AM, Thursday, October 13, 2022, at St. John Lutheran Church in Howard. Inurnment will follow at St. John Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation with family present will be 6:30-7:30 PM Wednesday, with a prayer service starting at 7:30 PM.
John was born on April 27, 1933 on a farm 2 miles west of Winfred, SD, to John Robert Haak and Hattie Bertha Willamena (Voeltz) Haak. He received his education in Howard and attended the SDSU School of Agriculture.
John was united in marriage to the love of his life Joyce Ann Kothe on August 15, 1954. John and Joyce lived on a farm 4 miles east of Howard for 67 years and were blessed with 4 children: Bobbi, Joni, John, and Brad.
John’s career was focused on farming. He loved the farm and continued interest in farm endeavors as President of the Farm Bureau from the 90’s to 2015. As a young man, he worked for the FAA removing beacons from radio towers and worked at Virgil’s Service utilizing his mechanical skills. John’s first elected position was to the East Clearwater School Board, followed by later serving three terms as a Miner County Commissioner. While on the Commission, he served on the SD Weed and Pest commission
John served in several organizations: President and Secretary of the Miner County Sportsmen’s club, Director of The South Dakota Wildlife Federation, Executive Board of SD Association of County Commissioners, Chairman of the Southeast Central Board of Commissioners, President of First District Association of Local Governments serving 10 Counties, 20 County Juvenile Detention Board, 30 years on First District Development Company Loan Committee, Miner County Weed and Pest Board, Weed and Pest Supervisor for 6 years, and was a delegate to state Republican Convention several times. In 1970, John and Duane Miller started and built Dakota Pork Cooperative. John served as Chairman of that Board of Directors for 20 years.
As a deeply devoted member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, John held all church offices except for Treasurer which he jokingly said ‘they didn’t trust him with the money’. John’s love of Christ was demonstrated in his daily life.
John was very creative and inventive. He loved working in his shop, welding racing cars for drivers and machinery for other farmers. He took the challenge and built his family’s beautiful home.
John enjoyed staying in touch with friends old and new and enjoyed being involved with his family near and far. John was a world traveler visiting multiple countries with Joyce by his side. They also enjoyed spending many years at their second home in Arizona as well.
Grateful for having shared his life are the wife of 68 years that he adored, Joyce A. Haak; four children: Bobbi Richardson (Chandler, AZ), Joni (Richard) Jacobsen (Madison, SD), John (Chris) Haak (Sioux Falls, SD), and Brad (Judene) Haak (Omaha, NE), fifteen grandchildren: Jason, Mike, and Matt Hart, Jenna Haak and Hannah (Haak) Heiden, Brittney (Haak) Ryba, Nicole (Haak) Brown, John and Jillian Haak, Morgan, Delaney, and Bodie Murray. John is also survived by his brother Harlan (Joyce E.) Haak and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings Gilbert Haak, Lorraine Laufmann, Rosella Kreul, and Elnora Callies, a daughter-in-law Jean (Jerlow) Haak, a niece and several nephews.
The family is grateful for all the love and kindness shown at this difficult time.