Joe Dean McClaren, 81, died Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at the Rapid City Regional West Hospital. He was born June 30, 1931 to Wylie and Mildred (Ventiling) McClaren. Joe weighed in at 12 pounds, 9 ounces.
As a young man Joe lived on the family ranch near Pringle, SD, with his three brothers and sister. Joe attended high school at Custer where he enjoyed sports, participating in football, basketball and track. Joe set a few records.
After graduation from Custer High School in 1949, Joe worked construction. On December 26, 1953 he married the love of his life, Ferol Ousley. They enjoyed 59 years together. In 1955 they were blessed with the first of three sons, Jeffery Charles. Joe took the family on the road doing construction jobs in Wyoming and Montana. In 1959, after the birth of their second son, Bradley Joe, they moved back to the Custer area where Joe worked in the timber and mining business. He also worked with his Dad on the family ranch. In 1965, Timothy Miles joined the family.
Joe took over the ranch from his Dad in the early 80’s. In 2004 he and his sons traded the Pringle ranch for a ranch in Nebraska. The last few years Joe helped his sons with the ranch south of Hat Springs. He especially enjoyed haying and checking cattle on his 4-wheeler.
Joe was never afraid of hard work and was always willing to help others. He loved playing cards, going to the barn sale, brandings and generally being around friends where he could visit and share a story.
Survivors include his wife, Ferol of Custer, SD; sons, Jeff (Karen) of Gillette, WY; Brad (Maggie) and Tim (Lori) both of Hay Springs, NE, eight grandchildren, Emily, Quinn, Chris, Charlie, Jobe, Marie, Morgan and Kyle and one great granddaughter, Ahris; as well as numerous step-grandchildren; nieces and nephews.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Wylie and Mildred; brothers, Bob and Glen and sister, Donna.
Memorial services will be held at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, March 2, 2013, at the Custer Community Church in Custer. Interment will follow at the Custer Cemetery.
A memorial has been established in Joe’s name to benefit the Hay Springs and Custer Fire Departments.
Arrangements have been placed in the care of McColley’s Chapel of the Hills in Custer. Written condolences may be made at www.mccolleyschapels.com.