Wayne Laird, 87, of Mitchell, died Friday, June 22, 2018 at his home under hospice care. Wayne passed away surrounded by his family after losing his battle with cancer. Funeral services will be 10:30 AM Wednesday, June 27 at the First United Methodist Church in Mitchell. Burial will be at Graceland Cemetery in Mitchell. Visitation will be 6-8:00 PM Tuesday at Bittner Funeral Chapel in Mitchell with a 7:30 PM Prayer Service. Arrangements by Bittner Funeral Chapel.
Wayne was born October 15, 1930 to Raymond Harney Laird and Hazel Beatrice (Smith) Laird in Mitchell, SD. During his childhood he attended school in Mitchell, Plano and Fulton; graduating from Fulton High School in 1948. While attending high school Wayne loved to play basketball and help on the family farm. He also attended one year at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell.
Wayne married his true love Connie (Constance) Mae (Usher) on November 30, 1949 in Sioux Falls, SD.
Wayne and Connie began their adventure in marriage residing in the Fulton area. He was working at Porter Motors in Mitchell as well as farming part time. During this time they welcomed two daughters; Judy Rae (Andersen) and Peggy Ann (Pearson). In 1957 Wayne moved his family to their homestead (located Southeast of Mitchell) and began farming full time.
During his lifetime Wayne served his community and even found some time to pursue some hobbies! He served on boards of the Fulton Farmer’s Elevator and the Rosedale Township. He was a member of the Elks, Moose, Corn Palace Polka Club, Ballroom Swingers and Tuesday night bowling league. Born into the Methodist faith, he was also a member of the Alexandria Methodist Church and later transferred to the First United Methodist Church in Mitchell.
While Wayne was a hard worker, he also loved to play hard! He had a special love for dancing! Their membership with the Corn Palace Polka Club and Ballroom Swingers took them to festivals and dances all over the countryside. Along with dancing, Wayne had a love of music. His favorite music was classic country which he would listen to on Willie’s Roadhouse. He played the harmonica and often times could be heard whistling a tune.
Wayne and Connie loved to travel, and ventured to places as far away as Alaska, Hawaii, Panama, Austria and also cruised the seas. Although they loved visiting new places, they truly loved spending time at the Four Queens in Las Vegas.
Wayne was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He and Connie were the center of an amazing family dynamic. They created amazing family traditions including grand Christmas celebrations complete with a hoe-down in their garage, Easter Egg hunts on the farm and summer bonfires. Wayne’s family also had annual camping trips in the Black Hills as well as brilliant Fourth of July celebrations on the farm. Wayne and Connie were sure to share their love of travel with their family by taking the entire family; including daughters, grandchildren and their great-grandchildren on a family trip to Branson Missouri to celebrate their 60th Wedding Anniversary.
All who knew Wayne knew the passion he had for his farm. Wayne remained farming until his retirement in 2015 at the age of 84. After his retirement he was sure to keep himself busy. Wayne loved spending time in his shop where he worked on restoring tractors with his buddies. He also enjoyed spending time with his neighbors from the Rosedale colony who were good friends to the entire family. He also continued to bowl and still spent quality time with his family.
He is survived by his wife, Connie; daughters Judy (William) Andersen, Austin, TX and Peggy (Tom) Pearson, Mitchell, SD; five grandchildren, Stephen Gran, Sioux City, IA, Jennifer Gran, Austin, TX, Ryan (Toni) Gran, Austin, TX, Amy (Ryan) Brech, Tea, SD, Angella (Matt) Buenzow, Mitchell, SD; and one sister, Beverly Rowley, Mitchell, SD. He is also survived by 16 great-grandchildren, seven great-great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Wayne was preceded in death by his father, Raymond Harney Laird; mother, Hazel Beatrice (Smith) Laird; brother, Leonard (Curly) Laird; and his sons-in-law Harlan Gran (Judy) and Paul Joslin (Peggy).
The family of Wayne would like to thank those who helped Wayne during his life and helped him enter into death. A special thank you to Asera Hospice Care and Home Instead.