Keith “Butch” B. Conrad, 73, of Rapid City, SD, passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, January 22, 2013.
Posted Feb. 1, 2013
Funeral services were held Monday, January 28 at 10 a.m. at 1st Congregational United Church of Christ, 1200 Clark Street, Rapid City. Keith’s friend of 35 years, Rev. Ted Huffman officiated. Burial followed at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis with full military honors provided by Rushmore VFW Post #1273 and South Dakota Army National Guard. Memorials may be directed to 1st Congregational United Church of Christ, 1200 Clark Street, Rapid City, SD, 57701.
He was born December 3, 1939 to Milan and Selma Conrad at Hettinger, ND. He grew up and attended school in Reeder, ND. After completing his degree at North Dakota State University, he was commissioned in the United States Air Force where he served as a fighter pilot flying F-101 and F-102 supersonic aircraft.
He fondly remembered his Air Force service and spoke of those years as among the happiest of his life. Upon completing his service in the Air Force he returned to North Dakota where he ran a small cattle operation and established an insurance agency.
Keith and his first wife, Carole raised three sons together.
Throughout his life, Keith earned his living as a rancher, insurance agent, pilot, flight instructor, aircraft mechanic, and small business owner.
He established and built up Interstate Prorate in Rapid City, from which he retired. He was proud of the success of the business and formed close connections with his many clients.
He was a member of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Rapid City.
Ten years ago he met Frances Collins, who became his companion and business partner. Keith and Fran were joyfully married May 12, 2012.
After Keith was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) Fran became his caregiver and advocate. Together they enjoyed traveling, visiting family and friends and the beauty of the Black Hills.
Keith’s passions were flying planes, refurbishing old tractors, reciting Robert Service poetry and playing cribbage with his buddies at Johnson Siding.
He was a good, honest, hardworking, gentle man.
Keith is survived by his wife, Frances Collins of Rapid City; son Daryl Conrad, Garrison, ND; brother Mason Conrad; Cordell, OK; 2 sisters Mila Anderson, Bowman, ND and Judith Benson, Cincinnati, OH; and his former wife Carole Conrad, Rapid City.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two sons, Shawn Conrad and Dean Conrad.