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Robert “Dakota Slim” Natchke

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 3rd, 2013

Feb. 4, 1923-March 30, 2013

NEWCASTLE – Robert Arthur Natchke, 90, died March 30, 2013 at Weston County Manor in Newcastle. He was born Feb. 4, 1923 in Bloomfield, Neb. to Alfred and Emma (Rabe) Natchke.

Robert traveled the country extensively as a youngster, until serving in the U.S. Navy – Seabees from 1944 to 1946 in the Pacific. He raised hogs on Dunn Island on the Missouri River and farmed in Potter County, S.D.

He met Marlene Millar at the Medicine Rock, and they were married Nov. 12, 1954 in Benson, Minn., returning to farm in Potter County until 1959. The family moved to Rapid City, S.D. and then to Sturgis, S.D. in 1961, and, in 1994, they moved to Newcastle.

After studying and appreciating precious truths from the Bible, he became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1996. He valued the hope of the ransom sacrifice that was made available to all meek ones. That moved him to share those truths with his family and many others.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Marlene; seven children, Joy Manning, Cheyenne; Vonnie and Lon Bachand, Aurora, Colo.; David and Donna, Sturgis; Paul and Kathy, Sturgis; Mark and Amy, Newcastle; Neil and Lori, Denver, Colo.; and Ellis, Newcastle. He has six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Slim was preceded in death by one infant daughter, Jeanne Marie; two grandsons: Joshua David and Robert Joseph; and one granddaughter, Riley Elizabeth; his parents, four sisters and two brothers and one son-in-law, John Manning.

A man of many talents, Robert was a trapper, a mechanic, a carpenter, a farm hand and an electrician. After retiring, he began writing cowboy poetry as “Dakota Slim,” often reciting with nationally-known cowboy poets.

He wrote four books, with a fifth in production. Upon moving to Newcastle in 1994, he started metal detecting and walked his “penny route” daily, picking up trash along the way as his volunteer work to beautify Newcastle. His best days came when he found coins and other treasures, instead of getting “skunked.”

Slim, as he was affectionately called in later years, entered Weston County Health Services in January 2013 to join his wife.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals.com

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