Norma Jean Van Sickel

Norma Jean (Palmer) Van Sickel was born in Faith, SD, on June 28, 1931, to Grace Alverda (Murphy) Palmer and LeRoy Vern Palmer. She was 1 of 12 children, growing up in the Red Owl, SD, area.
    Jean married Gale “Jack” Van Sickel on January 17, 1948. They lived most of their lives around Faith and Sturgis, SD, areas. To this union, 5 children were born:  Galen Van Sickel, Aletha (Paul) Adcock, Terry Van Sickel, Velta (Rich) Grosch, and Jerry Van Sickel.
     Jean worked as a waitress at the Westerner Café, as a dental assistant to Dr. Robert Woods, DDS, Ft. Meade Food Service, Dr. Hines and Watson, DO., and Wal-Mart, retiring from Wal-Mart after working for the company 19 years. She loved all the jobs she had and did them well. Her love for people showed in all that she did when she provided service to the people she encountered in her various jobs. In between and around these jobs, she and Jack started traveling south for the winter months.
    A feat that Jean was very proud of was completing her GED and obtaining her high school diploma around 1971. She then went on to complete 2 years of clerical school at the Sturgis Vo/Tech.
    She was a member of the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life, Sturgis Community Hospital Auxiliary, the Sturgis/Meade County Senior Citizen Center, VFW Auxiliary, the Button & Bows Club, TOPS SD#105 club, and the Red Hats of Sturgis. Jean was a baptized member of the Sturgis Church of Christ, but had many friends of all denominations of faith.
    Jean was also an avid seamstress, making all of her children’s clothing and lots of western shirts (without patterns) for many in the family.  Later, she had various other hobbies such as card playing, crochet, knitting, card making, and fun crafting, which she continued to do and share with the residents of the Sturgis Nursing home until a stroke in 2017 caused her to be unable to do her crafts.
    Jean was a very determined soul, loving life and all that it had to offer, including her 8 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. In 1949, she was a polio victim survivor and in 1972, she became a cancer survivor. Even though she was dealt these health challenges, she never let it stop her and she kept on smiling.  She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
    Jean, 87, Sturgis, died Monday, September 17, 2018, in the Lippold Hospice Suite at Sturgis Regional Hospital.
     Jean is survived by her husband of 70 years, Jack; her children, Galen Van Sickel of St. George UT, Aletha (Paul) Adcock of Hermosa, SD, Velta (Rich) Grosch of Whitewood, SD, and Jerry Van Sickel of Lake Powell, UT; sisters, June Tennis and Darliene Keffeler; and numerous nephews and nieces.
     Jean was preceded in death by a son, Terry Van Sickel; her parents; brothers, Floyd, Jim, Dave, and Glenn; sisters, Dorothy Ypperilla, Alverda Wall, Ellen Talley, Larayne Clem, and Marjo Speakman; and several nephews and nieces.
    The family would like and encourage any Red Hatters to wear their Red Hat attire should they feel so inclined. She loved the Red Hatters and dressing up for their events, which was evidenced by the many fancy Red Hats and articles of clothing still in her room at the nursing home.
    A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, September 22, 2018, at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis with Pastor Ozzy McDaniel officiating.  Committal services will be 10:00 a.m. Monday, September 24, at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.
    Memorials have been established to the Meade County Citizen Center and the Lippold Hospice Unit in Sturgis, SD.
    Condolences may be sent to the family at

The Pioneer Review

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