Friday, December 13, 2013

Lillian Salmo Shea DHS1931 Passes Away at the Age of 100 by Margaret Crary Sager DHS1961

See Obituary =

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Irma Klock Famous Black Hills Historian is Dead at the Age of 93, Her Historical Contributions Are Priceless

I did not know Irma Klock personally because I found my interest in Deadwood and Black Hills history to late to seek her friendship and appreciate her intense/exacting research to recapture history that would have otherwise been lost.  A close friend and also amazing historical researcher friend of mine observed " I did so love that persnickety lady . . ."

LEAD SD | Irma Klock, 93, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, at the Belle Fourche Healthcare Center. She was the last of her generation.

She was a lifelong South Dakota citizen, born Feb. 1, 1920, on Owl Creek, and living most of her adult life in Lead. Irma attended school in Nisland and graduated from BHSU. She married Earl Klock on August 12, 1944, after a three-month courtship. They remained married for 52 years and had three children.

She was active in several organizations and clubs. These include the Black Hills Historical Society, Lead’s Women Club, and Black Hills Art Association.

She will always be remembered as a local historian writing several books about the Black Hills and its early settlers. Irma was a researcher and writer capturing the early stories and people who first came to the region. Her writing won several awards. She was also a correspondent for the Rapid City Journal.

She was preceded in death by her father, Jacob Neamy, mother, Impi Neamy, husband, Earl Klock, and daughter, Mary Ann Mueller. Her survivors include her son, Steven Klock of Rapid City, daughter, Peggy Hastings of Mason City, Iowa, eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 9, at the Lead-Deadwood Memorial Chapel in Lead, with visitation one hour before services. Burial will follow at South Lead Cemetery.

As Irma always said when someone passes, “Another book is closed and put on the shelf.”

Irm's story is now complete.

Arrangements are under the care of the Lead-Deadwood Memorial Chapel in Lead. Online condolences may be written at GUEST BOOK

Friday, November 8, 2013

Joy Proctor Krautschum DHS1969 Passed Away November 5, 2013 ; Submitted by Margaret Sager DHS1961

See Obituary =>

David A. Fierro DHS 1967 Died in Salem OR October 6, 2013 at the Age of 65 by Margaret Sager DHS 1961

See Obituary =>

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Al Veitl DHS1942 Passes Away in Virgina by Margaret Crary Segar

Click to see obit page

Thursday, June 27, 2013

2013 DHS~~~~~CANCELLED LACK OF INTEREST ~~~~~~~in the Deadwood Park

Sunday, May 19, 2013

9th Annual Galena Ghost Town Fundraiser June 8th 2013

Poster by Lynn Borsch

Make your plans to attend this 9th Annual Event:

·        Ghost Town Fundraiser
·        Free Historic Walk
·        Music and BBQ
·        Vinegar Hill Cemetery

Remember DHS1918 Fred Borsh's "Tootsie" (1947 -1959)?  Both Fred and Tootsie made the Deadwood Wall of Fame!

