James “Jim” Breanek

Article Image Alt Text

James “Jim” Breanek, age 91, of Hamill, SD passed away peacefully on December 24th, 2019, at the Winner Regional Health Care Center in Winner. Prior to that Jim was in Home Hospice for a year and a half. Lou was able to care for him during this time. Funeral services were held on Tuesday, December 31st, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at the Mason Funeral Home in Winner, SD. Burial followed in the Winner City Cemetery. A visitation was held one hour prior to the services.

Jim was born September 21st, 1928, to Fred and Mary (Klima) Beranek. He was delivered by his grandmother, Marie (Vojti) Beranek, who was the area midwife. He lived his whole life within a mile from where he was born. Jim went to country school near Bull Creek. He walked or rode his horse to and from school every day. He attended the local country school through 8th grade, at which time he told his mother he would never walk into a school again! Jim loved cattle. He ranched and farmed with his father.

Jim was drafted into the army during the Korean Conflict on May 23rd, 1951, and was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska. He obtained the rank of CPL and was a squad leader in a heavy mortar company. He was transferred to the active reserve on April 1st, 1953 and was honorably discharged on August 8th, 1956.

At his brothers Donald’s wedding, he met Lou Jean Moerike. She was the sister of Donald’s new bride Dorothy. They danced and were never apart for 63 years. They were united in marriage on March 28th, 1955. Jim and Lou worked the land and raised Hereford cattle together. On January 20th, 1956, their daughter Kathy was born.

Anyone who knew Jim could tell that he loved livestock. After he sold his cow herd in February of 1979, he ran black-white face yearlings. He also started to buy cattle for other people. He loved being on the road and was a cattle order buyer from 1977 through December 2016. Due to losing his sight and hearing, he decided it was time to quit at the age of 88. Jim made many friends and always called his customers to make sure they approved of the cattle he bought.

In 1974, Kathy married David Turgeon and Jim gained a son-in-law. Dave and Kathy have two daughters, Stacy and Jamie. They loved going to the farm and helping with the everyday chores. The girls spent a lot of time at the farm and Stacy worked several summers for them.

Jim also loved to hunt pheasants with family and hunters from all over the US. But he was always in a hurry to get a limit, especially if there was a sale to go to. Jim’s happy place was any sale barn. He’d get up extra early so he could go out and look at the livestock he was interested in buying for someone.

Jim and Lou liked to dance. He was a member of the ZCBJ Lodge and the dance hall was located on his property by Hamill where many weekends were spent. Jim was a life-time member of the American Legion also. He loved to play cards with family during the holidays and taught his granddaughters to play pitch. Jim enjoyed celebrating birthdays and anniversaries by going out to eat, especially because this gave him a reason to go to the casino.

Jamie spent more Friday’s skipping school to go along with grandpa and grandma to the sale barns than she spent in the classroom, from middle school on. Especially her Senior year.

Kathy always called Jim and Lou the “weed patrol”, as they were out looking for thistles all summer long. When Stacy worked for them, she would dream about chopping and spraying thistles for they did it so much!

Jim is survived by his wife, Lou Jean, daughter Kathy (Dave) Turgeon, granddaughters Stacy Turgeon and Jamie (Jay) Turgeon-Drake, great granddaughters Samantha Peppel and Jaymes Lou Jean Drake, and brother Donald Beranek, brother-in-law Don Moerike, and sister-in-law Yvonne (Don) Umburger.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Mary, sisters Rosie (Walter) Jordt, Mary (Elmer) Foss, Libby (Arthur) Hecht, and Emma (Tony) Cervanka, sisterin- law Dorothy Beranek, sister-in-law’s Tillie Creemur, & Tiny Johnson, and several nieces and nephews.

Chamberlain Sun

116 S. Main Street 
Chamberlain, South Dakota 57325 

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