Joan Delilah (Anderson) Follette of Spearfish passed away from complications of a heart attack the evening of Nov. 18, 2019 at Rapid City Regional Hospital.
Joan was born Oct. 24, 1936 in Deadwood, the first of five children to Andy and Dorothea Anderson. She graduated from Spearfish High School in 1954 and began studies at St John’s McNamara School of Nursing in Rapid City. She married Everett L. Follette on Sept. 15, 1956 in Ft. Leonard Wood, M.O. while he finished his military obligation. Everett took a teaching position in Custer where she gave birth to their first son, Everett A. From Custer they moved to Iowa State Teachers College at Cedar Falls, I.A., where Sheila arrived. Back to Sturgis, where the family grew with the births of Debbie and Brian. She was one of the early returning married nurses to graduate from St. John’s in 1966.
In 1967, the family made their home in Spearfish, where Everett was teaching at BHSC and Joan began her nursing career ultimately rising to director of nursing at the Spearfish hospital.
In 1974, the Follettes became cross country ski enthusiasts, and shared their love of family and outdoors. Together, they were instrumental in developing the Big Hill ski complex, organizing the annual Spearfish Challenge cross-country ski race, and opened the specialty shop, Ski Cross Country in 1976. For that achievement, they were recently awarded Tip of the Spear by Visit Spearfish.
Joan was deeply involved in her community, PEO, and her church, but her focus was always on her family. Quiet and unassuming, she went about the business of loving and nurturing with extraordinary success. With a true servant’s heart, she turned her home into a welcoming refuge for all who crossed her path. According to her niece Peggy, “So sad about the loss of my lovely Aunt Joan. She was so kind, so soft spoken, so loving in every way. I can hear her soft happy laughter perfectly- she had the sweetest laugh- and the greatest smile. When she was with her husband or her kids or grandchildren she smiled & laughed all the time”.
Chief among the many mourning her passing are Everett, her husband of 63 years. Her children: Everett (Tami) of Spearfish, Sheila Ahmed of Spearfish, Debbie (German) Feyh of Boulder, Colorado, and Brian (Julie) of Crookston, Minnesota, nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Her siblings: in Spearfish, James (Bert) Anderson, Janet (John) Ladson, Jack Anderson and from Louisiana, Jeannie Faucheux.
Memorial services will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019 at the United Methodist Church of Spearfish. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts to benefit her passion for Northern Hills Sources of Support (NHSOS) or Children First.
Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapels and Isburg Crematory of Spearfish. Online condolences may be written at www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com.
To read all of today's stories, Click here or call 642-2761 to subscribe to our e-edition or home delivery.