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Cancer gave Mitchell woman chance to share her faith

Infectious laughter and a helping hand both describe one of Mitchell's most positive people, according to the Rev. Keith Nash.

Roxane DeVries, 52, died of cancer Monday, but she made sure her uplifting attitude toward life lived on.

DeVries was diagnosed last year with a brain tumor, said Nash, who is head pastor at Mitchell Wesleyan Church, which DeVries' attended with her husband, David.

"I can't talk about Roxie without talking about her deep confidence that her life was in God's hands," Nash said Thursday morning.

He said DeVries spent her final month or so at the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls enjoying the fellowship of the staff and visitors. She said she didn't want to waste her last days on Earth, and asked everyone who visited her to read a devotional with her.

"She didn't want to be sick, but she said to me, 'Cancer isn't all bad. So much good has come out it,' " Nash said.

He said DeVries meant not only the visiting she engaged in, but that she got to talk with so many about God and her deep faith.

DeVries was born and raised in Mitchell. She and David were married and lived in Mitchell. She worked at Toshiba America Information Systems in Mitchell for more than 25 years.

Earlier in 2013, before her diagnosis, DeVries and her husband were working on a plan to do more mission work in India, Nash said. According to her obituary, which published in Thursday's edition of The Daily Republic, DeVries requested any memorials be sent to the missions project they were associated with in India.

What really defined DeVries in her final days, according to Nash, were not only her infectious laughter and her deep faith, but also her radiant smile. Nash said DeVries had a big smile on her face the day after she moved to Dougherty Hospice House.

"She said, 'People here are so nice to me and they are treating me so royally. I've told them I'm never going to leave here,' " Nash said.

DeVries' funeral is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Friday at Mitchell Wesleyan Church. She will be buried in Graceland Cemetery on the north end of Mitchell.