Darwin Keltgen

Darwin John Keltgen

December 19th, 1933 - April 23rd, 2019
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Darwin J. Keltgen, age 85 of Mesa, Arizona and formerly of Watertown, South Dakota, passed away on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 in Mesa.

Funeral service will be 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Watertown.

Visitation is 6-8:00 p.m., with a scripture service at 7:30 p.m., Monday, May 6, 2019 at Wight & Comes Funeral Chapel in Watertown.

Sixty-five years ago, Darwin and Gina were united in marriage and began a beautiful journey together. On Friday, May 10, 2019, this loving couple will be interred together, side by side, at St. Mary's Cemetery to begin their new eternal life.

Darwin John was born on December 19, 1933, to Theodore and Bethel (Morehead) Keltgen on the farm between Lebanon and Hoven, SD. He attended grade school at Lucas Township, Northwest of Lebanon and high school in Gettysburg, SD where he was the first male cheerleader in South Dakota. During this time he was active in 4-H and the school band and that’s where he met the love of his life, Gina (Simon).

He graduated in 1951. After high school he worked on the family farm and in 1954 married Gina. He worked at the gas station in Hoven and they lived on the farm near Lebanon. He later purchased a gas station in Mobridge, working 12-14 hour days servicing and gassing up trucks. He then went on to drive the Sweetheart Bread Truck.

In 1962, he moved the family to Watertown and he went to work for Trojan Seed. In 1977, with his brother Keith he began Keltgen Seed, based out of Olivia, MN. A company that was well known throughout the Midwest. In 1995, at the age of 62 he retired.

In 1995, Darwin and Gina became snowbirds, spending their winters at the El Mirage in Mesa. It was in 2015 that they made the move permanent. Darwin enjoyed golfing, fishing, hunting, working in his yard, his hummingbirds, and grandkids and of course cars, cars and more cars.

Grateful for having shared Darwin’s life are his wife of 64 years, Gina; Linda (Larry) Mernaugh of Mesa, AZ. Myron (Laurie) Keltgen, Maelie (Dana) Dockter, Jackie (Claiton) Coleman, and Lisa (Dan) Sauer, all of Watertown, SD, and the late Mary (John) Wiest of Herreid, SD; as well as his 22 grandkids, 40 great grandkids and 1 great-great grandchild.

Darwin was preceded in death by his father, Theodore Keltgen; mother, Bethel Artz; stepfather, John Artz; his brothers, Keith and Morin, his twin sister, Donna and daughters LeeAnn and Mary.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Monday May 6th, 2019 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Monday May 6th, 2019 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Scripture service starts at 7:30 pm
  • Service

    Tuesday May 7th, 2019 | 10:00am
    Tuesday May 7th, 2019 10:00am
  • Interment

    St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery
    WATERTOWN, SD 57201
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence
Latham Hi-Tech Seeds and Doug and Connie Tribble have sent flowers to the family of Darwin John Keltgen.
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marvin gjernes

Posted at 10:28am
So sorry to hear of your loss. Treasure your memories, they will help you today and the days to come. Marvin and LeAnn Gjernes

Norbert Berger

Posted at 08:11pm
We will miss our Sunday morning coffee with Darwin. He always came early to give us grief if we were not ready yet! Always had a smile on his face and a quick joke. Our condolences to his family,especially Gina.
Norbert and Elaine Berger

Latham Hi-Tech Seeds

Posted at 07:53am
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
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Latham Hi-Tech Seeds purchased flowers for the family of Darwin Keltgen. Send Flowers


Susie Adolphsen

Posted at 08:53pm
Sorry to hear of your dads passing. Jackie and Lisa and the rest of the family.

Doug and Connie Tribble

Posted at 04:49pm
We are sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
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Doug and Connie Tribble purchased flowers for the family of Darwin Keltgen. Send Flowers


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