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A Farmer's Legacy

By: Kelsey Morgan, program assistant, Dakotas UMF

Maynard Klingbeil

Maynard Klingbeil

“Maynard Klingbeil was a famer in Onida, South Dakota. The reason I say it is that he could’ve been just about anything. He was an extremely intelligent man, but farming was all he really wanted to do. When God made Maynard, as the saying goes, God made a farmer. Maynard grew up with farming, he studied farming, he kept up with all the latest farming techniques. As a result, he was one of the best farmers around. And yet, he was always a very humble man. He rarely talked about himself, and if he ever received any praise, he turned it aside. He was a very quiet, humble man.

Although he never married and never had children, Maynard cared deeply for children. He was the secretary/treasurer of the Sunday school at Onida United Methodist Church for 45 years. That’s remarkable, but if we don’t think about it, we might miss just how remarkable it is. Think about how hard it can be to find people to volunteer to help with Christian education. And here’s a man with no children, a man who had no vested interest in the children’s education program, volunteering all that time to do what he could to make sure generations of children came to know the Lord. It’s pretty amazing, really.

The main thing Maynard would want people to know about him, though, is that he was a Christian. He had a very deep faith. He had no doubt that he was going to heaven – not because of his own goodness, but by the mercy and goodness of God. Maynard did what he could to bring others to faith as well.” —Pastor Jeff Adel, Onida UMC

Maynard Klingbeil passed away in early 2020, but not before thinking about the ministries and organizations he cared deeply for. Being a hard-working, but frugal man, Maynard built up an estate that allowed him to leave many gifts that would continue to do good work long after he was gone. As a United Methodist, he wanted to leave a gift that would help bring others to Christ, so he chose to name the Dakotas United Methodist Foundation as the beneficiary of his life insurance policy.

As an undesignated gift to the Foundation, Maynard’s legacy of bringing others to Christ is living on through the Klingbeil Legacy and Investor Grants. These grants are being offered to churches who open a new investment or endowment with the Foundation between July 1st and December 31, 2021. Through this grant opportunity, churches are able to invest more in their own ministries around the Dakotas United Methodist Conference. 

Maynard Klingbeil was a humble man who loved to farm and loved Christ. Donating his life insurance policy was a way that he found worked for him to continue to share his faith with others well into the future.

** Naming a charity as a life insurance beneficiary can be a great way to leave a legacy and make it possible for a donor to give more than they could have during their lifetime. Tax benefits are also available depending on how the policy is set up. Either naming the charity as a beneficiary or including a life insurance policy in one’s will, a donor can provide a lasting gift for ministries they are passionate about. For more information on life insurance gifts or the Klingbeil grant program, contact the Foundation.


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