John L Wunder

August 2, 1930 ~ February 23, 2024 (age 93) 93 Years Old

John Wunder Obituary

John Leroy Wunder of Howard SD, age 93 passed away peacefully in his sleep on February 23.2024 at Prairie View Health Care Center, Woonsocket SD after a difficult battle with Dementia.  Memorial Services will be Saturday, April 6, 2024 at 11:00 AM., at Willoughby Funeral Home. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Inurnment will be at Graceland Cemetery with Military Honors. 

John Leroy Wunder was born August 2nd, 1930, to George and Anna (Hueners) in the Canova SD Hospital. John attended country grade school and graduated from Howard High School in 1948, and immediately started his lifelong career in farming. John met the first love of his life, Joyce (Buttenob) at the Paradise movie theater in Howard and married her October 14th, 1951.

In March 1952, He was called up to serve Uncle Sam in the Korean Conflict as a scraper operator building roads, gun emplacements, and garbage dumps a mile behind the front lines, until being honorably discharged in October 1953. At which time he returned to diversified farming with his wife and raised two sons on the farm north of Howard until downsizing and semi retiring to take care of his ailing wife Joyce until her passing in 1995. 

John returned to farming again; this time raising “Wunder’s Golden Flax” for its health benefits with the next love of his life Virginia Petersen (Jill’s Mom) whom he married December 27,1997. Together they grew the business from local customers to national food chain distribution. When failing health and the relentless lure of scammers took their toll because of John’s generous giving & helping spirit, John said, “We best get to town” and they sold the farm and moved into Howard. Virginia passed in 2019 and John continued to live in his own apartment and later with the help of his son Lee until his dementia worsened to the point of needing professional care at which time, he entered Prairie View in October 2023.

Working or growing up around John usually meant doing things the “Wunder Way” or the alternative hi-way but also due to his kind-heartedness he would help whenever needed and literally “give you the shirt off his back” – but he’d also tell you how to wear it. 

John was a member of Grace Communion International Church Sioux Falls, where he was an ordained preaching elder. He gave sermons and was blessed to perform weddings for one of his sons and two of his granddaughters.

Survivors include Sons, Colin (Jill) of Howard, SD, and Lee of Astoria, OR; Five Grandchildren, Anoria (Adam), Tessa, Jonea (Eric), Colin II (Andria), Arianne (Brandon); 6 Great-Grandchildren, Kasyn, Kingston, Aryah, Easton, Weston, Brighton; In addition to several Beloved Nieces & Nephews & Families.

John was preceded in death by his Wives, Joyce & Virginia; Parents, George & Anna; Brothers & Their Wives, Robert (Agnes) & Richard (Nadine); Sister Wilma (Howard).

John’s Family wishes to extend their gratitude to the staff at Prairie View Health Center in Woonsocket SD, Avera Hospice, SD Veterans Administration, Ellsworth/Willoughby Funeral Home and the Miner County Community for their Lifelong Support.

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April 6, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Willoughby Funeral Home
301 N Main St
Howard, South Dakota 57349

Memorial Service
April 6, 2024

11:00 AM
Willoughby Funeral Home
301 N Main St
Howard, South Dakota 57349

April 6, 2024

11:30 AM
Graceland Cemetery
S Section Line
Howard, South Dakota 57349


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