Marjorie M. Letellier______________________________
Marjorie M. Letellier, age 90, of Norris, S.D., died May 14, 2014, at the Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital in Philip.
Marjorie Marie Martin was born on June 30, 1923, to Leslie H. and Bertha (Kaufman) Martin at their home above the Putnam Store in Norris. Her sister, Phyllis was born on April 12, 1926. They became real pals and remained close their entire lives.
On March 20, 1928, Marjorie’s mother died. Gram Martin came to live with the family and cared for the girls. Marjorie’s father married Dorothy Dale in 1930. Marjorie remembers how very good Dorothy was to them and thought that her Daddy had picked a wonderful second mate. As the years passed, Marjorie and Phyllis were joined by siblings Jeannine, Dean and Stanley.
Marjorie attended school in Norris for 10 years and Gregory school her junior and senior years. She then went on to graduate from the Black Hills Teacher’s College at Spearfish, graduating with a teaching degree in 1943. She taught at the Surprise Valley school in 1943 and 1944.
Marjorie returned home to Norris on the weekends. Her father would come to get her or send someone to bring her home. A good share of the time Bill Letellier, a friend of her cousin, Jimmy Kaufman, came for Marjorie by car or plane. One weekend, Bill came with the airplane to take her home. Bill said he had a package for her – and somewhere between Surprise Valley and Norris, in the air among the clouds, Marjorie opened the package and found a diamond ring!
On May 27, 1944, Bill and Marjorie were married in Valentine, Neb. They made their home on a ranch five miles northeast of Norris. On September 8, 1946, their daughter, Phyllis Lee, was born at Kadoka. Phyllis Lee later became a registered nurse, working at Rapid City Regional Hospital. Phyllis Lee and her husband, Alan Brown, gave Bill and Marjorie three grandsons, Chad Alan, Cason Aric and Cody Adam.
Bill and Marjorie belong to St. John’s Lutheran Church of Norris. They were active members in the International Flying Farmer organization, with Marjorie reigning as queen for two separate years. Marjorie and her husband, Bill, were also life members of the South Dakota Cowboy and Western Heritage Hall of Fame at Ft. Pierre. Marjorie was a member of the Norris Extension Club and valued the friends and activities of that group.
Their memberships in the South Dakota Stockgrowers and the Frontier Twirlers Square Dance Club of White River allowed them to travel all over the world. Their trips included Palma, Mallorca, Madrid, Spain, the Vatican and Rome, Algiers, Africa, the Islands of the Azores, Mexico City and Acapulco, Mexico. In 1980, they went to Switzerland with their square dance group. Besides Switzerland, they danced in Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Holland.
After 64 years of raising cattle, wheat and alfalfa, Bill and Marjorie sold their ranch in 2008 to their nephew. They remained on the ranch until 2011 when they moved to Philip. Bill stayed in the Philip Nursing Home and Marjorie lived at the Silverleaf Assisted Living Center. They were together often, holding hands and looking forward to celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary in less than two weeks.
Survivors include her husband, William B. ”Bill” Letellier of Philip; two grandsons, Cason Brown and his wife, Cindy, of Rapid City, and Cody Brown and his wife, Sheri, of Chesapeake, Va.; four great-grandchildren, Cayden, Brady, Nathan and Natalie Brown; her sister, Phyllis and her husband, Harold Simmons of Sioux Falls; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Marjorie was preceded in death by her daughter, Phyllis Lee Brown in 2001; a grandson, Chad Brown in 1980; a great-grandson, Caleb Lee Brown in 2002; as well as her siblings, Jeannine, Dean and Stanley.
Services were held May 19 at St. John Lutheran Church in Norris, with Pastor Glenn Denke officiating.
Music was provided by Carol Ferguson, pianist, with congregational hymns. Usher was Torey Ring. Pallbearers were Gary, Jerry, Dan and David Letellier, Ed Ferguson and Howard Heinert.
Interment was at the St. John Lutheran Cemetery.
Arrangements were with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip. Her online guestbook is available at www.rushfuneralhome.com