Gary Breidenbach


September 7, 1948 - October 25, 2020


Gary Breidenbach, 72, of Mitchell, SD, lost his fight with cancer on Sunday, October 25, 2020 at his home under hospice care. Funeral services will be 10:30 AM Thursday, October 29, 2020 at Bittner Funeral Chapel. Burial will be in Graceland Cemetery in Mitchell. Visitation will be one hour prior to the funeral service at Bittner Funeral Chapel. The family requests masks are worn and social distancing guidelines are followed at the funeral service. Funeral arrangements by Bittner Funeral Chapel.

Gary Lynn Breidenbach was born on September 7, 1948 to Gaylene and Lorraine Breidenbach. He graduated from Notre Dame High School in 1966. After high school Gary attended SDSU, and in 1968 joined the National Guard. After completing basic training, he was united in marriage on December 20, 1969, to Ardis Kurtenbach by Father James Bream at Holy Family Church in Mitchell. They celebrated 50 years of marriage on December 20, 2019.

Gary graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts degree on August 20, 1971. He accepted a teaching position on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Eagle Butte. There he taught 7th and 8th grade for a number of years, and then taught 4th grade.

On May 5, 1984, Gary graduated from Northern State College with the degree of Master of Science in Education. After receiving his graduate degree he was school counselor for K-12, at Cheyenne Eagle Butte School District. He worked with the Natural Helpers Program, was Student Council Advisor, a member of the Cheyenne River Child Protection Program, and lead a Future Problem Solving group to the State Championship and received 1st Place. Gary received the West River Counselor Award in 1988, was the Testing Coordinator for the Cheyenne River Reservation, and was recognized for his Leadership in Technology. In the fall of 1990 he became the Title One Director. In 2005 he retired only to be rehired as Director of Federal Programs. Gary worked 40 years in one place but changed jobs whenever he felt the need for change.

Gary and Ardis retired to Mitchell in 2011, after exemplifying the best in the Cheyenne-Eagle Butte Education Program. He loved working and living on the Cheyenne River Reservation, and when they moved back he always said the most difficult thing was leaving the people.

Gary enjoyed farming the land, watching the crops grow, and was always excited about the new technologies. He loved fishing with friends and his beloved sons, and took his adored granddaughters on many excursions. The girls even got involved in the hunting at the Lodge. (Home in Mitchell)

Gary is survived by his wife of 50 years, Ardis Kurtenbach Breidenbach, Mitchell; two sons, Jacob Justin, Sturgis, SD and Jason Paul (Jennifer Hanssen), Sioux Falls; five devoted granddaughters, Jaycee Lynn Breidenbach, Vermillion, Jade Marie Breidenbach, Sturgis, Berlin Kimber Overweg, Sturgis, Ellie Jo Breidenbach, Sioux Falls, Kinzey Kay, Sioux Falls; one sister, Kathy Breidenbach Burks, Clermont, FL; one brother, Phil (Cheryl) Breidenbach, Aiken, SC.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Gaylene and Lorraine and brother-in-law, Jerry Burks.



Thursday, October 29, 2020
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
805 West Havens
Mitchell, SD 57301


Thursday, October 29, 2020
10:30 AM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
805 West Havens
Mitchell, SD 57301


