Delmar F. Strunk was born on February 24, 1922 to Elmer and Alma (Simonsen) Strunk in rural Irene, South Dakota. He grew up in the Yankton, SD and Midway area. He was baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. He attended Peterson rural school district #66 through the 8th grade. He then went on to attend Irene High School for 2 years before working fulltime on the family farm. For several years, Delmar worked as a farmhand in North Dakota and Iowa. In October 1942, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served with the Merrill’s Marauders. He lived through some of the toughest, hardest fought battles in the China, Burma, India (CBI) area. It was said that the Merrill’s Marauders were not expected to survive as a unit, therefore no resources were expended to prepare for their return. In September 1945, Delmar was honorably discharged and returned home. Seventy years later, he was officially named an army ranger.
On October 11, 1945, he was united in marriage to Velma Schuette. For a short time, they lived in Sioux City, Iowa while Delmar worked in a packing plant. In 1946, they started farming near Irene. In 1951, they moved to a farm west of Scotland. They moved into Scotland and passed the farm into their son Robert’s hands in 1990.
Besides farming, Delmar also remained busy in the community. He served on the Scotland Creamery Board for 22 years. He was a member of the United Church of Christ in Scotland and served in many offices throughout the years. For 15 years, he drove a school bus for the Scotland School district and also ran a de-tassle corn crew for Pioneer Seed Co. during the summer months for 8 years. He was also a life member of the Scotland V.F.W. Post #2966.
One of Delmar’s fondest memories was his honor flight to Washington, D.C. After 70 years, he was honored when he formally received his medals for his service in WWII. In 2015, Delmar co-authored and published a book with Randall DeWitt about his life and the time he spent in the army titled, “Jungle Stories: The Life of Delmar Strunk.”
Delmar passed away on Friday, June 28, 2019 at the Good Samaritan Society of Scotland having attained the age of 97 years.
He is survived and remembered by his wife Velma Strunk of Scotland, SD; son Robert (Patsy) Strunk of Scotland; daughter Sandra (Garold) Vollmer of Rapid City, SD; four grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, an infant daughter, daughter-in-law Susan Strunk, 3 sisters, and 1 brother.
This obituary was written in loving memory by the family of Delmar Strunk.
one hour prior to service
with family present