Alden “Al” House, age 85, of Hutchinson, formerly of Rapid City, South Dakota, passed away Thursday, January 4, 2018, at Harmony River Living Center in Hutchinson.
Funeral services will be held at Kirk Funeral Home in the Spring of 2018 with burial at the Fort Meade National Veterans Cemetery.
Al was born on March 18, 1932 to Charles P. and Mamie House (Jurgensen) in Chamberlain, SD. He lived on a farm ten miles south and two miles west of Chamberlain. Al attended the Cable School south of Chamberlain through the 8th grade. In the fall of 1946 Alden began high school in Chamberlain. He lived with his sister, Onalee on their farm south of Reliance. In the fall of 1947 the family bought a farm 3 miles east of Pukwana, SD. The following spring Charlie got behind on the farming due to the move so Al dropped out of school to help his dad and never returned to high school.
In 1948 after lying about his age, Al walked and hitchhiked through a blizzard to Chamberlain, SD, where he joined HQ’s Co. 196th Regimental Combat Team of the South Dakota National Guard at the age of 15. He continued as a member of the National Guard and worked on the family farm in Pukwana. In July of 1950 he joined the US Air Force and trained as an aircraft mechanic and electrician. While in the Air Force he was stationed in Texas, Illinois, California and was shipped overseas and spent 2 ½ years in Japan during the Korean War in a P-51 fighter squadron. In 1954 he returned home to the family farm. In May 1955 he moved to San Francisco and worked for United Airlines as a mechanic and maintenance inspector on aircraft. During this time he received his GED at San Mateo Jr. College. He also worked as a reserve deputy sheriff for 5 years.
In July of 1961 he married Ruby Jane Fife in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA. They had 2 children: Terry and Gary. After working in the city for 10 years it was time to try the farm life again. In 1964 the family moved back to the farm in Pukwana. Al joined the old National Guard unit, which had been changed to a combat engineer unit and also worked as a police officer in Chamberlain. In September of 1969 the family moved from Pukwana to Rapid City where he accepted a Civil Service position with the SD National Guard as a helicopter mechanic/crew chief. In 1972 he and Jane divorced.
In May 1976 he married Linda Veenhuis House from Brandon, SD. Linda and her daughter, Shari moved to Rapid City. Her son, Scott stayed in Minnesota with his father. Al and Linda resided in Rapid Valley until 2013 when they then moved to Fountain Springs Community in Rapid City. In the fall of 2016 they moved to Hutchinson, MN to be closer to Linda’s daughter.
Al joined the South Dakota Civil Air Patrol in July 1975 where he served as the Wing Commander from March 1991 until May 1994. Al participated in many search & rescue missions with the CAP in South Dakota. In 1992 at the age of 60 Al retired from his Civil Service position with the National Guard after 26 ½ years. In April of 1993 Al became a part time bailiff for the Pennington County Court House. He retired from this position in November 2011.
Al received numerous awards and medals during his years of public service with the Air Force, Civil Service, National Guard, and Civil Air Patrol. He was a member of the SDNGEA, where he served as the state commander for 4 years, a life member of TREA and the VFW, American Legion, and the Lions International Club.
Al and Linda shared many trips to National Guard conventions all over the country throughout their marriage. His greatest loves were flying and serving others through his military career. Al enjoyed spending his free time working in his shop doing wood working projects. He created numerous Intarsia carvings/pictures. He enjoyed spending time with his family camping in their motorhome or on the pontoon going for rides, sometimes even a little fishing. He especially enjoyed time with his children and grandchildren.
Survivors include his wife, Linda of Hutchinson, MN; Terry Fudge and husband Jim of Big Horn, WY; Gary House of Rapid City, SD; Shari Zieman and husband Dale of Hutchinson, MN; Scott House and wife Carrie of Puyallup, WA; sisters in law Eleanor House of Chamberlain, SD and Esther House of Phoenix AZ; 13 Grandchildren and 6 Great Grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles & Mamie House; brothers Raymond, Kenneth, Donald, and Darrel; sisters Ruth Ingalls, Onalee Larson, Sylvia “Mae” Wolcott, and Letha Moore.