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Wayne Lee Fenner, age 66, passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 16, 2019, at his residence in Huron. A celebration of his life with a time of sharing was held at 6:30 PM, Sunday, March 24th, at the Kuhler Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Maplewood Cemetery at Iroquois.

Wayne was born April 26, 1952, to Frank and Phyllis Fenner at Huron. He graduated from Iroquois High School in 1970. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in English and German from South Dakota State University in 1974. Wayne went on to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where he received his Master’s degree in English.

His dedication to writing and teaching of the English language began in Lima, Ohio and at the John F Kennedy School in Berlin, Germany. He was also lecturer and professor in Germany, Belgium and Netherlands through the University of Maryland as well as the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, while he started work on his PhD.

Wayne returned to South Dakota in 1992 and became Education Coordinator at the Career Planning Center in Huron. His greatest joy and satisfaction came during his teaching career at Huron's alternative school, Pride High, for over 20 years. Wayne earned the 2002 Teacher of the Year award. He retired from teaching in 2014.

Wayne was preceded in death by his father, Frank Fenner, in 1995.

He is survived by his loving family, mother, Phyllis Fenner of Iroquois; his brother, Alan (Marlys) Fenner of Menno; and his sister, Susan (Doug) Meyer of Iroquois. He also had three nieces, Carrie (Zach) Oster of Whitewater, WI; Erin (Cody) Raveling of Marshall, MN and Shelby (Brodee) Landmark of Volga; his grandniece, Eden Raveling; his grandnephew, Beau Raveling; as well as a grandniece or grandnephew Landmark, due in September.

Wayne dedicated his life to education and his teaching career, and cared deeply for his students.

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I have so many fond memories of Wayne as he was my classmate from 2nd grade all the way through college. My condolences to his family. Margery Whites

So sorry so hear this. What a wonder person Wayne was! Love and prayers to his family! Maria Bigelow

So sad to read of Wayne ‘s passing. He was the key to PRIDE High’s success. He was so committed to the students and their journey to high school graduation. May God’s Love guide his family during this time of great sadness. MaryEllen Johnson

So sad to see that the best teacher in Huron has become one of our angels. You will always be remembers Mr. Fenner. RIP Nichole Tyrrell

Oh Wayne! I wasn't ready for this. All the talks we had, memories we shared, you were there so many times for me. I now you don't like using u for you but as you have told me, that is me. Your friendship meant so much to me I can't even put into words. You have touched so many lives including mine! And a messy desk(like mine) is not a sign of genius. Lol, you would tell me that all the time. Love you, will miss you. Hugs and prayers to your family and students that you loved so much. Jonna Kool Reid

Thoughts and prayers to Wayne's family. Connie Dejong- DOERING

Mr. Fenner....Thank you for your dedication to education. Thank you for helping me to see the worth in myself, and teaching me unconditionally. You are an amazing man and will be deeply missed. Jenni Borkowski

We will miss Wayne a great deal. He was a wonderful man who made a difference to so many kids. I loved his wit and admired his intelligence. Wayne always had a great come back and left me in stitches more than once. I have so many fond memories of him. He was a good friend. Britt Samson

All my sympathy to his family. Wayne was one of my all time favorite people—we were good friends at SDSU and in Germany and more! I miss him already. Valerie Lind Parsley

Sending love and prayers to Wayne's family. Wayne was so special to so many people. I will remember him for the wonderful times we had in high school and church youth group activities. He was a sweet, intelligent, and giving soul and I was blessed to know him. Deborah Gilchrist's Russell

Wayne brought so much joy into the world. We made each other laugh, and cry. I never encountered a person who didn’t like him, or a person whose worth he didn’t value. He has done what so many strive to do but fail, he has left the world a much better place by being Wayne. Susi Burnett

I have known Wayne all my life and enjoyed his friendship. We rode the bus together and we sometimes walked home from Highway 14 to shorten the ride. When we were in high school the bus driver actually had to stop the bus and tell us to stop messing around. We were trying to push each other out of the seat and we were having such a good time being naughty. He was just so much fun to be with. Later we both worked for the Huron School District and I could see how much he cared for his students and they also cared for him. He will be greatly missed. Marilyn Henkel Mendenhall

May you rest in peace and God Bless your family and friends. Betty (Wutsch) Rollison

Wayne you were a special gift to so many friends, students, and colleagues. I send my deepest sympathies to your family. I learned a great deal from you when we worked together at Cornerstones and during our ride together to Madison for a summer class. You always had a joke for us on Monday mornings. Your laugh was infectious and your wit was sharp. You left us far too soon, my friend.  Jeralyn Valdillez

When we first met in Germany, Wayne won my heart by praising my (often raucous) children; later by making grad classes lively at the UM in Minneapolis, and again when traveling through the ruins of Central America. Shortly after he became involved in Huron's alternative school, Pride High, I received this message from him: "I've found my Calling." Wayne has made a tremendous impact on this world--he will be greatly missed. Dottie Scholtz

Wayne always talked with me whenever we had a meeting together. The latest discussion we had was after he retired and we talked about his short stories he was writing. He let me read one of them. It was good. He was a good writer. He should have published his work and I told him so. He was one of the good ones. James R. Musil

I am so sorry to hear of your loss on the death of Wayne. I worked with Wayne when he was a work study student in the English Department at SDSU. He fit beautifully into our fairly raucous, merry band. He was wonderful--bright, witty and so much fun! And, a good, responsible worker as well. I'm not surprised to learn that he was so highly regarded as a teacher. I always knew him as a genuinely empathetic and sensitive person. Catherine Tritle

He was an awesome teacher! He will be deeply missed. Prayers for the family.  Evelyn Peskey

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