Irma Kietzke

Irma J. Kietzke

March 25, 1916 - May 10, 2020
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Irma J. Kietzke, 104, of Sturgis, passed away Sunday, May 10, 2020, at the Monument Health Sturgis Hospital, following a short illness. She celebrated her 104th birthday on March 25, at Key City Retirement, her home since 2014.
Irma was born in Twilight, SD, to James and Alice (Keegan) McFarlane in 1916. She was the second of six children (Bessie, Myrtle, Ruth, Clifton, and Dannie). Their mother passed away, leaving James with children from ages 6-17, and Irma and Bessie to raise the younger siblings.
Irma was full of spunk and was known to speak her mind. In Custer, she worked at the mica plant, the State Hospital, the City Bar, and Sylvan Lake Resort. In addition, she ran a daycare center and foster home, plus babysat for various families, worked at several ranches, cooked, and did housekeeping. She also moved to Montana and lived in Augusta and Dutton in the early 1960s before returning to South Dakota. She loved to visit and socialize. She was known to pack her bags and arrive on a relative’s doorstep for an extended stay. Her greatest passion was gambling, especially playing Bingo. She would not be seen in public without dressing up, and her lipstick and wig on.
Irma admitted to at least four marriages. She married Steve Gosheff on March 15, 1934. They had two children, Donald and Marjorie. On September 17, 1940, she married John Bartlett LaFayette of Castle Rock. Irma and Bart operated the Livestock Sales Yard and a tavern in Newell. She married Art Olson of Custer on July 3, 1959. She then married Elmer “Speed” Kietzke on September 14, 1964. He passed away in 1982. After his death, she moved to Sturgis and remained there until her passing.
Irma is survived by three granddaughters, Jean Simson of Oregon, JoAnn Cole of Arizona, and Terri Jo Bruch of Sturgis; many nieces and nephews; numerous relatives in Montana and the Black Hills area; and her friend and caregiver, Robyn Fischer.
Preceding her in death were her parents; her children, Donald in 1999, and Marjorie in 2010; and all her siblings.
A private family graveside will be held at Black Hills National Cemetery.

In Irma’s words, she always desired to be remembered for her honesty. She left a message for her family and friends, asking everyone to “be good, and be healthy and honest”. As she always did, she thought only of the well-being, happiness, and health of her loved ones up until the very end. We think the best way to honor her, is to carry these words with us, and strive to live as honestly and happily as she did.
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Service Details

  • Graveside Service

    Black Hills National Cemetery
    20901 Pleasant Valley Drive
    Sturgis, SD 57785
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Private Family Graveside
    Pastor Jenene Earl


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Posted at 08:14pm

Grandma I will miss and always love you I had fun playing bingo with you

Newell Museum

Posted at 04:56pm
We are sad to hear of the passing of Irma. Although we never met in person, we visited by phone and mail. Her family homesteaded northeast of Newell. She wrote a short story of her life in the Newell area which is in the Newell Centennial book. Yes, she was a "spunky gal" and enjoyed sharing history. With sympathy to her family.

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