SD Vietnam War Memorial Dedication Please Support the Memorial Soldiers, Heroes, and teachers information



In Memory of U.S. Army Private First Class

Darrell Dean Venenga

Sioux Falls, South Dakota , Minnehaha County

September 3, 1947 – November 17, 1967  

Died of Wounds in Vietnam


Darrell Dean Venenga was born September 3, 1947, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to Dick and Virginia (Johnson) Venenga. He had one brother, Gene. Darrell attended grade school in Sioux Falls; later on he went to Washington High School, but when the chance came to go to the newly opened Lincoln High School in 1965, Darrell decided to transfer because of all the automotive classes offered. Darrell liked engine repair, and he was his school’s representative for a national automotive trouble shooting competition in Detroit after winning the regional competition in Bismarck, North Dakota. He also was his school’s heavy weight wrestler. According to his family, cars and wrestling were his major interests. He graduated in Lincoln’s first graduating class in 1966. After high school, he worked at John Morrell and Co.

Darrell Venenga entered the service February 15, 1967. He came home on leave before being sent overseas on August 14, 1967, as a Private First Class in Company C, 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division.

Army Private First Class Darrell Dean Venenga was killed in Vietnam “as a result of gunshot wounds received during hostile ground action,” on November 17, 1967. His body was returned to the United States and after a funeral service, he was buried at Hills of Rest in Sioux Falls with military honors. Among his awards were the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

Darrell is currently survived by his father, Dick Venenga, Sioux Falls, SD, and his brother, Gene (Wanda) Venenga of Renner, South Dakota. His mother, Virginia, passed away in 1994 and is buried beside her beloved son. His brother, Gene, said of Darrell: “He was a big man but at the same time a gentle man.”

This entry was respectfully submitted by Michaela Anderson, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, on February 2, 2006. Information for this entry was provided by a South Dakota Vietnam Veteran’s bonus application and the Sioux Falls Argus Leader issues, Tuesday, November 21, 1967 and Saturday, November 25, 1967. Profile approval by the Venenga family via Wanda and Gene.


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