Roger Preheim: 1947-2022
Roger Allen Preheim “went home to his forever home” on Oct. 15, 2022 at the age 74. Visitation with the family present will be held Sunday, Oct. 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. at George Boom Funeral Home and On-Site Crematory. A celebration of his life as a family man and US Navy Veteran will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 24 at George Boom Funeral Home and On-Site Crematory. Interment will be held at South Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Sioux Falls, S.D.
Roger was born on Nov. 30, 1947 in Yankton, S.D., the son of Peter and Lorraine (Myers) Preheim. Roger lived on a farm southeast of Freeman, S.D. and attended District #96 Elementary School where he acquired the nickname “Pudge.” That nickname stuck through high school and even into his adult life. He attended Freeman Public High School where he earned athletic letters in football, basketball and track all four years for a total of 12 athletic letters.
After high school, Roger thought about attending college but had an opportunity to work with his uncle, Elmer Gering and cousin, Darrel (Bud) Gering. He worked with them on painting and shingling jobs until it was his time to go into the military.
Roger enlisted in the US Navy and spent nine weeks in basic training in San Diego where they claimed it snowed for the first time in 50 years. After a two-week leave at home, he reported for duty aboard the USS Princeton LPH5 where he spent the rest of his enlistment.
During his Vietnam Tour they crossed the equator and went through a Navy initiation and he became a Navy Shellback. During his tour on the USS Princeton, they made stops in Hawaii, the Philippines, Singapore and also Japan for a short R&R time.
The highlight of Roger’s time as a Navy man was being on board the USS Princeton and a role in the recovery of the Apollo 10 from their ocean landing. At this time the Apollo 10 was credited with getting closest to the moon while circling it and with finding the spot for the Apollo 1 landing to follow.
After the Navy, he worked a short time at AMPI in Freeman and then hauled propane out of Laurel, Neb., until Superintendent Alvin Mudder offered him a job as custodian at Freeman High School.
Roger married Jo Jean (Hansen) Pietz on Feb. 8, 1980. It was not unusual to find them working side by side on many projects at home and at work. Together maintained the Freeman High School football field. They were rewarded for their work when the football field was awarded “Best Looking Football Field in South Dakota” by an athletic supply company. They found so much enjoyment in finishing their log home and raising their daughters and son and following all of their activities.
After 27 years, Roger and Jo moved to Sioux Falls. Roger worked in apartment maintenance for twelve years, Ronning Companies (four years) and Lloyd Companies (eight years). He was awarded “Employee of the Year” for the Lloyd Companies in 2004. Health issues forced Roger to retire in 2010 to spend time healthier.
But of course, retirement was quite a change from his life of working long hours and boredom set in. In 2012, he started part-time work at TJ Maxx (Sioux Falls). Again, working together, he and his wife Jo worked in the back room unloading trucks processing and assembling products for the sales floor. Health issues forced his second retirement in 2016.
Roger and Jo enjoyed football. They had the opportunity to see a couple of NFL games in Minneapolis and watched NFL games at the Gateway Lounge in Sioux Falls. They attended football games at the University of Sioux Falls and Augustana College. But their favorite football was the Sioux Falls Storm Indoor football. They became and maintained season ticket holder status from 2000 through 2021. It was while attending the games that he was blessed with a second nickname – “Pops” (thanks Nellie).
Roger leaves his family with great memories that bring smiles: his wife Jo; and children, Peggy (Troy) Muchmore of Freeman, Paul Preheim Pietz of Rapid City, S.D., Kim Furney (Michael Palmer) of Freeman and Karin Preheim of Rapid City. He is also survived by two brothers, Dallas (Linda) Preheim and Rick (Peggy) Preheim. His legacy and life were enriched by six grandchildren; nine great grandchildren and three step great-grandchildren, Sarah (TJ), Carlie (Reed), Cody (Autumn), Haylie, Jaycie and Amiah. And then the next generation: Sebastian, Leona, Elle, Violet, Oliver, Mia, Winter, Murphy and Maisy. And a bonus of three step great-grandchildren: Tommy, Irish and Brently rounded out his life legacy.
Roger was greeted in heaven by his parents, Peter G (Chuck) and Lorraine (Myers) Preheim. They are sitting on a heavenly bench together. Roger was so proud of his family and his Navy Veteran service. And his family is so grateful for the times and the memories they created together.