Charles Kayl

Charles Calvin Kayl was born to Frances (Kreber) and Charles H. Kayl July 29, 1925. He attended country school part time and rode horse to Saint Joseph Catholic School to make his first communion. His family moved south of Gregory, S.D., and he rode with the neighbors to Catholic school.
After grade school he left home and got a job at Elk Point, S.D., where he had relatives. Chuck would hand-pick corn for five cents a bushel, picking 80 bushel a day. When World War II broke out, he had turned 17 in July. His parents signed so he could join the Navy because his father had told him about mud in the foxholes in World War I.
Chuck went from boot camp at Great Lakes Training Center to Signalman school in Urbana, Ill. He was sent to Treasure Island in California and from there to Pearl Harbor. When the ship he was on crossed the Equator he became a Shellback, which happened on his mother’s birthday. Then he boarded the USS Case on the way to New Caledonia. He spent 33 months on the USS Case (Tin Can) that was involved in the bombardment of Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, Saipan, Tinian and Ulithi, where the ship cut a Japanese sub in half and the screw on the bottom of the destroyer was damaged. They then went to dry dock. When the war was over they were ordered to go to New York City for Navy Days and went through the Panama Canal to get there. The captain asked Chuck to make the homecoming flag, which he sewed. It was 337 feet long. It was flown as they came into the harbor of New York City, where he was discharged. Chuck returned to Gregory, where he engaged in farming and ranching.
Chuck met Elizabeth Jean Petersen in March 1946. They married June 3, 1947 and had seven children. They lived two miles east and two miles south of Gregory for 13 years and then bought the old Petrik farm six miles south of the drive-in theatre, where they lived the rest of his life. He worked with cattle, sheep and hogs. His passions were Black Angus cattle and arrow-straight rows of corn. Chuck also did a lot of custom farm work.
His father paid for his dues in the American Legion starting in 1945 until 1960 when his father passed away. He continued to be a member for 75 years. Chuck helped with the color guard duties until his heart attack in 2002. Chuck joined the Knights of Columbus in early 1954. He became a life member of the Winner VFW in 1969. He also served on the township board and the school board.
After the loss of son Mike on New Year’s Eve 1976, (delivering fuel for Cenex) Chuck started to drink heavily and went to treatment in Riverpark. He joined AA where he was a member for 40 years and made many special friends.
In his later years, Chuck and Jean traveled to Arizona for 11 years. He loved playing pinochle at the senior citizens center and riding his four-wheeler at home.
Chuck had a heart attack in 2002, and a cavitatious infection in his lung and needed oxygen from then on. Chuck was thankful for the many home health providers.
Chuck died Oct. 14, 2019, at Avera Gregory Hospital. He was 94.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Frances Kayl;  sons, Michael and Joe;  grandsons, Travis Kainz and Eric Kayl; great-grandson, Zack Nicks; sisters, Evelyn Albers, Maxine Meyers and Mary Lou Putnam; sons-in-law Dean Kainz and Carl Geigle; and daughter-in-law Jean Marie Kayl.
Chuck is survived by is wife Jean, (Chicken); five children, Margie Kainz, Mariane Bromwich, Dan (Judy) Kayl, Patti (Ray) Greenseth and Larry (Robin) Kayl; brother, Kenneth (Winnie) Kayl; daughter-in-law, Roseanne Kayl; special family Brenda Drefs and friend Larry, Vicky Drefs, Mathew (Katie) Drefs, Jonathan (Brooke) Drefs; grandchildren, Chris (Teri) Kayl, Lori (Corey) Cowins, Dawn (Pete) Murray, Renee Nicks, Andy (Leah) Kainz, Wade (Julie) Bromwich, Wendy Bromwich, Ben (Michelle) Kayl, Josh (Jamie) Kayl, Sarah (Michael) McCoy, Tony Kayl, Kodi (Patton) Hoffarth, Hope Geigle, Jacob (Trista) Geigle, Colleen Greenseth, Courtney (William) Barber, Lindsey (Chris) Romine, Jerred Kayl, Bryan (Wendy) Kayl, Renita (Scott) Herrington and Charlie Kayl; many great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Services were Oct. 21 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Gregory. Burial followed at the church cemetery.

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