Monday, March 1, 2021


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Vernon Traversie

Vernon Fredrick Traversie, 77, of Rapid City, passed away on January 8, 2021 in Rapid City, SD.

Vern was born on June 12, 1943 in Timber Lake, SD to Joseph David Traversie, Sr. and Laura Johnson. At age 3 he moved to LaPlante where he resided until 1959. He attended grade school from 3rd grade until the 8th grade at Old Agency Boarding School until 1959 when he then enrolled in the dorms at Eagle Butte, SD graduating May 1963 with academic honors. He was on the honor roll throughout high school and in his senior year he had all A’s. Vern was athletically gifted as well, lettering in basketball, track and football. He played basketball for 4 years as a CEB Brave and was on varsity top 5 his sophomore, junior, and senior years. He also ran for track for 2 years and played football.

At age 57 he went back to school at the Cheyenne River Community College. Vern earned an Associate’s Degree in Social Work graduating with a 4.0 average. He was a recipient of a $1000 scholarship from the American Indian Higher Education Consortium.

Vern worked for 8 years as a Boys Dorm Matron. He worked for the Tribe as the Tribal Records Manager and spent 6 months as acting Personnel Manager under Chairman Melvin Garreau Sr. He was a volunteer at IHS as a janitor and a driver. In 1991 Vern went to a training center at Sioux San and got an EMT license enabling him to work at the Teton Ambulance Service under the direction of Alta Tiger as an EMT and a driver for 4 months until he lost his vision.

Gifted with a musical ability, he played in country and western bands his entire life. He enjoyed playing the guitar and singing. Vern was a man of strong faith who overcame many obstacles in his life.

Vern moved to Rapid City, SD in October of 2019 and has lived there since.

He was preceded in death by his parents and all siblings: 4 sisters and 5 brothers.

He is survived by his significant other and longtime caretaker Karen Townsend of Rapid City, SD.

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