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Erma Gabriel

Erma Gabriel, age 92 of Creighton, SD, peacefully went to heaven, Sunday, March 15, 2009, at the Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital in Philip, with her daughter and dear friends by her side.

Visitation will be held 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, at the Rush Funeral Home in Philip, and two hours preceding the services on Thursday.

Funeral services will be held 2:00 p.m. Thursday, March 19, at the Community Center in Wall, with Rev. Chris Crago officiating.

Music will be provided by Marilyn Millage, pianist, Maureen Palecek, vocalist, and Kent Gabriel, guitarist.

Ushers will be Gerad Julson and Jeff Gabriel. Pallbearers will be Larry Gabriel, Jim Collins, Todd Collins, Roger Porch, Rick Scott and Mike Noteboom.

Interment will be at the Wall Cemetery.

Erma Rose Coleman was born November 24, 1916, in Harrison County near Moorehead, Iowa, the daughter of Orrin and Goldie (Thomas) Coleman. Erma's family lived on a small farm in the Woodbine, Iowa area until they moved to the Cottonwood, South Dakota, area in 1931. The family homesteaded north of Grindstone, South Dakota, raising sheep and hogs. Erma attended the Lincoln School, north of Grindstone, through the 8th grade. She helped her dad on the family farm-ranch and loved being outside with the animals. She always said she wasn't much of a "house person" in her younger years. Erma took a job in Philip working for the Works Progress Administration as a seamstress. With those earnings from the WPA, she purchased property in the Dowling area, in northwest Haakon County.

On May 17, 1941, Erma married Raymond "Earl" Gabriel in Philip. For a while they resided with Floyd and Tressa Gabriel (Erma's sister and Earl's brother) in the south portion of their house. It was here they began their ranching life, raising sheep. Around 1943, they moved to northwest Haakon County, to what was known as the Moses Place. There they raised sheep and broke horses to make a living. Erma loved training her sheep dogs, and Earl always said he didn't need a fast horse because Erma could run nearly as fast as a horse. Later they included cattle on their ranching operation, and eventually sold the sheep.

In August 1961, Erma and Earl adopted their daughter, Cindy Rae. Erma brought her home from Minnesota when she was three days old, and she was the light of their life. In 1963, they moved to northeastern Pennington County, along Deep Creek, near the old town of Pedro. They continued to ranch, raise cattle and live there until they moved to Philip in 2004, due to health reasons. They moved to the Kadoka Nursing Home in October of 2006, where she resided with Earl until her passing.

Erma and Earl loved square dancing in their early married years, and they always enjoyed a game of cards with friends or an evening of just visiting. Everyone who came to Erma's house got the same welcome "Come in if you can get in". She loved cooking for branding and everyone loved coming for her homemade pies. Erma enjoyed her salt and pepper shaker collection. All of her friends who traveled always brought her home another set. They covered one wall in her dining room with sets from all 50 states and many foreign countries. Erma loved kids and spent many summer weekends with Cindy at horse shows, cattle shows and rodeos. She also enjoyed having the children of their military friends come and spend summers so they could learn the real meaning of work (as she always put it) and to learn the country way of life. Erma loved her family, ranch life, especially working with horses and dogs.

Grateful for having shared her life include her husband of 67 years, Earl Gabriel of Kadoka; her daughter, Cindy Gabriel Nuzum of Philip; two grandchildren, Colt and Casey Nuzum, both of Sundance, Wyoming; her sister, Tressa Gabriel of Philip; her double nieces and nephew, Beverly Hamann and her husband, Herb, of Clear Lake, South Dakota, Larry Gabriel and his wife, Charlotte, of Quinn, and Ruby Gabriel of Pierre; her special sisters-in-law, Irna (Gabriel) Collins of rural Faith and Ilma Gabriel (Frank) also of rural Faith; and a host of nieces and nephews whom she deeply cherished. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends who loved her dearly.

Erma was preceded in death by her parents.

A memorial is established.

Arrangements are with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip. Online guestbook available at www.rushfuneralhome.com