Frontier Days Honorees

2021 Honoree - Alvin “Sonny” Wayne Tucker
Alvin “Sonny” Wayne Tucker was born April 24, 1931, to Lonnie and Edna (Stevens) Tucker, on the Steven’s homestead, on Horse Creek, in Mellette County, South Dakota. He was the first born of twin boys. “Sonny and Buddy” had free reign of the prairie at a very young age, until the day Sarah Bordeaux found them teasing a rattler with sticks! After that, at times, they found themselves tied to a close line, so their parents, could get their work done and still keep an eye on “double trouble!” In 1937, the family moved to the Happy Hollow Community, east of White River. In 1943, Lonnie built a house in town for the family to be closer to school. Alvin played and loved all sports. He played with a lot of talented local athletes and was a member of the State B Boys BB Consolation Championship team in 1949, under coach Littau. Alvin graduated from White River High School in 1949. Alvin continued being a Tiger for years, by being the “spotter” for Alan Laird, at WR Tiger Football games. On February 23, 1952, Alvin married Nadine Sumners in Pierre, South Dakota. He was drafted during the Korean War and chose to enter the Marine Corp. He was discharged in 1954 and returned to White River. There he helped with the family farm and cared for his mother, father and father-in-law until their deaths. In 1957, he went to work for the Soil Conservation Service in White River, where he worked for 33 years until his retirement in 1988. Alvin loved the land and respected the people of Mellette, Todd and Jones counties. Through his job and his hands-on experiences, he was able help farmers and ranchers make improvements, such as: staking dams, designing shelter belts, wind breaks, pipelines and irrigation systems; while at the same time working the family farm. He was a member of the White River Fire Department, Masonic Lodge 3181 and a lifetime member of the American Legion Post #94. He volunteered many hours staking graves and working towards improving the cemetery. Alvin worked diligently on the Frontier Days Rodeo for many years. He poured his efforts into planning, taking part in the color guard in the parade, taking tickets, hanging up flags, parking cars, sweeping the bowery, hauling ice and setting up the Legion Stand. Both Alvin and Nadine took pride into making a great Frontier Days, getting others involved, visiting with friends and family, and having fun. Alvin was often heard telling his kids and grandkids, “A little sweat never hurt anyone!” He served on the Mellette County Development Board and was the leading force in setting up a nursing home for the community. Despite his illness he continued to serve on the West River Lyman-Jones and SD Rural Water Boards until his death, striving to get safe, quality water for the communities. To him, helping people wasn't a hobby or a chore, but a way to live life. His family, the land and his community were the center of his life. Whenever help was needed you could count on “Sonny!” Alvin Tucker’s family would like to thank the American Legion for their countless hours of planning and the hard work of keeping the great tradition of Frontier Days alive and thriving. They would also like to thank the American Legion for choosing Alvin, “Sonny”, as this year’s honoree. We know he is humbly smiling from ear to ear!
2020 Honoree 1 - Russell Curtis Olson
2020 Honoree 2 - Eugene "Gene" Robert Olson
2019 Honoree - Clellan Bechtold
2018 Honoree - Larry Veldon Harrison
2017 Honoree - Marvin Starkjohann
2016 Honoree - Harold Krogman
2015 Honoree - Warren John Astleford
2014 Honoree - Marvin Williams
2013 Honoree - Don Hight
2012 Honoree - Bob and Patricia Adrian
2011 Honoree - Delmer Volmer
2010 Honoree - Herman "Bud" Stromer
2009 Honoree - Clifford W. "Smokey" Jensen

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