Cover photo for Conley Torgrude's Obituary
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1932 Conley 2024

Conley Torgrude

September 24, 1932 — February 17, 2024

Belle Fourche, SD

Conley Paul Torgrude, 91, passed away on February 17, 2024 at his home in Belle Fourche, following a brief illness.  


Conley’s life will be celebrated 10:30am Monday, June 10th, 2024 at Leverington Funeral Home of the Northern Hills in Belle Fourche.

Inurnment will take place at Black Hills National Cemetery.  Military Honors will be provided by the Belle Fourche Veterans Honor Guard.


Conley was born on September 24, 1932 in Arlington, SD to Melvin and Dorothy (Trumm) Torgrude.  He grew up in Arlington, where he developed his love of the outdoors. When his father began his career at the Homestake Mine, the family relocated to Lead, SD where Conley graduated from high school.  In 1952, Conley joined the U.S. Navy and proudly served his country including three years on the Ford County LST 772.  Following his honorable discharge, Conley served four years in the Navy Reserves.  


In 1957, Conley married Frances "Fran" Wagner (Erickson). They raised their four daughters- Debbie, Connie, Tammie, and Pam in Lead, SD.  Later in life, Conley married Marilyn Thacker, they moved to Belle Fourche, SD and his family grew with the addition of stepchildren – Chet, Rick, Cheryl, and Lora.  


Conley's career following the military was first as a salesperson for Twin City Fruits and then as a salesperson for Brown Swiss Dairy, where he developed many relationships in the Deadwood/Lead community and gained his title of "Ice Cream Grandpa" from his many grandchildren.  After retirement, Conley spent a number of years driving a school bus for the Belle Fourche School District and enjoyed getting to know (and lovingly tease) the youth in the community.   


Conley's best days were spent fishing, hunting, camping, and riding his ATV.  Conley also enjoyed cruising around the Black Hills and the Midwest on his motorcycle.   He shared these loves with his family and friends and many summer nights were spent together recovering from a long day of sun and fishing while playing a fierce game of cards or Phase Ten.   


Conley is survived by his four daughters: Debbie (Kim) Smoot of Wall, SD, Connie (John) Schmitt of Grand Junction, CO, Tammie (David) Paulson of Clark, SD and Pam (David) Carlson of Monona, WI; his three stepchildren: Rick (Sherry) Charter of Lead, SD, Cheryl Weber of Belle Fourche, SD, and Lora (Norm) Burleson of Rockford SD; and his siblings: brother, Courtney (Marcia) Torgrude of Rapid City, SD and sister, Geri Johnson of Idaho.  Conley was preceded in death by his wife Marilyn, his parents, his sister Jeannette, his brother Dean, his grandchild Donald Burleson and his stepson Chet Allen Charter. 


"Ice Cream Grandpa" will be lovingly remembered by his grandchildren: Rory, Dustin, Jana, Marli, Jackie, John, Leslie, Matt, Briana, Tanner, Zachary, Justin, Jordan, Aaron, Troy, Jennifer, James, Jarred, and Blaine.   As well as his many great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.   


Conley will be missed by his many friends at Belle Estates, a place he called home for 5 years and where he won many bingo games. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Conley Torgrude, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Conley's Celebration

Monday, June 10, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Mountain time)

Leverington Funeral Home of the Northern Hills

715 National Street, Belle Fourche, SD 57717

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