Berta Aasby

Berta Aasby, age 92 of Philip, S.D., died Tuesday, June 14, 2011, at the Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital in Philip.

Berta A. Tucker was born August 28, 1918, in Summerville, Ga., the daughter of Thomas C. and Berta (Foster) Tucker. Throughout her childhood, Berta's family lived in Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee.

After graduating high school in Georgia, she went to college in Atlanta, to become a registered nurse. Berta was in the United States Army, and spent time during WWII as a nurse, transporting wounded war patients from the East Coast to hospitals all around the United States. Following that, Berta was stationed in the Philippines.

When Berta returned to the United States, she used her GI Bill to attend Peabody College in Nashville, Tenn. After receiving her bachelor of science degree in nursing, Berta moved to New York City to attend Columbia University, where she earned her master's degree in nursing.

While attending Columbia, she did some doctoral work, but her time was cut short when she was recalled to the Army for the Korean War. Berta was stationed in Germany and had earned the rank of captain. After serving in Germany, she returned to the United States and went to work for the U.S. Public Health Service. She was sent to Alaska to work as the director of nurses for all of the government nurses. After living in Alaska, Berta was sent to the San Francisco area to lead the follow up team for Saulk polio vaccinations. From there, Berta moved to Belcourt, N.D., to work on the reservation as a public health nurse. While on the reservation, Berta met Leroy Aasby, who was working as a teacher on the reservation.

They were married on December 20, 1958. They made their home in Belcourt for nearly a decade, before moving to Rosebud. While in Rosebud, Berta worked as an instructor for the University of South Dakota Indian Community Health Aids on the reservation. They then moved to Pine Ridge before moving to Bridger, where they lived for 13 years. In 1980, the couple moved to Philip, where Berta worked as the director of nursing at the Philip Nursing Home until retiring in 1983. The couple had since resided in Philip.

Berta enjoyed genealogy, tracing her ancestry back to Captain Tucker who started the James-town, Va., colony back in 1606. Berta was a member of the American Legion and was the state historian for the South Dakota American Legion. She was also a neighborhood committee person for Boy Scouts.

Survivors include her son, Tom Aasby and his wife, Jane, of Rapid City.

Berta was preceded in death by her husband, Leroy, on May 19, 2011; and her parents.

Graveside services for both Berta and Leroy will be held Friday, June 17, at 11:00 a.m. at the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, with Chaplain Herb Cleveland officiating.

Military honors will be provided by the Sturgis Honor Guard.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established to the Haakon County Library. Memorials may be sent to 4023 Chief Dr. Rapid City, SD 57701.

Arrangements are with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip.

Her online guestbook is available at www.rushfuneralhome.com