Inez (Miller) Boettcher Leighty
As the youngest of ten children, Inez Fern Miller
was born in Tolstoy, SD in 1921 to Walter C. Miller and Eliza
Tolvstad Miller. When she was four years old, the family relocated
to the Onaka area, and in 1929 they moved west to a ranch nine miles
south of Dupree. Inez attended country schools with her brothers and
graduated from Dupree High School in 1939.
After attending Black Hills Teachers College, she
taught at Ridgeview and at Hitchcock school near Redfield, South
Dakota. In June of 1943, she traveled by train to Camp Campbell,
Kentucky and married Sergeant Walter Boettcher from Redfield. After
Walter was shipped overseas, Inez went back to Canova to live near
her sisters Eunice Baker and Verna Flick. Soon after moving there,
she traveled alone by bus to Sioux Falls where she gave birth to her
first child, Lynda.
After WWII, Inez and Walter celebrated the birth
of their first son, Bill, and two years later, another celebration,
this time for second son, Bob. The family lived in both Mitchell and
White Lake before moving to Oacoma where Walter worked for Barber
Transportation Company. In 1953, while a new bridge was being
constructed across the “mighty Missouri” between Oacoma and
Chamberlain, Inez was required to cross the river on a pontoon
bridge in order to get to the Chamberlain Hospital, where daughter
Nancy was born. In 1955, the Boettcher family moved to Chamberlain
where they lived for almost fifteen years.
Inez taught Sunday school, led Cub Scouts, and
nursed her children through broken arms, broken teeth, broken hearts
and various childhood illnesses. She enjoyed her children’s ball
games and concerts. Their friends were always welcome in her home
where they were all invited to enjoy homemade bread and donuts. Inez
was a talented seamstress and over the years made everything from
winter coats to mittens and prom dresses.
Upon Walter’s retirement, the couple moved from
Sioux Falls to Custer and then on to Rapid City, wintering most
years in Mesa, Arizona. Walter passed away in 1987.
In 1989 Inez married Orville Leighty. She and
Orville continued to live in Rapid City and Arizona until his death
in the spring of 2001 after which Inez spent a year in Arizona with
her daughters before moving into Echo Ridge Retirement facility in
Rapid City. She lived there for the next eight years before
relocating to Missoula Manor in Missoula, Montana in 2010 and then
to Grand Court in Mesa, Arizona in the fall of 2013.
Early on the morning of October 8, 2018, at the
age of 97, Inez peacefully made one last move as she joined family
and friends who had gone on before her.
She is survived by her children, three of them in
Arizona; Lynda Sebring (David) of Mesa, Bill Boettcher (Roxy) of
Cave Creek, and Nancy Lorenz (Al) of Fountain Hills; and Bob
Boettcher (Marsha) of Warwick, North Dakota. She had eleven
grand-children and ten great-grandchildren, as well as many
wonderful nieces and nephews. She was also preceded in death by nine
siblings, her parents, and a greatgrandson.
A family memorial service for Inez has been
scheduled at Mariposa Gardens in Mesa, Arizona at 11:00 AM on
Saturday, October 13, with final internment in late October at the
Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.
The family suggests that memorial gifts in Inez’
name be donated to the Ziebach County Historical Society in Dupree,
South Dakota or to Emblem Hospice in Chandler, AZ.