Joel Van Dover, 56, of Mitchell died Friday, March 8, 2019 at Avera Mckennan Hospital in Sioux Falls from complications of influenza A and pneumonia. Funeral services will be 10:30 AM Wednesday, March 13, at Northridge Baptist Church in Mitchell. A memorial service will be held 2:00 PM Sunday, March 17, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Aberdeen, SD. A burial will be at a later date in Aberdeen. Visitation will be Tuesday from 5-7:00 PM at Northridge Baptist Church. Arrangements by Bittner Funeral Chapel.
Joel Jay Van Dover (Big J) was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota on April 2nd, 1962. He attended grade school, middle school and high school in Aberdeen, and graduated from Aberdeen Central High in 1980. He attended USD, and transferred to Brown Institute in Minneapolis and graduated with a degree in Mass Communications in 1983. He then moved to Mitchell, South Dakota and started his employment at KMIT Radio where he has been employed ever since. In 1982 he met and married Pamela Engelland. The couple had a daughter, Amy, in October of 1983. Later in life in December of 2012 he welcomed a son Harrison (Hank) with Emily Kisor (Dice).
Joel participated and was active in many community events in the Mitchell area. He believed in giving back to his community, family and friends. He loved fishing, he was an avid Washington Redskin and Kansas City Royals fan, and enjoyed watching and following many sports teams locally and nationally. He attended Minnesota Twins, and Vikings games with his parents as often as possible. Joel spent many years fishing and enjoying Richmond Lake in Aberdeen at his parent’s lake cabin. Joel was a music lover and attended many concerts in his free time with his daughter and friends. He was always fun loving, happy and a jokester. Even in grade school and high school he was always pulling pranks and having fun with his friends. Joel was active in the A.A. and N.A. community and believed in helping people in their recovery. Big J loved God, his family, friends, country music, and Tom Petty.
Joel is survived by his daughter, Amy Joelle Stemper; grandchildren, Emma Kay Stemper and Patrick Stemper; son, Harrison (Hank) Floyd Van Dover; parents, Phil and Kay Van Dover; sister, Kimberly Van Dover-Holmes; nieces, Hayley and Lizzy (Adam); nephew Monty; two great nieces, Willow and Gabriella; half-brother, Bob Larson (Pam); niece Corina; and many loving aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his maternal and paternal grandparents, and niece Kira.