Joel Richard “Dick” Fanning was born August 7, 1936 in Bennett County, South Dakota to Cameron and Marcella Fanning. He passed away March 10, 2008 at the Rapid City Regional Hospital due to a heart attack. Dick was the fourth of fourteen children. Through his early years he attended school at Presentation Children’s School in Sioux Falls, SD where he stayed with his Grandmother McLaughlin. Later, he went to and graduated from 8th grade at England Grade School, near Vetal, SD. He graduated from Bennett County High School in 1955. Dick was united in marriage to Iris Campbell November 1964 in Nenzel, NE. They moved to his Granddad’s homestead in South East Bennett County. Children Morgan, Shane and Regan were born while living in this part of the Sandhills. From there, the family moved to the Jack LaBranche place south of Tuthill, SD. Sloan was born to this growing family while there. Later, the family packed up and moved 10 miles west of Martin. After a brief stay there, they moved to Rainbow’s End Ranch at Oelrichs, SD in 1979. It was there Dick became a widower after his wife lost her battle with cancer. Dick moved one more time to the Other End of the Rainbow Ranch near Long Valley, SD in 1993. There, Dick married Lorena Berry in 1996. They farmed and ranched together in addition to enjoying time spent with friends and family.
He lived the Beatitudes by visiting residents of nursing homes, nuns residing at St. Martin’s, providing food, firewood and helping those in need. He was known to pick up hitchhikers, much to the dismay of his family. Dick was a man of few words, but his actions spoke volumes. Through the years he learned how to be a good listener. Dick rose early to read the Bible and devotionals as well as pray the rosary for his and other’s intentions. Through the years, Dick’s wisdom provided sound advice and guidance. Dick loved children for their uninhibitedness.
Dick had a lifelong passion for cattle and horses. After high school he traveled with older brother Larry to California learning the farrier trade and enjoyed working with horses. Like most good cattlemen he knew how to read cattle sign language. He competed in roping events in early adulthood. He enjoyed watching good rodeo, football and baseball games. Dick appreciated different scenery by taking rural back roads rather than main highways.
Survivors include his wife Lorena Fanning of Longvalley; two daughters Morgan Chadwick and her husband James of Houston, Texas, and Regan Kirchner of Circle, Montana; two sons Shane Fanning of Pierre, and Sloan Fanning and his wife Carol of Ft. Collins, Colorado; four grandchildren; four step-daughters Tracy Timp and her husband Jim of Arden Hills, Minnesota, Susan Kostroski and her husband Randy of Sherwood, Wisconsin, Angela Tucker of San Francisco, California, and Lauri Lerner and her husband Eric of Rochester, New York; twelve siblings James Fanning of Martin, Larry Fanning of Martin, William “Bill” Fanning and his wife Philomen of Greely, Colorado, Frances Fanning and his wife Lloyd of Great Falls, Montana, Camillus Blair of Rapid City, Dennis Fanning and his wife Nellie of Camarillo, California, Virgil Fanning and his wife Fran of Rapid City, Butch Fanning and his wife Paulette of Vetal, South Dakota, Tony Fanning and his wife Lupita of Simi Valley, California, Paul Fanning and his wife Maryann of Tuthill, South Dakota, Robert “Bob” Fanning and his wife Cathy of Phoenix, Arizona, and Patricia Williams and her husband Lee of Moorcroft, Wyoming; several nieces and nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Dick was preceded in death by his first wife Iris (Campbell) Fanning; his parents Cameron and Marcella (McLaughlin) Fanning; one brother Ronald Fanning; and a son-in-law Kenny Kirchner.
Visitation was held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 12, at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Martin, with a vigil service at 7:00 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial was held 10:00 a.m. Thursday, March 13, at the Old American Legion Hall in Martin, with Father Bryan Sorensen as celebrant.
Interment will was in the Martin Community Cemetery.
A memorial is established.
Arrangements are with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip.
MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL
Thursday, March 13, 2008 – 10:00 a.m.
Old American Legion Hall
Martin, South Dakota
Father Bryan Sorensen
Deacon Cal Clifford
Steve and Stuart Livermont
Prelude-Postlude Pianist – Dana Fanning
USHERS – PALLBEARERS
Jason Fanning – Josh Fanning
Casey Fanning – Shawn Fanning
Cam Williams – Jimbo Fanning
Jim Fanning – Joe Fanning
John Fanning – Mike Fanning
Martin Community Cemetery
Martin, South Dakota