Edward William Stach was born February 5, 1919 in Mitchell to Frank and Anna (Klemper) Stach. He passed away July 21, 2008 at Firesteel Healthcare Center in Mitchell. He was a long-time resident of Letcher and a member of St. Scholastica’s Catholic Church in that community. Ed farmed one mile southeast of Letcher from 1946-1981. He and his wife, Helen, also owned and operated both the Corner Station and Stach’s Grocery in Letcher for a short time in the mid-1940’s. However, their primary business venture was the operation of West Side Fruit Market a quarter-mile west of the State Fairgrounds in Huron from 1955-1977. They moved from Letcher to Mitchell in 1986, several years after he retired from farming.
On August 19, 1944, Ed married Helen Jeanette Larson in Joplin, MO. Helen survives him, as do their four children: Bonnie (Vern) Tate of Huron, SD, Marilyn Freese of Sioux Falls, SD, Gary (Janet) Stach of Carmel, IN and Ken (Lila) Stach of Letcher, SD. He is also survived by ten grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
Ed was one of five boys born to Frank and Anna Stach. All four of his brothers preceded him in death: Leon, Louis, Steve and Thomas. He was also preceded in death by his parents. Ed grew up on a farm southeast of Letcher before going into the army during World War II. He was stationed at several posts in the US, the most notable of which was while he was in the Army Air Corps’ Signal Corps division. Stationed in San Francisco Bay, he would intercept messages in the Japanese version of the Morse code, which were then relayed to the Pentagon in Washington, DC for further decoding. Ed always quipped that one of the messages he intercepted may have won the war in the Pacific, and he would have never known it.
Ed and Helen enjoyed dancing in their earlier years, and were co-founders of the Corn Palace Polka Club in the 1980’s. Ed was also an avid fisherman, with a special interest in walleye fishing. He loved the outdoors and always seemed to find a way to be working in the yard…with his prize roses, picturesque lawn, or beautiful garden.