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Michael Hatzenbeller

January 22, 1953 ~ October 29, 2022 (age 69)


Michael G. Hatzenbeller, 69, of Aberdeen, SD, passed away on October 29th at Aberdeen Health and Rehab.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m., Monday, November 7, 2022, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Aberdeen, with Father Andrew Dickinson officiating.

Burial will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery.

Visitation will be 3-5 p.m., Sunday, at the mortuary with a liturgical wake at 5 p.m.  Visitation continues one hour before Mass at the church.

Schriver’s Memorial Mortuary and Crematory, 414 5th Avenue NW, Aberdeen, is in charge of arrangements.  Family and friends may sign the online guestbook and also view the service at

Fitting it seems that Mike would depart late October in the autumn of 2022, when the red-breasted robins were bunching, the swarms of blackbirds had begun their dance between corn fields, the puddle and diver ducks, and the big northern flights of snow and Canadian geese had all begun their southern migrations in V-formation. By coincidence? No, not really.

The son of Michael L. and Agnes (Hoffart) Hatzenbeller, born January 22, 1953, he would go his own way. “I always had a goal,” he said, not long before his own migration. Although many might be traveling the paved road to the right, Mike often chose the left, perhaps where there was no path at all where he would make his own. Born in Aberdeen, whether by occupation, where he had started his own business, Plains Agri-Sales and Hatz LLC, or by recreation, there were very few acres of tree belt, prairie grass, farm field, ditch, bull rushes, cattails, or soggy bottom slough around the area that didn’t at one time sport his boot prints.

One of six children, sisters Darlene, Patty, Michele, Donna, and brother Brian, Michael would marry his high school sweetheart, Nancy Engelhart in 1973. He graduated from Roncalli High School in 1971 and the Aberdeen School of Commerce in 1977 before starting his businesses.

Mike loved stories, both telling them and making them, never more so than with one of his four granddaughters: Nora, Haven, Autumn, and Addison, on his lap.

“My little girls all love to fish,” he said. “Grandpa taught ‘em somethin’.”

It wasn’t just where to drop a line, or how to keep your pole held high when reeling in, but also how to close your eyes and feel the sunshine on your face, to smell the fresh open water rippling across a lake, to watch and listen to the birds in the trees and the critters in the brush, to appreciate the spring hatch, the circle of life, and make sure you paid attention to all the tiny, tiny, quiet things.

He was a man of integrity, tough as he needed to be, but gentle when he held his granddaughters and sang songs of green alligators, long-necked geese, humpty-back camels, and chimpanzees. His children, Travis and Megan would learn what a loving father was; an unselfish man of faith and family, with a firm handshake and an uncompromising belief that a worn flannel shirt is right for all occasions.

He appreciated a good wing-shooter (because it takes one to know one). He appreciated a good basketball game, the smell of burnt gunpowder, and the quiet companionship of a good hunting dog. He loved sunrises, a good garden-grown tomato, a good grilled beef steak, and a cold cocktail.

In the end, we are all just stories. Mike’s last chapter with us, as was his way, was completed when he felt he was ready. And it's safe to assume that it was to catch a flight in V-formation to a better place. Not in line, of course . . . he would be leading the flock.

Grateful to have shared Michael’s life are his wife, Nancy; children Travis (Nikki) Hatzenbeller and Megan (Mike) Weyandt; grandchildren: Nora, Haven, Autumn, and Addison; sisters: Darlene Grote, Patty (Steve) Darling, Michele (Rod) Card; and one brother Brian (Judy) Hatzenbeller.

Preceded in death by his parents and one sister Donna Mehlhaff.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


November 6, 2022

3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Schriver's Memorial Mortuary
414 5th Avenue NW
Aberdeen, SD 57401

Mass of Christian Burial
November 7, 2022

10:30 AM
St. Mary's Catholic Church
409 2nd Avenue NE
Aberdeen, SD 57401

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