Nellie Myna Tescher

Nellie Myna Van Slooten was born on November 27, 1920 at Lodgepole, South Dakota. She was the youngest of four children born to Frank and Pearl Packard Van Slooten. At a young age, Myna decided she did not care for the name Nellie and insisted on being called Myna, which followed her all during her adult life, except on legal papers.
Myna learned to fib at a young age. When Myna was about four or five, her sister, Eleanor, who was three years older decided to play a joke. Eleanor hid behind an old building and told Myna to tell their parents she, (Eleanor) had fallen into the creek. Myna remembers repeating “Ella’s in the creek” several times while her folks frantically searched for their daughter. When Ella came out of hiding, Myna remembers Eleanor was in trouble, not her.
Myna received her grade school education at Bealer School in the Sidney School District, Perkins Co. After grade school, she attended Thrall Academy in Sorum, SD. Upon Graduation, her father insisted she attend school in Spearfish, where she received a teaching degree. Although she had preferred a different career, she was proud of her degree and was glad she was not just a “Six-week Wonder” – a phrase describing teachers who taught school with only a 6-week training during the summer.
Myna taught at several rural grade schools over the years. She continued teaching until she married John Tescher in 1945. John and she worked side by side on their ranch west and south of Bison raising sheep, cattle, and horses, until their retirement. After retirement, they moved to Sturgis, SD.
John and Myna were avid bowlers and Myna was proud of her high handicap, saying it made her a sought-after substitute in hopes she would bowl above her low average. She also became a fierce competitor in Lady’s Pool, winning several tournaments in her age group.
Myna enjoyed attending the Hand-E-Hands Extension Club meetings so she could visit with her best friend, Anna Goddard. She always looked forward to spending the holidays with the Irwin Tescher families, Melody and Doug Hamilton, and Rollie and Sheri Tescher. In the summer she was a cheerleader for her husband John when he participated in roping competitions at local rodeos. When Myna was not busy lambing out sheep or feeding her beloved “bummies” she was an avid reader and enjoyed crocheting and embroidery. The ribbons she won at the Bison County Fair gave credence to her skill set.
In 2007 Myna moved to Edgewood Vista in Spearfish due to health problems, then entered Rolling Hills Care Center in Belle Fourche in 2015, where she passed on February 3, 2023, at age 102.
Myna will be remembered by those closest to her as being a lady, even-tempered, and soft-spoken. She was preceeded in death by her husband, John Tescher; her parents, Frank and Pearl; all three of her siblings: brother, Don (Lorraine) Van Slooten, brother, Ted (Lila) Van Slooten, and sister, Eleanor (Elmer) Albertson; and nephews, Tom and Gayland Albertson and Ronald and Kevin Van Slooten.
She is survived by numerous nieces and nephews, both on the Van Slooten and Tescher sides.
Visitation will be from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m., Friday, February 10, 2023, at Kinkade Funeral Chapel, Sturgis, SD. The funeral service will follow at 2:00 p.m. at Kinkade’s. Burial will take place at Bear Butte Cemetery in Sturgis.
Condolences may be sent to the family at

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
Telephone: (605) 859-2516
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