Mildene Turpin

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. | Born Jan. 27, 1928 to Orvil and Bertha (Fischer) Weaver in St. Lawrence, SD, Mildene was the youngest of 7 children. She graduated from St. Lawrence High School. She attended Mitchell Business College and after graduation, worked for Mutual of Omaha Insurance in Omaha, NE. She later transferred with this company to Indianapolis, IN.

In 1950, she moved to Rapid City, SD, to live with her sister and worked as a medical transcriber at the Black Hills General Hospital. Mildene met her future husband, Virgil Turpin, on a blind date while he was on leave from the U.S. Army. They were married in Basal, Switzerland in 1960 and lived 3 years near Frankfurt, Germany. It was in Germany where their first daughter, Mary, was born. After returning to the U.S., they relocated in Rapid City where another daughter, Ann, was born. Mildene continued to be a stay-at-home mom. She always had cookies, cakes and pies ready for friends, family and neighbors that stopped by often to visit. She also was a wonderful caretaker for her husband, mother-in-law and many others.

After Virgil’s death in 1993, Mildene began the work God really had planned and prepared her for. She was a loving caretaker to many, as well as a volunteer for many community organizations. This was where she found true happiness. Mildene’s main purpose in life seemed to be “what can I do for someone else”. She had a great compassion for the elderly, sick and dying, and spent much time volunteering and visiting those in nursing care.

She was a regular volunteer for the Blood Bank, Rescue Mission, Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, RSVP and other organizations. Mildene’s favorite job was serving ice cream at Clarkson Nursing Home, where she served ice cream, hugs, smiles and conversation each Sunday for more than 25 years. She was known by all as “The ice cream lady”. She received many special awards through the years and was awarded “The South Dakota Health Care Association Volunteer of the Year” in 2012.

Mildene was a member of Blessed Sacrament Church, the VFW Auxiliary and Canyon Lake Senior Center.

Mildene enjoyed her family, church, music, dancing, gardening, playing cards and ice cream! She mostly loved her family and friends. Mildene moved to California in 2018 to enjoy a warmer climate and to be with family. She made many friends in her new home as well.

Those grateful to have shared her life are her two daughters, Mary Luter (Brook), Bakersfield and Ann Terry (Daron), Nampa ID; grandchildren, Sarah, Matthew, Jacob, Collin, Andrew, and Alison; many adored nieces and nephews; as well as friends who are like family. Those preceding her in death include her husband, Virgil; parents, Orville and Bertha Fischer; brothers, Melvin, Clarence, Mike and Darrow; and sisters, Mildred (Davis) and Marie (Kemper).

Viewing will be from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24, at Kirk Funeral Home, 1051 E. Minnesota St., in Rapid City.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 4500 Jackson Blvd., in Rapid City. A reception will follow at the church. Interment will be at 1:30 p.m. at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, SD. All family and friends are invited.

In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established at Blessed Sacrament Church, Canyon Lake Senior Center and Storybook Island or to the charity/organization of your choice.

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