Alice Bleha, 106, of Highmore, passed away Monday, March 17, 2014 at Highmore Health in Highmore.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 a.m., Friday, March 21, 2014 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Highmore with Father Paul Nereparmpil, celebrant. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Highmore. A wake service will be 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 20, 2014 at the church.
Alice Louise O’Rourke was born on November 10, 1907, to Charles and Julia (Holmes) O’Rourke at home in Peno Township of Hyde County. She attended all eight grades at the Peno rural grade school and went on to graduate from Highmore High School. From there she attended Black Hills State Teachers College where she received her one-year teaching certificate.
She taught for 10 years at several rural schools in Hyde County.
She met her future husband, Leo Bleha, at a house dance and they were married on June 17, 1940. Their first home was at the Max Kusser place where Leo worked as a farmhand. In 1943 they moved to Highmore and Leo went into the trucking business. Their only child, Marian Charlene (Chere’) was born in 1946. In 1949 they built a new house and operated Bleha Trucking until 1972 when Leo retired and sold the business.
Alice was very active in St. Mary’s Catholic Church and was a 69-year member of Court Little Flower #1054, a Catholic Daughters of America church group of St. Mary’s. Alice enjoyed sewing, gardening, and raising flowers—providing many flowers for the church. She and Leo moved to Pierre in 1989 and lived there until 2000 when they moved into assisted living in Miller. Leo passed away in 2002 and in July of 2006 Alice moved to Highmore Health where she lived until her death.
Alice is survived by her daughter, Chere’ (Jerry) Gavin of Pierre; two grandchildren, Michele (Melvin) Odens of Willmar, MN and Jerry (Renae) Durfee of Canby, MN; five great-grandsons, Patrick (Lisa) Odens, Thomas Odens, Christopher Odens, Adam Durfee, and Zachary Durfee; one sister, Lorna Tomter of Mesa, AZ; and many nieces and nephews. Alice also had a wonderful “nursing home family” who loved her, laughed with her, and cared for her.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Leo; six brothers; three sisters; and son-in- law, Mike Durfee.
Luze Funeral Home of Highmore has been entrusted with Alice’s arrangements. Visit www.familyfuneralhome.net
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