Erma Tuttle, 93, of Winner, SD passed away on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020 at the Avera Rosebud Country Care Center in Gregory, SD.
Private family funeral service was held on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020 at 1 p.m. at the Witten Baptist Church in Witten, SD.
Burial followed in the Winner City Cemetery.
Erma June Tuttle was born June 14, 1927 on the family farm near Lucas, South Dakota to George and Lora (Swift) Nelson. She passed away quietly, surrounded by all her children and her oldest grandchild, Chandra, at Avera Rosebud Country Care on Oct. 11.
Erma attended Bunell country school through 8th grade. She attended her freshman year of high school at Lucas High School before it closed, at which time she went to Burke High school, graduating in 1945. The summer after graduation she attended the University of SD at Springfield, and began teaching that fall. She taught at 3 different country schools near Lucas over the next 5 years. She spent her summers during that time traveling around South Dakota, teaching Bible School in various churches.
In 1950, she attended Sioux Falls College (now the University of Sioux Falls) where she completed her associate teaching degree. She then moved to Winner, SD where she taught 5th grade for another 5 years.
It was while she was in Winner that she met Clyde Tuttle and they were married on Dec. 28, 1954 in Lucas, SD. After finishing out the school year, they moved to a ranch near Wood, SD where they lived for 6 years.
Erma became a housewife and excelled at the job, providing a wonderful home for Clyde and their 5 children, Janet, Randy, Brenda, Bradley and Lynne. They then bought a ranch by Mosher, SD close to where Clyde grew up. They lived there until 2010, at which time they moved to Winner, SD.
Erma accepted the Lord as her Savior at a young age and faithfully served him the rest of her life. Faith and family were most important to her. She was a member of Witten Baptist Church where she was involved in a number of capacities, locally and in the Baptist association.
She was an excellent cook able to whip up a delicious meal from random items on the spur of the moment, when Clyde came home telling her he had just invited friends to stop by. Her children enjoyed the baked bread and cookies they would find after coming home from school.
She was also a superb seamstress, sewing beautiful clothes for the girls, as well as curtains and home décor to rival those in the stores. She helped her children with school assignments and projects, and entertained their many friends. In fact, the kid’s high school and college friends were such frequent visitors that she would check the number of shoes at the top of the basement steps to see how much breakfast to make on Saturday mornings. During the summer, she cooked, baked and cleaned non-stop as “city” cousins came to visit and stay to enjoy ranch life.
In later years, grandchildren spent large chunks of time in the summer and at holidays with Grandma Erma. Her ginger snap cookies were their favorites, and she baked them by the dozens in anticipation of their visits. She enjoyed riding along with Clyde to check the cattle in the pasture, or go to town to pick up an implement part.
She was a patient woman, waiting in the pick-up for hours while Clyde “stopped in quickly” to conduct business at the bank or implement shop.
She learned to take a magazine or her Bible lesson along to keep her occupied. It was her quiet time.
When grandchildren left half-finished pop cans around the house, she picked them up and then gently reminded them again to be more responsible. There is no way to adequately state what an incredible, loving and Godly woman she was. You would be hard pressed to find a soul who could say a bad word about her. She was kind and extremely humble. Her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews loved her.
Erma was preceded in death by her husband, Clyde Tuttle, her parents, George and Lora Nelson, one sister and brother-in-law, Ellen and John Greer, and one brother and sister-in-law, Wesley and Lena Nelson; and her brother-in-law, Harold Johnson.
Erma is survived by her five children; Janet Thrush of Orlando, FL, Randy (Charlene) Tuttle, Brenda (Terry) Ernst and Brad (Shawn) Tuttle of Winner, and Lynne (Kevin) Rath of Brookings, SD; her sister, Mildred Johnson of Burke, SD; her 12 grandchildren, Matthew and Treva Thrush, Jesse Tuttle, Angie (Brunmeier) LaFave, Blake Brunmeier, Brooke (Tuttle) Leader Charge, Tanea Tuttle, Ashlee (Tuttle) Dillon and Branden Tuttle, Chandra (Hall) Malsam, Sheena (Hall) Geffre and Alexis (Rath) Nivaud, and 12 great grandchildren.