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John P. Crater

John P. Crater, age 81, of Mitchell died Thursday, January 3, 2019 at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls. Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Monday, January 7 at the First United Methodist Church, Mitchell, SD. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Will Funeral Chapel. Private graveside services will be at the Servicemen’s Memorial Cemetery with military rites. John P. Crater, son of Ralph E. and Mildred (Onken) Crater, was born October 18, 1937 in Havana. He moved with his family to Miller, SD in 1953 and graduated from Miller High School in 1955. John enlisted and served in the US Army as a Military Policeman in Germany from 1958 to 1961. John was united in marriage with Alice Gaulke on October 18, 1964 at the First United Methodist Church in Mitchell, SD. He graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD with a BA Degree in Business Administration and Psychology. He was employed by the State of South Dakota for 14 years as an Accountant and Business Manager at the SD State Training School at Plankinton, SD and Custer State Hospital at Custer, SD. John then worked as an Operations Analyst for Farm Credit Banks of Omaha, NE (Mitchell, SD branch) for 10 years. He was then a Financial Advisor for IDS/American Express for 10 years. John then became a Financial Planner for Independent Financial Services until retiring in 2005. John played amateur baseball, was a sanctioned league bowler for over 50 years, and an avid golfer. He owned and rode seven Honda Motorcycles in his lifetime and attended the Sturgis Rally for 25 years. John was also a member of the American Legion, First United Methodist Church and sang in the Early Dawn Choir there for many years. He also enjoyed singing Karaoke. In his retirement years he enjoyed driving vehicles for Palace Motors and Vern Eide Motors until he was stricken with West Nile encephalitis in 2013. Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Alice Crater, Mitchell, SD; a daughter, Dawn (Curt) Bult, Mitchell, SD; a son, Barry (Patty) Crater, Edina, MN; his grandchildren, Kaylynn Wee, Emerson, NE, Dustin Wee, Mitchell, SD, Michael Crater and Bennett Crater, both of Edina, MN; a great granddaughter, Anya Wee, Emerson, NE; a brother, Dave (Cami) Crater, Fergus Falls, MN; a sister-in-law, Ann Crater, Oakland, CA; brothers-in-law, Duane (Margaret) Gaulke, Hill City, SD, David (Judy) Gaulke, Gann Valley, SD. He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Jim Crater; and his in-laws, Bud and Gladys Gaulke.

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