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Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Ruth 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

“Dear Taggart Family, Please accept my deepest sympathy in the loss of your Precious Mom. I will never forget the many trips with the fuel truck out...Read More »
1 of 7 | Posted by: Glenn Sealey - Colome, SD

“My condolences to the Taggart Family. I remember your mother as always smiling and laughing. I wish you best in this time of your loss. Best...Read More »
2 of 7 | Posted by: Jerry Stritecky - South Jordan, UT

“Oh, how us Blomstrom cousins loved visiting the Taggart farm in our youth (all 12 of us, in shifts as I recall). I remember the endless laughter,...Read More »
3 of 7 | Posted by: Marva Smith - Gillette, WY

“My sincere sympathies go out to the family. Ruth was such a caring happy person who will be dearly missed. I enjoyed her uplifting personality. ”
4 of 7 | Posted by: Amy Meinen - Gregory, SD - Friend

“I will remember her most for her wonderful infectious laugh which she passed on to all her children ”
5 of 7 | Posted by: Roger Wonnenberg - Winner, SD

“Such wonderful memories of being on the farm, loved those days, they always went too quickly. Aunt Ruthie was always so welcoming and loving. God...Read More »
6 of 7 | Posted by: bobbi casey - hood river, OR

“Maureen & Alice.... I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. I remember her fondly. When we were growing up, she was always the "funny"...Read More »
7 of 7 | Posted by: Nancy Schoen (Drees) - SD


Ruth Elizabeth (Peitz) Taggart was born in Winner, SD on December 6, 1935. She was the fourth of seven children born to William and Betty (Bruce) Peitz.

Growing up on the farm Ruth enjoyed walking to school with her brothers and sisters and playing with the neighbor girls. Her imagination for "make believe" was a great characteristic of Ruth's creativity.

Ruth graduated from Colome High School in 1953. After high school she worked at The Winner Advocate. She loved her job and was good at it. Fate had different plans for her though as she soon met Paul Taggart, her love of 60 years. They married on November 12, 1955 and moved to Paul's family farm northwest of Dallas, SD and raised five children. She was a wonderful wife, mother, and business partner. Ruth was active in her children's school activities as well--serving as fund raiser and chaperone for various high school events. She never missed a wrestling match, baseball, football, or basketball game.

In 1980 Paul and Ruth along with the help of their five kids began one of the first commercial pheasant hunting operations in SD. They named it P&R Hunting Lodge. It was a great success and she took great pride in nurturing it. Her grandchildren grew up watching and learning from her. They will all tell you she was a great influence in shaping their lives today.

Ruth was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church. Her favorite saying was "You must walk through glass to get to mass".

In 2010, Paul and Ruth moved from the farm and retired in Gregory, SD. From here she followed the grandkids in their sports activities. She was also a huge NFL fan and was always following her favorite teams and had great fun placing wagers on the game. She was an accomplished breadmaker and made it her duty to make sure that everyone got a taste. Her blue Lincoln car was fondly called the "blue bread buggy." If you saw it, you can be sure she was delivering some warm rolls to someone. When asked why she did it, she would reply, "Because I want too."

Ruth passed away, after a short illness, on Ash Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, at the age of 80 years.

Ruth is survived by her husband, Paul Taggart, now residing at the Rosebud Country Care Center; five children, daughter Maureen (Curt) Geveshausen, Kimball, SD, son Patrick (Rita) Taggart, Dallas, SD, daughter Alice (Eddie) Shaffer, Gregory, SD, son David (Mona) Taggart, Gregory, SD, and Denise (Steve) Higgins, Winner, SD; eleven grandchildren John (Andrea) Taggart, Greg (Kristen) Richey, Christina (Ted) Hilleson, Angela Shaffer, Michael Richey, Diana (Isaac) Dobrovolny, Kelli Higgins (fiancé Craig Crisp), Kyle Higgins, Andrew Taggart, Paul Taggart, and Ryan Taggart; nine great-grandchildren Stella and Jameson Taggart, Luke, Jake and Kohl Richey, Abby, Emma, and Jack Hilleson, and Kyson Crisp. She is also survived by two brothers Paul of Brooklyn Park, MN, and Jim of Portland, OR, and one sister Mary Jean Busby, Greeley, CO.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers Clarence and William, and a sister Alice Blomstrom.

Rest in peace, Mom, We Love You.

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

Funeral services for Ruth Taggart, 80, were held Saturday, February 20, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Gregory with Father Godfrey Muwanga as Celebrant. A prayer service was held Friday evening at the church.

Peggy Schwartz and Lois Kruse were in charge of registration.

Music was provided by Katie Opp, pianist, and the St. Joseph Choir. Musical selections were "Be Not Afraid," "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say," "I am the Bread of Life," "Song of Farewell," and "Come to Me."

Lector was Christina Hilleson. Eucharist Minister was Rita Taggart.

Altar Servers were Allison Ekroth and Ivy Ekroth.

Gift Bearers were Angela Shaffer, Kelli Higgins, and Diana Dobrovolny.

Pallbearers were Ruth's grandsons Greg Richey, Michael Richey, John Taggart, Ryan Taggart, Andrew Taggart, Paul Taggart, and Kyle Higgins.

Honorary Casket Bearers were Ruth's granddaughters and great-grandchildren.

Burial was in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Gregory, SD.