Obituary of Jaroslav Duane Pavlis
Jaroslav Duane “Sonny” Pavlis, 92, of Lake Andes, SD passed peacefully, surrounded by family on Tuesday, November 15, 2022 in the Wagner Community Memorial Hospital. Funeral services will be Monday, November 21 at 1:00 with visitation beginning at 12:00 noon, at Koehn Bros. Funeral Chapel in Geddes, SD. Military burial will immediately follow at Pleasant Lawn Cemetery, Geddes, SD with lunch to follow.
Jaroslav Duane “Sonny” Pavlis was born on July 12, 1930 to Jaroslav George “Jerry” and Rose Belle (Fijala) Pavlis in Geddes, SD. He joined his siblings Harold and Beatrice on the farm that his grandfather homesteaded southwest of Geddes. Sonny grew up in a log cabin without electricity and used an outhouse until he left home after graduating from high school. He loved riding horses and could run like the wind – even faster than his big brother.
Sonny attended Jackson #9 Country School through the 8th grade. He graduated in 1949 from Geddes High School where he played on the football team. They were thankful for his speed. He was drafted into the Army and served in the Korean War from Dec. 6, 1951 to Nov. 20, 1953. After his honorable discharge, Sonny returned to Jackson Township to farm with his father.
After his mother Rose died in 1964, his father, Jerry became a Texas snowbird and married Mildred Ellison from McAllen, TX, who fit right in as “Grandma.”
Sonny spent many happy years with the mother of his children, Rita Gray. They were blessed with Robert “Rob” in 1968 and Tiffany in 1977. The whole family enjoyed the farm, as well as many other children that Sonny raised as his own.
After leaving the farm Sonny hauled hogs to California for Houseman Trucking. Then he drove truck for many years throughout South Dakota for Carlson Construction Company. After retirement, Sonny lived in Lake Andes and spent many hours visiting with friends at Pumper Nik’s.
Sonny is survived by his children Rob and wife Nicki Gray and Tiffany Gray of Lake Andes, grandchildren: Samantha, Hayli, Madisyn, Taylor, Aubrey, Darrin, Leo, Grant, Gabe, Journey, and Mikayla. Great grandchildren: Linkyn, Evyn, Elly, Avery, Russell, Leola, and Vincent. Brother Harold Pavlis of Geddes and a host of relatives and friends.
Greeting him on the other side are the mother of his children, Rita Gray (2017), stepson Melvin “Leo” Hopkins SR (2017), stepdaughter Kimberly Hopkins (2018), father (1981), mother (1964), sister Beatrice Pavlis Mushitz(2016), brother-in-law Victor Mushitz (2014), and sister-in-law Iona (Nelson) Pavlis (2015).
In Loving Memory
1930 - 2022
821 Main St,
PO Box 339
11 N. Main St.,
PO Box 613
Lake Andes, SD
309 W. Main St.,
PO Box 928 Parkston, SD
218 Main St., Stickney, SD
125 S. Corse St., Corsica, SD
220 S. Main Ave., Geddes, SD