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Nola Jean Custis

Nola Jean (Fairchild) Custis passed away on January 10, 2022 at the Good Samaritan Society facility in Scotland, SD. She was 97 years old.

Nola, known by friends and family as “NJ” was born to John Elkanah (JE) and Gladys (Hartung) Fairchild on October 10, 1924 in Sioux Rapids, Iowa. Nola graduated from Sioux Rapids High School in 1943 and went on to study elementary education at Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, Iowa. There she met a persistent pursuer just out of WWII who often said on first sight of her, he knew he had found the “corn fed” Iowa girl he longed for. Kenneth (Doc) and Nola were married on February 2, 1947 in Sioux Rapids, Iowa and spent 71 years together. Nola’s vocations included being an elementary grade school teacher, telephone operator, manager of her husband’s veterinarian practice, as well as being a full-time mom and grandmother.

Nola was a loving wife, mom, grandmother and great -grandmother! She had a huge heart, great smile and always made family first. NJ enjoyed years of cross stitching, embroidery and eventually transitioned her talents to making some very awesome quilts. On more than one occasion utilizing the patience of Doc to drive over half of eastern SD looking for that special material!

Nola was an active member of the VFW and took great pride in starting the Avenue of Flags for the annual Memorial Day event in Scotland. Nola was a talented singer, who used that talent for countless funerals and weddings including her children’s. Doc and NJ left no stone unturned when it came to dancing and upon coaxing, would show off her tap-dancing talent to her kids and grandkids.

Nola was preceded in death by her husband, parents and brothers, Gordon and Gerald.

She is survived by her brother, Dennis Fairchild of Mosinee, Wisconsin; children, Dan (Linda) of Custer, SD, Dave (Bobbie) of Gillette, WY and Holly (Randy) of Cheyenne, WY; grandchildren, Trent (Kelly) of Dallas, TX, Tyler (Megan) Vermillion, SD, Sadye of Sioux Falls, SD and Savana and Shaelee of Gillette, WY; great-grandchildren, Knox and Brooks of Vermillion, SD and Charlotte and Henry of Dallas, TX.

A celebration of Doc and NJ’s lives will be in the spring, with interment at the Black Hills National Cemetery outside Sturgis, SD.

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Nola was such a kind person. She and Doc were very kind to me when I taught in Scotland and we're good friends of my parents Dr. And Mrs. Glen Duncan. Cherish your memories.

Mary Kreber Jan 24 2022 7:09 PM

Dear Dan, Dave and Holly, So sorry to hear of your mother's death. As a classmate of Dan's I remember how active she was in her children's lives. May Day Baskets were delivered in Kindergarten (and I don't think anyone was forgotten). That took a lot of work! Your parents were quite remarkable people and Scotland benefited because of them.

Caryl Abbott Jan 16 2022 6:30 AM

My sympathy to Nola's family at this sad time. I remember so well her sweet personality at Holly's birthday slumber parties. They were a lot of fun

Lisa Pravecek Balvin Jan 14 2022 2:18 PM

We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family of Nola. She will be remembered by many in the community as an active member of the VFW Auxiliary. She made it her goal to honor the members of the military especially those who gave their all in serving our country. Doc and Nola hold a special place in our hearts. God Bless and comfort you as you celebrate the life of one so dear.

Marvin and Agnes Thum Jan 14 2022 1:02 PM