John Solheim, of Redfield, South Dakota, died at the age of 103 on Saturday, November 4, 2023, at the Eastern Star Home in Redfield.
His funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 9, 2023, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Redfield. Pastor Joy Proper will officiate. Inurnment, with military honors, will follow at Greenlawn Cemetery in Redfield. After the committal service, there will be lunch and fellowship in the church hall.
The service will be live-streamed on the funeral home’s website below John’s obituary. Arrangements have been entrusted to Hyke Funeral Home of Redfield (www.hykefuneralhome.com).
John was born January 16, 1920, in Redfield to Jakob and Silla (Solheim) Solheim. He was raised on a farm northeast of Redfield. He attended grade school at Brink Country School and graduated from Redfield High School in 1938. After high school, he started working at JC Penney Company in Redfield. He later worked at Kenney’s Apparel in Redfield and owned Solheim’s Department Store (V Store) in Redfield for many years. After leaving retail life, John was the clubhouse manager at Fisher Grove Country Club. He was also the curator at the Spink County Museum until he fully retired.
John loved visiting with people and was very proud of his time on Main Street Redfield. He served on the City Council, Chamber of Commerce, Community Memorial Hospital Board, VSC Director (parent company of the store he owned), Spink County Draft Board, and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Building Committee. He was a lifetime member of the VFW and American Legion in Redfield. At the age of 102, he went on the Midwest Honor Flight to Washington, DC. John was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1944 and served overseas until 1946, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. He played tuba in the Army band.
In 1946, he married Alma Sauherage in Jefferson City, Missouri, and moved back to Redfield. They had two daughters, Linda and Pamela. Alma died in 1974. In 1976, John married Vanetta Flatten in Redfield. Vanetta died in 2005.
John is survived by his daughters Linda Simpson and Pamela Solheim; and Linda’s children: Sarah (Greg) Hier and Erin Simpson and her daughter Callie Wik. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Shirley Solheim and stepchildren: Sharon Bjerke, Lannie (Donna) Flatten, Rick (Patsy) Flatten, Dennis’s wife Pat Flatten, and all their children.
He was preceded in death by his wives, brother Art Solheim, son-in-law Jay Simpson, stepson-in-law Jim Bjerke, and stepson Dennis Flatten.