Wayne Ehlers of Canova, SD passed away in his home on August 17, 2017. Visitation will be Tuesday, August 22 at the United Methodist Church in White Lake from 5:00 – 7:00 PM with a prayer service at 7:00. The funeral will be Wednesday, August 23 at 10:30 am at the church. Burial will be in the White Lake Cemetery. Arrangements are by Bittner Funeral Chapel in Mitchell, SD.
Wayne Ehlers was born on March 23, 1955 in Mitchell, SD to Don and Joyce (Campbell) Ehlers. He attended White Lake High School. He left school and chose to enter the work force.
Wayne had several accomplishments in his life. Wayne started his military career as a member of the South Dakota National Guard. Wayne soon realized his true calling was flying helicopters and joined the US Army full time. He traveled around the world for special covert missions as a helicopter pilot. Wayne retired from the Army as a Chief Warrant Officer 4. Wayne joined the Louisiana Air Guard as a flight instructor.
The military also provided Wayne with his love for education. He earned his GED and in 1991 he graduated at the top of his class from the Jones School of Law in Montgomery, AL. He went on to open his own law firm in Semmes, AL where he focused on Family and VA Law. He also became a professor at Faulkner University in Faulkner, AL. Wayne also hosted a weekly radio call-in-show, “Ask an Expert” and answered legal questions from the public.
Wayne was an accomplished cattleman. He raised prize-winning Long Horn cattle in Alabama. He mixed his passion for cattle with his passion for food and opened Crusader Meat, which offered prime cuts of Long Horn Cattle.
Wayne moved to Canova, South Dakota in 2009 to be closer to his family. He lived a busy life and was not yet ready to retire completely. He started cooking at Claudia’s Diner in White Lake. He enjoyed getting to know the locals and sharing his culinary skills.
Wayne chose to retire completely in 2013. Wayne enjoyed spending time with his family and researching different areas of the world. Wayne took a trip to the Philippines and met Jenicel Jiao. They were married in 2014 and returned to Canova in 2016.
Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, four children: Joy (Shawn) Petersen, Hartley, IA; Anita (Blaine) Jones, Brandon, SD; Shawn (Kaye) Holland, Mitchell; Meghan Ehlers, four brothers, Ronnie Ehlers, White Lake; Russell Ehlers, White Lake; John (Kim) Ehlers, White Lake; David (Denise) Ehlers, New Castle Wyoming, four sisters, Fay DeBoer, Mitchell; Wanda (Wayne) Hohn, Mitchell; Bonny (Terry) Sperlich Warnke; Suzie Letcher, White Lake; one sister-in-law Jennifer (Gary) Chance, Letcher, SD, sixteen grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, his daughter Stacy Ehlers, three brothers Donnie, Jim and Gary, nephew Wes Hohn, niece Amy DeBoer, and two brothers-in-law Leroy Sperlich and Robert Letcher.
Pall Bearers: Ronnie Ehlers, Russell Ehlers, John Ehlers, David Ehlers, Wayne Hohn, Tucker Melmer and James Letcher. Wayne’s grandchildren are honorary pallbearers.