In the middle of a cow pasture, flanked by cattle guards, sits the Grassy Butte Seventh-day Adventist Church in northwestern North Dakota, started, and now preserved unto the third generation, by Russian immigrants. It was here, on a beautiful soft-breeze day in June, that military services were held for Lonny Roland Tachenko.

During his lifetime he saw spectacular changes, from children being sent via parcel post to visit grandparents to helicopter parents (always hovering) fearful of kidnappings, from horse-drawn buggies to jet flight.

Tachenko (originally Tkachenko) served his country during WWII as a Surgical Technician III in France and Germany, feeling led by God to change his training for the infantry to helping preserve lives instead of take them. He was a man of prayer. Contemplating his future, while still in the army, he had a dream that he was walking in the badlands of North Dakota, looking at hills and a creek, accompanied by a collie dog. He wouldn’t learn its significance until five years later. He was also corresponding with a young lady during this time and prayed the Lord would lead him to know if this was whom He had chosen for him. He prayed if she was not the one that she would not write for six months. She did, but he did not receive any of them. After his discharge he met and married Estelle Lang, who survives him. They celebrated over 68 years of marriage together.

A little more than a year after his honorary discharge,Tachenko’s brother, Steve, contacted him saying there was a ranch that had become available within a few miles of where Tachenko had grown up. When he visited the dream came back to him, and it even included the collie.

The Tachenkos raised two girls on this ranch, Lonna and Brenda, and now have grandchildren who are enjoying their religious legacy. At 100.5 years old, Tachenko served, lived and died well. Rest in peace. Jesus comes soon.