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Adele (Brown) Treis

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Memories & Candles

“She will forever have touched my heart a truly selfless and amazing soul,never a bad or negative thing to say in life. And she was so dedicated to...Read More »
1 of 6 | Posted by: Debbie Shearer

“Mom was a very generous, giving person. She always stood by her family and never gave up on any of us. She set examples for us and expected great...Read More »
2 of 6 | Posted by: Marsha Treis Smith - Juneau, AK

“Moving to Great Falls, and away from my family for the first time, was made much easier because of Adele. I remember her fondly and lovingly,...Read More »
3 of 6 | Posted by: Carol Hauff - Rapid City, SD

“We will miss you very much. Kisses from Nakya. Love you! ”
4 of 6 | Posted by: Trina - Granddaughter

“I feel so blessed to have had Grandma Treis for a few months before her passing. I loved hearing her stories. My kids and I will miss her a lot and...Read More »
5 of 6 | Posted by: Nancy Fox - Granddaughter

“On behalf of the French Family of Companies we express our deepest condolences. ”
6 of 6 | Posted by: Dave Slaten - Albuquerque, NM


TREIS - Adele Brown Treis, 92, passed on January 24, 2011. She was born July 30, 1918, to Joseph and Eloise (Trimble) Brown at Interior, SD. The family lived in Washabaugh County until moving to Kadoka in 1927. Adele attended Washabaugh and Kadoka schools and in 1940 received a BS degree in Home Economics from South Dakota State College at Brookings, SD. She taught one year at Quinn, SD then entered the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a home economist and teacher. In 1944, she married Joseph W. Harrell of Dupree, SD, and later divorced. In 1952, she married Martin Treis of Elbowoods, ND. After serving 24 years teaching and working with many students on Indian reservations, including Pine Ridge and Cheyenne River in South Dakota, the Northern Cheyenne reservation in Montana, and the Fort Berthold reservation in North Dakota, Adele transferred to the position of teacher supervisor at the Mt. Edgecumbe School for Natives at Sitka, Alaska where she worked 11 years.

Upon retiring in 1977, she moved with her husband to Great Falls, MT. After her husband died in 1992, she moved to Kent, WA, and then in 2010 to Albuquerque, NM, where she was living at the time of her death. Surviving are daughters, Sandra (Dennis) Fox of Albuquerque, NM, and Marsha (Carlton) Smith of Juneau, AK; son Ted Ecker of Moab, UT; stepsons Martin Treis Jr. (Elaine), of Great Falls, MT, and Leonard Treis (Ruby), of Las Vegas, NV; sisters, Florence Hogen of Kadoka, SD, and Doris Rock of Spearfish, SD; six grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and her brothers Joe and Edwin Brown.

A section of the South Dakota Historical Collections entitled Educated Sioux written in about 1945 stated the following about Adele:

Mrs. Harrell is a valuable employee in the Education Division of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Her promotions have been consistent and rapid at the Pine Ridge Agency, and her relations both with the public and with personnel contribute much to the systematic operation of the educational program among the Indians. Adele’s attractive personality and good sense make her a natural leader in her area. The development of Indian people in the demonstration of their ability to assimilate the educational opportunities of the country generally, is in no way better demonstrated than by Adele’s achievement. The ability of Adele to get through school, being one of the first women from Pine Ridge to graduate with a four year degree -if not the first and largely on her own effort, and to successfully hold the positions which she has had, attest to the capacity of Indian people to take a responsible part in the affairs of the neighborhood.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Lucy Trimble Scholarship Fund at P. O. Box 260, Manderson, SD 57756.

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