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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Remembering Pearl Harbor and Lyle Jorenby

Today, on December 7th, we pause to remember the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. It shocked our nation as the Japanese attempted to prevent the U.S. from interfering with Japanese military actions overseas, but we rose to the challenge and the rest is all part of our history.


In the Jorenby family we also celebrate the birth of Lyle Jorenby, who celebrated his 19th birthday on the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

Two months later Lyle became the man of the family, when his father passed away leaving him to help his mother care for his nine siblings ranging from 17 years to 4 months of age.  He loved and cared deeply for his family.  He enjoyed spending time with family.  In fact it is a pretty safe bet that Lyle didn't miss very many family reunions over the years, especially since he and his wife Mildred hosted reunions for many years.

Lyle worked hard both on and off the farm. He enlisted in the Navy and served his country proudly during World War II.  He started in the rank of Fireman First Class on the USS St. Paul and was in Tokyo Bay when Japan surrendered in September 1945.  Lyle was a genuinely happy man and generously aided many friends, neighbors and distressed travelers over the years.

We sadly laid the man we loved to rest a mere four weeks shy of his 91st birthday.  Lyle Franklin Jorenby will be greatly missed.


Obituary of Lyle Franklin Jorenby:
Lyle F. Jorenby, 90, of Brookings, passed away Sunday, November 10, 2013 at the Brookings Hospital. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at First Lutheran Church, in Brookings. Visitation will be from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Tuesday at Rude’s Funeral Home in Brookings. 
Lyle with his dad Norman Jorenby in 1923.
Lyle Franklin Jorenby was born December 7, 1922, the oldest of 10 children of Norman and Stella (Waage) Jorenby, in Brookings County, SD. He and his family farmed in various locations around Volga during the Great Depression. 
After graduation from Volga High School in 1941, Lyle worked on the family farm and was celebrating his 19th birthday when the news came of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. His father died 2 months later, leaving Lyle to help his mother with the raising of his 9 siblings, who ranged in age from 20 months to 17 years. He entered the service in July 1944, enlisting in the Navy, training at Naval Station Great Lakes and at Naval Station Newport. Lyle left Boston on the newly commissioned cruiser USS St. Paul serving in the rank of Fireman First Class in May '45. He saw action in Japan's home waters and was on the St. Paul in Tokyo Bay when Japan signed the terms of surrender in Sept. 1945. After occupation service in Japanese waters and in Shanghai, the St. Paul returned to the U.S. in January '46, where Lyle dis-embarked, was honorably discharged, and returned to civilian life. 
Lyle then worked for the Chicago Northwestern Railroad for 8 years as a gandy dancer and then as a section foreman. He met Mildred Peterson at a dance at the old National Guard Armory in Brookings and was united in marriage to her on April 18, 1952 in Sioux Falls. They made their first home in Lake Preston, where their 3 children were born. 
After Mildred's father died, the family moved in 1956 to the farm Mildred grew up on northeast of Brookings. Like many farmers of that era, they raised beef and dairy cattle, pigs, sheep, and chickens. They later specialized in beef cattle, specifically Angus and Charolais. Lyle was able to share many farm duties and stories with Mildred's brother Robert, who farmed and lived with his family, in the early years, on the farm next to Lyle and Mildred. 
Lyle and Mildred retired in 1990 and bought a house in Brookings. They enjoyed traveling to Hawaii, Vegas, California, and closer spots, and were active in church, and in the wellness and walking programs at SDSU. Lyle worked part-time as a driver for the Brookings AgFirst Farmer's Coop for a number of years after retirement. He was primary caregiver for Mildred during her struggles with Alzheimer's until her admission to a nursing home in 2008. Due to diabetic complications, Lyle lost his right leg on the day of his wife's funeral, Veteran's Day in 2009, and lost the other leg a year later. He was admitted to Brookview Manor on his 87th birthday, moved to The Neighborhoods at Brookview in 2013 and lived there until being admitted to the Brookings Hospital on November 8th, 2013, where he passed away on November 10, 2013. 
Lyle was mostly a quiet, unassuming man, a hard worker who was happiest when planting or harvesting crops, watching TV, playing old records, reading, or doing picture puzzles with family, then going to social functions with Mildred after retirement. On the farm, in the winter, after Mildred went back to work, he became the chief cookie-baker and supper-starter. He loved his kids and grandkids, and liked to tease them, as well as the workers he met later at Brookview. Lyle offered assistance to distressed travelers and neighbors, pulling many a driver out of snowdrifts, as well as out of mud holes during the county road rebuilding project in front of the farm, all without complaint. 
Lyle is survived by sons Howard (Cheryl) and Kevin of Brookings; brothers Cliff (Lori) of White and David of Brookings; sister Marge (Alton) Quam of Volga; grandchildren Andy and Kristi Finkhouse of Rapid City, Destiny, Josiah, and Jeremiah Jorenby of Brookings, and Hope Folkens of Brookings; as well as several in-laws, nieces and nephews. 
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Mildred; daughter Cynthia Finkhouse; brothers Donald, Carroll, Burt, and John; and sisters Betty Bovee and Sharon Watt. 

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