After a father’s unexpected death, a rural farming community in South Dakota collectively assembled to help his grieving family harvest its crops.
On Oct. 31, David Klinghagen died of a heart attack at age 52. His abrupt passing meant his crops would be left unharvested.
More than 30 neighbors took time off from their demanding farm schedules to help the mourning family harvest the rest of the corn crop. The close-knit community was able to finish a week’s worth of harvesting in one morning, donating their labor and equipment.
“It was such a relief, just to have their kind hearts come take care of it for the family,” Klinghagen’s sister, Nancy DeNeui, told KSFY. “It was so supportive. It’s unbelievable.”
DeNeui said the community started organizing the crop harvesting the same day Klinghagen died.
“It’s a small community,” she said. “We all stick together.”
Klinghagen had been a full-time farmer at his family’s farm in Lennox, South Dakota, for the past 18 years. He took over the farm when his father Franklin died in 1997. He graduated from Lennox High School and received an automotive diesel mechanics degree from STI.
His memorial note described him as “a gifted mechanic and talented hardworking farmer. There is no way to describe how much he will be missed.”
Klinghagen was a member of Celebrate Church in Sioux Falls and a passionate Harley-Davidson motorcycle owner.
His stepson Ty Lau wrote a touching post about his stepdad on his Facebook page:
“Tomorrow is never guaranteed. You never know when your time or someone else’s time may come. Always tell your loved ones you love them. Never let issues go unresolved because tomorrow is never guaranteed. Dave is a great man that will be missed he stepped up to the plate and helped raise me into who I am today. He was a great dad to my Brother Austin. He will be missed by many. RIP David Franklin Klinghagen.”