In Memoriam 2021

As we continue to navigate our new normal with post 2020-21, we wanted to take a moment to remember those architects within South Dakota that have passed this last year. As we look forward to the future of what 2022 has in store for us, we are grateful for the lasting impact these individuals had in directing the built environment in South Dakota.

Ward Whitwam, FAIA

Ward established himself with a career of great distinction, garnering a number of awards for his work and impact. Additionally, he was the longtime executive director of AIA South Dakota. Read more about Ward and his incredible legacy here and in a previous Blueprint South Dakota post below.

Earl Angle, AIA

Earl E. Angle, 98, of Sioux Falls, SD passed away Thursday, April 8, 2021 at Good Samaritan Center in Sioux Falls. His funeral service will be 11:00 AM Thursday, April 15, 2021 at Wesley United Methodist Church, Sioux Falls, with burial at Hills of Rest Cemetery. Visitation will be on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 from 4:00-6:00 PM at George Boom Funeral Home & On-Site Crematory, Sioux Falls. Visit for a link to live stream the service and online guestbook.

Earl Ellsworth Angle, son of Lathrop and Thressa (Knipple) Angle, was born September 9, 1922 in Eckman, ND. He moved with his family to Sioux Falls, SD where he was raised. Earl graduated from high school in 1940.

Earl was united in marriage with Fern Kenyon on October 27, 1942 in Sioux Falls. He entered the U.S. Army Air Corps in December of 1942 at Fort Crook, NE. While in the service, Earl was stationed in California, Louisiana, Arkansas, Virginia, Mississippi and Texas. He also attended ASTP College in Conway, AR while serving. He was honorably discharged in February of 1946 at Fort Leavenworth, KS.

After his discharge, Earl and Fern made their home in Sioux Falls and raised their children, Aleene and Dave, there. Earl worked as an architect in Sioux Falls for over 50 years before retiring in 1998. In retirement, Earl and Fern enjoyed wintering in Arizona.

Earl was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church. He was active with Boy Scouts of America Troop 50. He was a charter member of the Siouxland Lions Club and past member of the South Dakota Lions Foundation. He was also a member of the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and the Elks Club. Earl enjoyed golfing and traveling.

Grateful for having shared his life are two children, Aleene Williams, Sioux Falls, SD, Dave Angle, Sioux Falls, SD; two grandchildren, Trisha (Jeremy) Thill, Sioux Falls, SD, Bill Williams, Sioux Falls, SD; a great-grandson, Aidan Thill; and many other relatives and friends.

Earl was preceded in death by his wife, Fern, on August 2, 2009; his parents; a sister, Ethel Deters; and three brothers, Harold, Lloyd and Ellwyn Angle.

Earl was an architect with Hugill Blatcherwick Fritzel and Kroeger, project architect for Fritzel, Kroeger, Griffin and Berg and architect with EAA.

Herb Aslesen, Architect Emertius. Photo credit: Lorie Umphrey

Also passing in late 2020, was Herb Aslesen, Architect Emeritus member of AIA SD. Herb was a member of the International Conference of Building Officials, served on the board of the Grace Balloch Memorial Library, the Spearfish Planning and Zoning Commission, the Historic Preservation Commission, the Booth Society board, and was a charter member and first president of the Spearfish Optimist Club.

Herb was a long time member of the Northern Hills Model Railroad Club participating in building a large layout in Deadwood and had donated his entire personal collection, including the bench work and model buildings to the SD Railroad Museum in Hill City.

See more about Herb and his life with full obituary here: Herbert Matthew Aslesen

Other great architects lost this past year also include Art Gensler, Helmut Jahn, and Richard Rogers. See Dezeen: Remembering the great architects and designers we lost in 2021 for more information.

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