Cozad Native: Betty Putnam, age 71 (1941-2013)

Betty Putnam, 71, of Gayville, South Dakota, died Monday, October 21st in Yankton, South Dakota, after a courageous battle with cancer surrounded by her family. Betty was the matriarch of a family that loved her with all of their hearts. She will be greatly missed by all whose lives she touched.

Betty was born in Cozad, Nebraska, on December 30th, 1941, to Henry and Mildred (Schilreff) Schneider.

Betty attended rural school in the Cozad area and graduated from Cozad High School in 1960.

She and her husband, Richard were married at the First United Methodist Church in Cozad on June 27th, 1960. Their union was blessed with five children, Danny, Greg, Scott, Rich and Kimberly.

They moved to Gayville in 1967. Betty was a stay at home mom for many years and when the children were in school she began working for National Alfalfa Hay Mill west of Gayville. When the mill shut down, Betty went to work at Gurney Seed and Nursery until the company closed. Next, was Kolberg-Pioneer in Yankton and when the economic slowdown hit she was laid off and went to work at K-Mart. She finally found her true calling when she became Gayville's town clerk over 20 years ago and held this position until her death.

Betty enjoyed sewing, working in her flower garden, taking care of her fountains and feeding and watching the birds and squirrels. She also enjoyed watching anything her grandchildren and great grandchildren participated in and she was always a trooper during the tent camping outings at Pease Creek.

Betty touched many lives when she was a Girl Scout leader and a Sunday school teacher. She even touched lives during her illness as all those that met her and cared for her found out what a special lady she was. Betty was "one in a million" and her warm smile and infectious humor would light up a room.

She was preceded in death by her son, Scott in October of 1982.

She is survived by her husband, Richard Putnam of Gayville; four of her five children, Danny (Jan) Putnam, Gayville; Greg (Janel) Putnam, Yankton, South Dakota; Rich J. Putnam, Rapid City, South Dakota; Kimberly Putnam Doty, Gayville.

She is also survived by 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Her surviving brothers and sister are Henry (Hank) Schneider, Cozad, Jim (Duke) Schneider, Omaha, Nebraska and Darlene Hawke, Cozad. She is also survived by several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Mildred; her son, Scott; brother, Harold Schneider and grandchildren Putnam quintuplets: Hope, Bryce and the additional 3 in utero; several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law preceded her in death.

Memorial services were held Saturday, October 26th, 2013, at the Opsahl-Kostel Funeral Chapel in Yankton with Rev. Rick Pittenger officiating.

After a brief time with family and friends at the funeral home, the burial of the cremated remains was in the Gayville Cemetery followed by a luncheon at the Gayville Community Center.


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