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category: Obituary, date: 2008-03-15, by Avon SD
Richard Duane Pier
(October 1, 1931 - March 15, 2008)Richard Duane Pier

Richard died Saturday, March 15, 2008 at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD. Funeral services will be 10:30 A.M, Thursday, March 20, 2008 at the First Baptist Church in Avon with Pastor Lorney Van Gerpen officiating. Burial is in the Trinity Presbyterian Cemetery, rural Avon, with military honors. Visitation is Wednesday from 4 PM unitl 8PM with the family present from 6 to 8 PM at the church. Crosby-Jaeger Funeral Chapel in Avon is in charge of arrangements.

Richard Pier was born on October 1, 1931 to Ralph and Mae (Anderson) Pier in Yankton, South Dakota. He spent the first few years of his life in Yankton before his family moved to Avon, South Dakota. His father Ralph joined his grandfather Tom in the Community Bank. Richard graduated from Avon High School in 1949. His early years were forged around a love of sports, a love of music, and a commitment to community.

He attended the University of South Dakota's Business School in Vermilion for three years before enlisting in the Air Force in 1952. He was in the Ninth Air Force Band stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina. While stationed in South Carolina, he met Helen McKenzie whom he married in 1955 in Sumter.

After finishing his service in the military, Richard and Helen returned to finish his senior year at the University of South Dakota with their daughter Renee, born in 1956. During his senior year, his dad, Ralph, died and he returned to help at the Community Bank. Upon graduation from college the young family returned to Avon to work with Tom and Philip Pier in the bank. He worked at the bank up until the time of his death spanning a fifty year banking career.

In 1957 and 1958 Rick, Michele, and Mac were born 16 months apart. Erin would round out the family in 1962. Their life as a family was filled with piano lessons, instrument lessons, year-round sports, church activities, and community service.

Richard was named Senior Citizen Sports Fan of the Year for Avon High School and "Parents of the Year" along with Helen in 1984 for the University of South Dakota where four of their children attended. He was also named Honorary Referee of the Avon Invitational Track Meet. Richard enjoyed the friendship of Norma Lukkes during the past fifteen years of his life.

Richard was a member of many commuity organizations including the Lions Club, the American Legion, the Avon Fire Department, and a member of First Presbyterian Church.

Surviving Richard are his brother William and wife Sandy of Avon,SD; sister Jacqueline Parker of Santa Barbara, CA; 3 daughters: Renee McClendon and her husband Bill of Diamondhead, Mississippi; Michele Carr of Avon, South Dakota; Erin Weller and her husband Dennis of Colorado Springs, Colorado; 2 sons: Richard R Pier of Avon, South Dakota; and McKenzie Pier and his wife Marya of Flushing, New York. Also surviving are his 11 grandchildren.

Preceding Richard in his death were his father Ralph and mother Mae, his wife Helen; brother-in-law, Dr. Robert Parker; and son-in-law, John Carr.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Richard Pier Memorial Fund c/o Community Bank, PO Box 315, Avon, South Dakota, 57315. The memorial funds will be used to support an Avon School or Community Project.

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