December 9, 1930 – December 28, 2020
Born in New Underwood, SD
Resided in Lincoln, NE
REV. DR. DWIGHT SNESRUD
REV. DR. DWIGHT D. SNESRUD
After being a faithful servant for 90 years, the Rev. Dr. Dwight Snesrud left his earthly world to go walk with the Lord on December 28, 2020.
Dwight was born on December 9, 1930, on the western plains of South Dakota in New Underwood to Alner and Lucille (East) Snesrud, where he was the youngest of four children, Dorothy, Hustin ‘Snaz’, and Elizabeth ‘Betty’.
Dwight spent much of his childhood in New Underwood before his family moved to Rapid City at the foot of the Black Hills where he would then graduate from Rapid City Central High School in the spring of 1948. After high school, Dwight then began college at Yankton College in Yankton, South Dakota where he joined the South Dakota National Guard. In the 1950’s his National Guard Unit was activated to serve the country during the Korean War. While the Guard unit was active, Dwight served as a trainer in cross country skiing and winter survival for the Army in Alaska though they were based out of the military base, Fort Carson, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
During his time at Fort Carson, Dwight was among several military personnel that were invited to join the family of Jessie Hawkes for a family dinner, where Dwight became smitten with Jessie’s daughter Catherine Harriet Hawkes.
In June of 1951 Dwight and Cathy were married and eventually returned to the Rapid City area, where they welcomed their daughter Dorothy Ann ‘Dot’. After working a milk route for a local dairy in Rapid City, Dwight made the decision to return to Yankton College where he then graduated from in the spring of 1955 after which he, Cathy and Dot headed east so Dwight could attend Hartford Theological Seminary.
In Connecticut, Dwight and Cathy were greeted by the birth of their son, William Dale while serving as student pastor in a small church in East Hartland.
After graduating from Hartford Seminary, Dwight and Cathy began their journey that saw them serve others in churches at Whiting, Iowa, where they welcomed daughter Deborah (Deb) Kay; Lincoln, Nebraska, where they welcomed James (Jim) Andrew; Austin, Minnesota; Yankton, South Dakota; and Florissant, Missouri. He earned his Doctorate of Ministry in 1980 from United Theological Seminary in St. Paul,MN.
Dwight retired from the ministry in 1995, and in 1999 the couple returned to Lincoln, Nebraska.
For over 40 years, Dwight served an ever-growing flock of parishioners with much success and as one close friend recently stated, “Dwight is filled with the Holy Spirit and has a liberal human heart, both of which compelled him to share the message of Christ and work for the protection and advancement of civil liberties, and to serve the needs of the poor, tired, and oppressed in our society. Dwight is a wise and caring, a taskmaster in biblical studies, personable and steeped in biblical knowledge. He also shared a keen sense of humor, always had a way to incite long and lively conversations, and never failed at finding time to listen to the needs of others whom he served.”
In the summer of 2007, after 57 years of marriage, Dwight lost the love of his life when Cathy passed away after a short illness while they were on vacation at his favorite spot on earth – D’Right Place, or better known as their family cottage nestled in the Black Hills along Spring Creek.
Dwight found love once again with Marilyn Bertsch, unfortunately, Dwight also lost Marilyn in the fall of 2019.
Dwight lived a long life of Christ-like servant-hood until december 28, 2020, when he quietly passed away while in the loving care of family.
Dwight was proceeded in death by his parents, his wife Cathy, brother Hustin, sister-in-law Hulda, sister Elizabeth and brother-in-law Merne.
He is survived by his children, Dorothy Snesrud of Osceola, Nebraska; William (Linda) Snesrud of McPherson, Kansas; Deborah (Keith) Mueske of Rapid City, South Dakota; and James (Melody) Snesrud of Bennet, Nebraska; along with grandchildren Tony, Bridget, Alicia, Ashley, Amber, and Autumn; great-grandchildren Lindsey, Keller, Layton, Jaiden, Denise, Erika, Korbin, Connor, Tanner, Declan, Desmond, and Molly, one great great grandchild, Linden, as well as sister-in-law Mary Hawkes and numerous nieces and nephews.
Due to the continuing situation with the Coronavirus pandemic, the family will be having a private family service now but are planning a Celebration of Life when COVID-19 relief permits at Northeast Community Church, UCC in Lincoln, Nebraska, and a graveside service in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Memorials can be directed to Placerville Camp UCC Rapid City, SD; HoriSun Hospice Community Foundation in Lincoln, NE; and the churches he faithfully served – Whiting UCC in Whiting, IA; Northeast Community Church UCC in Lincoln, NE; First Congregational Church in Austin, MN; Yankton UCC in Yankton, SD; or Church of the Master UCC in Florissant, MO.
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