Gettysburg, SD

Vera Mae Nauman

Vera Mae (Pageler) Nauman, “Peggy” 94, of Gettysburg, SD, died Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012. Vera Mae died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack in Bismarck, ND. She had happily moved into a very nice assisted living apartment only 10 days prior. She had said, “I hope I live long enough to enjoy this.”

Vera Mae was cremated and a memorial will be held in Gettysburg in the spring when family and friends will be able to gather.

Born Jan. 4, 1918, in Gregory, SD, to Paul M. and Hannah (Miles) Pageler, Vera Mae was the eldest with two brothers. Raised and educated in Gregory, Vera Mae was recruited by a student named Ralph A. Nauman to attend Dakota Wesleyan College in Mitchell. She worked in the business office of the college to help pay for her education.

On Oct. 29, 1939, Vera Mae and Ralph A. Nauman of Gettysburg were married in Gregory.

Ralph’s career led them to Sioux Falls where he was District Athletic Director of the National Youth Association, then to Detroit, MI, and Pembina, ND, where he worked for the Federal Immigration and Naturalization Services stationed on the Canadian border. Their seven years with the INS were interrupted by his service in WWII. By that time Vera Mae was raising the first two of their six children.

In 1948 the family moved to Gettysburg, following the death of Ralph’s father, so that they could operate the family farm. Vera Mae was always active in the community; a member of the Methodist Church, Women’s Literary Club, Bridge Club, Grey Ladies (assisting nursing home residents), and delivered Meals on Wheels. She was a partner with her husband in the family farm. Vera Mae was primarily a homemaker.

Vera Mae and Ralph had many lasting friendships from high school and college classmates to co-workers in the INS, people they met on their travels, in their Gettysburg community and throughout the state.

Vera Mae and Ralph traveled extensively throughout their life together, including many foreign trips. Vera Mae was an extremely accomplished seamstress; she sewed beautiful clothes for herself and her children, and business suits for Ralph. She once won a sewing contest for Vogue pattern of New York. She hosted many dinner parties in their home for friends and business and political colleagues. She always raised a large vegetable garden at the farm in addition to the many beautiful flowers in her yard.

Vera Mae was artistic in many aspects from flower arranging and sewing to gourmet cooking; she was so very hard working, from raising six children to refurbishing and remodeling an older home. She did it all, she wasn’t one to ask for help.

In later years Vera Mae worked crossword puzzles, and she continued to keep up on world and political events reading newspapers, magazines and watching her favorite PBS programs.

Vera Mae was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Ralph Arthur in February of 2007, her two brothers Miles Pageler and Bernie Pageler.

Vera Mae is survived by and much loved by her children: son Dennis Jan (Jo Ellen) of Fairfield Glade, TN; daughter Susan Carol (Larry) Jackson of Gillette, WY; son Ralph Craig (Arlinda) of Moscow, ID; daughter Marian Paula (Gordon) Binek of Mandan, ND; son Kent Reagan (Pornthip) of Gettysburg; and daughter Beverly Ann (Mark) Berdahl, Kenai, AK; 16 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Vera Mae’s ashes will be interred at the Gettysburg Cemetery.