Ortrude (Peggy) June Reis
Funeral services were held Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Reliance, SD with burial in the Riverview Cemetery at Chamberlain. Ortrude (Peggy) June Reis was born on June 20, 1932 in Lyman County, SD. She was the first of four children born to Raymond and Aileen (Lester) Hickey. In her early years, the family lived in Lyman, later moving to a farm west of Oacoma and finally settling on the edge of Oacoma proper. She attended school in Oacoma, then Chamberlain before marrying Gordon (Bus) Reis on her seventeenth birthday in 1949. To this union three sons were born, Randall (Randy) Reis, Bradley (Brad) Reis and David Reis. Bus and Peggy started their life together working on a rural Gann Valley ranch before moving to a ranch north of Hamill, SD where they lived and worked with their lifelong friend Lowell (Tom) Sawyer. After twelve years, they moved to the present-day Reis Ranch, southwest of Oacoma, at first renting and eventually purchasing the ranch in the early seventies. During this time, Peggy worked the ranch, alongside the men, raising cattle and hogs, milking cows, tending chickens and spending hours in the hay field, all while taking care of the housework and bookwork. Even with all of this work the growing family still found time for fun and the chance to grow even more when they adopted Linda into the fold. As time progressed the ranch became more successful and they brought the sons into the business. Tragically, Randy was killed in an auto accident in December 1977 and Bus died of cancer in April 1980. Peggy, being the strong person, she was, continued operating the ranch with the help of Tom and two sons, Brad and David. In 1989, Peggy retired and erected a new house a half mile from the ranch headquarters. (So, she could keep an eye on things). She scaled down to chickens, a few horses, a few cattle of her own and the occasional goat. But Peggy was always part of the Reis Ranch and provided advice and experience to her children and grandchildren into the final months of her life. Peggy and Tom enjoyed retirement by traveling, visiting friends and watching the grand and great-grandchildren grow. Sadly, Tom passed away in 2010. Peggy stayed on, in her own home, independent until the end, dying on the ranch on March 8, 2019. She is survived by two sons, Brad (Carolyn) Reis of rural Winner, SD and David (Brenda) Reis of rural Oacoma, SD, one daughter, Linda Hensley of Casper, WY, 14 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren and 7 great great-grandchildren, a sister, Coleen Short, Piedmont, SD, a brother, Roland Hickey, Oacoma, SD, multiple nieces and nephews, and her dog Zoey. Preceding her in death were her husband, Bus; her son, Randy; lifelong friend Tom; parents and sister, JoAnn Houser.