Michael Daniel Kuck, Brookings, SD died January 13, 2021 after a 17-year battle with Melanoma. Due to the current pandemic a private, family only Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, and will be Livestreamed through the Rude’s Funeral Home Facebook page. Visitation, without the family present is from 3-5 p.m. Sunday. Private family graveside services will be held at Black Hills National Cemetery, in Sturgis, SD, and will be livestreamed as well. Times for the graveside service can be found on www.rudesfuneralhome.com. Rude’s Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Per Mike’s request in lieu of flowers, memorials should be directed to Feeding South Dakota, Presentation Sisters in Aberdeen, Mother of God Monastery in Watertown for their work with the poor or Brookings American Legion Post #74.
Mike was born Jan. 26, 1948, the third son of Leonard and Bessie (Logue) Kuck. He grew up in Centerville, SD, and graduated from Centerville High School in 1966. In 1970 Mike graduated from SDSU with a degree in Ag Engineering. While attending college Mike met Lelonnie Bender and they were married Sept. 12, 1970.
After graduation from SDSU, Mike went to work as a field engineer for the USDA Soil Conservation Service (SCS), later called Natural Resource Conservation Service. A career with NRCS meant many moves around South Dakota. Mike’s first assignment was in Mobridge. After a year in Mobridge, Mike and Lonnie moved to Gettysburg where their daughter, Jennifer was born. Bison was the next move, and it was there that their son, Paul was born.
After three years in Bison, Mike was assigned back to Mobridge. The family then moved to Brookings where Mike was the Area Engineer. Mike returned to SDSU in 1994 and in 1996 received a Master’s Degree in industrial management with environmental emphasis. When he retired, Mike held the position of Assistant State Conservationist for Programs at the state office in Huron. In all these moves, Mike was advancing along the career ladder while putting conservation practices in place throughout the state. His passion for conservation can be seen throughout South Dakota.
After retiring from NRCS in 2010, Mike ran a consulting business that continued to put conservation practices to work along the Big Sioux River in Eastern South Dakota. Health issues forced Mike to close his consulting business in December 2017.
Mike served for 23 years in the South Dakota National Guard. While in the Guard, Mike held various positions including Commander of the 211th Engineering Bridge Building Company, Operations Officer for the 109th Battalion, Intelligence Officer for the 109th Engineer Group and Operations Officer for the 5043rd USAR School. He retired in 1993 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Mike was active in various ways at St. Thomas More Parish. He served on the building committee when St. Thomas More built the new church and parish complex. He also served on the parish council and took pleasure in serving as a lector.
An avid sportsman, Mike enjoyed hunting and fishing. He taught Lonnie to hunt and fish and said she was his favorite hunting and fishing partner. While they lived in Mobridge, the family spent many hours fishing and skiing on the Oahe Reservoir.
Mike was a skilled wood worker. He built cedar chests for family members and a cradle and high chair for his grandson, Owen, and many other items for family and friends.
Mike is survived by his wife of 50 years, Lonnie; children, Jennifer Kuck, Aurora, SD; Paul Kuck (Brandi Cook), Milwaukie, OR; grandson, Owen Kuck; brothers, Pat (Billie Jo), Fountain Hills, AZ; Tom (Peggy), Aberdeen, SD. He is also survived by his brothers-in-law, Doug (Pamela) Bender, Dave Bender, sister-in-law Sheila (Dale) McKenna, 10 nieces, nephews and numerous friends and colleagues.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Bessie; parents-in-law Waldemar and Delores Bender; aunts and uncles.
Condolences may be sent to the family through www.rudesfuneralhome.com.