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United Church of Christ
Thursday December 16th, 2021
5:00pm - 6:30pm

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Prayer Service

United Church of Christ
Thursday December 16th, 2021

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Funeral Service

United Church of Christ
Friday December 17th, 2021

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Bon Homme Cemetery
Friday December 17th, 2021

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Vernon Ray Kaul

Vernon Ray Kaul was born on July 25th 1948 in Tyndall, SD to Rueben and Mae (Mattis) Kaul. Vern and his older sister Betty attended Smith Country School through the 8th grade. Vern graduated from Tyndall High School in 1966. After graduation, Vern continued to work alongside his dad on the family farm northwest of Tyndall. Vern enjoyed the farm life raising crops, cattle, hogs and milking cows (though cantankerous they were).

Vern married his high school sweetheart Donna Mae Schneider on April 18th 1970 at the Friedens Reformed Church in Tripp, SD. Vern went on to farm north of Tyndall while Donna worked at Security State Bank. After nearly 40 years of farming, Vern and Donna moved to Springfield in 2005. In 2002 Vern and Donna opened Kaul’s Ag & Auto Inc. where Vern worked alongside sons Billy and Dean, repairing farm equipment, cars, trucks and lawn equipment. He enjoyed working on all sorts of projects both big and small however his welding jobs were always his favorite.

Vern’s love of music started when he taught himself how to play guitar in high school. Along with a few of his friends they would practice on Sunday afternoons learning rock & roll songs. Vern later went on to play with the Meltones with Mel Winckler and Gary Gibson. He then taught Billy (9) how to play guitar and Dean (5) drums and the East River Cowboys were born. Vern and the boys would go on to play parties, weddings and clubs for the next 25 years with Danny (11) joining in 1992. The East River Cowboys played a mix of Vern’s favorite country and western music along with the 50s and 60s rock and roll he grew up listening to.

After the boys went their separate ways, Vern continued to play shows at local Good Samaritan homes, the Senior Citizen’s Center and Assisted Livings along with many other special events. When Vern wasn’t making music, you could find him on the Springfield Golf Course. He religiously would play two rounds a day almost every day in all sorts of weather. At last count Vern had golfed 300 rounds in 2021 alone and had plans for many more. He especially enjoyed golfing with his grandkids and his late cousin Terry Kaul. Vern also loved watching all his grandkids participate in all sorts of events from sports like baseball, football, volleyball and wrestling to fine arts like drama and music.

Vernon Ray Kaul died at the age of 73 on December 14th 2021 at St. Michaels Hospital in Tyndall SD.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years Donna; three sons, Billy (Michelle) of Springfield, Dean (Nicole) of Tyndall, Danny (Julie) of Olathe, KS and daughter Vicki (Mike) Sonne of Watertown; ten grandchildren, Austin, Tyler and Jackson Kaul, Memphis, Wesley, Trey and Olivia Kaul, Alexandra and Megan Kaul and James Sonne and one brother-in-law Alan Palsma.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Rueben and Mae and sister, Betty Palsma.

Floral Tributes are included at the end of the Funeral Program.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Vernon Kaul, please visit our flower store.

Service Program


I am so sorry for your loss of Vern and your family. I have fond memories of you both as a couple in high school and married all these years. Words cannot express my sadness for you. Please know that I and many others pray for your peace and comfort.

Theresa Jan 14 2022 11:10 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Vernon Kaul

Tootsie Jan 9 2022 4:25 AM

Billy and family, so very sorry for your loss. As a west river cowgirl I remember you East River Cowboys. Your father's love of music and how he passed it on to the following generations is so inspiring. Praying for love and healing this season. ❤️

Anora Henderson Dec 30 2021 12:09 AM

Words just don't seem to be enough to express our heartfelt condolences to Donna and family. Vern was such a GOOD soul, kind, caring, and steadfast. There are many, many wonderful memories associated with Vern. He will be sorely missed..

Mark and Jo Szymanski Dec 22 2021 6:24 PM

Condolences Donna and Family. Heartfelt sympathies. Vern will be missed. Ejoyed stopping in to just shoot the breeze a bit. Vern had a special kindness. RIP Mr. Vern

Bob Colgan Dec 20 2021 3:36 PM

Donna, my sympathy to you and your family. I remember Vern as being a very kind person with a great smile.
Arlo (Raabe) Koletzky

Arlo Koletzky Dec 17 2021 8:16 PM

My sympathies to Vern's family. I remember him as always having a smile on his face and love in his heart!

Barry Kelley Dec 17 2021 6:22 PM

God bless you Vernon. You where one of a kind and God bless your family. May you rest in peace.

The Kelleys Dec 17 2021 3:32 PM

Dear Donna and family, I am sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in many memories of life together. I know he will be so missed by your family but also by the community.

Julie Schneider Dec 17 2021 1:17 PM

I'm new to Springfield and Vern was one of the first people I met. I was trying to find someone to fix something for me and he suggested a neighbor of mine. He followed me to make sure I made it to the right place! He checked on me once later on to make sure I was getting settled in well. It very kind of him to care and I greatly appreciated it. I got to hear him sing at the benefit function. What talent that he has obviously passed on to the next generation! He will be missed. My heart goes out to Donna in this tragic time.

Sandra Ehlers Dec 17 2021 12:46 PM

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