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Alvaro “Doc Al” Tieszen

Alvaro “Doc Al” Tieszen passed away peacefully early in the morning on March 17, 2021. He was 92 years of age.

He was born July 17, 1928, to Fred and Helen Tieszen of Marion, SD. Al grew up on a farm south of Marion and attended Prairie District #16 country school through 8th grade, followed by Marion High School, graduating in 1946. After high school, Al attended Freeman Junior College before moving to Chicago in 1948. Four years later, in 1952, he graduated from National University of Health Sciences Program, Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine, and joined his uncles in the Tieszen Clinic in Marion as a chiropractor.

Two months after graduation, Al was drafted into the Marines. After Korea, Al returned to Marion and was a successful chiropractor in The Tieszen Clinic. As a chiropractor, Al often shared that he never considered what he did as a job. It was “pure joy” to do what he was able to do. Over time, as his practice became more successful, his clients would come from near and far. They lovingly referred to him as ‘Doc Al’ — a title he not only deserved, but was humbly proud to be called wherever he went.

To know Al, meant you knew how much he LOVED the game of golf — every aspect of the golf experience. During the 1980’s, Al and Donnie Dains, were instrumental in getting the trees planted that now allow those who golf at ParMar Valley Country Club, to enjoy the picturesque scenery that accompanies you from one fairway to the next. A bench for Donnie is on hole #1 and now Al’s is in place on hole #5. Al’s message is ‘Keep your eye on the ball’ — something many of us heard if we were fortunate enough to have a golf lesson (or just some friendly advice) from Al. He so loved the game of golf. Al and Diana completed their goal — golf in all 50 state capitals before his 80th birthday. The question they could never answer remains. Which course was your favorite? Al loved playing in the Decker Family Golf Tournament every year. Trophies are coveted, competition intense and tales unending.

Al’s passions also included fishing, downhill skiing, hunting geese, pheasant, elk on horseback in Wyoming and telling stories. What made Al so charming was the joy he exhibited when he was able to share those passions with others. For me, it was watching Al teach my boys to fish. Whether it was a ‘happy’ minnow he needed or his gleefulness when the kids would holler ‘fish on,’ Al was always just as excited to see them love the sport — and he made sure those moments were memorable — and memorialized. When it came to Brooke, watching him shop for swimsuits or for winter jackets, he was just as excited to find the great find that would help make her day extra special.

Another favorite story is how Al and Diana first started dating. Initially, he led Diana to believe that he not only knew how to downhill ski, but that he was proficient at it as well. Let’s just say it didn’t take Diana long to figure out that Al was telling her a story. Thus, by Christmas that same year, Diana knew if they were going to be successful in their relationship, Al would need ski lessons. Within a year, Al was so accomplished at downhill skiing, they went to the French Alps and skied the slopes of the infamous mountain. He didn’t fall that day — and never did break a bone. And as they say, the rest is history. Al had found the love of his life.

When it came to goose hunting or pheasant hunting, I think most of those stories have either been shared numerous times — or, more likely, were never meant to be shared. From what I gather, it wasn’t the hunt that was the best part of it for Al, it was spending time with those who were along for the hunt. Making memories and then sharing those memories were what made those trips so special.

Al is preceded in death by his parents Fred and Helen Tieszen, two brothers-in-law, Dwane Decker and Wayne Kingsboro, Michael Deckert and Pam Kneip (Diana’s daughter).

Grateful for having shared his life are the love of his life, Diana Lee; his sisters Jackie, aka Verma Decker and Violet Kingsbury; Beth Deckert along with Hunter (Taylor), Chase and Brooke Deckert; Diana’s family Greg (Sandy Robar) Kneip and Erik (Jill) Biegler; his nephews and nieces Dianna (Edvard) Gustafason; Kenneth (Nancy) Decker; Steve (Doris LeDue) Decker; Jerry (Sherri) Decker; Bill (Patty) Decker; Ron (Joe Guerrera) Decker; and Jim (Robin) Decker; along with numerous nephews, nieces and many, many “families” of loving friends.

Al’s favorite charities were the American Heart Association, the Helpline Center’s Walk to Prevent Suicide 2021, the MS Society along with Feeding South Dakota.

Al’s committal service will be in the Tieszen Cemetery (from Marion corner 4 miles west on SD Hwy 44 and 1.5 miles north on 443rd) at a 1 pm June 12, 2021. Immediately followed by the Celebration of Al’s Life at ParMar Valley Country Club (between Parker & Marion on SD Hwy 44).

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