Merlyn D. Smeenk

Merlyn D. Smeenk, 70, of Harrisburg, SD died Wednesday, December 11, 2019.

His funeral service will be 10:30 AM Saturday, December 14 at First Reformed Church, Sioux Falls, with burial at Hills of Rest Cemetery. Visitation begins at 5:00 PM Friday, December 13 at George Boom Funeral Home & On-Site Crematory, Sioux Falls, where the family will greet friends from 5:00 PM to7:00 PM.

Merlyn Dale Smeenk, son of Raymond and Gladys (Vander Meulen) Smeenk, was born November 9, 1949 at Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD. He lived on a farm near Harrisburg, SD his entire life. Merlyn attended country school at Muller District #35 near Lake Alvin. He graduated from Canton (SD) High School in 1968. During high school, Merlyn was active in Future Farmers of America and served as a state officer. He then attended South Dakota State University in Brookings, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science and was a member of the ROTC.

Merlyn proudly served his country as a member of the South Dakota Air National Guard before retiring as a Major in 1993. He also served as a member of the Minnesota Civil Air Patrol.

Merlyn was united in marriage with Lonna DeWild on December 17, 1971 in Sioux Falls, SD. The couple farmed and raised their family on the family place near Harrisburg.

As a man of faith, Merlyn was a member of Arise Church in addition to serving in various capacities at other churches through the years. He had been a member of the Lincoln County Rural Water Board for over 40 years and was currently serving as its President. He was named a National Pork All-American in 1985 and had been a past member of the South Dakota Soybean Association. In addition, the Smeenks were honored as Farm Family of the Year by the Ag Business Division of the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce in 1990.

Besides his hobbies of flying and Corvettes, Merlyn enjoyed visiting with anyone who came across his path. Merlyn’s greatest joy was his grandchildren and the time he was able to spend with them.

Grateful for having shared his life are his loving wife of nearly 48 years, Lonna; two sons, Ryon Smeenk and his wife, Sharon, Harrisburg, SD, Neil Smeenk and his wife, Christine, Van Meter, IA; six grandchildren, Amanda, Kayla, Natalie, Jonah, Audrey and Norah; his brother, Norman Smeenk and his wife, Joyce, Harrisburg, SD; his sister, Donna Stanford and her husband, Gary, Sioux Falls, SD; and many other relatives and friends.

Merlyn was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Gladys Smeenk; a brother, John Smeenk; and a niece, Lila Van Essen.