Duane K. Sather, 79

Duane K. Sather, 79

Duane Kenneth Sather, 79, of Sioux Falls, passed away peacefully on Friday, May 17, 2024, at Avera Hospital in Sioux Falls, surrounded by his loving family. Funeral services were held Saturday, May 25, 2024 at Prairie Hills Covenant Church in Sioux Falls.

Duane was born on Sept. 14, 1944, in Worthington, Minn., to Kenneth and Helen Schroeder Sather. He lived and attended school in Round Lake and later earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota.

Duane married Diane Dahlin on Dec. 29, 1963, and together they raised three children on the shores of Round Lake. Duane cherished time spent on the lake and the family enjoyed riding and raising horses. 

Duane dedicated his professional career to Sathers Inc., a nationwide distributor and manufacturer of cookies and candy. Starting as a young boy in the family business, initially known as Sather Cookie Company, Duane held various roles, from loading trucks and stocking shelves to driving trucks, selling to customers, and ultimately becoming President and then Chairman of the Board. He also served as the President of Sather Trucking Co.

Duane enjoyed investing in and supporting early-stage businesses and entrepreneurs, including playing a significant role in launching ethanol plants in the Midwest. He also founded or partnered in several ventures, including a travel agency and My Place hotels.

Duane was an active member of Prairie Hills Covenant Church in Sioux Falls. He was a passionate reader, always eager to learn.

Duane had a great love for the outdoors. In his younger years, he enjoyed boating, water skiing, and fishing. Later in life, he found joy in snow skiing, traveling, and golfing. Duane explored the world to experience his hobbies. He also appreciated cars and motorcycles, both old and new, and was a private pilot for many years. He spent time in the Black Hills and wintered in Hawaii during his retirement years.

Duane was an avid hunter and gained many lifelong friends through his hunting trips, both locally and internationally. He was an active supporter of Pheasants Forever, Ruffed Grouse Society, the Safari club, Wild Turkey Federation, and others. He served on the Game Fish and Parks Commission in South Dakota for four years.

With 43 years of sobriety, Duane dedicated himself to helping others, mentoring many family members and friends through challenging times and decisions. He was quietly generous with his wisdom and resources, loved for his sense of humor, long conversations, and unwavering positivity. Even during his three-year battle with Parkinson’s, Duane never complained and always wore a smile.

Duane is survived by his wife, Diane, Sioux Falls; children, Dana Robinson (Adam), Seattle, Daniel (Katrina), Seattle, and Damon (Stacey), Chicago; grandchildren, Evan, Nicholas (fiancé Ne?e), Hannah, Olivia, Zara, Henry and Caroline; siblings, Mary Ann Sather, Barbara Hansen (Karl), Larry (Kathy) and Rod (Lynnette).

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, John. 

Memorials may be made to the South Dakota Parkinson’s Foundation (southdakotaparkinson.org/) and  Prairie Hills Covenant Church (prairiehills.org/).


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