Rev. Burnell H. Pudwill

January 24, 1930 - May 2, 2020


Rev. Burnell H. Pudwill was born at the farm home near Avon SD on January 24, 1930, the son of Herbert and Henrietta (Johnson) Pudwill. He died after sustaining injuries from a fall at his home in Winnipeg Canada on May 2, 2020, at the age of 90 years. He accepted Jesus as his Savior and was baptized while attending the Avon Baptist Church. Burnell attended school in Avon SD graduating high school in 1948. He attended Miltonvale (KS) Wesleyan College graduating with a BS degree in Religion. He also took post-graduate studies at Northern State University (Aberdeen SD).

Burnell was united in marriage to Delores Siewert on December 10, 1948, in Avon SD. They farmed near Dante SD from 1948 until January 1957. To this union five children were born, Bobby, Judith, Randy, Kevin and Todd. Burnell served as a Sunday School teacher and lay pastor at the Avon Wesleyan Church until he sensed God leading him into full-time Christian ministry. After completing college in 1961 he began his first pastorate at the Richland Wesleyan Methodist Church, rural Mina SD. He served on the Dakota District Board of Administration of the Wesleyan Church and as the Dakota District Youth President. In 1969 he and his family moved to Williston ND where he began pastoring the Williston Wesleyan Church. While at Williston he accepted the challenge to full-time mission work in Haiti West Indies. He and

Delores and their son Todd left for Haiti in July of 1974 and served in various capacities with Wesleyan World Missions in administration, preaching and teaching the good news of Jesus, building churches and schools, and assisting in medical services along with Delores. In 1977, under the auspices of Christian Sojourn Haiti, he began water well drilling, completing hundreds of wells for communities and schools, along with continued support of medical services and school/church construction projects. Burnell’s passion for service to the Haitian people continued until his death.

After the death of his wife, Delores in 2005,  Burnell married Marie France Gabriel Theano in Lansing MI and adopted her three daughters in 2006. They moved to Winnipeg Canada from Flandreau SD in 2008 establishing their home and family there.

Burnell loved farming, hunting/fishing, and listening to the music of his children and grandchildren.  He was active in high school band playing the trombone and accordion and later taught himself to play the organ.  One of his favorite pastimes was reading.  Burnell was active in high school sports lettering in football and basketball.  He obtained his private pilot’s license in 1968 and spent many hours flying in the Aberdeen and Williston areas.

Burnell is remembered by his wife: Marie, three adopted daughters, Abigail, Taina and Aliyah Theano-Pudwill, Winnipeg Canada; his children: Bobby (Wendy), Milbank SD; Judith (Gary) Hobbie, Flandreau SD; Randy (Jody), Mina SD; Seven grandchildren: Jami (James) Ehmer, Magnolia TX; Amber Hobbie, Flandreau SD; Anthony (Nikki) Hobbie, Mitchell SD; Austin (Angela) Hobbie, Magnolia TX; Heidi (Shad) Connor, Horace ND; Scott (Cheri) Pudwill, Warner SD; Kayla (Matt) Hintz, Hibbing MN; two uncles: Norman Pudwill, Hot Springs SD; John Pudwill Rock Rapids IA; sisters-in-law: Ellen Pudwill (Springfield SD); Jean Parker (Fremont NE); Arlene Hayward (Pierre SD); 15 great-grandchildren; and many relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife Delores in 2005; son Todd in 1977; son Kevin in 2015; his parents in 1988; three brothers Donald, Russell, and Verlyn; and one great-grandson Isaiah Pudwill in 2006.

Due to the current COVID-19 health conditions, a private memorial and interment service will be held at the Avon Baptist Cemetery at a future date.  Memorials can be sent to The Pudwill Scholarship Foundation Fund C/O GracePoint Wesleyan Church, 1420 Orchard Drive, Brookings SD 57006.

Condolences may be sent to