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Betty Ann Dirks

On March 25th, 2019 Betty Ann Sehr Dirks, 89, was sent from the loving arms of her family to welcoming arms of her Heavenly family.

Funeral services will be held at Avera Prince of Peace Retirement Community Chapel at 2:00 pm on Thursday, March 28th. A celebration of life reception will follow.

Betty was born on March 10th, 1930 in Sioux Falls, SD to Steven and Elizabeth Sehr. Betty was the eldest and had 6 younger siblings: Teresa, Cletus (deceased), Rose, Howard, Judy and Pat. She graduated from Harrisburg High School in 1948. Her first job was to be a teacher in a one room school house in the Harrisburg area. On April 12th, 1949 she married her high school sweetheart, Herb Dirks. Together they had 6 children: Gary, Monte, Bill (deceased), Betsy, June and Jean.

Herb became a South Dakota Highway patrolman. In 1958, his job took them from Harrisburg to Mobridge, to Tyndall and then back to Harrisburg in 1966. After returning, Betty ran the Dirks Family Grocery store in Harrisburg where the family spent every New Year's Day doing inventory. After selling the store, she worked for 2 years at Harrisburg Grade School as a tutor. From teaching she switched careers and became a salesperson for Sears where she sold sewing machines and vacuums.

In 1976, Herb & Betty moved to Scottsdale, AZ. Betty was able to transfer to a Sears store in Phoenix. Her initial sales position was drapery and carpeting. After months of lugging carpet and fabric sample books that were ½ her size, she gratefully moved to selling furniture. She worked for Sears until she retired. During the winter, Betty & Herb loved having their family visit them in sunny Arizona where they would have barbecues by the pool. Then, they liked getting away from the heat and would spend the whole summer in South Dakota on the Dirks family farm.

After Betty's retirement, they moved to Mountain Brook retirement community in Gold Canyon, AZ where two of Betty's siblings live. After Herb passed away, Betty enjoyed singing in the chorus, attending block parties, painting and going to bible study. She also liked spending time with her family which by now included 16 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren.

In September 2017, Betty moved into Avera Prince of Peace Retirement Community. There she had a cute corner apartment that her daughters helped her decorate. She made many new friends but also enjoyed the friendship of high school chums that were also Avera residents: Margaret, Sally and Vivian.

Betty enjoyed life and never grew tired of new experiences. She liked to keep track of her "Firsts" such as the first time she flew in an airplane, held her 1stgrandchild, saw a hummingbird, went on a cruise. At 65, she hiked Grand Canyon for the first time. For her 80thbirthday, a tandem skydive was her first. She had a joy for life was contagious and made those around her happy.

Betty's family extends their deepest gratitude to the staff at Prince of Peace for their care of her during the last 18 months. To the generous and caring staff at Sanford Hospital and Ava's House, we thank you. They made it possible for each of Betty's children and siblings to visit her during her last days. We appreciated having a place to laugh and cry as a family as we celebrated the beautiful person Betty was.   

Grateful for having a beautiful, loving mother are her children and spouses: Gary (Jennie) Dirks, Monte (Luanne) Dirks, Bill( Tish) Dirks, Betsy (Jim) Denevan, Jean (David) Dirks and June Greenwood. She will be loving remembered by her siblings and their spouses: Teresa (Ron) Eliason, Rose (Ron) Larson, Howard Sehr, Judy (Lee) Omer and Pat (Ron) Nearman. Betty will be missed by all those whose lives she touched including grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and many special friends. Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Herb Dirks (husband), Bill Dirks (son) and Cletus Sehr (brother).

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established at Sanford’s Ava’s House.

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