Dakota Diary

Jeanne Radway

Jeanne (Ferry) Radway has been a dedicated member of the Milesville and Philip community for over 50 years. Jeanne and her husband Rex, who passed away four years ago, raised six children; Sandy, Florida; Tom, Philip; Todd, Philip; Mark, Philip; Stacy, Black Hawk; and Nancy who passed away due to cancer. Jeanne also has nine grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.

Jeanne grew up on a farm seven miles north of Oldham, in Kingsbury County. She was one of five children, with one brother and three sisters. Throughout high school, Jeanne helped her parents out a lot on their family farm. It was Jeanne's job to milk four cows before school each morning. Jeanne also helped neighbor families cook and clean in order to buy herself school clothes.

Jeanne attended grade and high school in Oldham until her senior year when she moved out to Philip. Her uncle was the superintendent in Philip and needed a babysitter at the time, so Jeanne moved West River to watch her cousins. A year later, in 1944, Jeanne graduated from Philip High School.

In the fall of 1944, Jeanne moved to Aberdeen and attended St. Luke's Presentation College and enrolled in the nursing program. Jeanne decided to go to college in Aberdeen because she heard that they had one of the best nursing programs in South Dakota. She used the government cadet program to pay for her education. However, World War II was at its end, so she never had to go into the service.

Jeanne had many busy days at college, consisting of classes and homework for eight hours, and then working the floor at hospitals for four hours. Jeanne explained, "I love to take care of people and really enjoyed nursing, that is why I went into nursing." Jeanne graduated from the nursing program in 1947.

A year later, Jeanne married Rex Radway who grew up in Philip. The couple moved to Chicago, Ill., and resided there for 10 years. While in Chicago, Rex worked laying bricks, and Jeanne worked different nursing jobs.

After living in Chicago, Rex and Jeanne decided to move back to Philip when they found out there was a chance to buy some land north of town. Rex ranched and farmed, and Jeanne got a job as a nurse at the Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital. She was employed at the hospital for 52 years, until three years ago when she retired. Jeanne has lived in the town of Philip for about 10 years.

"Philip is a small, friendly community, and we have everything here we need. We have a hospital, hotel, bus system, grocery store and everything else. Philip has really good medical facilities here in town, with all the accommodations," Jeanne added.

Jeanne has been an avid member of church groups and plays in a bridge club with the Philip Senior Citizens group. Jeanne has a granddaughter working as a nurse in Rapid City, who credits her grandmother Jeanne for her aspiration to become a nurse.