Otha Joens

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The funeral service for Otha Joens, 92, of Mobridge was August 19, 2014 at UCC Church in Eagle Butte. Burial was at the Eagle Butte Cemetery under the direction of Kesling Funeral Home of Mobridge. Otha passed away Thursday, August 14, 2014 at her home in Mobridge.  Otha Marie Roy was born January 8, 1922 to Fred and Dessie (Kerns) Roy in Orofino, ID. She grew up there as one of 11 children. When she was in the first grade, she delivered The Times, Grit and Spokane Chronicle and at the age of 81 she worked for the  Mobridge Tribune in the production department, ending her newspaper career there. Hans Joens of the Eagle Butte area had come to her city looking for work with the Civilian Conservation Corps and they met, fell in love and married on February 17, 1937. They farmed and ranched in Idaho for seven years. They then moved to Eagle Butte to be close to his parents. Otha graduated from the eighth grade in 1936 and never went to high school. In 1964 she decided to return to school to get her diploma. She rode the bus with four of her own children while pursuing her dream. Later, at the urging of her teachers  nd superintendent, Otha took her GED test and passed it with flying colors. She worked odd jobs for the next three years to save up for the  college education that she wanted. First she attended BHSC and then transferred to SDSU in Brookings to take the required courses to become a Home Economics teacher and receive her BS degree. In 1971 she received her teachers certificate and by 1973 had been named Teacher of the Year in South Dakota. She taught Home Economics in the Cheyenne-Eagle Butte School system for a number of years and was in charge of the kitchen of all nine BIA schools on the Cheyenne River Reservation for 12 years before her retirement in 1992. Otha was always improving herself. She received her masters degree at Black Hills State College in guidance and counseling. Her education did not stop with her degrees. She traveled to Italy to take a special course in textiles, and took workshops at SDSU and courses at BHSC and the University of Arizona. Otha was a member of the Order of Eastern Star, was a 4-H leader and a Farmers Union Junior Leader. In 2001 Otha moved to Mobridge where she resided until the time of her death. Otha is survived by her sons, Fred (Jackie) Joens of Eagle Butte, and LeRoy Joens of Kingston, PA;  our daughters— Dorothy Clark of Aberdeen, JoAnn (Paul) King of Naples, FL, Connie (Ralph) Falcon of El Dorado, AK, and Donna (Farrell) DeLapp of Deer Lodge, MT; three brothers— Lewis Roy, Larry Roy and Don Roy; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband in 2001; one son, Lloyd Joens, one daughter, Tillie Woolsey; sisters— Pat, Mildred, Bernice, and Alma; and brothers— Stanley, Hermet and Jerry. (Fred Joens’ address is PO Box 493, Eagle Butte, SD 57625.)   
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