Edith B. Siegrist, 86, of Vermillion, passed away Sunday, July 31, 2011, at the Sanford Vermillion Hospital.
Edith Siegrist was born on May 9, 1925 in McIntosh, however a date in July when she joined the home of Bert and Nellie Siegrist, pioneers of the Keldron Community, was a more important date to her. Friends who knew her well knew that she considered her adoptive parents to be her lifes greatest gift.
Her education began in a one-room rural schoolhouse, followed by four years of high school in McIntosh and Lemmon, and then four years at Huron College where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and she received her Masters of Library Science and graduated with high honors from the University of Denver.
Her career included a year of clerical work at the Corson County Courthouse, five years of elementary teaching at her home school and at Jefferson School in Huron, six years as librarian at Everett High School in Lansing, MI, and 24 years as Librarian Science Professor at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.
Her honors include a Distinguished Alumni Award from Huron College, a distinguished Service Award from the Mountain Plains Library Association, the South Dakota Librarian of the Year Award in 1988 (the year of her retirement) by the South Dakota Library Association, and together with her co-worker and friend, Elaine Meyer, was honored as Extraordinary South Dakota Librarian of the 20th Century by the American Library Association.
She and Miss Meyer helped to develop the Masters Degree program at USD. They also took pride in the contribution their students made to South Dakota libraries. Many of their students remained their friends through the years.
Her early retirement enabled her and Miss Meyer to travel to most of the continental United States as well as both Eastern and Western Canada. Since Miss Meyers death, Ediths special joy was her informal adoption as another Meyer family sister and as aunt to Elaines nieces and nephews.
Edith is survived by her adopted family: Kerwin and Marjorie Meyer and family of Sioux City, IA, Harlan and Inez and family of Sioux Falls, and Caryl Lynn and Calvin Poppen and family of De Smet, Norman and Miriam Meyer and family of Mexico. She is also survived by hundreds of former students especially those in Vermillion: Pat Cook, Shari Kolbeck, Janice Kitzler, Dorothy Blair and Jane Larson.
Funeral services were 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, at the United Church of Christ in Vermillion, with burial of ashes at a later date in Morristown. Visitation will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the church with a prayer service at 7 p.m. Memorials can be directed to the Vermillion Backpack Program of 921 Crestview or the 4-H Leaders Association of 515 High Street, both in Vermillion.
Online condolences and obituary: hansenfuneralhome.com.