Farming Rural 01

Donald "Don" Joseph Carda

August 10, 1938 ~ July 31, 2021 (age 82)


Chelsea, SD-Mass of Christian Burial for Donald Joseph Carda, 82, of Chelsea will be at 10:30 am, Friday, August 6, 2021, at All Saints Catholic Church in Mellette. The Rev. John Short will officiate. The service will be live streamed and available at under Donald’s obituary.

Inurnment will follow at the Calvary Cemetery in Mellette with military rites. An escort consisting of motorcycles and vehicles will take Donald to his final resting place.

There will be a wake at 7pm, Thursday, August 5, 2021, at Carlsen Funeral Home and Crematory in Aberdeen. Visitation with family members present begins at 6pm.

Donald passed away peacefully on Saturday July 31, 2021, at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital following a short but courageous battle with cancer coupled with congestive heart failure.

The youngest of four children, Donald was born on August 10, 1938, in Chelsea. He was the son of Joseph “Joe” E. and Emma (Cihak) Carda. He was raised on the family farm north of Chelsea. He attended elementary school in Chelsea and graduated from Northville High School in 1956.

In 1956, upon graduating from high school, Donald and two of his friends joined the military under the “buddy” system. He went to Fort Leonard Wood, MO for six months to complete his training. Upon completion of training, he was assigned to a unit in Aberdeen where he proudly served for eight years.

On November 5, 1959, Donald was united in marriage to Reva Torrence at All Saints Catholic Church in Mellette. To this union, four children were born: Dan, Todd, Joel, and Krystle.

Donald taught his children the value of hard work. When he was a junior in high school, he bought his first haystack mover and began his custom hay moving business. Known locally with the CB handle of “Hay Rustler,” he hauled hay for local farmers for a total of 50 years, making him one of the longest custom hay haulers in the area. During this time, he also farmed with his father. Even after “retiring” from farming, Donald could always be found at the farm or helping with farming operations. When Donald retired from moving hay, he bought a semi to help Dan haul crops from the field. Additionally, he hauled fertilizer for the Chelsea Cenex and grain for the local elevators until he retired from trucking in 2020.

Donald enjoyed supporting his children and grandchildren in all their sporting events and other activities. In his younger years, he enjoyed bowling and had his own team that bowled in a league in Aberdeen. He enjoyed traveling in his motorhome where he and Reva would camp with friends and relatives. From a young age until as recently as this summer, he loved driving motorcycles. Don and Reva would be frequently seen traveling together on the trike. He also enjoyed watching football, basketball, and baseball and was a big fan of NSU Wolves basketball. Donald and Reva attended many of the NSU home games. He also liked watching NASCAR races and had the opportunity to attend a few races in person.

Surviving Donald are his wife of 61 years, Reva of Chelsea; his children: Dan (Carmen) Carda of Chelsea, Todd (DeeDee) Carda of Rapid City, Joel (Kimberly) Carda of Aberdeen, and Krystle (Nathan) Nipp of Aberdeen; grandchildren: Ryan (Amber) Carda of New Paltz, NY, Melissa (Tyler) Harbeck of Brookings, SD, Joey (Lauren) Carda of Rapid City, SD, Adam (Katie) Carda of Rapid City, SD, Mallory (Jared) Dean of Elkhorn, NE, McKayla Carda of Sioux Falls, SD, and from Aberdeen, SD - Erica Carda, Leah Carda, Courtney Nipp, Trevor Nipp and Brooklyn Nipp; 13 great grandchildren: Rowan, Isla, Lenore and Rafferty Carda of New Paltz, NY, Emma, Oliver and Liam Harbeck of Brookings, SD, Landon, Zander and Olivia Carda of Rapid City, SD and Suttin, Sloan and Sydney Carda also of Rapid City, SD; one sister, Beverly Grosz, of Aberdeen; and four nieces and nephews.

Donald was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Darlene Carda and Shirley Carda, one brother-in-law, Quentin Grosz, of Aberdeen, and one great granddaughter, Shae Harbeck.

Donald’s family would like to thank the doctors and nurses who cared for him on the 3rd floor at Avera St Luke’s Hospital and the Don Meyer Cancer Center.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations which will be forwarded to the Don Meyer Cancer Center and All Saints Catholic Church in Mellette.

Casual wear is requested.

Carlsen Funeral Home and Crematory of Aberdeen has been entrusted with arrangements.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald "Don" Joseph Carda, please visit our floral store.


August 5, 2021

6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Carlsen Funeral Home and Crematory
1708 8th Ave NE
Aberdeen, SD 57401

August 5, 2021

7:00 PM
Carlsen Funeral Home and Crematory
1708 8th Ave NE
Aberdeen, SD 57401

Funeral Service
August 6, 2021

10:30 AM

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