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Eugene "Gene" P. Payer, 85, died at Lake Andes Healthcare Center in Lake Andes Tuesday, January 4, 2022. Funeral service was Saturday, January 8 at St. Mark's Catholic Church in Lake Andes with burial following in St. Mark's Catholic Cemetery in Lake Andes.

Eugene Peter Payer was born July 7, 1936 to Peter and Mary Payer at the family farm in Lake Andes. Eugene lived in this same family farm his entire life. Eugene worked on the Fort Randall Dam and then joined the Army for two years. After returning home, he took over the family farm. Eugene married Delores Whiteley April 23, 1962, at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Lake Andes. To this union, five children were born. Eugene actively farmed until his late 70’s. Some of Eugene’s favorite moments in his life were those with his children and his grandchildren. He enjoyed going to all of their events, especially sporting events, and continued being one of the biggest fans of the Andes Central Eagles and AC/DC Thunder – supporting his home town and the people in it was very important to him. One of Eugene’s biggest hobbies was fishing with his many story telling friends. Eugene spent many hours sitting, talking, laughing and solving all of the world’s problems at the round table at Abby’s. Many special friends were made at that table. Eugene also enjoyed his time gambling, eating and the entertainment at the Fort Randall Casino. Eugene was an active member of the St. Mark’s Catholic Church where he was a Knights of Columbus. He also was a member of the American Legion, a school board member and on the ASCS Board. He believed in service to his community with time and participation.

Eugene is survived by his five children: John Payer (Marge) of Chamberlain, Lisa Kraning (Patrick) of Lake Norden, Mary Payer of Lake Andes, Mark Payer (Jodi) of Yankton and Jean Jordan (Brian) of Palm City, Florida; 12 grandchildren: Christopher Payer (Shae), Marshall Payer (Lydia), Jill Sullivan (Mitchell), Alyssa Kraning, Zachary Kraning, Nathan Snyder, Cody Snyder, Jacob Payer, Jordan Payer, Justin Payer, Cassandra Jordan and Megan Jordan; two great grandchildren: Harper Sullivan and Natalie Sullivan. Eugene is also survived by brother-in-law Robert Whiteley of Mitchell and Dan Kocer (Caroline) of Wagner, along with numerous nieces and nephews with a special thank you to nephew Rod Payer for so much help and support over the years.

He was preceded in death by his wife Delores of 54 years, his parents Peter and Mary Payer, Delores’s parents Arthur and Eleanor Whiteley, sister Henrietta Nelson and husband Fyle, brother Leo Payer and wife Shirley, twin sister Margene Weber and husband Harlen and sister Darlene Kocer.