William "Bill" Letellier
Wed, 06/07/2017 - 9:03am admin
William "Bill" Letellier, age 94, of Norris, S.D., died on Sunday, June 4, 2017 at the Philip Nursing Home.
William (Bill) Bernard Letellier was born March 26, 1923, at Page City, Kansas, to James Edward and Anna Mae (Fanning) Letellier. In 1930, the family moved from western Kansas to Mellette County (near Norris). Bill was one of nine children. His siblings included Emile, Nellie, Loyd, Ralph, Byron, Gale, Madeline and Evelyn.
Bill attended one year of school in Kansas. His first South Dakota school was a country school, sitting in the middle of the road, because the patrons couldn’t decide where to put the school house. Later, he attended the Norris school. Bill graduated from White River High School in 1941.
After high school, Bill took up farming and ranching with his father. He became a pilot in 1943. Bill learned to fly in a Piper Cub. He later bought an Aeronca Chief and an Ercoupe, which he learned was one of the last ones made in the original factory. He belonged to the South Dakota Flying Farmers and Ranchers and the International Flying Farmers. Bill attended many International meetings in the United States and Canada. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and boating with his many friends.
On May 27, 1944, Bill and Marjorie (Martin) 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 in Kadoka. Phyllis Lee later became a registered nurse, working at Rapid City Regional Hospital. Phyllis Lee and her husband, Alan Brown, had three sons, Chad Alan, Cason Aric, and Cody Adam.
Bill and Marjorie were members of St. John’s Lutheran Church of Norris. They were also life members of the South Dakota Cowboy and Western Heritage Hall of Fame at Ft. Pierre. 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 also danced in Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, and Holland.
After 64 years of raising cattle, wheat, and alfalfa, Bill and Marjorie retired and sold their ranch in 2008 to their nephew.
Survivors include two grandsons, Cason Brown and his wife, Cindy, of Rapid City, and Cody Brown of Chesapeake, Virginia; four great-grandchildren, Cayden, Brady, Nate and Natalie Brown; and his brother, Gale, and his wife, Josephine.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Marjorie; his daughter, Phyllis Lee; his grandson, Chad Alan; and his great-grandson, Caleb Lee.
Visitation will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, June 8, at the Rush Funeral Home in Philip.
The funeral will be held at 9:30 a.m. CST on Friday, June 9, at St. John Lutheran Church in Norris.
Interment will be at the St. John Lutheran Cemetery in Norris.
Arrangements are with Rush Funeral Home of Philip.