Funeral Services are being held at 1:00 p.m. today at Miller Funeral Home (Hartford Chapel), Hartford, S.D., with interment at Hartford Cemetery. Visitation began at noon Thursday, with the family present to greet friends from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday evening at the Miller Funeral Home Hartford Chapel.
Lonnie Laverne Briese was born on March 6, 1955, in Sioux Falls, S.D., to Laverne and Phyllis (Barnick) Briese. The family lived in various places in the Dakotas and Iowa, settling in Meriden, where Lonnie was raised.
He graduated from high school in 1973. Lonnie joined the US Army in May 1973, and trained at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan. He then served in Germany. Lonnie received his honorable discharge in February 1975, and returned to Iowa where he helped care for his ailing father. Laverne passed away in 1976. Lonnie moved to Sioux Falls and began working in construction and irrigation.
He was married to Marge Van Santen on September 24, 1977. Shortly after, they moved to Hartford, S.D. The couple later divorced. In 1977, Lonnie began his long career with the Minnehaha County Highway Department. Starting as road grader and maintainer driver, Lonnie retired as a supervisor in April, 2012.
Lonnie enjoyed walleye fishing in area lakes, and at one time caught a 13 pound walleye in Lake Erie. A fine marksman, he was an avid hunter of both small game and big game. In his free time, he liked playing pool and was involved with two pool leagues. He always looked forward to fall, when he could wear his green and gold -- Lonnie was a passionate Green Bay fan.
Lonnie loved his grandchildren; he was so proud of them. Below the surface of his strong personality was a tender-hearted man with a warm sense of humor. Quick-witted, he loved to play little pranks. Loyal and loving, Lonnie will be forever cherished in the hearts of those who loved him.
Grateful for having shared his life are his partner, Debbi Bennett, Hartford, S.D.; daughter, Mindy Olson (BJ) Hartford, S.D.; grandchildren, Kaylee and Karson Olson, Hartford, S.D.; mother, Phyllis Briese, Meriden; sister, Sue Briese, Cleghorn, sister, Janell Purdy, Meriden; brother, Randy Briese (Rita), Hawarden; and many other relatives.
Memorials may be directed to: Sanford Children's Hospital, 1600 W. 22nd Street, PO Box 5039, Sioux Falls, SD 57117.