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In memory of

Wayne L. Fairchild

of Philip, South Dakota, died on Wednesday, September 18, 2002 at his home near Philip at the age of 90

Wayne Leo Fairchild was born November 1, 1911 in the log house on the homestead, twenty-seven miles northwest of Philip. He was one of nine children born to Mabel Grace (Wayne) and Shiloh B. Fairchild. It was a very dry year so Shy was in the Nebraska Sand Hills with their cattle at the time of the birth.

Wayne attended school in the country and graduated from the eighth grade. Money was hard to come by and Wayne didn’t much care about school so after a few months of high school, he returned to the country and helped with the work.

In the fall of 1936, Wayne met Ruth Sherwood. He was united in marriage to Ruth on September 4, 1938 in Aberdeen at the home of her sister, Edna Buswell. They headed out on their honeymoon to Maywood, Illinois in a borrowed car only to discover on their arrival that they weren’t really married, the license was from Haakon County and wedding in Brown County – it wasn’t legit. After that start, they shared sixty-four exciting and eventful years together. Three children were born, Kent, Bruce and Marsha, and all have been blessed to have shared in his life.

Wayne’s education was ongoing with hands on lessons in farming, ranching, and making a living off the land. Many a young man worked for Wayne over the years. Wayne had a great sense of adventure and he and Ruth traveled on many Agriculture tours over seas, as well as in the United States, with the Airstream Wally Byam Caravan.

Wayne is survived by his wife Ruth of Philip; two sons, Kent Fairchild and his wife Nina of Philip, South Dakota, and Bruce Fairchild and his wife Lois of Bothell, Washington; a daughter Marsha (Fairchild) Sumpter and her husband Bill of Philip; eight grandchildren; eighteen great-grandchildren; and one brother Clinton Fairchild of Chico, California.

Wayne was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters, Leah Fairchild, Mildred Vesaas, and Emma Patterson; and four brothers Jasper, Joe, Byron, and Russell.

Funeral services for Wayne Leo Fairchild, age 90, of Philip were held 10:00 a.m. Monday, September 23, 2002, at the American Legion Hall in Philip, with Pastor Don Lagge officiating.

Visitation was held 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday at the Rush Funeral Home in Philip, and one hour preceding the services at the church.

Private family interment will take place on the Fairchild Ranch.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials directed to the Haakon County Prairie Transportation.

Funeral Services
10:00 a.m.
Monday, September 23, 2002
American Legion Hall in Philip

  • Well Dad, you had a great life and we are so proud to have been around to share it with you. I remember you always said you preferred a "race horse" to an "old plug" and when it came to kids you would probably have liked a happy medium in some instances. When Bill and I came back to the farm it was a real test for all of us and you got me into raising pigs. We had great fun with all the adventures related to that enterprise. On hot summer days, you would call out "watermellon" and I'd take a break from the chores to sit and visit and eat with you. Mom didn't much care for mellon though. One time you told me that "while you were shaving in the morning you could think of enough work to keep 5 men busy for a week", and I believe that. You were a progressive thinker and Mom would fuel your thoughts with information she would read, and great things would happen here at the farm. Mom recalls that one time she was back East at a meeting and one of the fellows came up and asked "why did Wayne need both of those JD tractors, I wanted one!" Unknown to her, you'd bought two new tractors, had them delivered to the field and never bothered to mention anything about it! Thank goodness you didn't carry through on the theory of kids, you said "you should give the first kid away, because you try to make it perfect, and drown the last one, because you spoil them", since I was the last one, I didn't much think that was a good idea! You never failed to say "thank you" for even the smallest things. You shared in the excitement of flying with me and encouraged me in all the things I did. It was because of you and Mom that I was able to do anything I wanted to do, you never said "a girl shouldn't or couldn't do that". Thanks for being there for us and showing how to live life to the fullest along the way. With love, Marsha and Bill ~ Marsha and Bill Sumpter . (9/18/2002)
  • Will pray for Wayne. I will miss him.

    Louie Freiber, a friend
    ~ Louie Freiberg 4870 Berry Pine Hgt. Dr., Rapid City, SD 57702 (9/18/2002)
  • Tuesday afternoon, here was Wayne and Ruth and Edna shopping in Coyle's Grocery. I said to Wayne, "That kid Marsha sure gets around. He said "She sure does," in a mischievous manor.

    While at the check out counter, this lady had a handful of change, and he stuck out his hand and said, "If you have to much money, you can stick some in this hand."

