Harlan R. “Butch” Krein, 86, of Leola, passed away peacefully at home on April 23, 2022, surrounded by his family.
Public visitation with family present will be on Friday, April 29, 2022, from 5:00-7:00 pm at Leonard-Gramm Funeral Home in Ipswich with time of sharing beginning at 7:00 pm.
Harlan's funeral service will be on Saturday, April 30, 2022, at 11:00 am at First United Methodist Church, 502 South Lincoln St., Aberdeen, South Dakota, with Pastor Mike Waldrop officiating. Following lunch and fellowship at the church, burial with military honors will take place at 2:00 pm at Green Mound Cemetery in Leola.
His service will be downloaded to the funeral home's website at www.leonardfh.com. Leonard-Gramm Funeral Home, 720 N. 6th St., Ipswich, is in charge of the arrangements. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Family and friends may sign Harlan's online guestbook.
Harlan was born on October 22, 1935, to Reinhold and Florence (Galster) Krein of Leola where he was the youngest of three children. He graduated from Leola High School in 1954 and received his bachelor's degree from Northern State College in 1958, master's degree from University of Wyoming in 1962, professional degree from University of Denver in 1969, doctoral degree from University of Nebraska and Laurence University (Florida) in 1972.
On December 29, 1962, Harlan married Lorraine Rita Pfeiffer at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Aberdeen. The couple was blessed with three children; Susie, Brad, and Laurie.
After a standout career at Leola High School in football, Harlan was a two-way starter (offensive and defensive tackle) for four years on the Northern State College football team and was one of the last “60 minute men”. He was also one of the state's best as he was a Williams All American his junior year and Williams and NAIA All American his senior year. After graduating from NSU, Harlan was drafted professionally by the Denver Broncos but pursued other interests. He was inducted into the NSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984.
He enlisted in the United States Army in 1958 and was honorably discharged in 1960. During his service he played football in the Botany Bowl in 1956 and European League in 1960 for the Frankfort Hawks, starting every game and played both ways during a 16 game schedule. He played in Paris, France, for the European League Championship.
Harlan began his coaching and educator career in 1961 at Groton and Webster schools, then moved onto the University of North Dakota at Ellendale, and Peru State College, Peru, Nebraska, then superintendent at Conde school district.
After the death of his father, Reinhold, in 1973, Harlan and his family returned to the family farm at Leola, where they worked tirelessly to continue the farming operation. In addition to being a football standout, he was a great mechanic who could fix anything to keep the farm machinery running smoothly.
In 1986 Harlan began his career in education for the second time and held the position of superintendent at St. Francis Indian School and McLaughlin school district in South Dakota and Northern Cheyenne Montana schools until his retirement in 2000.
Three years after Lorraine's death in 1993, Harlan met Merry Osman. They travelled extensively, visiting 34 states, but their favorite location was Scottsdale, Arizona, spending the winter months there through 2022.
He is survived by his three children: Susie (Bill Sauck) Treftz of Ipswich; Brad Krein of Ventura, California; and Laurie Fortezzo of San Antonio, Texas; four grandchildren: Dustin Treftz of Leola; Courtney (Andrew) Rios of Rapid City; AJ Fortezzo and Christian Fortezzo of San Antonio; and a great granddaughter to be born in July. Harlan is also survived by siblings Larry Krein of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Lilas Skoglund of Aberdeen, and special friend and travelling companion, Merry Osman, of Billings, Montana.
Harlan was preceded in death by his wife, Lorraine; his parents; Reinhold and Florence; sister-in-law Lourdes Krein and brother-in-law Duane Skoglund.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Morgan's Inclusion Initiative, 5223 David Edwards Dr., San Antonio, TX 78233 (benefitting children and adults with special needs), Aberdeen Area Human Society, P.O. Box 1013, Aberdeen, SD 57402-1013, or any non-profit organization of your choice in Harlan's memory.
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