Martin Jorgensen Jr., 95, of Ideal, SD passed away on Friday, Aug. 9 2019 at the Winner Regional Long-Term Care Facility in Winner, SD.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 15th, 2019 at 10 am at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Winner. Burial will follow in the Winner City Cemetery.
A visitation will be held on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019 from 6-7 pm at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Winner with a rosary beginning at 7 pm.
Martin Jr. was born on April 30, 1924 at the family farm of his parents, Martin and Gertrude Jorgensen, near Ideal, SD. The 8th of 9 children, he and his siblings grew up on the family farm helping tend to the horses, cattle, crops, and turkeys throughout the great depression years of their childhoods. Martin Jr. graduated high school from the Ideal school in 1942, where his graduating class was the last to graduate from that school.
Martin Jr. immediately went to full time work at the family farm after graduation. Despite being a young, military aged man during World War II, Martin Jr. was able to stay home and help his aging parents on the farm during those years.
His older brothers, Stanley Jorgensen and Don Jorgensen, both served in the military during WWII. Brother Don served as a Merchant Marine and brother Stanley was a navigator in a B-24 bomber and was killed in action in 1944.
Don returned home after the war and became a business partner with Martin Jr. Martin always carried deep respect for his older brothers, and his admiration of them was evident throughout Martin Jr’s. life.
On July 27, 1946, Martin married Mary I Storms of Clearfield, South Dakota. Of this union, 4 children were born: Judy, Jean, Greg, and Bryan. All 4 children were raised on the family farm north of Ideal, SD, and all attended Winner High School.
By the time Martin and Mary were wed in 1946, Martin had assumed most of the responsibility for the family farming operation. He and his brother Don were in partnership in that family operation together until 1977.
During those years together, they successfully grew many different crops, raised pigs and started a successful insurance business. Starting in the late 1950’s, Martin Jr. and Don made the decision to enter the cattle breeding business, starting with breeding Black Angus first and later adding Charolais.
In the early 1970’s when son Greg entered the business, they began breeding Simmental cattle as well. They had the most success with Black Angus cattle, which is the primary focus of the family’s cattle business to this day. Martin Jr’s. youngest son Bryan joined the operation in the late 1980’s, followed by Greg’s son Cody in the 1990’s, and Bryan’s son Nick in 2012, who combined, make up the managing partners of the operation to this day.
Martin Jr., who always had a knack for knowing when to lead by stepping aside and letting the younger generation have its chance, fully stepped away from ownership and management of the family business, Jorgensen Land and Cattle, in 2012. He spent the remainder of his years watching closely over his legacy, and enjoyed tending to a large garden, maintaining a beautiful flower garden with his wife, and afternoon drives to keep tabs on the operations at the farm.
Martin Jr. was known across the community, state, nation, and even the world as a powerful leader. He had an untamable drive to pursue what was right and would fight hard to achieve what he believed needed to be achieved.
He was deeply involved in the community as well as the agriculture industry, participating in the Tripp Co. 4H Fair Board, Tripp Co. Water User Dist. (founding chair), Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Beef Improvement Federation (chair), Integrated Resource Management (IRM) Chair, Missouri Valley Mutual Insurance board of director (chair), West River Catholic Diocese Foundation board, Charter Member of National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Research and Education Committee (National Cattlemen’s Association), and was a Wa Wo Kia Wicsa (Helpful Man) Honoree from Rosebud Sioux Tribe.
Martin Jr. was also honored as South Dakota’s Eminent Farmer in 1984, National Cattle Businessman of the Year 1988 and the American Angus Heritage Foundation Award in 1990.
Martin Jr. will always be remembered by members of his family and community as a man who would work tirelessly to achieve his goals, even if those goals didn’t benefit him directly. He was a model of leadership and bravery to many in the agriculture industry and to his family.
He is survived by his four children, Judy (Tom) Peschio, Jean (Gary) Davis, Greg (Deb) Jorgensen, and Bryan (Brenda) Jorgensen, sister Ruth O’Keefe, 16 grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, wife of 72 years Mary Jorgensen, sisters; Marie, Helen, Elizabeth, and Alice and brothers; Lee, Donald and Stanley.
The family takes comfort in knowing that of all of Martin Jr’s. achievements, the one he was most proud of and dedicated to, was his marriage to his bride, Mary. They are now together again.