    Wayne and Ruth have been good neighbors and good farmers, and have raised enterprising kids with generous natures and good personalities. He will be missed.
    ~ Vivian Hansen Box 7, Philip, SD 57567 (9/18/2002)
  • We were all very lucky to have Wayne as head of the ranch and the spark of
    the Fairchild family. It is a huge hole that is left and really will never
    be replaced. To my family he represented fun, hard work and enthusiasm for
    the task at hand. One big smile appears when you think of Wayne. Yes, sir!
    My Dad, loved and enjoyed their time together, always they could talk about
    anything, with humor throughout. It was like Christmas anytime that Wayne
    was around. Those of us young'ns would wait in anticipation for the next
    surprise that was coming. Wayne could get away with anything. He had such
    enthusiasm for life. No one could hoot and holler, and put on a show like
    Uncle Wayne. He'd get the sleepiest kid out of bed, auction off anything
    close by, dance to his own "toot-a-loot-a lootle," pinch what ever felt good,
    and enjoyed life. On the other hand you could have a serious conversation
    with him, too. He was thoroughly appreciated, respected and loved by all of
    us. We were lucky to have him with us almost 91 years.
    We wish we could be there for his funeral Monday, but unfortunately work
    schedules don't allow that to happen. Sorry. I am glad that I had the time
    with him for his 90th and we all got him at the reunion. Our love to all of
    Kathy and Gary
    ~ Kathy Hall . (9/18/2002)
  • I have very fond memories of the many unique qualities of my Uncle Wayne, and I will never forget how extremely helpful he was to me during my childhood. ~ Clifford and Susan Fairchild Corvallis, OR (9/18/2002)
  • My Uncle Wayne seemed a larger than life presence in my childhood. He was the man in the sleigh when our car got stuck in the snow making a trip to the farm for Christmas. He was the expert on the farm who could tell me what the crops were and why they were planted where they were. Thanks to Aunt Ruth, Uncle Wayne and my cousins Kent, Bruce and Marsha, I got to learn a bit about what farm life is like and how important a contribution it makes to our lives as Americans. I treasure this connection to a way of life that so many never get to share. Uncle Wayne and Aunt Ruth also helped my mother, Edna Buswell, come back to the home of her youth to spend her later years. The contributions of both of them and of my cousin Marsha to my mother’s life are examples of the best of the values of our small towns. I am happy that Uncle Wayne lived to the end in this kind community among the people that he loved. ~ Linda Buswell Sommerfield New Haven, CT (9/18/2002)
  • My grandfather was the first man I ever fell in love with.I am going to miss you grampa. ~ Debra Grace Fairchild Moran 803 Gladys Way, Hanford, CA (9/18/2002)
  • What can I say? Uncle Wayne was a wonderful source of fun and laughter (once I grew up and could appreciate it)! I have so many fond memories of the fun we "city kids" would have every time we visited the farm and he was a big part of that fun. He loved giving us surprises because we were so gullible. George and I spent some time at the farm this summer and were able to visit with him and Aunt Ruth and Aunt Edna while in Philip. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to do so. He will be missed. ~ George and Sandra Kalata 15545 9th Ave. NE (9/18/2002)
  • You have to admit, he was quite a guy and could depended on to do or say something to make you laugh. ~ Leroy and Berta Aasby Philip, SD (9/18/2002)
  • Uncle Wayne, you were the Greatest. I'm going to miss you lots but have many fond memories of our visits from the time I was pretty young to these past few years in Az. and S.D. You kept me pretty worried when we were young and Bruce, Kent and my brother Dave and I would visit the ranch. When those others were getting into mischief you said I was always the inocent bystander and reminded me of that in recent years. Well, I know I always pled that way but there may have been once or twice that it wasn't so. I think you knew that though.
    Your stories and down home Wit were something I would always look forward to. I know you would say you didn't go very far in school but you were one of the smartest people I ever knew. Every time I hear an auctioneer I will think of you and I playing like we were selling one thing or another like the auctioneers do. I'm going to miss you lots but I will never forget you and look forward to our next meeting in the Great Beyond. Jeanne and I enjoyed visiting with you and Aunt Ruth and really missed you in Az. this past winter. One more thing. We are really greatful for the cousins you and Aunt Ruth gave us. We Love and Miss you. Dick and Jeanne.
    ~ Dick and Jeanne Sherwood Edmonds, Washington (9/18/2002)