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Jerry Delker

Jerry Delker

Jerry Delker, age 84, passed away on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, at the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, SD. He was born on June 28, 1939, to John and Anna (Geist) Delker in Tolstoy, SD.

Jerry’s journey began in 1957 when he completed his high school education at Hoven High School. While serving at Offutt Air Force in Omaha, Nebraska, he pursued his bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. It is there that he developed his passion for leadership and entrepreneurship. His love story with his soulmate, Darlene Arbach, began on September 30, 1958, and they raised a family of seven children together.

In 1962, Jerry and Darlene returned to Hoven, South Dakota, where they established their entrepreneurial spirit by opening the “Blue Valley Bowl” bowling alley. Their hard work and dedication led them to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where they rooted themselves and created a life for themselves. Jerry was not afraid of new challenges and took on various roles, serving as a crop hail specialist and marketing/sales manager. He also contributed significantly to his community as a member of St. Michael’s Parish, a Legionnaire, and the Sioux Falls Knights of Columbus.

Jerry had a zest for life and enjoyed outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, baseball, and softball. He was known for his great sense of humor and his witty personality. Jerry’s selflessness was evident in his willingness to lend a helping hand to anyone in need, going above and beyond to assist others. He treasured his roles as a father and a grandfather who enjoyed attending his children’s and grandchildren’s sporting events. He created many special memories fishing on “Darlene’s boats” and hunting with his family and friends. He and Darlene shared a love for bowling, which they did for many years together.

Jerry’s legacy lives on as a kind, confident, and enthusiastic leader who brought joy into the lives of those he encountered.

Grateful to have shared his life are his wife of 65 years, Darlene Delker; children, Jeff Delker, Sue (Brian) Sweet, Julie (Jim) Ignowski, Shelly (Steve) Wyatt, Mary (Tim) Jurgens, Sandy (Mike Wetrich) Delker-Holbert, and Jim (Deb) Delker; siblings, Orville Delker and Joleen Delker; grandchildren, Travis, Taylor, Taci, Jennifer (Shawn), Wade, Kalyn (Donnie), Elizabeth, Joe, Anthony, Michael, Zach (Tasia) Brooke, Morgan, Alexis (David), Gabbi, Ross (Tascha), Grace (Bryce), Hannah and Katie; 15 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, Ron Sjodin; numerous family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and sisters, Vivian Sjodin and Joan (Wendy) Lange.

Visitation will be Monday, November 27, 2023, from 5-7 PM, with a prayer service at 6 PM at Miller Funeral Home Westside Chapel. Funeral Mass Tuesday, November 28, 2023, at 10 AM at St. Michael Parish. Interment at St. Michaels Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Dougherty Hospice House.