Kenneth Robert “Kenny” Vollmer was born January 17, 1943, in Murdo, South Dakota, the son of Robert and Velma (Leek) Vollmer. He grew up in the Stamford area and attended Big White School in Mellette County. He later attended Murdo High School, graduating in 1962.
Kenny entered the US Army in 1964, and was stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas. He was honorably discharged in 1966. He moved to Houston where he worked for the railroad. It was here he met Shirley Bray, and he was married in 1972. To this union was born a son, George. After their marriage they moved back to Murdo where he owned and operated earth moving equipment with his brother Rodney. In addition to building dams, Kenny farmed and had a mechanic shop in Murdo.
Later, Kenny moved to Wyoming where he worked as a foreman in a mine. In 1979, Kenny married Karla Fox and to this union was born a daughter Kristine. In the 80s they moved back to Murdo, and evolved his love of flying, that started in Texas, into a crop spraying business. In addition he farmed in Murdo, Newell, and Mellette County. Kenny also trucked in the off-season for East-West Trucking, as well as for Bub Baker. He later expanded his spraying service into Kansas and worked for Cone Ag. Although Kenny worked in various places throughout his life, he always thought of Murdo as his home. In 2010 a special friendship blossomed between Kenny and Kimberly Djodjic.
Kenny was known to just take off on a trip, not knowing where he was going or when he was coming back. He enjoyed all kinds of music, art, and culture. In his spare time he rode motorcycles, collected stamps, toy tractors, and Cadillacs, and loved to fly kites. When Kenny wasn’t flying real airplanes, he enjoyed flying remote control airplanes and helicopters.
As a testament to Kenny’s unselfishness and need to help others, he took his Kristine and his nephew Kelly to Mississippi in 2005, to help rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. He was also known for handing out candy bags at the annual children’s Christmas program. He always put one onion into one of the bags, and whichever child got the onion, received a $50 savings bond.
Survivors include his son George Vollmer of Murdo; his daughter Kristine Vollmer of the West Coast; a step-daughter Michelle Heath (Rick) of Martin; one granddaughter Olivia Vollmer; six step-grandchildren Kaipo, Keali’i, Marcus, Mason, Ryker and Roman Heath; his mother Velma Vollmer of Murdo; his girlfriend Kim Djodjic of Kadoka; five brothers Loray Vollmer (Gwen) of Chicago, Jerry Vollmer (Catherine) of New Jersey, Rodney Vollmer of Black Hawk, Dale Vollmer of Murdo, and Joe Vollmer (Teri) of California; one sister Beverly Vollmer of Arizona; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Kenny was preceded in death by his father Robert Vollmer in 1980, and his grandparents.
Visitation was held 4-7 p.m. CDT Friday, June 6, at the United Methodist Church in Murdo, and one hour preceding the services at the auditorium on Saturday.
Funeral services were held 10:00 a.m. CDT, Saturday, June 7, at the Harold Thune Auditorium with Pastor Rick Hazen officiating.
Interment with military honors was held at the Murdo Cemetery.