Robert Joseph Semrad, 78

June 11, 1944 - May 3, 2023

Robert Joseph Semrad, 78, passed away on May 3, 2023, at his residence in Brookings, SD surrounded by his loving family. A Funeral Service will be held at 2:00 pm on Monday, May 8, 2023 at First United Methodist Church in Brookings, SD. A Visitation will be held from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm on Sunday May 7, 2023 at First United Methodist Church in Brookings, SD.
Robert Joseph Semrad was born on June 11, 1944, in Olympia, WA, the son of Joseph Albert and Margaret (Bohaty) Semrad. Robert Graduated from Harlan Central High School in Harlan, IA in 1962.  He continued his education at South Dakota State College where he met Jeanne Gaard. They were married in 1965. Bob then transferred to the University of Montana where he graduated in 1967.  Upon graduation he entered the United States Air Force and attended pilot premium advanced air force base Oklahoma.  His first assignment as a pilot was in 19th special operations squadron Tonsil Knute Airbase Republic of Vietnam.  He flew over 1000 combat sorties.  After his tour in Vietnam, he flew c-141 Aircraft for five years from McGuire Air Force Base New Jersey and Norton Air Force Base California.  After an honorable discharge he attended and graduated from Multnomah School of the Bible and returned to South Dakota where he worked for the Job Service as a disabled Vietnam Era Veteran outreach person, while completing a Master of Education at SDSU.  He then opened a Snelling and Snelling franchise in Brookings.  He sold the franchise to go to the North American Baptist Seminary and graduated in 1981.  Upon ordination he served churches in Yankton, Gayville-Volin, Harrisburg, Big Stone City, Revillo, Henry, Hazel, Kellerton, Milbank Parkview, Madison, Fairmount North Dakota and Bethany UMC North Dakota.
 In 1997, he entered the Air Force Reserve as a chaplain and served in that capacity for 18 years.  He retired in 2005 with the rank of a Chaplain Colonel. Bob and Jeanne moved to Brookings, SD. He attended SDSU graduating in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in visual Arts.  And again in 2021 with a Bachelor of Finer Arts from SDSU School of Design.  During retirement Bob played with art, painting with watercolors, oils, pastels, and sculpting in wood, stone and metals. Bob was active in civic organizations including community theater, Toastmasters, the Brookings Art Council, SD Art Museum Guild and service organizations such as Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary International, American Legion, VFW, DAV and VVA.
 Bob is survived by his wife, Jeanne; son Rex (Marion) of Owensboro, KY and daughter Charlotte (Trayce) of Bushnell, SD; grandchildren Rexford, Ethan, Trey (Regina), Isaac, Lilly (Max), Chase (Lauren), Danielle, Gavin and Asher; two great-grandchildren Marilyn and Leo.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Margaret Semrad and his two grandsons, Rexford II and John.
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