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Vadah Ellyn (Sullivan) Purtell

Vadah Ellyn (Sullivan) Purtell, 85, passed away July 16th at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls. She was born on February 24th, 1926 to Hugh and Pearl (Sigrud) Sullivan in Canton, SD. She went to grade school at Hilltop School and finished the eighth grade in Beloit, Iowa and then graduated from Canton High School in 1944. Vadah worked for a time at the Apparel Shop in Canton. After moving to Sioux Falls, she worked at the Army Air Base where she met her husband, Thomas M. Purtell. They were married on February 8th, 1946. They made their home in Sioux Falls, where they raised their eight children. Vadah worked for a brief period of time for the Wilson Forwarding Co. and the E.J. Gustafson Co. before leaving work to raise the children. She very much enjoyed being a "stay-at-home mom." Vadah was an active member of St. Joseph Cathedral and the Cathedral Clubs and belonged to the Letter Carriers' Association. When the children were older, Vadah worked on a part-time basis for Bel Aire Drug until the effects of Multiple Sclerosis forced her to retire. She also served on the Council of the People with Disabilities during Mayor Jack White's term of office. After the death of her husband, Meg Walsh lived with Vadah and they enjoyed traveling together. Their trips took them to such places as Minnesota, Florida, Tennessee, and Arizona. When Meg Walsh joined the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Vadah moved to the Inn on Westport where she made numerous friends and enjoyed many games of Bridge. She was residing at Good Samaritan Village at the time of her death. Grateful for having shared her life are her children: Susan Parker, Colleen Reichelt, Maureen (Robert) Suga, Vincent (Teresa) Purtell, all of Sioux Falls, Michael (Cindy) Purtell, Rapid City, SD, Steve (Debbie) Purtell, Phoenix, AZ, Patrice (Kevin) Gaulrapp, Lake Crystal, MN, and Todd (Anne Weisensee) Purtell, Woodbury, MN; eighteen grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Tom of forty-eight years, and an infant brother, James Sullivan. Visitation will be Saturday, 10:00 AM at Christ the King Church with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM. Memorials may be directed to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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