Victor E. Kienitz


December 10, 1929 - August 21, 2023

Victor E. Kienitz, 93, of Hot Springs, S.D., died Monday, August 21, 2023 at Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville, N.Y. 

Born December 10, 1929, in Smithwick, S.D., he was the son of Henry and Phyllis Buoey Kienitz. A hard-working farm boy and beloved brother, Victor enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 18. After basic training, he was sent to Camp Lee in Virginia for shoe repair school, which eventually sent him to work in Okinawa in the fall of 1949 until the fall of 1951. His shop spent their time mending and building the M1943 combat boot which was specially designed to combat the brutal cold of Korea and the mountainous regions. Falling ill with hepatitis on the journey home, he convalesced in Letterman Hospital in San Francisco until he was well enough to be discharged on July 15, 1952.

Victor was employed by the VA in Hot Springs for 24 years. While working at the VA, he also joined the National Guard and served 18 years. Victor always had an active social life, participating in bowling leagues and square-dancing competitions. In later years, he enjoyed spending afternoons at the Hot Springs Senior Center, where he played pinochle, competed in the Cribbage Club, played pool, and spent quality time with friends. He was an active community participant and volunteer known for his dedication to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, and Elks Club. He was a longtime member of the Lutheran Church, and was known in the community for being a trustworthy, reliable, and dedicated friend. 

Victor is survived by his three siblings, Jean Cope Kraft of Rapid City, S.D., Ted Kienitz (Mary) of Chadron, Neb., and Delores Grillo (Dennis) of Las Vegas, N.V.; four children, Victor E. Kienitz, Jr. of Rapid City, S.D., Vonda Kienitz (Dale) of Rapid City, S.D., Valerie Kienitz (Timothy Heisler) of Wellsville, N.Y., and Valieta Connolly (Duane) of Hannah, Wyo.; nine grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and innumerable cousins, nieces and nephews; the mother of his children, Velda Phillips of Casper, Wyo., as well as many friends in the community. Victor will be fondly remembered by Ruby McNare, Orva Bourk, and his friends at the Senior Center and the Veteran’s Affairs clinics and hospitals.

Victor was predeceased by two sisters, Janice Ziller and Elaine M. Roll, and his very special friend, Marcella Sunding.

Services will be held at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 9, 2023 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 13275 Fall River Rd., Hot Springs. Burial will immediately follow at Smithwick Cemetery in Smithwick, S.D. Cremation was at Olney-Foust Private Crematory in Wellsville, N.Y.

Memorials may be made to American Legion Post #71, 1045 Jennings Ave., Hot Springs, SD 57747. 

Arrangements are under the direction of Olney-Foust Funeral Homes & Cremation. Online condolences may be expressed at

Fall River County Herald Star

EDGEMONT OFFICE: 410 2nd Avenue   Edgemont, SD 57735-0660 | 605.662.7201
HOT SPRINGS OFFICE: 334 S. Chicago St.  Hot Springs, SD 57747 | 605.745.3930
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