Friendship that is standing the distance and decades

John and Marsha Wiese wrap up their latest visit with Keith Kerruish, (center) a friend made decades ago when John and Keith were both students at SDSU. The two have kept in touch all of these years, with frequent visits by Keith from his home in the Isle of Man to Moody County.

It is a long way between the Isle of Man in the British Isles and Flandreau, South Dakota. The trip is one that Keith Kerruish knows well, however. He’s been coming to visit roughly every other year since 1969, a guest of John and Marcia Wiese.
Wiese and Kerruish met that year as the two attended South Dakota State University, both young students then, studying in the field of agriculture. They hit it off then and have remained close friends, despite the distance, ever since. Kerruish, in fact, has just returned home as this issue comes out, after his latest two week visit. The three spent time in and around Moody County, visiting with others that Kerruish has gotten to know over time, in Brookings on campus and with a former professor, in Aberdeen where the three went to watch a student here on scholarship from the Isle of Man practice pole vault for Northern University, in Mobridge, Eagle Butte, and at the Fort Thompson Dam, as well as other various stops west river.
It’s Moody County though that he continues to come home to when he is back to visit.
“I want to tell you what’s special about Flandreau,” said Kerruish, with a smile. “My grandchildren came, we went to Chicago, we went downtown, we went to the Hills, Custer, the campus at SDSU and I said to my granddaughter Katie, what’s the best thing about the U.S. and she said, ‘The Spot in Flandreau.’”
He and the others around the table that night, laughed as he recounted the story. But the places and people in the area are to be treasured, he reassured everyone.
Kerruish has traveled extensively and still is amazed at what he finds here locally, including resources like the Boys and Girls Club. He, John and Marsha joined another local family involved with the organization and visited this past week during his time stateside. He couldn’t believe the resource that it is for families who might need a safe and inspiring space for their children to go after school. The retired real estate agent intends to take the concept back home.
“I’m inspired to try and make this happen where I live because we have all of the same issues of what the kids have to do when they come out of school,” he said.
The Isle of Man, for those unfamiliar with it, lies equidistant between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales in the Irish Sea. It is only about 30 miles long by 10 miles wide, with mountains at its center and a rocky, cliff-lined coastline. The Wiese’s have been to visit Kerruish at his home as well and wherever it may be, the old friends are looking forward to their next visit.


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