Donald “Turk” David Peterka, 71, passed away on October 11, 2020 at Fort Meade VA Medical Center.

Donald was born in Yankton, SD on February 24, 1949 to Edward and Agnes Peterka. He spent his childhood in Tabor, playing in the sandbox with his brothers and playing dress up with his sisters. After graduating from Tabor High School in 1967, he joined the US Navy for four years and served in the Vietnam War. During that time he earned the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with a Bronze Star, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Following the war, Turk moved to Rapid City and met the love of his life, Carolyn Peterka. They married on April 14, 1973, and a few years later had two daughters. Donald spent his life as a cowboy and a skilled mechanic, working for ranches, feedlots, and driving semi-trucks. In 1998, he suffered an unfortunate head injury which brought him to the care of the Fort Meade VA Medical Center. He enjoyed the company of his caregivers and other patients during his stay. He always brought a smile to everyone’s face by singing “Hey Good Lookin’.”

Donald is survived by his daughters, Jennifer Archibald and Jody (Joe) Stillwagoner; grandchildren, Sheridan Gerdes, Graeson, Mekenna, and Kendra Stillwagoner; sister, Deloris Young; as well as several nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Agnes and Edward; sister, Rita; brothers, Tom and Lawrence; and the love of his life, Carolyn.

Services will be held on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 10am at the Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, SD. Military honors will be provided by the Sturgis Volunteer Honor Guard and the US Navy.

Memorials can be sent to Fort Meade VA Medical Center.

Friends and family may sign his online guestbook and leave written condolences for the family at

Yankton Press & Dakotan

October 16, 2020