Delbert Symens

Delbert Glenn Symens, age 84 of Sioux Falls, formerly of George died on Wednesday, October 30th at the Avera Heart Hospital of South Dakota.

Funeral services will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 9, 2019, at the Zoar Presbyterian Church of rural George. Visitation will be one hour prior to service time. Interment will be in the Zoar Cemetery prior to the service.

The Miller Funeral Home of Sioux Falls is in charge of arrangements for Delbert Glenn Symens.

Delbert Glenn Symens was born on the family farm near Zoar Presbyterian Church on August 21,1935, the son of Arthur J. Symens and Gladys (Trei) Symens He attended rural school and the George High School for two years, but completed his high school work while in the service, receiving a GED high school graduation certificate at that time.

Before entering the service he drove trucks for Koerselman Brothers and Wayne Beek and worked at the cement plant in Sibley. He entered the service in April, 1957, and served in the army in Germany. He received his discharge in 1959.

After his discharge he again worked at the cement plant and at Armours in Worthington. He and his brother, Burdell, then farmed in Minnesota for a time, but Delbert then moved to Minneapolis to work in construction for 13 years. At this time Delbert and Burdell bought a farm in southern Minnesota and farmed together there until their father suddenly passed away in 1977. Delbert then came home to farm the family farm and do construction work locally.

In 1980 he met Maxine Tanner and they were married on September 26, 1981. After their marriage they moved into the house that Delbert had recently built on Dell Street in George where they presently reside.

In 1982 Delbert and Maxine bought the former Chevrolet garage building and Delbert remodeled it for the Slim ‘N’ Trim Exercise and Tanning Salon, which Maxine operated while Delbert continued to farm and do some construction work. In 1985 they bought the George Cafe, and while operating that they also bought the clothing store building and completely renovated and remodeled that to become the Pizza Ranch. They closed the George Cafe in 1990, but continued to operate the Pizza Ranch until 1996 when they sold it. During his time in business in George Delbert was a member of the Chamber of Commerce. In 1992 a new George Kiwanis Club was formed, and both Delbert and Maxine became charter members. Delbert served as President of the organization in the 2004-2005 year; the club was very active during his presidency, completing several community projects and enrolling a record number of 10 new members in that year. He remained a member of the club until 2007. In 1998, after retiring from the restaurant business, Delbert and Maxine bought rental properties in Sibley and George which Delbert maintained until 2011 when they sold those in Sibley.

Delbert was always interested in his family and their activities, not just his immediate family, but also 2nd and 3rd cousins, and Delbert & Maxine have organized the Symens family reunions since their marriage in 1981.

Delbert was a person of strong faith in God and his church was very important to him. During his lifetime, he held many positions in the church, those of Elder, Deacon and Trustee, as well as serving as the church treasurer for 13 years from 1998 to 2011. Probably Delbert’s greatest asset was his caring for people. Because of his caring, he was always willing to help people when they needed it and seldom did they need to ask for it. He worked with Maxine on sponsoring children in the Christian Children’s Fund and they have, since 2010, been funding a young girl, Juliet Najumba, first to complete high school in a private school (in Uganda). She completed her degree at the University in finance and is now working in a hospital in Kampala. Maybe the best example of Delbert’s caring for people was his blood donations. In George up to the present, he has donated 144 pints in addition to what he donated during the years he lived in Minneapolis.

Delbert enjoyed traveling, especially in his younger years. While he and Burdell were both in the service, they toured together in Europe. After their marriage, he and Maxine went on a tour to Hawaii and also another to central European countries. In later years, they traveled closer to home and enjoyed eating out with family and friends. At home, he enjoyed researching on the internet, reading and cooking.

Delbert was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Marlyn and Irvin; and a nephew, Kevin Symens and a brother-in-law, James Driscoll.

Those left to mourn his passing are his wife, Maxine; two brothers, Burdell (Marlys) Symens and Arthur (Ferne) Symens; one sister, Elaine (Dick) Rypkema and sisters-in-law, Sharon Symens, Mary (Al) Meister, Pam Symens and Bonita Driscoll; nieces and nephews, Gale Symens, Greg Symens, Char Carlson, Kimm Symens, Jodi Ten Kley, Pam Rypkema, Kris Angeles, Scott Rypkema, Cathy Cole, Michelle Kawahl, Jennifer Symens, Amanda Peyton, Brenda Huls, Dean Symens, Stephanie Hill, David Driscoll; and two “adopted” daughters, Nohelia Garcia and Juliet Najumba, and many extended family and friends.

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