John Irving McCollam, 86

John Irving McCollam died June 30, 2021 on his homestead outside of Dixon, SD. Pursuant to his wishes, he was cremated and no service will be held.

John was born Dec. 21, 1935 on the homestead outside of Dixon, SD to Benjamin and Esther (Engel) McCollam. He attended Lincoln Country School until the 8th grade and served in the Army as a medic for two years.  After his service to his country, John moved back to live and work on the family homestead.

When John was a young child, he started helping his mother milk the cows.  Other than his time in the Army, John continued to do the milking at the family farm for most of his life. At age 77, he finally made the tough decision to quit milking.

In between his twice daily milking, farming and chores, John also worked for Pete Rohr and Bill Taylor for many years. Likewise, John did many jobs for others over the years and always had time to help anyone in need. He enjoyed helping his neighbors and relatives build and repair things. More than one neighbor has shared that all John had to do was pat or rub their tractors and they would be running again. John also spent quite a bit of time helping Floyd with his many projects and endeavors.  

John built his own tools, repaired his own equipment and could fix almost anything. He never spent money on himself and many of his siblings said he had quietly loaned them money throughout the years.  He made remarkable cedar chests in his free time and gave them away, Intending that his sisters, sisters-in-laws and nieces by age all had one.

John shared a lifetime of experiences and wisdom with his many nieces and nephews which will be forever missed. He always loved company and enjoyed visiting, as long as he was not the center of attention; it was hard to even get a good picture of him!

He is survived by his sisters-in-law Joyce McCollam and Lavonne McCollam; 2 brothers-in-law William Hartland and Richard Huettmann; as well as many nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Ben and Esther; brothers, Philip, Steve, Delano, David and Floyd; sisters, Dortha Wheeler, Rosemary Hartland, and Virginia Huettmann; his brother-in-law Jack Wheeler; a niece Lisa Huettmann; and two nephews Willie Hartland and Jack Wheeler Jr.

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