Obituary of Doyle Bintliff
Franklin Doyle Bintliff - everybody called him Doyle - passed away Saturday the same way he spent most Saturdays - surrounded by people he loved and who loved him. Funeral mass will be Friday, July 14 at 10:30 am at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Parkston. Visitation will begin an hour prior to the service.
A person collects a lot of mile markers along a road that spreads over more than 101 years. Doyle was born in Milltown, South Dakota, in 1922. He married Mary Mayer of Parkston on a bitter cold day in 1943 in Luverne, MN. He served in the Pacific Theatre in World War II, tending to wounded soldiers as part of the 204th General Hospital in Guam, earning the rank of Staff Sergeant. He served again in the Korean War, stationed in Japan. Doyle worked for Hormel for 42 years. Their road took him and Mary from Mitchell to Fremont, Nebraska, to Rapid City and finally to Stoughton, Wisconsin, where for nearly 30 years he lived a few miles from his daughter, grandchildren and great-grandkids.
A journey as long, rich and interesting as Doyle’s doesn’t distill to a few descriptive sentences, and his path wasn’t rounded out by the larger marks on the map; the scenery along the road was always worth noticing. As a teenager in The Depression he traveled the midwest working farms for months at a time. Doyle was a gifted baseball player as a boy and in the army. “Big Ben” Bintliff would throw a hundred pitches and then throw a hundred more tomorrow. He started on the floor with Hormel and retired as Chief Plant Engineer. For most of their lives he and Mary would jump in the Buick and think nothing of a dozen or more hours in the car to visit his kids and grandkids, his brothers Chuck (Bernadine) or Bob (Bev), his sister Elnora (Jake) and their families. Their home was a welcome waypoint for cousins, nephews and nieces, friends and family. There’s some beer in the fridge and some Hormel sausage if you’re hungry.
He loved his church, St. Ann Parish in Stoughton. He loved his country, participating in the Badger Honor Flight - a trip with other veterans to Washington D.C. to honor, commemorate, and reminisce their wartime service. He loved his family, spending countless hours visiting, enjoying reunions, looking out on the lake, remarking from his backyard at the corn growing tall this year, unless it’s beans. Between the big destinations were acreage of what makes the journey worth it. The Milltown dance hall with Mary. Baseball in Guam to soften the hard edges of war. Road trips with Patty and Donny. Exploring the Black Hills with Steve and the grandkids. The Badgers on television, sunsets from the boat, gin and tonic from the deck if you’re making one already and it’s no trouble.
Mary passed away in 2011. They’d been married 68 years. His son Doyle Jr. passed away at birth, his son Don died in 1996. For the rest of us, he remained the mapmaker and navigator; his daughter Pat and son Steve; Grandkids Matt (Amber), Chris (Amy), Erin (Jimmy), Heather (Eric), Michael (Alicia Ruhland), Amanda and Nikki. And his great-grandkids Shadai, Shia, Ava, Dakota, Connor, Isaac, Kayla and Adam. When their family grew as Pat married Mike, Don married Gayle, and Steve would marry Rhonda and later partner with Kim (Christiansen), their arms grew wider and their hearts grew deeper. As years passed and new paths splintered from theirs, Doyle and Mary welcomed each new spouse, child, friend, partner, cousin three times removed or neighbor just needing a hand with a warm smile, firm handshake, and an invitation to sit and stay awhile, there’s no hurry.
We who love Doyle carry on in gratitude. We’ll miss his bright eyes, his honest laugh, Brewers and Badgers commentary, detailed stories and reflections, generous personality, strength and resilience and easy presence. We’ll try to remember to pause once in awhile to look back on miles covered, carry the weight of others we travel with when we can, and laugh at the sweetness of what’s all around us as we go. Wild raspberries grow just off the side of the road after all, you just have to know where to look.
In Loving Memory
1922 - 2023
821 Main St,
11 N. Main St.,
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