Graceland Cemetery
Mitchell, SD 57301

Posted by Cherie Farlee on November 8, 2020
I was so saddened to read Gary's obituary in the WRE. Gary was a true BRAVE and successfully taught and assisted so many young community people. You were so missed when you moved away. may Gary rest in peace and you and the boys/family keep the great memories as a part of the healing.
Posted by Peggy Kowall on October 29, 2020
My thoughts & prayers to you and your family.
Posted by Bo Duncan on October 29, 2020
Dear Ardis, JJ, and Jason,
I just watched the video. What a great family! In Eagle Butte Ardis was outnumbered by Gary and you boys but now women power has taken over! I love it - good job boys! My world has felt the blessings Gary spread as he lived his life.
I love you all,
Posted by Lynn Watt on October 29, 2020
I am so sorry to hear about Gary. He was an amazing person. My family considered Gary and Ardis as family. Keith and I will not be able to be there at the funeral, but please know we are thinking of you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
Posted by Jerry & Bonnie Krcil on October 29, 2020
We are so sorry for your loss.. Our prayers are with you..
Posted by Tina & Clay Herrmann on October 29, 2020
We loved Gary very much and will miss him. Wish we could be there the world has lost a good man.
Posted by Deb (Ibis) Heck on October 28, 2020
Ardis, so very sorry to here about Gary's passing! I will always remember him as that cool guy you were dating and married. Wish I could have been closer to both of you, but of course, The Lord and our lives take us in directions where we are needed. Know that my prayers and thoughts are with you always.
Posted by Peggy Richarz on October 28, 2020
Ardis and Family, Kathy & Phil, my prayers and thoughts go out to you at this difficult time. Gary was so loved by all he was so kind and caring and will be dearly missed. I am so grateful that I was able to visit with him and meet his children and grandchildren. Such a beautiful loving family. Love and Prayers go out to everyone. Peggy,❤️🙏
Posted by Kristi Juracek on October 28, 2020
I am so very, very sorry for your loss of Gary! My thoughts and prayers are with you all! I know you will cherish the wonderful memories! God be with you all!
Posted by Kristi Juracek on October 28, 2020
I am so very, very sorry for your loss of Gary! My thoughts and prayers are with you all! I know you will cherish the wonderful memories! God be with you all!
Posted by Jeremy Schad on October 28, 2020
Gary was a great man. I spent a lot of time at their home growing up and often think of him and the Breidenbach family. Our condolences to the all.
Posted by Ed on October 28, 2020
So sorry I didn’t spell check before I sent my comment. One of those more frequent moments.
Posted by Ed & JoAnn Wegner on October 28, 2020
Artis: So sorry to hear about Gary. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. It sounds like he put up a courageous battle.
Posted by Tammi Welch on October 28, 2020
Ardis ~So so sorry to hear about Gary!! Sending my thoughts and prayers to you and your family during this time.
Posted by Bill & Barb (Bruske) Mecham on October 28, 2020
Dearest Ardis & Family, Our heartfelt thoughts & prayers are with you in the loss of your beloved Gary. He was a wonderful, kind & courageous spirit who will be missed by all. We will always remember the friendly hospitality of Gary, Ardis & family on recent visit to your home. May God bless you with peace, strength & comfort. With Deepest Sympathy & Love, Bill & Barb
Posted by Shannon Jewett on October 28, 2020
Mr. Breidendach was the embodiment of unconditional positive regard. Everyday in his classroom was a good day. He will be greatly missed.
Posted by Jason & Peggy Schoon on October 28, 2020
Ardis & family so sorry to hear about Gary. The two of you were so good to Mom and all of us, we all enjoyed visiting and seeing you. Gary will be greatly missed. Peg
Posted by Joe & Janice Schlimgen on October 27, 2020
May the Lord bless you with peace and love at this difficult time. Gary was kind and gentle man. Gary will be missed by many❤️❤️🙏🙏
Posted by Shawn Olsen and family on October 27, 2020
Ardis and Family,
We are think and praying for you and your family during this difficult time. We have a lot of fond memories working with both you and Gary that we will cherish. He may be gone but he is definitely not forgotten.
Posted by Kathy Zoss on October 27, 2020
Sending many prayers and hugs!!
Posted by Janie Golder on October 26, 2020
So sorry to hear this about Gary!! He was a great guy and will truly be missed! Hugs and prayers to all the family.
Posted by Wayne & Connie Whistler on October 26, 2020
Ardis & Family,
We so sorry to hear about Gary. He will be missed.
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