John Grassel


May 22, 1924 - May 17, 2018



John Grassel, 93, of Mitchell, formerly of Artesian, died Thursday, May 17, 2018 at Avera Brady Health and Rehab in Mitchell.
Funeral Mass will be 10:30 AM Tuesday, May 22, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Mitchell. Burial will be in Mount Pleasant Cemetery at Artesian. Visitation will be from 5-7:00 PM Monday with a scripture service 7:00 pm at Bittner Funeral Chapel in Mitchell. 

John Grassel was born May 22, 1924 in Sanborn County to Joseph and Mary (Maddock) Grassel. He grew up on his parent’s farm, attended country school in Afton Township and graduated from Artesian High School in 1942. On May 10, 1947 he married Arlene Doyle. They started their first Hereford cattle herd with the purchase of six heifers and a bull. He did veterinary work for Doc Leider in Howard to help pay the bills while he was building his herd. John was a respected cattleman and made many friendships along the way. He always gave credit to the family working together for his success. One of his many quips was “my favorite colors will always be red, white and green - a Hereford cow and calf in a green pasture.” John also loved his horses. An accomplished horseman, he moved and doctored cattle on horseback beyond his 80th birthday. He enjoyed giving rides with his horse and buggy and was often seen having fun driving his horses in local parades. John and Arlene suffered the tragic loss of their sons and infants, but were thankful to be able to celebrate the love and joys of their daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

He was a longtime member of St. Charles Catholic Church in Artesian, where he was the choir leader and soloist for many years. He became a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church when he and Arlene moved to Mitchell in 2010. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus, Hereford Association, Stock growers and the Moose Lodge.

Always his parting phrase – “we’ll see you down the path.”

He is survived by two daughters: Kathleen Grassel of Albuquerque, NM, Karen (Dan) Hilgenberg of Milbank, daughter-in-law, Wanda (Dave) Clarke of Howard, sister, Raeburn Moore of Mitchell, five grandchildren: Tanya (Kurt) Krietlow of Pierre, Shaun Grassel of Reliance, Shana (Mark) Harming of Elkton, Jeff (Kim) Hilgenberg of Sioux Falls, Alex (Jessie) Hilgenberg of Phoenix, AZ and 13 great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Arlene, sons, Mike and Bernard, eight infant children, brothers: Ted and Francis, sisters: Mary Jo Vetter, Ruth Hinker, Eleanor Unterbrunner and Monica VanOverschelde.



Monday, May 21, 2018
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
805 West Havens
Mitchell, SD 57301


Tuesday, May 22, 2018
10:30 AM
Holy Spirit Catholic Church
1401 W Cedar Ave
Mitchell, SD 57301


Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Artesian, SD

Posted by Linda and Larry Hostler on May 23, 2018
We will always remember his music talents and infectious laugh. Such a kind man. Rest in Peace John..
Posted by Eileen Schmit on May 22, 2018
Sorry to hear of your loss. My sympathy to the family.
Posted by Jim & Kathy Nesvold on May 21, 2018
Our sympathies to Raeburn on the loss of her brother. May he resst in peace.
Posted by Arlene Scott Moore on May 21, 2018
So sorry to learn of John's death. We were classmates all four years of High School @ AHS-class of 1942.
Posted by Arne & Candace Grassel on May 20, 2018
Kathy & Wanda & Karen--What a personable, wonderful man. Sorry for your loss. Loved chatting w/him. Good visit w/him at my sister, Charmaine Janzing's funeral. Mike /Wanda good friends way back when. Candi/Arne Grassel
Posted by Jerry and Cheryl Toering on May 20, 2018
Our sympathy to the family. You are in our thoughts and prayers
Posted by Doug Bechen on May 20, 2018
John was a great man and will be truly missed! My early memories of John were when he was a choir director at St Charles. Even if you could not sing, he welcomed you to the choir. Thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Doug and Renee Bechen
Posted by Barbie Becker on May 19, 2018
John was a great man. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Moore and Grassell families. Hugs to all. Barbie and Greg Becker
Posted by Mary Lou Bullert on May 19, 2018
Karen and Dan, so sorry for your loss. Our prayers go out to your entire extended family.
Posted by Ron and Sandi Ruml on May 19, 2018
Our sympathy to the family. Ron always visited him at the home, last saw him 2 weeks ago. He was definitely not as talkative as he usually was. He will miss their talks.
Posted by Darla and Jack Schooler on May 19, 2018
Karen and Kath, your Dad's smile and laughing smile so identifies the loving, caring man he was. Such a gentle man with such quick wit, and happy feet on the dance floor. Always will miss him.
Posted by Karen Lambert on May 18, 2018
A vocal mentor, friend and a treasure to know; John celebrated life and lived his faith - his inspiration to live life for the greater good touched my heart in many ways over the years - the angels are singing Ave Maria
Posted by Jayne Zens on May 18, 2018
John was a wonderful man prayers to the Grassel family
Posted by Colleen DeJong on May 18, 2018
John was a wonderful man. They were good friends to my in laws, on the farm. So very sorry for your loss. Heaven gained another Angel. Your in my prayers.
Posted by Shirley Effling on May 18, 2018
Always enjoyed singing by him and Bette Goudy in the choir. Always a friendly smile.
Posted by Martese McGregor on May 18, 2018
He was such a wonderful kind person. Iā€™m glad I was able to know him. I remember he always made me laugh. He helped raise such wonderful grandchildren. Condolences šŸ’œ
Posted by Colleen Hinker Hummel on May 18, 2018
I always loved visiting Uncle John and Aunt Arlene's home and playing with my cousins, Mike, Kathy and Karen.
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