Wayne Potas, 79, of Meeteetse, died March 28, 2021, after a year of struggle with leukemia at West Park Hospital. His family is grateful that he was able to be at home except for a few short stays in the hospital.
Wayne was born in Chester, S.D., on Dec. 5, 1941, the oldest of three children, to Ray and Edna Potas. He attended Chester School all 12 years and attained a teaching degree in Madison, S. D., and later Master’s degree from Lesley University.
He married Betty Potas on June 3, 1963, and they taught in Garretson, S.D. for one year. Wayne and Betty moved to Meeteetse in the fall of 1964 where Wayne taught business and shop at Meeteetse School. They raised their two sons, Bill and Mike, who learned the love of hunting and the outdoors from their dad.
After teaching in Meeteetse School for 30 years, he retired, and followed his passion for woodworking full time. His construction work involved cabinet work to building houses, including their present home. He also spent many years doing construction work at the Pitchfork Ranch. Later in life, he started carving with a group of friends and has many wonderful pieces displayed in their home. He always had something to build, a craft to teach, and a story to tell.
Family meant a lot to Wayne. Many great memories were made while hunting big game with his sons and hunting birds with his daughter-in-law Molly. When his grandkids Maylee and Max came along, you could see his heart melt when he spent time with them.
Wayne was an active member in the community and involved in many organizations and boards. The Meeteetse Fire Department was the one that he was involved in the longest. Lots of stories could be told about the fun times Wayne and Betty had with wonderful friends from Meeteetse.
He is survived by his wife, Betty, of 57 years, sons Bill Potas of Billings and Mike (Molly) Potas of Meeteetse, grandchildren Maylee and Max Potas, sister Lorna (Mike) Fitzgerald, brother Gene (Linda) Potas, brother-law Ed (Kay) Becker, sisters-in-law Frances Rusher, Jennie Dooley and Pat Petrizzo, and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law Tom (Colleen) Becker.
Rosary services will be held on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 7 p.m. at St. Theresa Church in Meeteetse. Memorial mass will be held at St. Theresa’s on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. with graveside services to follow at the Meeteetse Cemetery. Lunch and fellowship will then take place at the Meeteetse Fire Hall. Masks and social distancing are appreciated at the church services.
An online guestbook is available at BallardFH.com.