Joseph L. “Joe” Fott, 82

Funeral services for Joseph L. “Joe” Fott, 82, of Hamill, SD will be 2 p.m., Wednesday, May 22, 2024 at the Hamill Community Hall in Hamill, SD with burial in the Hamill Cemetery at Hamill, SD. 

Visitation will begin at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, one hour prior to the funeral, at the Hamill Community Hall in Hamill, SD. 

Joseph Leroy “Joe” Fott passed away peacefully at home in Hamill South Dakota on May 17, 2024.

Joe was born on Nov. 26, 1941 to Joseph and Anna (Fortuna) Fott in Winner South Dakota, joining his siblings brother Lawrence and sister Adeline on the family farm near Hamill South Dakota.

Joe attended North Fairview grade school near Hamill and high school in Winner, SD, graduating from high school in 1959.  He attended Greer Technical Institute in Wilmington, Illinois for diesel and construction mechanics after high school.  Joe joined the South Dakota National Guard and did basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, MO, and served in the Chamberlain South Dakota Guard 200th Engineer Bridge Company until discharge in 1970.

Joe and Judith Mae Gordon were married on May 8, 1965 and had two children, Joseph Wade in 1966 and Joy Michele in 1969.

Joe spent his entire life farming and ranching on the family farm in Hamill.   Joe said that he had not worked a day in his life because he enjoyed everything involved with the farm.  Joe especially loved anything with an engine and wheels or tracks, and spent many long days in the seat of a tractor with a smile on his face and a steady hand on the steering wheel working on the farm.  Joe was happy to share his knowledge and offer a helping hand to his neighbors and friends.

Joe was a very outgoing and social person, meeting people and making new friends wherever he went.  Joe loved to take road trips when a good rain would pause the farming, wife Judy would hear “how soon can you be ready to leave?” and had many adventures while visiting many of the western states he would say “I wonder what is down that road?  Lets go find out.”

Joe loved to hunt and started hunting at a young age.  Joe and his family shared their love of hunting and the bounty of the Hamill farm with friends from near and far, making lifelong friends and lasting memories in the fields and hills.  In the late 1970’s, Joe hosted then South Dakota governor Bill Janklow for a pheasant hunt on the farm, this hunt was the start of what became the South Dakota Governor’s Hunt that Joe and his family helped to host for 25 years.

Later in life, Joe was not able to continue actively working on the farm due to physical limitations.  He did not want to retire from the farm, and always wanted to be out monitoring the equipment, crops and cows, and sharing his experiences and knowledge with neighbors and daughter Joy who is operating the family farm.

Joe is preceded in death by his parents Joseph Fott and Anna (Fortuna) Fott, sister Adeline Hight, brother Lawrence as well as his uncle John Fott and aunt Bessie (Fott) Petr and many aunts and uncle from the Fortuna side of the family.

Joe is survived by wife Judy (Gordon) Fott, son Joseph Wade and wife Wendy and children Joseph Stephen and Anna Helena, daughter Joy Michele and spouse Faye Heinis and Cynthia.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Joe’s name to Hamill Community Hall or the Tripp County 4H.

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