Merle Page, 93, of Spearfish, passed away peacefully at Garden Hills Assisted Living Center on Tuesday, February, 18, 2014. Merle was born August 11, 1920, at Forsythe, MN, to Roy and Ivy MacKenzie. Her early life was spent on Long Island, NY. At age 11 she moved to Burtrum, MN, where she met and married Harry Potts in 1937. To that union two sons and two daughters were born. They lived in Burtrum, MN, until October 1948, when the family moved to Rapid City, SD. Her introduction to South Dakota was the 1949 blizzard. In 1952, the family moved to Sturgis, SD.
Merle was not only a wife and mother, she was employed at Sturgis Memorial Hospital as a nurse's aide for one year, when with the encouragement of Dr. Massa, she attended L.P.N. school in Pierre, SD, graduating in the spring of 1964. She then worked as office nurse in Spearfish, for Dr. J.C. Betts, until June of 1966, when the family moved to Dickinson, ND. She received her R.N. degree from Dickinson State College, at age 49, after she was a grandmother. As an R.N. she taught in St. Joseph Hospital School of Practical Nursing, in Dickinson, ND, until the school closed in August of 1972. She then worked as a Public Health nurse in Beach, ND, from August 1972 to May 1974, when she returned to Sturgis to accept the position of Public Health Nurse for Meade County.
She married Richmond Page November 10, 1977, at the Fort Meade Chapel. Together, they dedicated all their spare time and musical talents, giving concerts, both sacred and secular, sharing their love of music with others. They served many hours at the Fort Meade Veterans Hospital and Chapel, receiving a commendation for her service there. Merle was a member of the V.F.W. Auxiliary, the American Legion Auxiliary, World War 1 Auxiliary, the Hospital Auxiliary, the Senior Citizen R.S.V.P., and was a member of the Presbyterian Church of Whitewood. She spent the years after Richmond's death crocheting afghans for the Massa Barry Nursing Home. At age 81 she had finished 65.
Merle's funeral service will be held at 2pm on Thursday, February 27, 2014, in Kinkade Funeral Chapel with Reverend Steve Agan officiating. Burial will follow in the Bear Butte Cemetery in Sturgis. Visitation will be from 1pm to service time on Thursday.
She is survived by daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Barry Lutes, of Broomfield, CO; daughter, Michele Knock, Rapid City, SD; grandson, Dr. William Lutes D.O. and wife, Angie; great-grandchildren, Conner, Brooke, and Logan Lutes, Libertyville, IL. She was preceded in death by her husband, Richmond, and two sons, Blane and Bruce Potts.
Memorials have been established for a nursing scholarship at Sturgis Regional Hospital and to Merle's Church, First Presbyterian of Whitewood.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals.com.