Gene Willard Malde was born January 14, 1926, at Mount Vernon, to Gabe and Emma (Wittig) Malde. He grew up in the Plankinton area and attended the Hopper Consolidated School for twelve years. He farmed with his dad and enjoyed working with horses, cattle and training dogs. On May 30, 1949, he married Virginia Heck at the Wesleyan Church in Mitchell. He taught her the fine points of farming and ranching. He sang in the church choir, taught Sunday school, served on the church board and ushered for many years. He also served for many years on the Hopper Township Board and Farmers Elevator Board in Mount Vernon.
He is survived by his wife, Virginia; two sons, Brian Malde and wife, Sheryl, of Hot Springs, SD, Randy Malde and wife, Teri of Ogden, UT; four grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; one sister, Dorothy Scott of Mitchell; a brother-in-law, Walter Heck and wife, Jean of Auburn, WA; a sister-in-law, Ruth Johnson of Mitchell; a sister-in-law, Verona Vroman and husband, Bill of Buffalo, SD; nieces, nephews and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers-in-law, Henry Scott, Vernon Johnson and sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Esther and Bill Wammen.