Curtis Kreps, 75, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota passed away on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, under the care of hospice at his home in Sioux Falls. Memorial visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Thursday, March 30, 2023, at George Boom Funeral Home & On-Site Crematory in Sioux Falls. Visitation will resume from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m., Friday, March 31, 2023, at First Baptist Church in Sioux Falls. Memorial services will begin at 11:00 a.m. at the church.
Curtis Dean Kreps was born February 7, 1948, to John “Jack” and Caroline (Plowman) Kreps. Curt was the oldest of their five children. He attended Central MN Christian School in Prinsburg, MN and graduated in 1966. After high school, he attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI.
In August of 1969, he married Jo Ann Kooy. He enlisted in the Army in May of 1971 and was sent to Germany where he served as a military policeman. After completing his years of service, they returned home to Willmar and Curt joined his father in the vending business. They were blessed with their son, Jonathan, in 1975.
Curt earned his pilot license in 1976 and built his first airplane, a Thorp T-18 in the late 70’s. Over the years he built three other planes. In addition, he built a new house for his family in the early 80’s, primarily with his own hands. He was very talented and self-taught. The work that he did was done with amazing quality. Everywhere he lived, he enjoyed helping people with their construction projects. He was very generous with his time, tools, and resources. Curt served on the Willmar Volunteer Fire Department for 20 years, acting as assistant chief for part of that time. He was well respected by his peers and others in the community. In 1989, he became a fulltime charter pilot, traveling all over the United States.
In August of 1994, Curt was united in marriage to Jolene Samlaska. Their marriage allowed him the blessing of being Dad to three more children, Justin, Danny and Lindsey. They made their home in Sioux Falls, SD. They enjoyed flying in Curt’s plane to visit family and friends. He also loved giving rides. He kept himself busy building furniture for himself and his family. His quick wit was loved by all.
Outside of his faith and his family, Curt’s passion was flying. In 2009, he was forced to retire from flying due to a heart condition. Later he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Despite these medical challenges, he pressed on without complaint. In retirement, Curt and Jolene escaped the cold winter months visiting warmer climates.
Curt was preceded in death by his father, Jack; first wife, Jo Ann Kreps; and his brother, Tim. He is survived by his wife, Jolene; their four children, Jonathan (Joni) Kreps, Justin Samlaska, Dan (Amanda) Samlaska, and Lindsey (Caleb) Auch; grandchildren, Colten (Emily) Carlson, Clay (Olivia) Carlson, Jack, Kallie, and Lydia Kreps, Andrew, Noah, and Janey Jarett, Savannah Jernberg, Kaeleigh Nohava, Maddie, Lydia, and Teagan Samlaska, Jamie, Lizzie, Kenzie, and Addie Samlaska, and Charlie, Evie, and Isaiah Auch. He is also survived by his mother, Caroline; sisters, LeAnn (Steve) Ouwinga, Roxanne (Dave) Stryker, Kristi (Rainer) Steinbauer; and sister-in-law Linda Kreps.
All praise to Jesus for His sacrifice so that we could have relationship with Him. We are thankful that Curt is now with Jesus. We look forward to seeing him again in heaven.