Nona Carol Fuerst was born June 15, 1917 to Otto R and Mary (Johnson) Nelson at home in Gann Valley SD. She graduated from Gann Valley High and attended Wessington Springs Junior College prior to beginning a career in elementary school teaching. In 1941, she moved to Foxboro, Mass, to be an office assistant to a family doctor associated with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. After Pearl Harbor, she returned home and then on to Walla Walla AFB, WA. where she worked in Civil Service. She requisitioned supplies for the Army Air Corps who were leaving for overseas duty. When her brother, 1st Lt. Norman Nelson’s plane was shot down on December 22, 1943, she returned to Gann Valley to be with her family. Later, she returned to Philadelphia to again assist the Dr.’s family from Foxboro. There, Nona worked as Director of the key punch department in the Philadelphia Bank & Trust Co.
While in Philadelphia Nona met and married John J. Matecki in 1947. They moved to SD where Nona continued to teach in Jerauld County and worked as the cashier at Habicht’s Department Store. In 1953 they moved to Mitchell where Nona was employed as a secretary to the principal at Longfellow School and the school nurse. She then taught at Beulah #26 and Prosper Center rural schools. When rural schools were closing Nona accepted training and qualified as a National Executive Housekeeper and worked at St. Joseph Hospital in Mitchell, SD. In 1968 Nona completed a medical record course at Michigan State University and qualified as an A.R.I. Nona continued at St. Joseph’s as Director of the Medical Records Department until retirement at the end of 1979. Nona was an active member of Holy Family Catholic Church as a greeter and member of the living rosary, Altar Society, Catholic Daughters and 31 Club. She was a member of the D.A.V. Auxiliary, VFW Auxiliary, American Legion Auxiliary, James Valley Senior Center, Palace City Good Sam Club and Women of the Moose. Nona held several state and local positions for these organizations. Nona loved to travel and did so in the United States and abroad.
In 1990 Nona married Theodore (Ted) Fuerst and continued living in Mitchell, traveling and doing a variety of volunteer activities; Meals on Wheels and driving veterans to doctor appointments at the VA Hospital in Sioux Falls. In 2007 they chose to live at Avera Brady Assisted Living due to health problems.
Nona leaves her two daughters: Dee (Dr. Martin) Halbur, Carroll, IA and Alyce Scheurenbrand, Mitchell; sister-in-law, Henrietta Nelson, Canby, OR; stepson, Myron (Bonnie) Fuerst; three stepdaughters: Jolene Brink, Charlene Harbert, all of Sioux Falls and Shirley Vearier, of Redfield; four granddaughters: Dr. Marie (Dr. Dan) G’Sell, Katherine Halbur, Elizabeth (Collin) Tiefenthaler all of Carroll, IA and Dr. Anna (Brett) Pietig of Carter Lake, IA; seven great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her two husbands, parents, stepmother and six brothers.
Memorials in memory of Nona Fuerst may be directed to the American Cancer Society (4904 D Technopolis Dr., Sioux Falls, SD 57106), DAV Transportaion #7 (%Steve McClure, 1420 N Main, Mitchell, SD 57301) or Avera Brady Assisted Living
(%Veronica Smith, 500 S Ohlman, Mitchell, SD 57301).