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Ervin Ortman

It would be rare to find a person who was not blessed by spending time with Ervin Roy Ortman. Erv was born Oct 14, 1923 to Amon and Minnie (Tarrell) on a farm between Marion and Canistota. He graduated from Canistota High School in 1942 and attended the University of Minnesota for two quarters before being drafted and selected for the Army Specialized Training Program at St Norbert’s College in DePere, Wisconsin. It was in Wisconsin that he met Arleen (the pretty girl in the church choir).

In March 1944 Erv left for Europe on a troop ship traveling in a convoy. The radar went out on the French ship resulting in a collision. He survived the accident that washed 80 men out to sea. He eventually served with the 97th Division near Pilsen, Czech towards the end of WWll. Upon his return to NYC, he called Arleen and said, “Get your wedding dress!” They were married only 10 days later and remained married for 74 1/2 years.

He was honorably discharged from the Army in March 1946 and enrolled in National College of Chiropractic in Chicago, graduating in May 1950 with a Dr. of Chiropractic degree. He joined his dad, uncle, and brother at the Ortman Clinic in Canistota where he practiced for 53 years. The practice eventually included his son Tom, grandson Ryan, brother in law, nephews and their sons.

He authored and published the book “A Touching Story” telling the history of the Ortman Clinic.

His compassion, kindness, and genuine interest in people were vital to his treatment of the body and soul of those in his care.

He was known to say “I have an idea!” which led to a farm venture raising quarter horses with Don Merrill, (whose family became family, ) building the U/Bar motel, trips to golf courses, Masters golf tournaments, hunting trips, ice cream getaways, adventures with Arleen around the US and the world, often taking cruises. He was school board president during the building of the new gym in Canistota. He served in many capacities in the United Methodist Church including Conference Lay Leader and lay delegate to many national General Conferences.

“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 Erv loved as Jesus loved and lived a life of gratitude, generosity, and caring, making every person he met feel special.

Erv is lovingly survived by his wife: Arleen, Sioux Falls; his children: Tom (Jennifer) Ortman of Sioux Falls, Kathy (Dave) Heetland of Skokie, Illinois, Karen DeKramer of Redding, CA, Paul (special friend Diane Hunter) Ortman of Sioux Falls; Grandchildren: Ryan (Bridget) Ortman, Nicole (Craig) Shanks, Kim (Marc) Caifano, Tammy (Chris) Campise, Tonya (Christian) Fenske, Holli ( Michael) Mumert, Lindsay (Casey) Wray, Nic (Adina) DeKramer; Great grandchildren: Kalli, Trey, Tyce, Trace, Tage Ortman; Olivia and Nathan Shanks; Dylan, Elle, Carsten Caifano; Connor, Carter, Colin Campise; Kamryn and Kinley Fenske; Mady, Olivia, Emma Mumert; Taylor, Coen, Camden Wray.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Herbert (Ida), Clarence (Evelyn), Lester (Emy), Irene (Stan), an infant granddaughter Valerie, and son-in-law Van DeKramer.

Memorial Service to be held on Friday, Jan 31st 3:00pm at Halliday/Peterson Chapel at Dow Rummel Village at 1321 W Dow Rummel St, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. Visitation at 2 pm.

Memorials may be sent to Union Gospel Mission or charity of your choice.


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