Marcella B. Kissack, age 80 of Spearfish, died Saturday, April 20, 2013 at the Belle Fourche Healthcare Center.
Celebration of life services will be held 10 am Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 at the Christian Life Center in Belle Fourche, with Rev. Paul Howard officiating.
Visitation will be held 9 am to 7 pm Tuesday, with the family present from 4 to 7 pm, at Funeral Home of the Northern Hills in Belle Fourche. At 7 pm there will be a public prayer service.
Interment will take place in the Rosehill Cemetery, in Spearfish.
A memorial has been established.
Marcella Bernice Teller was born October 14, 1932 to Lloyd and Bernice (Van Sickle) Teller on the homestead ranch south of Red Elm, SD. She attended grade school at the Lewis Country School with her older brother, Stanley and her sister, Doris. She told of the times that Stanley, Doris, and she would ride horses to school or ride in the wagon with her folks. The Teller children were baptized Lutheran and attended a country church until later then attended Bethel Lutheran Church in Faith as a family. Marcella attended high school in Dupree, SD; she graduated in 1950 with academic honors. After high school graduation, she attended Black Hills Teachers College and obtained a two -year teaching certificate. She went back to the Faith area and taught her younger brothers and sister; Kenny, Jerry, and Gloria in the Lewis school. During her time in Spearfish, she met Phillip D. Kissack and they were married on December 21, 1952 in Dupree, SD. Phil and Marcella lived in Spearfish Valley on the farm and ranch that was homesteaded by Phil’s grandfather, John Claude Kissack. Two children were born to Phil and Marcella; one daughter, Karen, and a son, Phil Jr. The Kissack’s worked hard as they raised crops of field and sweet corn, alfalfa, wheat, oats, and most of all, potatoes. In addition, they raised cattle, sheep, and horses. Marcella was extremely instrumental in helping Phil raise potatoes from planting, to cultivating, to irrigating, to harvesting as well as helping Karen and Phil Jr. with their 4-H projects.
The Kissack’s were recognized as the top producer of potatoes in the state of South Dakota in May 1976. Marcella was also known for her huge garden which she raised every year; she always had Karen and Phil Jr. help her plant the garden the last day of school. All of the garden produce was either sold, given away, canned or frozen for future use. During potato harvest, Marcella would cook for the many people who would come to the farm and help with the potato harvest which usually lasted about a week. It was nothing for her to feed 20-30 people an evening, providing them with delicious home-style cooking and baking.
The Kissack home was always a welcoming environment for neighbors, friends, and family to stop in, some on a daily basis. Marcella always had the coffee warm and was known for the bread, cakes, and pies she made so lovingly. Sunday dinners were a special day with large dinners being prepared for family and friends. Marcella was also known for the dozens of cookies and batches of homemade candy she made at Christmas; her specialties being divinity and peanut brittle. She was excited to assemble boxes of her baked goods for delivery to the Police Department, City Hall, the school, family members but especially to home-bound friends. She also opened her home to the many people who needed a place to stay for a day or two, a couple of weeks, or longer. Marcella was also instrumental in helping Phil Sr. with his magic acts; they traveled the state of South Dakota, performing a 2 ½ hour show for different organizations.
In 1969, Marcella went back to college, earning a degree in Elementary Education from Black Hills State College in 1972; again graduating with honors and named to the Dean’s List. She was the first child in her family to have graduated from college. In September 1976, Marcella suddenly lost her beloved husband, Phil. With her son taking over the farm and ranch operation, Marcella began working for the Spearfish City Campground as manager beginning in the summer of 1977. With the assistance of Karen, Marcella worked for the City of Spearfish for 29 years as manager of the campground. It is through this work that Marcella made many, many friends throughout the United States and Canada. She became know as “Ma”, “Mum”, and “Mom” by the various bikers who attended the Bike Rally throughout the years; several said she was “Queen of the Campground” and her word was “law”.
Marcella always welcomed each and every person who came to the campground with a beautiful smile and gracious hospitality. In the fall of 1977, Marcella began her teaching career of 20 years in the Dupree School District; there she taught 7th, 3rd, and 2nd grade. She was known as being a “tough” teacher but her students loved her.
In 2010, a shoulder injury placed her in the Belle Fourche Health Care Center. She continued to make some very special friends during her stay there. Marcella enjoyed reading, listening to country music, crafts, drives through the Black Hills and making quilts with her sister, Doris. After their mother, Bernice Teller, passed away, Marcella and Doris made over 50 teddy bears out of Grandma’s clothes for each son and daughter of their mom; each grandchild, and each great-grandchild. Watching the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) was her favorite sport to watch; seldom would something interfere with her watching the PBR. She also enjoyed watching enjoyed football, basketball, and baseball as well. She loved to watch the Kentucky Derby and would even place a bet with Karen on who would win! She was always excited to hear how well Dane performed with his tie-down calf roping and was extremely proud of his successes.
Thankful for sharing Marcella’s life are: her daughter, Karen Kissack of Spearfish; son Phil (Terri) of Spearfish; 3 grandchildren: Jesse Beesley of Willow Park, TX; Bille Jo Beesley of Fort Worth, TX, and Dane Kissack of Spearfish. She is also survived by siblings: Doris Frankfurth of Faith; Kenny (Donna) Teller of Faith; Jerry (KJ) Teller of Hermosa; Gloria (Jim) English of Prescott Valley AZ; sisters-in-law, Millie Kissack of Rozet, WY; Lorraine Teller of Piedmont SD; 35 nieces and nephews and their spouses and families.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Lloyd Teller (1970), Bernice Teller (1999); her husband, Phillip Kissack Sr. (1976); her brother, Stanley, (2012), and a niece, Jodi Lynn Teller(1981).