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L-DHS Hall of Fame luncheon honors ’59 Deadwood High School graduate

February 12, 2019

DEADWOOD — Around 50 community members and others gathered Saturday at the Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center for the Lead-Deadwood High School Hall of Fame Luncheon and Induction Ceremony to honor the 2018 inductee, David Roesler, Deadwood High School Class of 1959.

Superintendent Dr. Dan Leikvold emceed the event and introduced Roesler, who graduated as salutatorian, listing his wide range of accomplishments that began at Deadwood High School and continued throughout his life and around the world.

“During high school, Dave participated in football, basketball, track, band – participating in All-State as a senior, class plays, student council, and Bruin and Bear Log staffs,” Leikvold said. “Dave entered West Point Academy, graduating in 1964 and began what turned out to be a nearly 30-year military career. While serving in Vietnam, Capt. Roesler was awarded the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action. In addition to the Silver Star, Captain Roesler was awarded three Bronze Star medals, five Air medals, three Purple Heart medals for wounds received in action, and the Army Commendation Medal for valor.”

From 1975-1979, Roesler served as deputy director for the Office of Admissions at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

From 1975-1979, Roesler was sent to the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., as chief of Budget and Programs for the Adjutant General of the United States Army.

From 1979-1993, Roesler held various military positions: deputy controller, Security Assistance, U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii; United States Rapid Deployment Agency and U.S. Central Command, McDill Air Force Base, Fla.; deputy director of the Department of Defense, Security Assistance Accounting Center, Denver, Colo.; and director of finance, U.S. Army Missile Command, Huntsville, Ala.

“In 1993, Dave retired from the Army as a colonel and took a job as CFO with Teledyn Solutions for the next 13 years, retiring in 2006,” Leikvold said. “From 2006 to the present, Dave became involved in student ministry, loved working with young people, which he considered his fountain of youth, and found it to be a very satisfying time in his life.”

Roesler, who is battling pancreatic cancer and lives in Huntsville, Ala., was unable to attend the ceremony, but sent his brother Mike in his stead to express his gratitude for the honor.

Mike Roesler read a prepared statement from David, describing him as a “reluctant honoree”

“My brother does not want there to be even the slightest inkling that his record or lifetime achievements deserve any praise or glory,” he said. “In fact, he does his best to deflect it.”

In the statement, David Roesler described his career since he left high school as, for the most part, being in the military with assignments during two wars and others that included large amounts of travel in many other parts of the world.

“So that said, it is really someone else I would like to recognize tonight and that deserves to share in this honor,” he wrote. “For me, that is the wife. I know that many wives work and help support a family. And many wives have careers of their own. But I believe this honor should also recognize all those wives who have kept the home fires burning while their spouse worked to support their family. Being called just a housewife does in no way describe their role in a marriage. Theirs is an important part of the success anyone has achieved.”

David Roesler then described his career, which, after graduation from West Point and assignments in Germany, included marriage and soon after, deployment to Vietnam.

“We all returned from that war different people and a wife had to adjust to a man that might now be different from the one who left home,” he wrote. “I lay all this out only to show the large amount of time m y career took me away from home over a period that spanned some 29 years or so. And I say this to you because it put the burden of running the house and taking care of our son on my wife. My job kept me away from home more than I desired. I went where the Army told me to go.”

“And again, I am sorry I can’t be with you today,” he wrote in closing. “I am grateful for this honor and am humbled by your recognition of a life, that while not different or special than from those in many other careers, also recognizes that it takes two sides of a marriage to succeed.”

David Roesler’s classmates, Dave Miller, Jr. and Leatha Satterlee were in attendance at the luncheon.

Satterlee said that after much persuasion, his classmates persuaded David he absolutely deserved to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“If for no other reason than the kids who are walking the halls at Lead-Deadwood High School today, if they look at that Hall of Fame and see something that inspires them to take the basic knowledge they have achieved in this school system and take it into their life and be successful at it, the Hall of Fame has accomplished a lot,” Satterlee said.

Roesler is the 63rd inductee into the Lead-Deadwood High School Hall of Fame.

“The purpose of the Lead-Deadwood School district Hall of Fame is to recognize those men and women and community members who have made outstanding contributions to the Lead-Deadwood School District,” Leikvold said, adding that qualifying nominees have made significant contributions in any of three areas: while in high school, after high school, or to the community.

The Hall of Fame board consists of up to 15 members and accepts nominations from anyone. The board reviews all applications and makes its selection from the nominations. Voting for the inductees is by secret ballot and requires a supermajority, 75 percent or more, of the current board for selection.

The late Rolland Furois, Deadwood High School Class of 1940 and 2007 Lead-Deadwood School District Hall of Fame inductee, who will be inducted into the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame March 29, was also recognized at Saturday’s luncheon. Furois was the catalyst behind two state basketball championships for the Deadwood Bears.

“Rollie was a very smooth player, according to my mother,” said Furois’ niece, Priscilla Romkema, adding that Furois will be the first Deadwood player thus far to be inducted into the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame.

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