Dakota Diary

Keith and Lucille Emerson are residents of the Philip community and have been for many years. Keith and Lucille have been married for 62 years.

The couple raised four children. Greg and his wife, Kathy, live in Powell, WY. Ann passed away in 2004 from cancer; her husband Hank and family currently live in Flower Mound, TX. Debbie and her husband, Duane Fitzgerald, and Mark and his wife, Terry, all live in Pierre. Keith and Lucille have 14 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. One more great-grandchild is on the way.

Keith was born at home on a ranch outside of Philip. He attended grade and high school in Philip. Growing up, Keith helped out on the family ranch. When Keith was in high school, he lived in town so he would not have to travel so far everyday for school.

After high school, Keith started college at South Dakota State University in Brookings in 1940. That is where he met Lucille. After two years of college, Keith volunteered for a World War II Navy program. In 1943, Keith was put on active duty and served in the Navy in the Pacific Ocean until 1946. He served in the gunnery department also known as the Fire Control Department. Keith then returned to finish college at SDSU.

Lucille Parsley grew up on a farm in northern Moody County. Lucille attended grade and high school in Egan. When Lucille was in grade school, she remembered playing fun games at recess like pum pum pullaway, Annie-I-over, and softball. Lucille rode a bus to and from school everyday, so she did not have a chance to get a job in town. However, she helped out with chores on her family farm while her brothers were in the service.

After Lucille graduated from Egan High, she when to college in Madison for elementary education. She went to Madison for two years and then moved to Brookings to teach at a rural school for a couple years. Back when Lucille was in college getting her teaching degree, college students were allowed to teach school at the same time. After teaching in Brookings County, Lucille got a job at SDSU as a secretary, where she met Keith.

Keith graduated from SDSU with a degree in engineering in 1947. In September of 1947, Keith and Lucille married in Brookings.

The two then moved to a ranch 32 miles northeast of Philip. Lucille finished up her college teaching degree in the Black Hills during that time, and Keith ranched. After completing college, Lucille taught at two country schools, Plum Creek and Elbon. When her children were young, Lucille stayed home and took care of them and then returned to teaching.

In 1969, Keith served on the reorganized Philip School Board for two terms. Keith mentioned that he had always been interested in education. His mother was an educator, as well as his wife, so he really enjoyed serving on the school board.

In 1979, Keith and Lucille bought the title and abstract business in Philip, and operated that for 20 years. In 1982, Lucille and Keith moved to a different home near Lake Waggoner.

Lucille finished up her career teaching first grade in Philip. She taught for a total of 23 years, and in 1988, she retired. In 1999, Keith sold the title and abstract business and retired. "Philip is a friendly town to live in, the people are nice, and everyone waves at each other when passing on the street," Lucille commented.

In 2005, Keith and Lucille moved into Philip to their current home at the Moses Manor Apartments. "I like Philip, we can walk anywhere we need to go in town," Keith stated.

The couple attends the Catholic church in Philip, just steps away from their apartment. Keith and Lucille both enjoy reading and going on walks.