Lance Carson


December 3, 1945 - October 14, 2020


Lance Carson, 74, of Mitchell, SD, died Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at Fairview University Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN. Funeral services will be 10:30 AM Thursday, October 22, 2020 at the Mitchell Corn Palace. A private family burial will be in Graceland Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5-7:00 PM Wednesday at the Corn Palace. Arrangements by Bittner Funeral Chapel.

A live-stream of the service may be viewed at:

On October 14, 2020, Lance Allen Carson, fought one last battle, one that he would not be able to win. Lance beat health issues time and time again, each time coming out the victor. However, in the end, victory would be found in Heaven.

Lance Allen Carson was born in Madison, South Dakota on December 3, 1945 to Ferne and Ernest Carson.  Each time he was asked his birth date, he proudly stated,”12345”.  Lance was a graduate of Rutland High School, Class of 1964. He was also a graduate of Southern State Teachers College, Springfield, SD, with a degree in Auto Technology.

Donna Mae Downs caught the eye of a 16-year-old young man.  On June 19, 1966 they started a life time of love and adventure that would last 54 years. Lance and Donna Mae’s marriage was one for the ages.

Lance worked in Brookings until he was drafted into the US Army in 1967.  It was with great pride that Lance   served with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam. Upon leaving Vietnam, Lance was awarded the Bronze Star.

Upon his return from Vietnam he returned to Brookings to work and later purchased Medary Standard, which he would own until he and Donna Mae sold the “station” to move to Mitchell in 1979. Lance’s Interstate Amoco would be a staple in the Mitchell community until 2003 when Lance and Donna Mae “retired”.

 Serving District 20 in the State House of Representatives was a position that Lance did not seek as much as it sought him. Throughout his 10 years in office, Lance served on the Appropriations Committee with his fiscal tenacity. His service to the State of South Dakota will long be remembered.  He may not have been a man of many words, but his words spoke volumes.

 Lance served on a variety of boards and committees throughout Mitchell and the rest of the state.  He served as Chairman of the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo, as well as the board for the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo. Lance also chaired The South Dakota State Fair Commission.  Recently Lance was awarded the Bob Duxbury Award for his service to the SD State Fair. He was a member of the Palace City Lions Club, Davison County Republicans and many other organizations.  The establishment of the Veteran’s Park on Main Street was a project that was dear to Lance’s heart.

 Lance somehow found time to be a huge Green Bay Packer fan which lent itself to many a bet with Vikings fans.  He was an avid SDSU Jackrabbit fan.  There were many hunting trips taken without the rewards of the hunt, especially turkey hunting. Lance loved the outdoors and he and Donna Mae would take “road trips” along SD roads while listening to Willie Nelson music.

Although Lance was not a father, he was a father figure to many children young and old.  These “kids” have described him as hero, warrior, mentor, boss, friend, and uncle.

Lance and Donna are members of Trinity Lutheran in Mitchell.

Lance Carson lived a life of service to his wife, family, his state, and his country.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Donna Mae; brother, Lloyd of Brookings; sisters, LeeAnn (Mel) Withnell of Pueblo CO., Larainne (Harlan) Gorath of Fairmont, MN, and Lyles (Tom) Lewis of Stockton, MO; sisters-in-law, Wanda Carson of Waconia, MN and Rose Carson of Mitchell.  He is also survived by Donna’s brothers Myron (Clara) of Madison, SD and Milo of Lake Benton, MN; and friend, Caleb Larson. Uncle Lance will be remembered by many nieces and nephews, as well as great nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and Donna’s parents; 3 brothers, Lawrence, Leland and Lyman; sisters-in-law, Carol Carson, Neva Carson, and Karen Downs; brother and sister-in-law Wendell and Esther Downs.

Thank you to all who were a part of Lance’s life. Each and everyone one of you touched his heart. As we go on, continue to live your lives to honor his.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the organization of your choice in Lance’s memory.



Wednesday, October 21, 2020
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Mitchell Corn Palace
604 N Main St.
Mitchell, SD 57301


Thursday, October 22, 2020
10:30 AM
Mitchell Corn Palace
604 N Main St.
Mitchell, SD 57301



Private Family Graveside Service

Graceland Cemetery
Mitchell, SD

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