Sioux Falls: Father Richard Ortmeier, 85, of Sioux Falls, and formerly of Polo, South Dakota, passed away Monday, June 27, 2011, at the Primrose Retirement Community in Sioux Falls, SD.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 a.m. Friday, July 1, 2011, at St. Liborius Catholic Church, Polo, with Bishop Paul J. Swain, Fr. Jerry Holtzman and Fr. Chester Murtha celebrants.
Burial will follow at Mount Calvary Cemetery, Polo, with full military honors.
A wake and rosary service will be 7 p.m. Thursday, June 30, 2011, at the church in Polo.
Richard was born at the parental farm in Harrison Township on May 18, 1926, to Maxmilian and Elizabeth (Schaefers) Ortmeier. He was baptized at St. Liborius Church in Polo on May 26, 1926, and confirmed on September 23, 1938. He attended grade school at St. Liborius and graduated from Fairview High School in 1944.
He served for two years, 1945 to 1947, in the infantry in Japan as a medic and an MP. After his honorable discharge, he attended Northern State College in Aberdeen for the summer term. He first attended Crosier Seminary in Onamia, Minnesota, before completing his seminary formation at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Sioux Falls on May 27, 1956, by Bishop William O. Brady at St. Joseph Cathedral. He celebrated his first Mass at his home parish, St. Liborius in Polo on May 30, 1956.
His first assignment was at St. Mary's Parish in Aberdeen as an associate pastor from 1956 to 1962. He then went to Holy Name Parish in Watertown until 1963. He was then assigned as administrator at St. Peter's Parish in Platte and St. Willibrord in Robey, where he remained until 1973. Father Ortmeier was named Pastor at St. Mary's Parish in Aberdeen, where he served until being named Pastor at St. Vincent Parish in Springfield and as director of the Newman Center at the University of South Dakota at Springfield. Father Ortmeier was then assigned in 1980 as Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Mobridge. He remained in this assignment until his retirement from active, priestly ministry in 1996. In his retirement, Father Ortmeier served as Chaplin to the Benedictine Sisters at Mother of God Monastery in Watertown.
Father Ortmeier carried an appreciation for his upbringing on a farm throughout his priestly ministry. He enjoyed returning to the farm to pheasant hunt, walk through the prairie and to offer Mass. Father ministered in a special way to Native Americans. He was also always eager to learn, frequently enrolling in continuing education courses and even taking a sabbatical to Rome and the Holy Land in 1987.
He is survived by three siblings: Mary King of Scottsdale, AZ, William (Catherine) Ortmeier of Watertown, SD, and James (Kay) Ortmeier of Polo, SD; sister-in-law, Mildred Ortmeier of Hoven, SD; and many nieces and nephews.
Father was preceded in death by his parents and five siblings: Ray Ortmeier, Agnes Pangburn, John Ortmeier, Paul Ortmeier and Bernard Ortmeier.
Reck Funeral Home of Miller has been entrusted with Father Richard's arrangements.
Visit http://www.family funeralhome.net