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John Calvin

John Calvin

September 17th, 1934 - December 18th, 2019
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Obituary

PLEASE NOTE DATE OF SERVICES: Funeral services for John Calvin will be at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, January 11, 2020 at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Watertown with Pastor Janine Rew-Werling officiating.

Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m., Friday, January 10, 2020 at Hosanna Lutheran Church.

In lieu of flowers please direct memorials to the Lake Area Technical Institute Foundation, P.O. Box 730, Watertown, SD 57201

John Calvin was a hard-charging relentless business executive, advisor to four South Dakota governors, philanthropist and loyal friend. The Ringneck Pheasant first enticed him to South Dakota in 1962 and his love of the prairie continued throughout his life. His passion for hunting was matched by his love of boating on Lake Michigan.

The youngest son of Ben W. and Wanda M. (Cousins) Calvin, John was born on September 17, 1934 in Jackson, Michigan. The family soon moved to Bay City where he was raised. John graduated from the University of Michigan and began his career with the Martin-Marietta Corporation and later became president of Dyna Technology a company based in Sioux City, Iowa. In 1984 he purchased Palm Industries in Litchfield, Minnesota.

Gov George Mickelson invited John to move Angus Palm Industries to Watertown, South Dakota by offering the state’s first “REDI” fund loan 1987. Loyalty and integrity were his hallmark often telling employees “If you work hard for me, I’ll work hard for you.” His partnership with Lake Area Technical Institute grew during this time and continued throughout his life.

After selling Angus Palm in 1996 to his employees John created J. Scott Industries and concentrated on helping many businesses grow and find their home in South Dakota. His focus included serving governors as an economic advisor and ambassador.

In 2006 Gov Mike Rounds asked him to manage a new department of state agencies which included Secretary of Tourism, State Development, Tribal Government Relations, Arts Council, State Historical Society and Housing Development Authority.

John was currently serving on the Board of Directors of Prairie Lakes Healthcare. Other community involvement included Lake Area Technical Institute, Joy Ranch and the Boys and Girls Club.

He was awarded the Mayor’s Award for Generosity of Spirit and Distinguished Achievement, the Business and Economic Development Award and the Spirit of Watertown Award.

In May of 2019 John was honored to have Calvin Industrial Park in Watertown dedicated in recognition of his service to the city and state.

John holds the highest Scottish Rite honor of the 33rd Degree Masonry and the highest York Rite honor as Patron of the Red Cross of the Constantine. He is a member of the Watertown, South Dakota Community Hall of Fame, the Bay City, Michigan Hall of Fame and was recently inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame.

John died on December 18, 2019 in Watertown. He is survived by his wife Prudy, daughter Ruth Calvin Scharf, sons John (Sandy) Calvin, Mark (Jennifer) Calvin, six grandchildren, nephew Ben Calvin and friends.

A lover of books and poetry John is best described as a “bulldozer who plants white roses.”
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday January 10th, 2020 | 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    When
    Friday January 10th, 2020 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Location
    Hosanna Lutheran Church
    Address
    1617 14th Ave NE
    WATERTOWN, SD 57201
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Notes
    Memorials are to be directed to Lake Area Technical Institute Foundation in John’s name, P.O. Box 730, Watertown, SD 57201.
  • Service

    Saturday January 11th, 2020 | 10:30am
    When
    Saturday January 11th, 2020 10:30am
    Location
    Hosanna Lutheran Church
    Address
    1617 14th Ave NE
    WATERTOWN, SD 57201
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Notes
    Memorials are to be directed to Lake Area Technical Institute Foundation in John’s name, P.O. Box 730, Watertown, SD 57201.
    Officiant
    Pastor Janine Rew-Werling

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Flowers
All from the South Dakota Hall of Fame, Carol Short, and others have sent flowers to the family of John Calvin.
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AF

All from the South Dakota Hall of Fame

Posted at 03:15pm
Our deepest sympathy and condolences are with the Calvin Family at this time
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All from the South Dakota Hall of Fame purchased flowers for the family of John Calvin. Send Flowers

CS

Carol Short

Posted at 09:59am
Uncle Scotty with love and memories, the Short family. Carol, Allison, Cathy and Mark Weaver, Gary, Jr.,Denise, Gary 111 and Anna
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Carol Short purchased flowers and planted a memorial tree for the family of John Calvin. Send Flowers

DH

Doug and Laurie Hemmer

Posted at 01:21pm
Our deepest sympathies hearing of Johns Passing .
We will have his family in our prayers .
Doug and Laurie Hemmer
TT

Thor Thonvold

Posted at 12:13pm
To the entire Calvin family.
I spent time with John every week for over 4 years and had many fun conversations with him about everything from hunting, to his high school and college years and his family. I will truly miss his wisdom and his character.
CB

Colleen Binsfeld

Posted at 01:26pm
Prudy,
Donnie and I wish to express our deepest sympathy to you, John was so good to us when we moved from Litchfield to Watertown, he did so much good for so many people, it was our privilege to have worked for him, he will be missed by many, you and all his family are in our prayers at this very difficult time.
Colleen and Donnie Binsfeld
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