Corothers, Lonita Gustad

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Corothers, Lonita Gustad

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Lonita Joyce Gustad was born on May 19, 1928 in Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, South Dakota. She lived on a farm near Volin, South Dakota with her parents and a younger sister, Roberta, nicknamed Bobby. Lonita was 17 years old in 1945 when she began keeping a diary. World War II was ending and the second atomic bomb was detonated in Nagasaki, Japan when she realized that she was living in momentous times, but that in time the details would be forgotten.

She graduated from Yankton High School in May of 1946 and began her college education at South Dakota State College in September of the same year, graduating with a degree in pharmacy on June 5, 1950. Her pharmacy class of 1950 was comprised of eight women and 56 men. Her minor was in chemistry, a field that was also predominantly male at the time. Following graduation, she worked at Woodward Pharmacy in Aberdeen, South Dakota for a year. She then moved to Sioux City, Iowa where she worked and lived until the time that she donated her papers to South Dakota State University.

She met Thomas Edward Corothers during her time at college, whom she married on June 24, 1951. The couple had one child, a son named John born on August 3, 1952 who was killed in a motorcycle accident in Honolulu, Hawaii on July 25, 1972. Her husband died on March 1, 1998 at the age of 71.

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