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Vel Raben

January 28, 1932 - February 20, 2011

Service Date February 28, 2011

A private family memorial service will be held at a later date.

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Vel Raben, 79, passed away Sunday evening, February 20, 2011, at Rapid City Regional Hospital following a valiant medical battle. Vel was born on January 28, 1932, in Woonsocket, SD, to Howard and Amy (Trow) Hegg. Growing up on the family farm, she developed a fierce work ethic that she maintained throughout her life. Vel graduated from Huron High School in 1949; and, after completing her education at Northern State University, she moved to Rapid City where she was employed by Rushmore Mutual Life Insurance Company. In 1952, she married Gilbert Raben, and together they founded Raben Design Construction and Raben Real Estate in 1966 where she continued to work until her death. Vel was intensely devoted to her family and her business and managed both with ease, organization, and grace. She spent her life caring, giving, and loving. Vel is survived by her beloved husband, Gil Raben of Rapid City; daughter, Diane Rayner (John) of Box Elder; granddaughter, Brittany McKenzie and grandson, Anthony Rayner, of Box Elder; step-grandsons John Rayner, Jr. and Andrew Rayner of Aurora, CO, and Joe Rayner (Alicia) of Whiteman AFB, MO; her sister, Arlene Wessel (Irving) of Huron, sister-in-law, Julie Raben of Rapid City; three nieces, Katherine Trummer of Kansas City, MO, Sandra Peters of Maplewood, MN, and Laurie Fenske of Tucson, AZ; numerous great nieces and nephews; and her dear friend, Hilda Locke of Spearfish. Vel was preceded in death by her parents, her nephew, Bruce Wessel, her great nephew, Matthew Wessel, and her mother- and father-in-law, Eleanor and Melvin Raben.

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