Lois Besmer passed away quietly on Dec. 3, 2022. She was sustained in life by an abiding faith in God.

Lois was born on June 9, 1939, the fourth of six children to Edward and Ola Knittel (Steppat Warden), in South Dakota on the Rezac place south of Dallas. Lois spent a happy childhood on the family farm near Gregory, SD. Initially attending a one-room schoolhouse with siblings and neighbors, Lois later boarded in town while attending Gregory High School from which she graduated in 1957. While in high school, she was a 4H leader their name was The Ramos Ramblers. The group sang “The Cattle Call” at the State Fair in Huron, SD, and took first prize. The group then then went to Kansas for another performance. While in high school at Gregory High her interests were bookkeeping and home economics. Lois kept the books at Newsam Chevrolet and loved to go polka dancing and waltzing at Colome on Saturday nights.

Lois married Alvin Besmer and they had three children. Lois became single and continue to raise their children.

After the birth of her third child, Lois went to work as a secretary at the 1st National Bank of the Black Hills in Rapid City. From that position, she worked her way up to vice president of business banking at Norwest Bank in Sioux Falls. She retired from banking in 1998. During her banking career, Lois was in the vanguard of women entering higher levels of professional careers. Known as a hard worker and a dedicated mentor to younger professional women, Lois held leadership positions in various social organizations such as Kiwanis, Toastmasters, and Business & Professional Women (BPW). After retirement, she re-located to Mesa, Arizona, returning to Rapid City in the final years of her life.

Lois was a dedicated and loving mother to three boys. She enjoyed attending little league baseball games, wrestling matches and football games.

She is survived by her brother, Merlin Knittel, a sister, Judy Lantz, her three boys, Doug, Scott, and Kirk, as well as numerous grandchildren.

 There will be memorial service and a celebration of life event planned for the summer of 2023. She will be interned next to her mother, father, brother and sister in the Gregory Cemetery.

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