STICKNEY, S.D. (KELO) – Losing a loved one is difficult. That grief can be even worse during a pandemic when you’re unable to be with all your friends and family members. One KELOLAND family is feeling the love after the Stickney community came out to show support after a recent death.
Throughout his life, Wayne Keizer spent time farming and driving truck, but his family will always remember him for much more than that.
“He was a good husband, dad, and grandpa,” Wanye Keizer’s wife, Shirley Keizer said.
“The last few years we would go to coffee and sometimes we would talk serious talks, sometimes we would make jokes, and sometimes we wouldn’t say nothing, but it would just be me and my dad,” Wayne Keizer’s son, Lance Keizer said.
Wayne died at the end of April. He had been battling cancer for several years.
Due to the pandemic, only immediate family could attend the funeral service at the church. But on the way to the cemetery, family members found more than a hundred people lined up in tractors and cars.
“I knew about the tractors being there and stuff, but I think my family, they were floored when we pulled up, and they saw all of that, just with us being farmers and stuff, and seeing tractors parked along the side of the road and showing their support,” Lance Keizer said.
“They gave us a list of everyone that was there and we counted roughly 125 people that showed up, and it was raining and they all stood out in the rain while we drove past and then also while we had our ceremony and burial,” Wayne Keizer’s granddaughter, Haley Keizer said.
While everyone practiced social distancing, the family is thankful for this act of kindness from the Stickney community and everyone else who came to show support.
“I would have loved to gone along and shook hands with everybody, but with this darn virus, so as we were driving in the pickup leaving, we just waved our hands to say thank you,” Lance Keizer said.
“When you have all these people standing out in the rain, lined up for like a half-mile, and all the tractors, to pay tribute, it just says something about the wonderful part of a little community,” Shirley Keizer said.
Lance Keizer says that the monetary gifts the family has received from people will be donated to the Aurora County Cancer Fund.