Ellis Rae Hicks, passed away at the Bennett County Hospital, in Martin, South Dakota, on November 15, 2018. Ellis Rae was born in Martin, on October 21, 1927, to Ellis Roy and Dolores (Wordeman) Hicks. He was the oldest of six children. He attended elementary school at Little White River School. Ellis rode horseback three miles to school. There were 36 pupils in a one room school. He shared a desk with an 8th grader. There were not enough desks for all the kids. He graduated from Bennett County High School in Martin in 1946.
Ellis Rae married Dorothy Mae Kuxhaus on June 25, 1950, the day the Korean War started. He enjoyed telling people two wars started that day and one is still going on.
He enlisted in the United States Air Force in December 1950. He was Honorably discharged in 1953. He came back to the ranch life he loved. On May 29, 1956, E.R. and Dorothy were blessed with a son, Scott.
In 1962, they opened a clothing store in Martin, which they operated for 32 years.
Ellis Rae dearly loved his family, his home and his community. He officiated high school basketball, was a Commercial Club member and served as their president. He was a member of American Legion Post 240 for 64 years and also served as Post Commander and Adjutant. He served on the City Council and was Mayor at one time. He was a Martin Volunteer Fireman for 19 years. He served on the Church Council at Our Redeemers Lutheran Church. He was a supporter of the Martin Community Heritage Center. He served as a LaCreek Electric board member for 30 years. Over the years, he also sold John Hancock Insurance and was a salesperson for the MorMan’s Feed Company.
Ellis Rae is survived by his wife of 68 years, Dorothy; son, Scott, and daughter-in-law, Anita; grandsons, Thad, New Orleans, La. and Drew, Sioux Falls; two granddaughters, Tara (Josh) Fanning and Kyla (Gary) Alexander, both of Martin; and four great-granddaughters, Eden and Aris Fanning, and Zoe and Avery Alexander; his loving sister, Dorothy Bradford; brother, Glenn (Berdella) Hicks; and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins, who were all very special to him.
Services were held at the American Legion Auditorium at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, November 19. Burial was held at the Martin Community Cemetery with Military Honors.
A memorial has been established for the Bennett County Senior Center or the Martin Community Heritage Center. Memorials can be left at the Security First Bank or at Bennett County Funeral Service.