Betty Purvis passed away, peacefully, with her family by her side August 03, 2018 at the Pioneer Memorial Nursing Home in Viborg, SD. Born Betty Ann Bruce to Arthur and Ruth Bruce in Gordon, NE on May 27, 1930, she was the fourth of six children. Her life spanned an era from riding a horse to a one room schoolhouse to checking on her grandchildren’s’ status on Facebook. When she was 10 years old, her family moved to a new farm and she drove the buckboard with a team of horses to assist in the move. In her later years, she really enjoyed viewing her grandchildren’s pictures on Facebook using her iPad.
Betty spent her life in service to her family, friends, church, and community. As a mother of six children she lovingly cooked and baked for her children and the other children in the neighborhood. At one time, her husband Nile was asked by a friend who had counted over 20 children playing in the yard, “Purvis, how many kids do you have”. Betty gardened, canned food, and sewed for the family, fashioning prom (and everyday) dresses for her daughters and shirts for her sons. Always there for her children, her loving support sustained them through life.
Betty, a devoted friend, enjoyed the challenge of quilting new designs, and gifted family, friends and the church with her creations. A somewhat quiet person, she was open to talking with anyone about quilting, books, gardening, cooking, or any subject. She was a member of the Eastern Star for 60 years. Her love for the church and compassion for others led to decades of helping in administration, cleaning, making wall banners, participating in United Methodist Women events and activities, and singing in the choir. An intelligent woman who loved to read, Betty worked as city librarian for several years. Prior to that she assisted in the register of deeds office and city finance. She also administered insurance claims at the Burke Clinic and at a private insurance agency.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Robert “Nile” Purvis, to whom she was married for 67 years. She is survived by her six children: Dennis (Linda) Purvis, Terri (Lyle) Schmidt, Deborah (John) Brisk, Vonnie (Greg) Esterling, Mike (Karen) Purvis, and Tony Purvis; her sixteen grandchildren; her twenty-nine great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by two brothers: Dean (Neva) Bruce and Bill (Anita) Bruce.