William "Bill" Stange

William "Bill" Stange


October 2, 1946 - March 21, 2024


William Earl Stange, 77, of Mitchell, SD, died Thursday, March 21, 2024, at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 AM on Friday, March 29, at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Mitchell with Rev. John Hansen officiating. Interment will be held later at Union Cemetery in rural Storla, SD. Visitation will be Thursday from 5-7:00 PM at Bittner Funeral Chapel.

William “Bill” Earl Stange was born October 2, 1946, in Alpena, SD to Harry and Wilma (Speis) Stange. He attended Woodmansee Country School through the 8th grade and graduated from Lane High School in 1964.  Growing up on the family farm, Billy worked with his siblings: milking cows, tending to the chickens, putting up hay with his sisters, and helping with countless other chores. He often told fond stories of working with his sisters and how tough he thought those girls were. He had a built-in best friend in his little brother, Bobby. Their friendship had highs and lows over the years, as all relationships do; but they stood the test of time, checking in with each other to “chew the fat” nearly every day until Bobby passed.

After high school, Bill enlisted in the US Army in the fall of 1964. He shared stories of being homesick when he first arrived in Germany. Eventually, he settled into Army life, making friends, and touring the area in a friend’s little three-man Volkswagen on their days off.  They would throw in a sleeping bag and sleep on the ground next to the car in city parks at night all around Germany, France, and Spain. After his three-year tour, he returned home to start farming for himself. When the work was done, he and Bobby made time for a lot of fun and managed to get into a little bit of trouble along the way.

On September 18, 1976, he was united in marriage with Nancy (Baade) Stange. They made their home in rural Letcher, near Storla, for the next 38 years. They were blessed with three beautiful children, Laurie Ann, Gregory William, and Brian Harold. Bill and Nancy eventually retired off the farm and moved to Mitchell, SD in 2014.  Farming was what Bill loved and he wanted to share his wisdom with his family. He was never one to shy away from a long day of work, continuing to help Greg with harvest, by driving the combine until 2021. He taught each of his children many aspects of farming: first feeding bottle calves, then looking after piglets and pigs, pulling calves, feeding cows, fixing fence, and spending endless hours in all kinds of farm machinery - with the result of instilling the value of working hard in each one of them. Over the years, he grew many crops: barley, wheat, corn, milo, sunflowers, and soybeans. He raised cattle and pigs and always enjoyed a good day at the sale barn. Sale barn days were a big deal, and he would often take Laurie, Greg, and Brian out of grade school to ride along to the sale barn.

Bill enjoyed spending time with his siblings, their spouses, and especially his nieces and nephews. He always found work on the farm his nephews could help with, made road trips to follow nieces and nephews’ sporting events, and even though he wasn’t a hunter himself, he looked forward to driving his nephews around during deer hunting season each year. In recent years Bill and Nancy took a few trips and shared many meals with Dick and Judy in Mount Vernon and Chamberlain where they caught up on the local chitchat.

Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Nancy; three children: Laurie (Brian) Schaff of Spearfish, SD, Gregory (Sarah) Stange of Letcher, SD, and Brian Stange of Plankinton, SD; grandchildren: Kalleigh, Emma, and Hazel; sisters: Phyllis Swenson, Woonsocket, SD, Lois Edwards, Letcher, SD, and Judy (Dick) McQueen, White Lake, SD; sisters-in-law: Jan Stange, Woonsocket, SD, Kay Stange, Sioux Falls, SD, and Ann Stange, Woonsocket, SD; brother-in-law: Dennis (Kathi) Baade, Artesian, SD; and numerous, cherished nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Wilma Stange; sisters: Joyce Bowar and Carol Morgan; brothers: Donald Stange, Bobby Stange, and John Stange; brothers-in-law: Bill Bowar, Edward Swenson, Merle Edwards, and Bill Morgan; nephew, Jason Stange; and his in-laws: Rex and Edna Baade, Joan Schaff Kettlewell, Darold and Carolyn Brink.


Thursday, March 28, 2024
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
805 W Havens Ave
Mitchell, SD 57301


Friday, March 29, 2024
10:30 AM
Resurrection Lutheran Church
4013 N Main St
Mitchell, SD 57301


Union Cemetery
Rural Storla, SD

Posted by Darla (Thomas) Conn, Ken Conn and Dawn Thomas on April 4, 2024
We are so sorry to hear of Billy’s passing. We want to wish our heartfelt condolences to the family. We remember Billy and Bobby fondly from the many summers we spent at Uncle Merle and Aunt Loie’s. The best times of our lives growing up. We are sincerely sorry to hear of all of the losses in the family. Many memories come flooding back as I read the names of each one and those still with us. We love them all. I am very sorry we did not hear sooner of Billy’s passing but very grateful to be given an opportunity to let the family know we mourn his passing. With all of our love Darla.
Posted by Shirley Vearrier on March 29, 2024
My prayers are with all the family.
Posted by Nancy Kelly on March 28, 2024
Well written obituary!! I never knew Bill, but now I feel I do, thanks for sharing. My Mom worked with Nancy & I’m sending you hugs & prayers Nancy & family.
Posted by Joan McCord on March 27, 2024
So sorry to hear about your loss, Judy and the rest of the family. It is very hard to lose someone that you love and it was always around and with take care.
Posted by Dee Baysinger on March 27, 2024
Reading this I think it is one of the most touching tribute to a man devoted to the land and family he loved
Posted by Donna (mitchell) degeest on March 26, 2024
Nancy and family, I’m so sorry for your loss. May Bill be your guiding Angel. May you find comfort and peace in the days to come..
Posted by John n Kris Kieffer on March 26, 2024
Cherish those precious memories.
Posted by Perry Tobin on March 26, 2024
Deepest sympathies to Nancy ,Laurie ,Greg , Brian and Stange families
Posted by Jerry Luckett on March 26, 2024
Nancy and family I am so sorry for your loss. I have many wonderful memories of time we spent together visiting. Sending prayers for everyone. Cherish every memory as the memory is a gift from God.
Posted by Amy Rens (Vearrier) on March 25, 2024
Hugs to you Laurie, Nancy, Greg and Brian as you go through this difficult time.
Posted by Sheri Breland Koeck on March 25, 2024
So sorry to hear about Bill. I was just catching up with him on Facebook. Prayers for his family.
Posted by Michelle Everson on March 25, 2024
Sincere Sympathy on the loss of Bill. Thoughts & prayers for your family.
Posted by Jacki Kunkel on March 25, 2024
Brian...very sorry to hear about the loss of your father. My thoughts are with you and Kalliegh as you get through this tough time.
Posted by ROBERT AND DOROTHY PARKER on March 25, 2024
Posted by Sheryl Johnson Wilson on March 24, 2024
So sorry to hear about Billy. I was so glad we had such a good visit last summer with Loretta and i reminiscing about growing up on the farm and Woodmanse School days
Posted by Gary Luckett on March 24, 2024
Prayers to the family! RIP Bill
Posted by Amy Archuleta on March 23, 2024
So sorry for your loss. Uncle Billy was my birthday buddy! Many memories of him at family gatherings. Prayers to all.
Posted by Janelle Larsen on March 23, 2024
So sorry for your loss. I have so many memories of Uncle Billy when I was young and visiting Grandpa Stange’s farm. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Posted by Jean McClane on March 22, 2024
My thoughts and prayers are with your family. Sorry for your loss.
Posted by Bonnie Kinyon on March 22, 2024
So sorry to hear that I have lost another cousin. He was a fine man. Always had a smile when he would see me. Sending prayers and hugs to the entire Stange family
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