Mitchell, SD — Eugene "Gene" J. Rezac, 84, of Mitchell, SD died Thursday, May 20, 2021 at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Matchell.

Funeral services were held Monday, May 24, 2021 at Holy Family Catholic Church in Mitchell.

Burial was at the Calvary Cemetery in Mitchell.

Memorials may be made to the family to be used for a pharmacy scholarship and Alzheimer's research at the Fisher Center.

Bittner Funeral Chapel in Mitchell was in charge of the arrangements.

Eugene was born on May 20, 1937, in Highmore, SD, to John and Leta (McAtee) Rezac. Gene was the youngest of three children. He grew up in Highmore and graduated from Highmore High School in 1955. He then graduated from the College of Pharmacy at South Dakota State University, in Brookings, SD, with a bachelor of science in pharmacy in 1959.

He immediately entered the field of retail community pharmacy at Vilas Drug in Pierre, SD, as a staff pharmacist. This contributed to building a strong desire in Gene to set the goal of someday owning his own community pharmacy. That endeavor began with the purchase of Jos. P. Faas Drug, in Hoven, SD, in October of 1961 at only 24 years of age, which later became Rezac Rexall Drug. 

In the latter part of 1970, Gene worked at McKennan Hospital and Osco Drug in Sioux Falls, SD, for a short time, wanting to explore other opportunities in the field of pharmacy. It did not take long for him to realize that he missed owning his pharmacy and purchased O’Neill Drug, in O’Neill, in January of 1972 and renamed it Rezac Discount Drug. After 33 successful years dedicated to the business, his patients and working countless hours, he decided to retire in 2005.

Gene’s career of nearly 50 years would not have happened without the love of his wife Janis "Jan" Anderson Rezac. He met her as a customer in the drug store in Pierre, SD. Gene and Jan were married in Highmore, SD, on Dec. 10, 1960. He was incredibly proud and thankful to be married to his beautiful Jan for 60 plus years and have Jan by his side as vice-president of Rezac Drug Inc. If you ever talked to Gene, he was always quick to share his deep love, care and dedication for his wife.

In 2007, Gene and Jan decided to spend retirement in Mitchell, SD. He was very proud of his one and only daughter Lynne, and her daughters Amber and Kelsey. Moving to Mitchell gave Gene and Jan a chance to spend more time enjoying their family. Gene was Amber and Kelsey’s biggest supporter in both high school activities and sports. He took great pride in their college and professional accomplishments.

Gene loved being a pitcher for the Highmore American Legion baseball team and various amateur baseball teams. He loved to talk about all of his past baseball games and stories over the years. 

Gene’s additional hobbies included his love and passion for flying his Mooney airplane (M6063Q and later M3708H) across the country. He also enjoyed bowling, playing golf and watching sports. He was a loyal Nebraska Husker and SDSU fan and also followed the Minnesota Twins closely.

Gene was a member of the South Dakota Pharmacist’s Association and in 2010 was recognized as one of their 50-year pharmacists. He was also a member of Holy Family Catholic Church and a member of the Knights of Columbus in Mitchell, SD.

Gene is survived by his wife Jan Rezac of Mitchell, SD, one daughter Lynne (Ken) Schmidt of Woonsocket, SD, two granddaughters Amber (Joe) Nelson of Rochester, MN and Kelsey (Jace) Buford of Tahlequah, OK, one great-grandson Garrison Nelson and two great-granddaughters on the way, expected in the summer of 2021- both Nelson and Buford.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother Dale and one sister Phyllis Parlin.    

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