Kuhler Funeral Home

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John E. Kingdon

John Kingdon obit photoJohn E. Kingdon, age 88, died Monday, January 8, 2007, at the Huron Nursing Home.  His funeral service was at 10:30 AM, Saturday, January 13th, at the United Methodist Church in Hitchcock, with Rev. Mark Britton officiating.  Burial was in the Altoona Cemetery, Hitchcock.  Military rites were given by the Hitchcock American Legion #84.

John E. Kingdon was born in  Hitchcock, South Dakota, on October 31, 1918, to John and Grace M. (Vanderlinder) Kingdon. He attended Hitchcock High School, graduating in 1937.  He moved to Long Beach, California, where he enrolled in Long Beach Junior College and earned an Associate Arts    degree in music.  John also studied private voice for three years.

He served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1946.  John sang in the    General’s Glee Club at Camp Barcley, Texas for 19 months.  He then was shipped to Camp Joseph T. Robinson, near Little Rock, Arkansas.  He received training to become an x-ray technician.  John was assigned to the 188th US General Hospital in Cirencester, England. While in Arkansas, he was united in marriage to Thelmalee Murphey at the North Little Rock Church of Christ on January 12, 1946.

As a special service non-commissioned officer, he was in charge of the Red Cross shows and the entertainment for the patients in the hospital at Cirencester.  John was discharged at Jefferson Barracks,   Missouri, where he joined his wife, Thelmalee.  They spent a short time in North Little Rock before moving to Long Beach, California.

He worked for Long Beach City Schools for awhile, and then ventured into the dry cleaning business, owning his own dry cleaning shop in Long Beach,  California.  In 1949, he sold his share of the dry cleaning business to his partner.  John moved back to South Dakota, where he entered into a partnership with his   father in a Chevrolet dealership.

John served on the Hitchcock town board for a few years. In 1957, John went into the variety store business, and upon his father’s death in 1964, he also took over the family farm.

John was united in marriage to Bernetta Peskey on September 6, 1994, at Mitchell, South Dakota.

John was a lifetime member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Huron Area Senior Center. He was a member of the South Dakota Sheriffs Association, the Moose Lodge #875, and the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Thelmalee; two children, Paul and Karen; one brother, James; one sister-in-law, Danita; one brother-in-law, Theo Kail; and one stepson-in-law, Rick Grubbs.

Grateful for having shared in his life are his wife,  Bernetta, of Huron; three children, Kathlyn L. Kingdon, of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, John Stephen Kingdon, of Hitchcock, and Mary M. (Doug) Bybee, of Grand Junction, Colorado; three stepchildren, Larry (Laura) Cross, of Huron, Debi Grubbs, of Sulphur Springs, Texas, and Jeff (Vicki) Peskey, of Wessington Springs; eight grandchildren, Ashley (Rick) Reese, John Andrew Kingdon, Lexis Kingdon, Sondra (Charles) Lavine, Aaron Kelley, Chris  Kelley, Bryan Bybee, and Sarah Bybee; five     stepgrandchildren, Jennifer Grubbs, Sarah Grubbs, Jordan Peskey, Dallas Peskey, and Cody Schnetter; two great-grandchildren, Abbey Reese and Kaleb Kelley; one sister, Juanita Kingdon, of Mitchell; one sister-in-law, Opalene Kail, of Austin, Texas; and one brother-in-law, Ozy Murphey, of Fayetteville, Arkansas.