Dean Brakke


Verne Dean Brakke, passed away on April 24, 2020.

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak there will be no public service. The family wishes to invite you to join them in celebrating Dean’s life at 1:00pm on Saturday, May 2nd through a live stream video link that will be posted at Burial will follow the service at Presho City Cemetery in Presho, SD.

You can also show support by taking part in our “Together In Spirit” option. Please email your name and a message of support to and we will place it on a heart that will be attached to a chair at the service. The family will be able to read your heartfelt message and know that you are together with them in spirit.

He was born July 20, 1923 in Presho, SD to Andrew and Anna (Overgaard) Brakke. He graduated from Presho High School in 1940 and attended South Dakota State College before returning home to farm and ranch with his parents on the Brakke homestead (1890).

Dean married Marion Lillebo on September 11, 1947and made their home on the Brakke homestead where they raised their four children Curtis, Verne, Karen and Marc.

While farming was Dean’s greatest passion he gave new meaning to the term diversification in agriculture by also raising purebred Herefords, Hampshire, Duroc, and Yorkshire breeding gilts and boars, laying chickens, bucket lambs for the kids to raise, foundation and certified wheat seed and introducing milo to Lyman County with his 28 years with DeKalb seed sales. He truly loved the farm and the farming that went with it.

Dean found strength in the power of prayer and song. Beginning with a strong family faith he was blessed with a beautiful voice. His singing was well recognized in his early years and throughout his life. His voice provided comfort and joy at funerals and family gatherings not to be outdone by a spontaneous performance for grandkids or caregivers.

Dean was also extremely proud of his Norwegian heritage by frequently taking part in lutefisk and lefsa dinners, repeating his favorite Norwegian prayer at meals, and even getting in two trips to Norway to visit family. His last trip to Norway included Curtis, Karen and Verne where they were able to visit the original Brakke Farm north of Skein, Norway and travel to Oslo and Laerdal to meet up with many cousins on the Overgaard family farms. The Norwegian food, fellowship and Norwegian dinner prayers were truly cherished memories by everyone.

Dean strongly believed in the Leadership Qualities that 4-H brought to the youth. He was a 4-H leader for 19 years in Lyman County and truly left his mark on future generations to come because of their involvement with 4-H.

Dean’s involvement in local and statewide organizations also was felt through the Presho American Lutheran Church, 4-H Leaders Association, South Dakota Hereford Association, South Dakota Crop Improvement Association, South Dakota Farm Bureau and many others.

In the fall of 2016, sadly, Dean and Marion moved from the farm, where Dean had lived and worked for 92 years, to Edgewood Senior Living in Pierre, SD. In December of 2019 he was transferred to Avera Maryhouse skilled care. He was ever so thankful and grateful for those who cared for him and gave him an opportunity to share his story of a wonderful life that his creator and Lord made possible. He always left you feeling better having shared time and conversation with him.

Dean is survived by wife, Marion of 73 years, Curtis Brakke and wife Barbara of Green Valley, Arizona, Verne Brakke and wife Debbie of Pierre, and Karen (Brakke) Tuschen and husband Wayne of Lake Madison, 12 grandchildren, and 16 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Dean is preceded in death by his parents and all siblings in addition Marc Andrew Brakke his son and Beth Lynn Brakke a grandchild.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorials can be made out to Presho American Lutheran Church or the Greater Lyman Foundation.

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