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Family members of Dean Luikens pose for a photo with the dedicated blue bench Tuesday at the Class B state amateur baseball tournament. Family members include, in front from left, Mary Ellen and Emily Luikens. In the second row are Dianne, Samantha and Clarice Thyen, Chris Noem, Sharon and Sara Thyen. In the back row are Ron Thyen, Jeremy and Chad Noem and Tom Berg. Not pictured are Al and Sharon Noem and Michael Thyen. (Eric Mayer/Republic)

Family dedicates benches to amateur baseball parks in former umpire's honor

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For 37 summers, Dean Luikens spent many hours behind home plate umpiring baseball games at all levels across South Dakota.

In the summer of 2013, Luikens was no longer calling balls and strikes as he died from Myelofibrosis, a form of leukemia.


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