Funeral services for Francis W. "Dunker" Gengler, 89, of Brookings, SD, will be held at 10:30am, Monday, November 23, 2009, at St. Thomas More Catholic Parish in Brookings, with visitation from 4pm until 7pm, Sunday, with a Rosary Service at 6:00pm, and Scripture Service at 6:30pm, at Rudes Funeral Home in Brookings.
Francis moved with his parents near Cavour, South Dakota in 1930. He attended rural school and moved to Elkton, SD in 1933, where he continued his education. Francis was united in marriage to Alice OLeary on October 8, 1940, at Our Lady Of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Elkton. He began working for Kramer Auto and Electric in Elkton and later at Steffen Ford Garage. He then served in the United States Army from 1943 until 1945 during WWII. While serving in the military he was captured by the Germans at the Rapido River in Italy on January 22, 1944, and was a POW until he was liberated in April of 1945. At the time the war ended, he was training in the Amphibious Corps for the invasion of Japan. After serving in the Army, he returned to Elkton, and was employed by Kramer International Harvester. Alice died in 1966. Francis moved to Brookings in 1986 and retired in 1987. After his retirement he drove vans for Viking Industries of Flandreau, SD.
He was a member of the St. Thomas More Catholic Parish, the Knights of Columbus, and the Catholic Order of Foresters. Francis was a life member of the POWs, DAV, and the American Legion. He was also a member of the VFW and the Elkton Volunteer Fire Department. Francis enjoyed spending time with his family, friends, especially his grandchildren.
Francis is survived by his children William (Mary) Gengler of Brookings, SD, Mary Foth of Algona, IA, Beth (Ron) Steenholdt of Sioux Falls, SD; seven grandchildren; six great grandchildren; and four sisters Loraine Steffen of Ellsworth, WI, Dorothy Johnson of Irvine, CA, Mary Adams of San Leandro, CA, and Rose Marie McTague of Aberdeen, SD.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, two sisters Margaret and Lucille, and two brothers Arnold and Milton. Francis died on Thursday, November 19, 2009 at the Brookings Health Care System at the age of 89.