Dorothy “Midge” Rehm 93, of Spearfish, fell asleep in death on Sunday, March 21, 2021, at Spearfish Canyon Healthcare in Spearfish.
Midge was born in the Bronx, N.Y., to Harold (Elliot) Brassel and Mildred (née Holmes) on April 30, 1927. She and her two sisters, Joan and Gloria Hall, were raised in New York and Panama where they learned to love long rainy seasons and fruit picked ripe off the vine. They learned just enough Spanish in Panama to “pick and scratch” Midge would say. Midge loved children. As a young woman Midge married twice and had six children: Billy and Faith Tisdale, and Tim, Bob, Pat and John Toland.
Midge was a very talented performer. She loved singing and sang on a radio show in Panama. She was known to her listeners as “Dottie Dale the Songbird of the South.” Dancing was another joy for Midge. She met the love of her life, Donald Rehm, at Tivoli skating rink in Balboa, Panama where they both enjoyed dancing on roller skates. Years later, as an elderly couple, the songs they used to dance to still brought tears to their eyes.
Midge and Don married on Oct. 24, 1956, and raised two sons, Richard and Russell, in New York and later in California. Midge began a study of the Bible while raising her boys in New York and was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1961. Midge would often say how much joy it brought her to learn that God had a name; and learning more about Jehovah and Jesus helped her to cope with life’s challenges. For this reason, Midge loved to talk to others about the things she continued to learn from the Bible. Midge loved to teach older ones. She and her friend, Connie, conducted bible study classes for residents at the Dorsett Home in Spearfish for many years.
Don and Midge moved to Spearfish in 1977. Midge and her daughter, Faith, opened “Dancersize with Midge” where they taught their eager students how to combine dance and fitness. Later, Midge brought Dancersize to her students’ homes where she taught smaller groups in a more private setting. Her students loved her enthusiastic and spirited classes set to fun music.
Midge loved to crochet and used her time to make gifts for friends and family. Midge taught her children, grandchildren, and many others how to crochet and had groups meet at her home where she gave lessons. Midge was a perfectionist and taught her students if they made a mistake to “rip it out and start over.” She used these sessions to teach her young students how to treat each other. One friend that Midge taught as a young girl remembers: “Some of my favorite memories from my childhood are the Wednesday afternoons I got to spend in her picture-perfect kitchen learning to crochet. She always served us a snack with a red napkin. It always felt so fancy and exciting to me and I can still hear her beautiful voice in my mind singing her favorite scripture “love covers a multitude”.
Midge was very happy to be known as a “hugger”. Sometimes, when she greeted a new friend with an enthusiastic hug, she would sense they weren’t as comfortable as she was with hugging. Once she thought she would give her friend some space and let them off the hook from hugging, it didn’t take long before the friend said, “Where’s MY hug?” This delighted Midge and made her feel very accomplished!
Midge spent her later years loving her family and her congregation in Spearfish. One friend said of Midge: “She was a fixture in the congregation, and nobody will be able to fill her little shoes.” Midge enjoyed her grandchildren so much and they loved their “Nan.” She will be missed. Midge believed the Bible’s promise of a resurrection to a paradise earth so she knew in death she would be sleeping in the safest place: perfectly preserved within the limitless memory of Almighty God. Until we see you again ... Midge, Dottie, Skidge, Midglet, Mom, Nan, Midgey ... sleep well.
Midge is survived by her husband of 64 years, Donald Rehm; their sons Richard (Penny) of Aliso Viejo, Calif., and Russell Sr. (Linda) of Spearfish; Midge’s sister Gloria Mitchhart (née Hall) of Spearfish; Grandsons Eric Schnitzler of Redding, Calif.; Russell Jr. (Shelby) of Spearfish; Ryan (Kerri) of Sheridan, Wyo.; Granddaughters Danielle (Rob) Carlisle; Tina Toland of N.Y.; Nikki (Mike) Petronella of Dallas, Texas; Cassandra (Joe) Lambert of Laguna Niguel, Calif.; Great- Grandchildren Brieanna (Lee) Sillery, Aaron, Aidan, Anna, Ashlyn, Austin, Bennett and Brady Carlisle, Mason (Renata) Schnitzler, Easton Schnitzler, Moira and Nolan Rehm, Vinnie Petronella, Eleanor Lambert and Great-Great grandson Finlee Sillery. Midge’s sons: Bill Tisdale of Atlanta, Georgia; Bob and John Toland, both of New York and their children and grandchildren.
Midge was preceded in death by her parents Elliot Brassel and Mildred Hall, her sister Joan Langley, her daughter Faith Schnitzler, and two of her sons: Tim and Pat Toland.
A memorial service via Zoom is scheduled for Saturday, April 10 at 2 p.m. If any would like to attend, please text or call Russell Rehm Sr. at (605) 645-0489.
Cremation arrangements were under the care of Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapels and Isburg Crematory of Spearfish. Online condolences may be written at www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com.
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