Patty Keoke was born on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation, the oldest of eleven children. Growing up, Patty and her family of four brothers and six sisters lived in a two room house for many years, due to a severe shortage of housing on the reservation. These memories, and an education provided only to those who grow up under these conditions, had planted the seeds of her Habitat involvement early on in her life. Patty graduated from the eighth grade in Chamberlain, South Dakota, and she has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Patty became the Social Services Director here on the Crow Creek Reservation, serving for 15 years in a career that put her finger on the pulse of her community, and again reinforced critical needs on the reservations, especially decent housing.
Patty is married to Bill Keoke, and has three daughters, all whom actively participate in Dacotah Tipis Habitat activities on the Crow Creek Reservation. She retired in 2003 because of her battle with cancer (which has since been in remission), allowing her to continue working with and serving the organization. Recently, Patty has celebrated her 70th Birthday with her large family, hosting a silent auction at their celebration to benefit Dacotah Tipis.
Ask Patty Keoke of chamberlain why she’s been a part of Dacotah Tipis for nearly eighteen years and she’ll tell you she believes that “one of the most important things in life is to have a decent affordable home to live in”. This is why she continues to be an important part of the ecumenical Christian non-profit organization. As a result of that dedication and steadfast determination, Patty was nominated as the affiliate’s “Supporter of the Year” in 2005 and was honored by the affiliate at the Habitat South Dakota Annual Fall Recognition Banquet. Patty was presented with a plaque at the event to show our appreciation for her commitment. Serving as the President of the Board, as the Chair-person of the family support committee, and a member of the family selection committee, she demonstrates what it means to get the job done. She’s a regular at the Board meetings, and has donated resources including her time, talents and money to support the efforts of Dacotah Tipis.
Patty has served on the Board of Directors for Dacotah Tipis on and off for over fifteen years of it’s twenty year history, She remains a committed servant to the community, and hopes to serve for many more years. She and her husband are both Native and are well aware of the housing crisis on the reservations, and having lived for years in Fort Thompson, she is very motivated to do what she can to support the Habitat program there. As is the duty of all Board members, Patti always speaks highly of Dacotah Tipis to others and as a result has enlisted several people from the community to become board members, committee members, and donors. In her spare time, Patty enjoys spending time with her family, and contributing to her favorite charities, most importantly to Dacotah Tipis.