George Mach, age 97, of Utica, South Dakota, died on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at Avera Sister James Care Center in Yankton, South Dakota.
Funeral services are 10:30 AM, Tuesday, September 25, 2018 at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton with Reverend Scott Traynor officiating. Burial will be in St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery in Lesterville, South Dakota with military honors provided by the Ernest-Bowyer VFW Post No. 791 and the US Navy Funeral Honors. Visitation will be one hour prior to the funeral on Tuesday.
George was born June 2, 1921 in Scotland, South Dakota to William and Kate (Pekas) Mach. He was raised on a farm one mile south of Joe's Substation near Utica. George was the youngest and last survivor of his siblings. He went to school to the eighth grade and later joined the United States Navy with his brother, John. He served overseas from 1942 to 1945 as a Naval Seabee during World War II in the South Pacific, constructing the base and landing strips for air planes and staging for the Guadalcanal battles at the home base island of Esperito Santos of the New Hebrids. After all the bananas he ate overseas, he could never eat another banana here in the United States, but bought many to give to neighbors. George was truly blessed to return home safely from the close battles he saw of the ships fighting out at sea. After his tour, he worked for the Thomas Carnival based out of Lennox, SD for a year, then returning to the family farm and helping his father's family business of well drilling. His father and brother Donald taught him the trade and later Donald and George had a well drilling business together for over 50 years. In 1962, George left well drilling to be a specialized welder for Morgen Manufacturing. As growing business of windmills and wells, George came back to help farmers in several counties to provide working wells for many family farms. As we traveled around the various counties, he would tell stories of which farms he had fixed and who lived there. George's favorite hobbies were gardening, cooking, masonry, fixing, repairing anything, recycling and tinkering in his beloved shop. He was a friendly and caring person and made sure he supplied shelled black walnuts and horseradish for friends. He loved birds and animals and always had a special treat for dogs. George also told stories of his travels to Oregon to visit relatives and the fishing trips on the coast and driving truck to pick up fish for Joe's Substation. Donald and George had regular fishing, deer and elk hunting and camping trips and several stories to tell in their workshop.
George is survived by several nieces and nephews; his extended caretaker family, Renee and Gary Becker and their children and grandchildren; and the friendly staff at Avera Sister James Care Center.
George was preceded in death by his parents; six sisters: Rose, Clara, Mae, Anne, LyVonne, and Lillian; and three brothers: Bill, John and Donald.
Messages will be reviewed and posted within 1 business day.
Please except my condolences. May you find comfort in knowing that your dear one is safe in the memory of God, who will remember every detail about him and bring him back again. John 5:28, 29 gives this assurance.
Dear Jeanne & family members,
Another member of our neighborhood history has passed on. We send our sincerest sympathies. You may recall the story of your Uncle George and Uncle Donald drilling the very deep and dependable well @ Dad & Mom's (Albert & Ella Fuks) about how they threw coins in the mud coming up as they drilled right before the water. They had we young urchins believing that they had hit a treasure of some kind. When we got older and would repeat the stories of that day, our family would have a good laugh. I think we were more naive and gullible than children now days, but we got to keep the money. Mom always provided noon lunch & coffee breaks, but they never could come & eat inside the house with us, as they did not like to leave their equipment running unattended. That well worked till the day the farmstead was no longer farmed. Great memory. I am sure they were a lot of fun to have as Uncles.
Dorothy & Donald still reside in North Carolina--plan to send a picture of the well written obituary.
Don & Dolores Kotab
I will miss George even though I haven't seen him in many years. I used to deliver the P&D to his trailer for several years. God Bless his soul.
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