D. Sheldon  Little

D. Sheldon Little

March 21st, 1921 - November 16th, 2019
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D. Sheldon Little, age 98, of Watertown, South Dakota passed away under the compassionate care of Prairie Lakes Hospice on November 16, 2019 at his son's home where he lived for the past five years.

Funeral services will be Thursday, November 21, 10:00 am at Cornerstone Church in Watertown with Pastor Steve Anderson officiating, and Sheldon's grandchildren singing accompanied by Daniel Tsukamoto.

Visitation will be at Wight & Comes Funeral Chapel, Wednesday, November 20, from 5 to 7 pm with a time of sharing starting at 6:30.

Pallbearers will be grandsons, Kevin Logan, Michael and Ian Patterson, David, Dylan, Jordan, and Gri Little, and Lake VandeZande.

Honorary Pallbearers will be granddaughters and spouses: Cari Logan, Emily (Brandon) Trupe, Maria (Caleb) Vukovich, Jessica (David) Little, Nastia Little, Kylie (Lake) VandeZande, Leslie (Michael) Patterson, Anna (Kevin) Logan, Abby (Anthony) Brown, and Helen and Anna Little.

David Sheldon Little, known as “Sheldon”, the son of David Martin Little and Mabel Rose (Stone) Little, was born March 21, 1921 in Watertown, SD, the third of seven children. He attended Garfield School in Watertown, a rural school in Rauville Township, and graduated from Waverly High School in 1939. He and his parents’ family moved from farm to farm as dictated by landlord insurance companies until they purchased land south of Watertown.

Sheldon attended South Dakota State University, then in 1941 he worked in a munitions factory in Los Angeles. After that, he drove truck in Alaska for the building of the Kodiak Air Force Base, sending money home to help purchase land. Sheldon moved back to Waverly, farmed for a year with his brother, Don, then enlisted in the US Navy where he served aboard the Destroyer 686 Halsey Powell in the Pacific. His ship was one of the thirteen ships to escort the Battleship Missouri into Tokyo Harbor to accept Japan's surrender ending WWII. After the war, Sheldon purchased the farm south of Watertown known as the Cuzack Homestead in Sheridan Township which is still in the family and where all five of his children grew up.

He married Stella Arlois Pankey on November 6, 1949 at the First Baptist Church in Stella’s home town, Craig, Colorado. He was well respected, loved to farm, and he worked very hard. Sheldon was an optimist after the manner of Norman Vincent Peale. "There is no such thing as 'can't'!" Sheldon taught his children by example to work hard and efficiently. The backbone of the farm was a Holstein dairy operation, though raising beef, small grains and row crops was also a big part. The couple farmed until Sheldon’s retirement at age 66; but he continued to help his sons with harvest for many years.

Sheldon and his family were long time members of the First United Methodist Church. In the 70’s the family attended the Christian Missionary Alliance Church in Watertown where he taught Bible study classes and served as the CMA treasurer and elder for many years. He was re-baptized in 1991. After the CMA Church was dissolved Sheldon and Stella attended Cornerstone Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Stella, his sister, Musette and her husband, Conrad Huse, and his brothers, Stanley, Frank (Charlotte), Phillip and his wife, Phyllis, Don (Mary Lou), and Norman (Audrey) Little.

He is survived by his brother, Larry (Janet) of Watertown, three sons: Gordon (Kathy VandeZande) Little of Watertown, Richard (Tonya Haigh) Little of Lincoln, NE, and Terry (Carina) Little of Watertown, two daughters: Karen (Terry) Logan of Madison, SD and Leora (Larry) Schwitters of Issaquah, WA, three sisters-in-law: Mary Lou Little (Castlewood, SD), Audrey Little (Springfield, MN), and Charlotte Little (La Crescenta, CA),15 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

In honor of Sheldon, the family requests memorial gifts to be given to Prairie Lakes Hospice, 401 9th Ave. NW, Watertown, SD 57201.

Wight & Comes Funeral Chapel serving the family,
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Wednesday November 20th, 2019 | 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    Wednesday November 20th, 2019 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    Wight & Comes Funeral Chapel
    1111 4th St NE
    WATERTOWN, SD 57201
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Thursday November 21st, 2019 | 10:00am
    Thursday November 21st, 2019 10:00am
    Cornerstone United Methodist Church
    1350 11th St NE
    WATERTOWN, SD 57223
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. Steve Anderson
  • Interment

    Mount Hope Cemetery
    1133 11th St. NE
    WATERTOWN, SD 57201
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Burial will be at a later date
  • Reception

    Cornerstone United Methodist Church
    1350 11th St NE
    WATERTOWN, SD 57223
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Lorna Jost

Posted at 04:55pm
uncle Sheldon is my father's older brother. His wife Stella, is my mother's older sister. you might say that growing up our families were tied at the hip!

Uncle Sheldon milked Holstein cows. it was an everyday, twice a day commitment. it was the source of joy and sadness to all of us many cousins who loved to get together and play all day long any chance that we had!

the source of joy would be to visit sheldon when he was milking. if you took a glass with you, he would fill it directly from teat to glass. i remember that as the most wonderful delicious drink !!! (not sure my grown up taste buds would agree!)

the source of sadness was that during family gatherings, he would announce way too early that it was time for his family to go home 'time to milk the cows!' utter disappointment would run through all the cousins gathered... Sheldon and family in tow would head out. alas, the day and fun was coming to an end... however, occasionally he would leave alone to milk those darn cows and we cousins would play for several more hours!!!! Thank you Sheldon!!!!

Leora Posted at 11:57pm

Thank you, Lorna—I remember!

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 01:28pm
With deepest sympathy, Steve, Kathy, Brady, Blake, Jesse, Katie, Briana, and Renee Hyde
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Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 12:55pm
Remember that we love and care about you.
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