Greater Clark Area Foundation Receives $1 Million Estate Gift from Former Local Farmer​

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The Greater Clark Area Foundation recently announced they received a $1 million estate gift from former Clark, S.D. area farmer, Ortwin Buss.

“The impact Mr. Buss will make through this estate gift after his passing is immeasurable,” said Tom LaBrie, President of the Clark Area Foundation. “We are grateful for his generosity and are very excited to see the difference this makes in our community.”

Ortwin Buss was born on a farm 2 ½ miles east of Rockham to Fred and Anna (Schultz) Buss on January 7, 1922.  He attended first and second grade at the Old German Methodist School near Rockham and then the Rose School, also near Rockham.  He attended high school in Rockham, graduating in 1939. 

In 1940,  Ortwin, his brother Harvey and their parents moved from their farm near Rockham to their farm 11 miles northeast of Clark in Thorp township, driving a team of four horses.  He was a hard worker and continued living on the farm until he retired in the spring of 2008 at the age of 86.

Ortwin was a lifelong farmer following in his parents’ footsteps.  He had many stories to tell about the hardships of the depression years, walking several miles to school, blizzards, hunting and farming. 

Ortwin is remembered by his family and friends as a kind and generous man who was a supporter of education and donated generously to South Dakota State University (SDSU).  In 2010, he established the Ortwin K. Buss Scholarship at SDSU to support students in agriculture.  He also donated to Dakota Weslyan University in Mitchell, SD as memorials to his cousins Glenn Buss, Roland Buss and Meredith Buss Hammberbeck.

He was preceded in death by his father Fred (1893-1992), Mother Anna (1892-1975) and his brother Harvey (1919-2002).

“Mr. Buss’s gift is a testament to the impact an individual can make in their community long after they are gone,” said LaBrie. “With a planned gift to your local community foundation, residents can give back to the community they love perpetually.”

The Greater Clark Area Foundation (GCAF) has grown to almost $1.5 million with this recent gift and has provided over $122,000 annually in grants to local nonprofits.  In addition to their community savings account, the GCAF oversees $146,000 + in agricultural education and scholarship funds for the area. The GCAF and scholarship funds are nonprofit, public organizations created to attract and distribute charitable funds for the benefit of the Greater Clark area.  These funds are deposited into an endowed, permanent fund.

This permanent foundation is under the auspice of the South Dakota Community Foundation. Since 1987, the South Dakota Community Foundation has helped people reach their philanthropic goals and strengthened communities across the state. The SDCF administers approximately $350 million in total assets for over 850 funds. By commingling endowed assets, the SDCF gives its partners enhanced investment opportunities that provide long-term support to charitable causes.

To learn more about how you can make a lasting impact for the Clark area, visit the Greater Clark Area Community Foundation website by clicking here.