Gerald Earl Hatzenbuhler


May 29, 1932 - October 20, 2012


Gerald Earl Hatzenbuhler was born May 29, 1932, at Sioux City, IA, to Edwin and Katie (Klucking) Hatzenbuhler. He grew up in Mitchell and graduated from Mitchell High School and Dakota Wesleyan University. On July 8, 1951, he married Bonnie Blacksten at the First United Methodist Church in Mitchell. He served 20 years in the US Air Force and lived in Denver, CO, Misawa, Japan, the Philippines, Spokane, WA and Los Angeles, Atwater and Victorville, CA. He returned to Mitchell, and was an electrical construction teacher at Mitchell Vocational Technical School for 19 years.

He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Mitchell, and served on the Board of Trustees. He had been a member of the Masons in the Philippines, taught Sunday school in Misawa, Japan, sang in the church choir in Victorville, CA and served on the Mitchell City Council.

Jerry’s love of his life was his granddaughter, Alexis. He loved to learn new information. He took an old house and added rooms, cupboards a fireplace and the work had to be done right. His mind was always working and there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do. He loved hunting pheasants and hunted the first day with a special group for over 20 years. He loved his life in the Air Force, enjoyed hearing from his Vo-Tech students and always had a special dog. He enjoyed his special coffee friends at Daylight Donuts.

He is survived by his wife Bonnie, one son, Choan Hatzenbuhler of Newport Beach, CA, his granddaughter, Alexis Estes of Vermillion, three sisters-in-law, Val Hatzenbuhler of Alliance, NE; Norma Hatzenbuhler of CO; and Beverly Nearhood and her husband Harold of Ethan. He was preceded in death by his daughter Jerri Kay Estes, two brothers, Edwin Hatzenbuhler Jr. and Richard Hatzenbuhler, his parents and his mother and father-in-law.  



None Scheduled


Saturday, October 27, 2012
10:30 AM
Memorial Service
First United Methodist Church
Mitchell, South Dakota


Military Graveside Service
Graceland Cemetery
Mitchell, South Dakota

Posted by Mark Lewis (EC&M Class of 1987) on December 31, 2012
I remembered Hatz as a very smart man that wouldn't cut us any slack. Not to be mean since I don't think he had a mean bone in his body. He did it to make us learn and learn we did. There were times he would explain things over and over again. I have thought about the teachers at Mitchell Vo-tech and decided to google his name and found this announcement. My prayers go out to his family. The world was a much better place with Mr Hatzenbuhler in it
Posted by Debbie and Tim Marciniak on November 11, 2012
We will miss Jerry's wonderful stories and laughs. Our deepest sympathy to the Hatzenbuhler family.
Posted by Richard E Hatzenbuhler on November 5, 2012
Rest in peace Uncle Jerry, I'm sorry that I could not be there with you. You are the last of Grandma Katie's and Grandpa Hutz family, give my dad a hug when you all are back together once again. Love you, your nephew Rick Hatzenbuhler
Posted by Charles E Anderson (Ret MSGT USAF) on October 27, 2012
Hatz was a wonderful and honorable person with a loving wife & family. Our familys had many enjoyable evenings while stationed together in the Philipines. Our thoughts go out to Bonnie & Choan and to all who share our loss.
Posted by John Nolen on October 25, 2012
Jerry was a great American, a true patriot, and a terrific friend. His fellow hunters will remember him on opening day in October for many years in the future. Condolences to Bonnie and Choan.
Posted by Jack Klucking on October 24, 2012
I have many happy memories of trips to Mitchell and to our grandparent's home for family reunions in Walnut Grove, MN. You were the life of the party Jerry. Rest in peace in God's arms. Love and prayers to Bonnie and all the family.
Posted by Jerry Merriman on October 24, 2012
I will miss Gerry tremendously. He was a good friend for almost three decades. We all share your loss Bonnie and Choan.
Posted by Delbert & DeAnna Hiemstra on October 24, 2012
Our deepest sympathy Bonnie and entire family! Our thoughts are with you.
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