Harlan Quenzer


July 20, 1949 - May 17, 2019


Harlan Quenzer, 69, of Mitchell, SD died Friday, May 17, 2019, at the Firesteel Healthcare Center under the care of Avera Hospice in Mitchell.  A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 1:30 PM on Thursday, May 23, at the Downtown First United Methodist Church in Mitchell.  Burial will be at Graceland Cemetery.  Visitation will be from 5-7:00 PM on Wednesday at the Downtown First United Methodist Church with a prayer service at 6:30 PM.

Harlan Quenzer was born July 20, 1949, in Eureka, SD to George and Anna (Kusler) Quenzer.  He was raised and graduated from the Herreid, SD schools.   He graduated from South Dakota State University in 1972 with a civil engineering degree. On September 5, 1969, he married Janice (Jan) Bertsch in Eureka, SD. He began his career with Stellner Engineering in Aberdeen, SD and the South Dakota State Department of Environment Protection in Pierre, SD. Harlan worked as a project engineer responsible for design and project management of various water, sewer, street, and site design projects for his entire professional life. Harlan joined Schmucker, Paul & Nohr and Associates in 1977 where he later served as an owner and officer until August 1, 2016, when he retired. During his time with SPN, he oversaw the organization’s operations and management of two offices and 34 employees. Throughout his career, Harlan has been actively involved in industry-specific and civic organizations. He has been a member of the board of directors and an officer for the South Dakota Water Pollution Control Federation, the South Dakota Section of the American Water Works Association and the South Dakota Water & Wastewater Association. He also served as president of the America Council of Engineering Companies of South Dakota and represented South Dakota as a national director of the American Council of Engineering Companies. Harlan was active in local affairs serving on the Mitchell Parks and Recreation Board, the Mitchell Technical Institute Architectural Drafting and Building Trades Advisory committee, the South Dakota Railroad Board, the City of Mitchell Planning Commission and in many other civic organizations such as the Mitchell Exchange Club and Abbott House Board.  He was an active member of the Downtown First United Methodist Church.

He is survived by his wife, Jan, three children:  Robert (Michelle Anthony) Quenzer of Sioux Falls, SD, Ann Quenzer of Boulder, CO, Mary (Ali) Ghaffari of Severna Park, MD, a brother Jerry (Bonnie) Quenzer of Pueblo, CO, three sisters: Phyllis Scheaffer of Herreid, SD,  JoAnn (Don) Osterberg of West Fargo, ND, Jaci Quenzer of Sioux Falls, SD, five granddaughters and numerous loving nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Wallace, a sister-in-law, two brothers-in-law, and six nieces and nephews.

A memorial fund is being established in Harlan’s name to the College of Civil Engineering at South Dakota State University.  https://www.sdstatefoundation.org/give-now



Wednesday, May 22, 2019
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
6:30 PM Prayer Service

Downtown Mitchell First United Methodist Church
310 N Rowley St
Mitchell, SD 57301


Thursday, May 23, 2019
1:30 PM
Downtown Mitchell First United Methodist Church
310 N Rowley St
Mitchell, SD 57301


