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Merle “Pete” Struwe

Merle “Pete” Struwe, age 92, of Madison, passed away Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at Madison Regional Health System.

Funeral service will be 2 PM on Saturday, June 5th at Trinity Lutheran Church, Madison with Rev. Solveig Hendrickson will officiate.  Visitation will be 5-7 PM on Friday at Rustand-Weiland Funeral Chapel and will continue on Saturday one hour prior to the service at the church.  Burial will be in Graceland Cemetery with military honors provided by Madison VFW, Madison American Legion and US Army personnel.  Online guest book is at  

Merle Eugene Struwe was born February 18, 1929 in Madison, SD to John & Marjorie (Peck) Struwe.  He graduated from Madison High School in 1947.  After high school, Pete was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals and played in their farm system.  He continued his education at General Beadle State Teachers College in Madison.  In 1951, he was drafted in the US Army.  He served during the Korean Conflict and reached the rank of Staff Sergeant before his honorable discharge on February 24, 1953.  

On March 28, 1954 Pete married Elaine Merager at Trinity Lutheran Church.  He started teaching in Chester, then General Beadle Campus School and then Madison Junior High as a Social Studies teacher.  Pete coached hundreds of his former students in football, basketball, track & field and American Legion baseball.  

Some of Pete’s memberships and accomplishments are: Hall of Fame at Madison High School and Dakota State University, member of VFW & American Legion, Past Exalted Ruler of the Elks and Past President of Trinity Lutheran Church.  In his spare time, he loved to go bowling and throwing horseshoes.

He is survived by his wife, Elaine of Madison; three sons-Gregg (Barb) of Watertown, SD, Jeff (Susan) of Brookings and Todd (Kris) of Brookings; eight grandchildren-Emma (Brett) Anderson, Tony Struwe, Travis Struwe, Paul Struwe, Kara Conner, Ian Conner, Zach West & Megan Struwe; 5 great-grandchildren and several nieces & nephews. 

Preceding him in death were his parents; four sisters-Vivian Sheldon, Geneva Zwart, Mae Lawrence & Inez Olson; three brothers-Roy, Ron & Verle “Bill”.

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