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Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Betty by adding your memories and photos.

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Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home

Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home
101 Gerkin
Gregory, SD 57533
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Memories & Candles

“God bless. Will miss you sweet Bets. ♥ ”
1 of 8 | Posted by: Billy Berdingle - Pierre, SD

“Mrs. Devish was my fourth grade teacher in Gregory. She was one of the nicest grade school teachers I had. She truly cared for all of us! She was...Read More »
2 of 8 | Posted by: Lorraine Leslie Besmer - Custer, SD

“I am sorry to hear of Betty's passing. I remember her ready smile and her kindnesses to me and my daughter Kassie. ”
3 of 8 | Posted by: Sarah Nelson - Sturgis, TN

“My deepest sympathies to you all! I had Betty as a teacher at Winner Elementary school. I loved her as a teacher. As I grew to an adult I enjoyed...Read More »
4 of 8 | Posted by: Kara (Klemann) Gregg - winner, SD

“Remembering a great lady. Mom (Opal Bell Carlson) enjoyed time spent with her cousin.KK ”
5 of 8 | Posted by: Juanita Edinger - Rapid City, SD

“My sympathy goes out to your family. I knew Betty when she taught in Winner Elementary and anybody that knew her loved her! She always had a bright...Read More »
6 of 8 | Posted by: Rena Nagel - Winner, SD - Friend

“Mark & Mariann I am so sorry to hear about your mother, she was a wonderful lady, I always enjoyed visiting with her when she came to the office. ...Read More »
7 of 8 | Posted by: Mavis Brickman

“Mary Ann and boys: So sorry to learn that Grandma Betty has passed away. She was a very special lady to me; always so kind! I often felt like she...Read More »
8 of 8 | Posted by: Terri Powell


Theresa Elizabeth Ruth (Betty) Devish was born May 22, 1923. She was the sixth child of George and Theresa (Salzmann) Kenzy. She was born at the farm home near Iona, SD. Her brothers were Sam, Carl, Paul, Leo, and John. She attended school in the community, starting at Iona High School and later graduating from Gregory High School in 1940. She became a certified teacher attending Springfield Teachers College. Elizabeth Kenzy taught at the McKinley School near Iona in 1943. She lived with her parents behind the school, and would get there first to light the wood and coal burning stove.

On August 25, 1950, she married Floyd Devish. To this union joined a son, Mark and a daughter, Mariann. In 1959, Betty cared for her parents in Gregory. Floyd owned the dry cleaners in Gregory until 1962. "Moving west", they made their home in Winner, SD, where Floyd ran the Pheasant Cleaners, and then Modern Cleaners. Betty taught second grade and later Title teaching at West Side Elementary. She spent summers attending USD inVermillion, SD, and then received her Masters in Education. She was a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, and later she was the treasurer for the retired Winner Teachers group in which Arvis Simkins and she managed together. When Floyd passed away in 1978 at the age of 52, she continued to teach until 1991.

She enjoyed traveling to Sioux Falls to help with her grandchildren Michael and Nichole Devish. They loved grandma's mashed potatoes and pies! In 2002, along with her brother Paul from Idaho, Betty moved to Oacoma and Chamberlain, SD, to help with raising her grandsons, Matthew and Marc Schwenk. They too loved grandma's cooking! She to kept her home in Winner, traveling back and forth. Along with her friends and sister-in-laws, she would travel near and far; Betty never meant a stranger. She was also an avid reader, and enjoyed ordering many books,music tapes, and videos from Reader's Digest! In her earlier years, she loved to dance. She was a very kind and gentle soul, loved by her family, friends, cats, especially Shadow, and many former students.

Betty continued to live to the present with her daughter and grandsons in Chamberlain, SD. Her health had declined previously at home, and continued to decline during a short respite care stay at the Aurora-Brule Nursing Home in White Lake, SD, upon her death on October 29, 2016. She had entered hospice care earlier in October.

Betty is survived by her son Mark and wife Mary(Jamison) of Sioux Falls, SD, and her daughter, Mariann Schwenk of Chamberlain, SD. Four grandchildren, Michael of Dallas, TX, Nichole (Casey) Cody of Sioux Falls, Matthew Schwenk, Augustana University, and Marc Schwenk, Chamberlain HS, and six great grandchildren: Averi and Coale Devish, Rylan, Alex, Zachary, and Brooklyn Cody. She is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Pat Kenzy of Platte, SD, and Mary Jane Devish Kaplan of Winner, SD and nephews George Kenzy (Sam) and Roger Kenzy (John), and nieces Beverly, Patty and Michele (Sam), Theresa and Helen (Carl), and Martha, Joan, and Mourene (John).

Preceding her in death were her parents, husband, brothers, and sisters-in-law, Emma Lou (Sam), Esther (Carl), Joy (Paul), and Jeanette (John), nephew Ralph Kenzy and niece Julie Cooley (Leo).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Funeral services for Betty Devish were held Friday, November 4, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. at Christ Lutheran Church in Winner, SD with Pastor Ryan Janke officiating. A prayer service was held Thursday evening at Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home.

Music was provided by Lisa Odenbach, organist and Jim Halverson, soloist, singing "Amazing Grace" and "How Great Thou Art." Congregational hymns were "Beautiful Savior," "On Eagles Wings," "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee," and "Abide with Me."

Theresa (Kenzy) Young and Donna (Holden) Shippy were in charge of registration.

Helen (Kenzy) Vanorny, Beth (Pharris) Johnson, Deb (Shippy) Assman, and Darla (DeKraai) Shippy were in charge of flowers.

Casket Bearers were grandsons Matthew Schwenk, Marc Schwent, Brett Kenzy, George Kenzy, Casey Cody, and Marty Flakus.

Interment was in the Winner City Cemetery, Winner, SD.