Graceland Cemetery
Mitchell, South Dakota

Posted by Janis Bright on May 28, 2019
Dear Jan,

I was so sorry to hear of Harlan's passing. I'm praying for peace and healing for you.
Posted by Bill and Brenda Gran on May 23, 2019
We are very sorry to hear of Harlan’s passing. We remember his dedication, integrity, and positive outlook. Jan, we will be praying for you and your dear family.
Posted by N Perez on May 23, 2019
May I offer my sincere condolences. May your hearts find comfort in God's Word where it states: "He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord will wipe the tears from all faces." (Isaiah 25:8) May your loved one awaken to a world where there will be peace, no sickness (Isaiah 33:24), and no more troubles (Revelation 21:4) throughout eternity (Psalm 37:29). May your hearts find comfort and hope in God’s Word, family, friends and good memories at this time. My deepest sympathy to you.
Posted by John Connor on May 23, 2019
Harlen was a guy that not only a person you could talk to about engineering but also about life. Was a great friend and even after I left SPN I would run into him from time to time and visited with him. Prayers to Jan and family.
Posted by Ken Brockel on May 22, 2019
Great friends with Harley and Jan. He will be missed by many.
Posted by Lance McQueen on May 22, 2019
I am very sorry for your loss. Harlan taught me quite a bit about engineering and the importance of keeping on-task & under budget. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think back to these tough conversations we had during my start in engineering.
Posted by Diane Moke on May 22, 2019
To Jan and family..my condolences,,to your loss of Harlan...
Posted by Lynn Metcalf on May 21, 2019
Jan-We are so sorry to hear of Harlan's passing. Please know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers. Jerry & Lynn Metcalf
Posted by Rose Andersen Malsam on May 21, 2019
My sincere sympathy to you and your family Jan. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Treasure the memories.
Posted by Sheri Andersen on May 21, 2019
Jan, I'm so sorry to hear of your husband's passing. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
Posted by Marty & Patti Cunningham on May 21, 2019
Dear Jan & family,
We are sending you our love and prayers. We always had so much fun with you and Harlan . I loved Harlan’s laugh and the stories of outing with his dog. Love you, Jan. Hugs
Posted by Tim McGannon on May 20, 2019
Harlan was my go-to guy for advice and consultation on a multitude of projects for the City of MItchell. Many of our discussions were gratis. Thanks friend.
Posted by Keith Bartels on May 20, 2019
I am heart broken! Harlan was one of my very best friends - and now we have no more time together. I am so thankful that he and Jan were able to be with us on Mother's day, and I had a little bit of time to visit with him. Go in Peace, Harlan.
Posted by Ron and Deb Boehmer on May 20, 2019
Our prayers and sympathy to your family. Hold on to the many memories you have and share with each other and the grand babies. These will help you in this time of sadness.
Posted by Gene & Chris Harms on May 20, 2019
Rob and Mic, thinking of you and praying that your memories will give you strength.
Posted by Lourdes Ramos on May 20, 2019
So sorry for your loss you all in my prayers 🙏🏼
Mr Harlan Rest In Peace 😢🙏🏼
Posted by Mrs Jan on May 20, 2019
I am so sorry for your loss. You all in my prayers 🙏🏼
Posted by Mark Widman on May 20, 2019
We are very saddened to hear the news of Harlan’s passing. He was a personable and kind man from what I remember and he raised a good family.
Posted by Nick Bradley on May 20, 2019
I only was able to hang out with Harlen a few times. But it was obvious that he was a good, godly, and honorable man. I have personally been blessed by his daughter, Mary, and I am grateful to God for Him raising her so well because she would eventually become a dear sister to me and wife. Blessings to the entire family.
Posted by Vicki (Lurken) Heimsoth on May 20, 2019
So saddened to learn of Harlan’s passing. He was always friendly and kind with an incredible sense of humor and wit. He will be deeply missed.
Posted by Brittany Smith on May 20, 2019
So sorry to hear of Harlan's passing. He was a great guy--a respected engineer and friend with the City of Philip. Our sympathies to his family.
Posted by Carmen Neugebauer on May 20, 2019
So sorry to hear of Harlans passing - what a guy!!! He will be remembered always and missed - but you are so blessed to have so many memories of your time together - those are priceless!
Posted by Rob Kittay on May 20, 2019
Harlan was a great guy!!! Worked w/ him on water/wastewater projects!!
Posted by Jamie Rexwinkel on May 20, 2019
I always enjoyed working with Harlan. We had some great talks and always asked about my family wether we were on a job or outside of work. Great guy and will be missed, it was great visiting with him at the life quest fundraiser. Sympathy to the family.
Posted by Bruce Card on May 20, 2019
Harlan was very active in the engineering profession in South Dakota and contributed a lot of volunteer time supporting his profession. As a fellow Jackrabbit, I will miss seeing Harlan at SDSU athletic events. My sympathies to the entire Quenzer family.
Posted by Doug and Janet Greenway on May 19, 2019
Jan and Quenzer family. We are so sorry for your loss. Harlan was always so respectful to Janet and I. He took time to visit and was always interested in what we were doing. We will miss him and our hearts breaks for all of you.
Posted by Betty Pospisil on May 19, 2019
I am so sorry for your loss. I will always remember how he would smile and wave to our three children as he drove through the neighborhood. They would spot him in his car a block away and eagerly watch to see which way he would go. I hope joyful memories fill your heart as you greet each day and help overcome the sadness of not having him by your side. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Betty, Jeff, Liam, Ella, and Gus Pospisil
Posted by Jerry Cope on May 18, 2019
It was an honor to work with Harlan, be able to learn by his example and earn his trust. He was always a pleasant, distinguished professional.
Posted by Mike Vehle on May 18, 2019
I always enjoyed his wit, his positive attitude, and his thoughtful comments. We will all miss him.
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