Alan Lien

Funeral services for Alan W. Lien, 63, of Chamberlain will be 10:00 am Friday, November 4, 2016 at St. James Catholic Church in Chamberlain with burial in the Riverview Cemetery at Chamberlain. Visitation will begin Thursday at 5:00 with a prayer service at 7:00 pm at St. James Catholic Church in Chamberlain. Alan Lien was born August 20, 1953 to Ernest J. and Leona (Springer) Lien in Concord, MI. He attended grade school and high school at Marshall, MI graduating in 1971. He then attended Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, MI before attending Michigan State University where he graduated in 1975. After graduating from Michigan State University he started his job for the Calhoun County Planning Department on the Battle Creek Area Transportation Study until 1980 when he was hired by the Interior Department to work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, BIA on the Cheyenne River Reservation in Eagle Butte, SD in the Land Operations Department. Although it was difficult to leave family and friends in Michigan, according to Alan, it was the best decision he ever made, taking the road less traveled. In 1982 he applied for the Natural Resource Officer position at the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in Fort Thompson, SD while residing in Chamberlain. It was during that time that he met his future wife, best friend, and soul partner, Patricia Johnson and on June 22, 1985 they were united in marriage at Reliance, SD. Together they have a daughter Jennifer who graduated from South Dakota State University and now teaches 3rd grade at St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, SD and a son James, who just recently graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University with a degree in Criminal Justice and is presently working at the Corps of Engineers at the Big Bend Dam Project in Fort Thompson. In 1989, Alan accepted the position as the Natural Resource Officer at the Lower Brule Reservation in Lower Brule, SD and spent the remainder of his 34 years with the federal government at Lower Brule until retiring in January of 2014. During his career, he was also the Fire Management Officer and was responsible for the suppression and training of fire crews for the suppression of wildfires on the reservation and also sent crews and engines to fight fires across the west. He enjoyed learning about the Lakota and Dakota culture and made many native friends during his career working on the reservations. Alan and his wife continue to live in Chamberlain where he continued to enjoy all the great outdoor activities that South Dakota has to offer. He enjoyed learning about the Lakota and Dakota culture and made many native friends during my career working on the great outdoor activities that South Dakota has to offer. A quote from Alan “During my free time I can be found with a fishing pole in my hand catching walleye and small mouth bass. In the fall there is nothing better than following a fine pointing dog (Jett) across the grasslands in pursuit of the ring-neck -pheasant or prairie grouse, or chasing a bugling elk through the Black Hills.” Alan passed away on October 30, 2016 at home at the age of 63 years. Gratefully sharing his life are his wife Patricia, daughter Jennifer and son James all of Chamberlain; his dog Jett; his parents of Marshall, MI; brother Gary of Marshall, MI; three aunts Dorothy (Harrington) Springer of Bradley, SD and Carol (Jeske) Lien of Watertown, SD, Doreen (Lien) Christensen of Rapid City; mother-in- law Laura Johnson of Chamberlain; two brothers-in- law Dennis Johnson and wife Liz of Abilene, KS and Robert Johnson and wife Wanita of Mesquite, NV; two nephews Ryan and Tyler Lien; and many cousins. Preceding him in death were his maternal grandparents Harry and Linda Springer; paternal grandparents Bertin and Clara Lien; infant brother Dale; five uncles LaVerne Springer, Donald Springer, Milton Lien, Kermit Lien, and Ralph Lien; four aunts Maxine (Springer) Best, Bernice (Lien) Bock, Dela (Lien) Montana, and Leona (Lien) Fichtner; and fatherin- law Kenneth Johnson;. Also preceding him in death were numerous cousins. 

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Chamberlain Sun

116 S. Main Street 
Chamberlain, South Dakota 57325 

(605) 234-1444 (o)
(605) 234-1445 (f)