Beryl R. Veal

Beryl R. Veal, 85, life-long Meadow area rancher, passed from this world into the arms of his Heavenly Father on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013.Posted August 16, 2013

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Beryl R. Veal, 85, life-long Meadow area rancher, passed from this world into the arms of his Heavenly Father on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013. A celebration of his life will take place on Saturday, August 17, 2013 at 2 p.m. at Indian Creek Lutheran Church with Pastor Dana Lockhart officiating.

Serving as pall bearers are his grandchildren: Brandon, Ryan and Aaron Bourdon; Josh and Jason Veal; Stephen and Christine O’Neil. Special music will be provided by Todd Buer and there will be congregational singing.

Beryl Ralph Veal was delivered by Dr. Walker on Sept. 7, 1927 in Bison, S.D. to Virgil and Christine (Schweitzer) Veal. He was baptized into the Catholic Church on Feb. 12, 1928 in Glencross, S.D. He lived the first six years of his life on a ranch in Lone Tree Township in Perkins County with his parents and younger sister, Shirley. (Only 15 months younger, Shirley adored her brother and they remained close their entire lives.) Grandma Christine said he was always a determined and independent child and his first complete sentence was, “I will do it myself.”

In 1932, Virgil began buying land in Ada Township where the family established the VTV Ranch. This would be Beryl’s home for the rest of his life and he worked tirelessly alongside his parents to build and expand the operation. He became a full partner in the ranch while still in high school. There were constant challenges through the years as they endured the harsh conditions of the 1930s, the loss of the first ranch house to fire and the long hours and back-breaking work of everyday ranch life.

Beryl began elementary school at the Lone Tree School and after they moved to the present ranch site he attended Ada School, along with his sister, Shirley. He attended high school in Bison where he worked for room and board at the local grocery store.

When Beryl was 18 he achieved his dream of becoming a pilot. He had just soloed for the first time when his life changed forever.  He was stricken with polio mellitus on Oct. 14, 1946. He was flown to Rochester two days later where he spent the next nearly two years recovering from the disease and preparing for a life that was very different from the one he had planned. When he left the hospital in the spring of 1948, his doctor advised him to get a wheelchair because he would never walk again.

After returning home, Beryl continued to farm and ranch with his parents, doing everything he could from a wheelchair or on a tractor. The polio had left him with only one arm that was unaffected and he learned to run a hand clutch, hand brake and control a loader and other hydraulics, all with one arm.

On July 24, 1948 Beryl and his long-time girlfriend, Margaret Nilsen, were married in the Lutheran church in Lemmon. They lived and worked together with his parents on the ranch for the next few years until once again unforeseeable tragedy struck the family. In February of 1952, Virgil passed away after a short battle with cancer and at the young age of 46.

Devastated by the loss of his dad, Beryl, with his wife and mother at his side, continued to run the ranch. They constantly worked at improving the ranch and increasing production.

He loved the land and farmed it with great pride in caring for the soil and preserving it for future generations. Beryl never felt he needed a written contract. He always kept his word and he expected the same from those he dealt with. He treated others as he wanted to be treated.

Beryl kept accurate and extensive accounting records of the business, all by hand in a ledger book. He could look back through “the book” and find any information that was needed, usually in a fairly short amount of time!

Beryl found his true partner in life when he met Margie in 1944. They traveled through life for 65 years together working side by side to care for God’s land, His animals and raising a family. Life took them down many paths building a strong faith and foundation of unconditional love for each other.

Beryl and Margie were blessed with three children: Colleen Marie, born in 1951; Gregory Scott, who joined the group in 1955; and Kandi Kae completed the family in 1961. He was an excellent role model for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He taught by example as he lived a life of determination and self-sufficiency in spite of any hardships or set-backs. Beryl was a man of great honesty and trust – traits which he also passed on to the next generations.

After his marriage in 1948, Beryl began attending church at Indian Creek Lutheran and he and his mother eventually left the Catholic Church to become members there. He served for many years on the Chance Cemetery Board, the church council and was a supervisor on the Ada Township Board.

With his leadership, the VTV Ranch was awarded the Perkins County Conservation District Tree Award and a few years later, the Soil Conservation Award. Recently the ranch received recognition as Master Lamb Producers.

Beryl loved to travel the rustic roads and see new places. He also enjoyed visiting and truly never met a stranger. He constantly strived to see the best in everyone. He took every opportunity to learn from those around him and wanted to know your life story. Always curious about understanding new technology, he enjoyed having an iPad and keeping up with family and friends on Facebook.

Beryl first learned to cook during his days in the sheep camp. Cornbread was his specialty. He enjoyed the community of a full table of people eating together and sharing conversation. Along with cooking, he loved to eat (especially Margie’s pickles) and had an immense curiosity for new food experiences.

A man of great faith, he loved the Lord and he loved life. He was grateful for every day he was given on earth. Beryl was a faithful and loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, son, brother, neighbor and friend. He passed from this world with his family by his side at the West River Regional Medical Center in Hettinger, N.D., on Tuesday, Aug. 13 at the age of 85 years, 11 months and 7 days.

Left to mourn his passing are his wife of 65 years, Margaret of Meadow, S.D.; his children and their families: Colleen and husband Jerry Bourdon, Circle Pines, Minn.; Brandon and his son, Chance Bourdon, of Rosemont, Minn.; Ryan Bourdon and Brittney Nelson-Cheeseman of St. Paul, Minn. and Aaron and Stephanie Bourdon of Chaska, Minn.; Greg and his wife, Marsha, of Meadow; Josh and Amy Veal and their children Caitlyn, Mason and Peyton of Warsaw, Poland; Jason Veal and Amy Lukken of Madison, Wisc.; Kandi and her husband Dan O’Neil of Saukville, Wisc.; Stephen and MaryBeth Fischer of Fredonia, Wisc.; Christine O’Neil, Saukville, Wisc.; his only sister, Shirley Veal, who is currently living with her daughter in Ridgeview, S.D.; one niece, Diane (Jim) Fried of Ridgeview.

Waiting for Beryl at heaven’s gate were his parents, Virgil and Christine, who preceded him in death.

A memorial has been established to the West River Regional Medical Center in Hettinger, ND.

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