Betty Gutch

Obituary
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Betty Riggs Gutch

Betty Gutch, Sioux Falls, SD, died Thursday, August 21st of 2014. Born December 20th 1919 (one of twins) she is the daughter of Robert I Riggs and Florence Moseley Riggs. She grew up at the Riggs Ranch northwest of Pierre and attended country school through seventh grade. Betty then transferred to the Pierre School System, where she graduated in 1937 from Pierre High School. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Degree from the University of Iowa in 1942.

Betty married Charley F Gutch June 15, 1943 at the family home in Pierre. Together they celebrated their Fiftieth Anniversary in 1993 and Sixty-fifth in 2008. They lived in Pierre, SD, Lincoln, NE, Denver, CO, Salt Lake City, UT, Tucson, AZ and Sioux Falls, SD as Charley continued his career in academic medicine at the various medical schools in these cities.

For several years, Betty's father and Charley's mother lived with them and were cared for in their last years by Charley and Betty.

Since living in Sioux Falls, Betty became interested in the history of the Congregational Church (now called the United Church of Christ). She was on the Advisory Board of the Good Samaritan Center. She has been Chairperson of the Historical Committee of the S.D. Conference of the UCC, President of the Oahe Chapel Preservation Society in Pierre, member of the S.D. Historical Society and member on the Board of Directors of the Center for Western Studies at Augustana College.

Betty has also been a member of the Seventh District Medical Alliance and has been active in the American Association of University Women, being named "Gift Recipient" in 1987. She has been a member of the First Congregational Church of Sioux Falls since 1977, serving on their Board of Deacons.

She has presented numerous papers at the Dakota History Conference covering people and events in the UCC history and stories from her family.

Betty has received several honors: Third Place Award for a paper at the Dakota History Conference in 1987, S.D. Conference of UCC Layperson Award July 1992, S.D. Historical Society Certificate of Recognition in 1995, and the 1996 Dakota History Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Preservation of the History of South Dakota and Dakota Territory.

Survivors include her son, John and his wife, Joanna Gutch, Reno, NV; two granddaughters, Wendi and her husband Mike Connally of Novato, CA and Claire and her husband Greg Mognaga of Castro Valley, CA; five great-grandsons; and her twin sister, Jean M. Fulton of La Junta, CO; as well as many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be 11:00 am Wednesday August 27 at the Halladay-Peterson Chapel of Dow-Rummel Village. Memorials may be directed to First Congregational Church, Center for Western Studies, or SD Historical Society.

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Published in The Argus Leader on Aug. 24, 2014
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