Donald Gene Van Bockern, Sr.

November 14, 1932 - March 18, 2024

Service: Private services will be held at a later date.

Donald Gene Van Bockern, Sr. age 91, died Monday, March 18, 2024.

Donald was born Nov 14, 1932 the son of Fred and Lena (Hassebroek) Van Bockern in Canton, SD.  He graduated Canton High School in 1950 and joined the Marines in 1951.

He was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant in 1954.  He was then employed at the State Hospital in Yankton, converting their manual records to a computer.  It was there he met his wife Joan Grimm, an RN, and they were married in Dec 1954.  He enrolled at Yankton College in the fall of 1955, graduating Cum Laude in May 1959 with a BA degree in Business Administration.  Don joined the Wilson Freight Business in 1961 as Director of Data Processing. He programmed and installed that company’s first computer system that fall.  He remained with the company 24 years in that capacity and helped as the company grew from 8 million dollars in sales to 350 million and changed their name many times.  He was the first president of the Sioux Land Chapter of the Data Processing Management Association of Sioux Falls and holds a CDP degree from them.  He was a member of All American Transport Toastmasters Club.  He loved wood working and restoring old English Sports Cars

After suffering a heart attack in 1984, he retired and moved his family to Arizona.  It was there that they started traveling in their Motorhome that took them far and wide over all of North America the for next 20 years. The family built a home and moved back to Sioux Falls in 2005

Don was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Joan; son Charles: sisters Mabel, Ruth, June, Dorothy, Helen and Lois; and brothers Art, Leo, Earl, Alvin (Duke), Dale and Richard.

Grateful for having shared his life a special friend, Jean Den Herder, two daughters, Joan (Andy) Barnett of Charlotte, NC and Karen (Brian) Everett of Waconia, MN; 3 sons Michael, of Redding, CA and Don Jr ‘Bud’ (Verna) and Stuart (Karen) all of Sioux Falls; 16 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren; two sisters-in-law, Delores Van Bockern of Sioux Falls, and Dorothy Van Bockern of Canton.

Private services will be held at a later date.

Leave a Condolence
Your email address will not be published.

6 messages have been left

  1. Ted Schryver on March 19, 2024 said:

    My heart goes out to you Bud and the rest of your family also. Love you and your brother Stuart like you were both brothers of mine and I wish the best for you both now and always.

  2. Deb on March 20, 2024 said:

    I have fond memories of Don, especially his laugh. He was a VERY special friend to my dad, Al and when those 2 got together, there was always ALOT of laughter and Shenanigans. Peace be with you,
    Deb (Kuper)

  3. Doug mccain on March 20, 2024 said:

    sorry for your loss Bud.

  4. Steve kuper on March 20, 2024 said:

    Thinking of your family and all the good times we were able to share, Don always made me laugh and our parents shared so many fun times together, Prayers to your family Don will be missed

  5. Christi VanBockern Henderson on March 30, 2024 said:

    Thinking of during this time. May you find comfort in your memories.

  6. Bill and Sandy on June 23, 2024 said:

    Please accept our sympathy. My Mom, Ruth was one of the older children of Lena and Fred.
    Your Dad was only 10 years older than me. I have memories of him in his Marine uniform.
    I remember he was a fast talker, and easy to be around.