The Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant this year is honoring Ron Deethardt of De Smet for his longtime service to the pageant.
He will be presented a plaque prior to one of the pageant performances. A date for the presentation has not yet been chosen.
Deethardt began caring for the pageant site, mowing the area and maintaining the sets in 1994.
“I took care of the grounds until they wore me out,” the now retired Deethardt said.
He got into the lawn maintenance field after being injured on the job at Alfalfa Feeds, Inc. He said he almost lost his right arm when a machine he was cleaning was turned on by mistake.
Deethardt was born in Brookings and graduated from high school in Elkton. He and his family moved to De Smet in 1986 and he worked at the alfalfa plant until 1992.
He also started appearing in the pageant in 1994 when he started to maintain the pageant site. He still performs today, and is appearing this year as Mr. Boast.
Deethardt jokes that now that he’s completely retired he has time to memorize his lines. This year’s role has him speaking two lines.
His sons, Toby and Willis, both live in Sioux Falls.
He says there isn’t much more to tell about his life, adding with a grin, “only the shadow knows.”
Posted on 06-28-2018
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