Royce Hetland


January 30, 1938 - July 3, 2019


Royce Lee Hetland, of rural Plankinton, chose a tractor over an engineering degree because he could already fix most things. Royce Hetland went to meet the greatest fixer of all on July 3, 2019, following a year and a half long battle with cancer.

Royce was born January 30, 1938, to Melvin and Marie (Johnson) Hetland. He graduated from Mt. Vernon High School in 1956.  His stories about his younger years include a mischievous smile and a twinkle in his eye followed by saying he, “never got in trouble.”  After graduation he attended one semester at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. His dad offered him a 720 John Deere tractor and he came straight home to farm. He married Adonna Jean Dodd on October 21, 1962. Together they had two sons, Daren and Brent. Royce served in the South Dakota National Guard for seven years. He was a member of Victor Lutheran Church and Salem Lutheran Church where he served as a Sunday School teacher and member of the church council. Royce was a member of the Palatine Township board for several years. He farmed until his retirement in 1999. 

Royce is known for fixing things. He often told his sons what the problem was and how to fix it over the phone without even looking. He was most proud of taking apart old rusted hit and miss engines and making them run like new. He loved starting them and watching them run. He took them to fairs and parades and even used them to make ice cream. Royce loved fishing and hunting. Many fond memories were made at “Het’s Haven,” his camper at Lake Oahe.

Royce is survived by his loving wife of 56 years Adonna, his sons Daren (Cara) Hetland of Sioux Falls and Brent of Durham, North Carolina; his grandchildren, Bailee (Alex) Clem of Sioux Falls, Taylor (Tyler Van Voorst) and Carlee Hetland of Sioux Falls, Adam and Elise Hetland of Durham, North Carolina; brothers-in-law LeRoy (Lydella) Dodd, Delmar Plamp; sister-in-law MaryAnn Hetland; many nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends. Royce was preceded in death by his parents, Melvin and Marie Hetland; his brother Harvard Hetland and sister Diann Plamp; niece Kim Schoenfelder.

Visitation is Friday, July 5, 2019, at Bittner Funeral Chapel with family present from 5-7 pm and a prayer service at 6:30 pm.  The funeral is Saturday, July 6, 2019, at 10:30 am at Salem Lutheran Church in Mt. Vernon.



Friday, July 5, 2019
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
805 West Havens Ave
Mitchell, South Dakota 57301


Saturday, July 6, 2019
10:30 AM
Salem Lutheran Church
204 E 4th St
Mt Vernon, SD 57363


Mount Vernon Cemetery
Mount Vernon, South Dakota

Posted by Tiffany, Shawn squires and the boys Jayden, shawn on July 5, 2019
Thinking of you, Adonna and family through this hard time may God wrap his loving arms around you all🤗
Posted by Kori Clarambeau on July 5, 2019
You have our deepest sympathy Adonna and family, sorry mom nor I will be able to be with in person; know we are with in in thoughts and prayers. Love from Lois & Kori Clarambeau (from Brady)
Posted by Arlan Smedsrud on July 5, 2019
So sorry, Daren and your family, sounds like he was a great man. You are in my prayers and thoughts.
Posted by Randy B on July 4, 2019
Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon him

May he rest in peace. Amen.

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Posted by Delbert and DeAnna Hiemstra on July 4, 2019
Our deepest sympathy to the Hetland family. Royce always had a smiling face every time we saw him at Salem Lutheran or other functions. RIP Royce!
Posted by Paul and Lynne Miller on July 3, 2019
May the loving arms of our Lord Jesus Christ comfort you during this difficult time. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Posted by Tracy Wernsman on July 3, 2019
Lifting all of the Hetland family up in prayer, and sending much love from Omaha.
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