Joanita ‘Jeeta’ Kant - Brookings


Jan. 4, 1947 - March 29, 2021

Joanita Mary “Jeeta” Kant, 74, of Brookings, passed away Monday, March 29, 2021, under hospice care. Jeeta wished that no services be held at this time. Rude’s Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangments.
Joanita Mary “Jeeta” Kant was born on Jan. 4, 1947, at Luther Hospital in Watertown, SD, the daughter of Harlan R. and Caroline H. (Schaack) Kant.  
An older sister, Karen Ann Kant Lamport had been born in 1944, and a younger sister, Michele Manette Kant Caspers, was born in 1950.  
She attended the following grade schools through second grade in Watertown, Sioux Falls and Portland, Oregon:  Garfield, Hawthorne, St. Mary’s and Cathedral.  In third grade, she transferred to Immaculate Conception School in Watertown where she attended through ninth grade.  She then graduated from Watertown High School in 1965.
 She attended Northern State Teachers College (now Northern State University) in 1968-1969, then transferred to the University of South Dakota where she graduated with a B.S. degree in Sociology Education in 1972.  She earned an M.S. degree in Geography in 2008 at South Dakota State University.  She served at SDSU as an AmeriCorps VISTA in 2009-2010.  
In 2013, she earned a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences with plant science specialization from SDSU, followed by post-doctoral studies in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at SDSU in 2014-2015.  She worked as a research scientist in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at SDSU from 2015 to 2018.  She wrote or edited several books and published many articles in professional journals and proceedings on a wide range of topics over several decades.  
Research interests included South Dakota history; Hutterian Brethren; heavy metals concentrations in soil, water, and plants on Pine Ridge Reservation; ethnography of Rosebud Reservation; and education outreach to first-generation college students.  From the early 1990’s to 2017, she served as a South Dakota Humanities Scholar on their Speakers Bureau circuit.
She was an avid art collector, and the collection is housed at the South Dakota Art Museum at SDSU in Brookings. Favorite pursuits included riding horses, fishing, and hunting ducks and geese.
Her daughter, Michele Kant Fisher was born at Britton, SD, on Nov. 8, 1976, and preceded her in death in 2014 in Sioux Falls, SD.  She was also preceded in death by her parents of Watertown, and grandparents of Watertown and Vancouver, WA.
“Jeeta” is survived by two sisters and a brother-in-law (Peter M. Caspers), three nephews (Lance Lamport, Nicholas Caspers and Curtis Caspers) and a niece (Kara Lamport Duven) of Aberdeen, SD and Bismarck, ND areas.
Memorials may be directed to local humane societies and anti-bullying programs at your local schools, particularly Watertown Middle and High School
Condolences may be sent to the family through www.rudesfuneralhome.com.

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