Award by the Deadwood Historical Preservation Commission

SEPTEMBER 12, 1900
NOVEMBER 2, 1981
Born at the turn of the century to some of the first pioneers in the Black Hills, Freddie Borsch held a number of occupations over the years, ranging from prospector and engineer to pilot and bartender. But it wasn't until his late 40s that Freddie found his most successful profession: coyote trainer.
Freddie grew up in Galena and attended high school in Deadwood, where he played baritone in the 1915 Deadwood High School band and basketball on the school team in 1918. By the 1920s he was working with his brother Chester in the Salt Creek oil fields in Wyoming, but the pair left for California in 1926 with dreams of making the first flight across the Atlantic. When the pair realized they didn't have the necessary funding, they joined the team led by Charles Lindberg. Freddie even helped push the Spirit of Saint Louis out of its hanger in San Diego just before Lindberg's landmark flight. By the time Freddie returned to Galena, the tiny town was on the brink of abandonment. He bought up most of the settlement in an effort to preserve it.
In 1947 Freddie adopted Tootsie, an abandoned coyote that he taught to sing tunes as she howled. Word quickly spread about the pair, who became regional celebrities. When the coyote was designated the official animal of South Dakota in 1949, Tootsie began to serve as the state's mascot. Tootsie recorded an album, South Dakota Tootsie, and went on a ten-state tour with Freddie.
Freddie and Tootsie remained active in the local community, regularly making appearances at Deadwood High School football games and homecoming events. On August 6, 1949 Governor George T. Mickelson declared Tootsie South Dakota's Official Animal at the Days of '76 - another of the coyote's favorite local events. She also served as the official symbol of Freddie's Spot Liquor store, which stood on the corner of Main and Lee Streets in Deadwood. The giant neon sign he commissioned in Tootsie's honor has been restored and can be seen today near the original location of the Spot.
Tootsie died in 1959 and was buried behind Freddie's cabin in Galena. Freddie, who became an expert in Galena's history, lived in the cabin until he died in 1981. It is now occupied by his niece.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Recent Obits for John Francis Baggaley DHS1952 & Michael Joseph Stangle

Monday, April 8, 2013

Late Death Notice of Patricia Trucano Burns DHS1951

Patricia Trucano Burns


Patricia Ann Burns, 79, of Rapid City, left to be with the Lord on Monday, March 25, 2013. As a caring mother, grandmother and great grandmother she will be missed by the family she cared for so much. 

“Patty” was born June 27, 1933 to Anthony Trucano and Janet Trucano, in Detriot, MI and grew up in Deadwood, SD. She graduated from Deadwood High School in 1951 and attended St. Mary’s College in South Bend, IN. She married James Burns and later earned a degree from Santa Monica City College in California where they began to raise a family. 

Patty returned to South Dakota with her children in 1968 and worked as a secretary/office manager in her family business, Black Hills Novelty, Inc. until her retirement in 2000. She was a lifetime member of the VFW and American Legion Post 22 Ladies Auxiliaries, and was active in the Fraternal Order of the Eagles Ladies Auxiliary. 

She loved to travel, meet people and spend time with her mother, children and grandchildren. She was an avid reader and especially enjoyed mystery novels and travel magazines. Patty loved music and singing; a love she passed on to her children and grandchildren. 

Patty is survived by her children, Kathleen Beerman, Ladue, Mo., James Burns, Wooster, Ohio, Daniel Burns, Henderson, Nevada, Janette Burns, Gardena, Calif., and Anthony Burns, Box Elder; 10 grandchildren; and three great grandchildren, all who love her and will miss her. 

Patty was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, John Trucano. 

Services were held Tuesday, April 2, at Kirk Funeral Home with the Rev. Nathan Sparks officiating. A memorial has been established.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Anita Gorder to be Buried in Deadwood Oak Ridge Cemetery March 23, 2013

TUSCALOOSA, AL  Tom Gorder’s wife Anita Ray Gorder, 74, passed away Friday, March 15, 2013, at DCH Regional Medical Center, near her home in Tuscaloosa.
Anita loved life and will be remembered by all who knew her for her warm, caring, giving nature and for a sense a humor that always brought a smile to those who surrounded her.
Anita was born June 27, 1938, in Harrison, Ohio, was raised in Dayton, Ohio, and before moving to Tuscaloosa in 1997, lived in Middletown, Ohio, for 17 years and Ashland, Ky., for 14 years.
She was an ardent University of Alabama sports enthusiast, an avid Master Gardener and an eager volunteer in a variety of organizations that included her church, Meals on Wheels, PEO International, Paramount Women’s Association and the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra Guild.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Glen and Pearl McMamaman, and is survived by her husband, C. Tom Gorder of Tuscaloosa; daughters, Susan Miller Barnes (Jeffrey) of Teays Valley, W.V., and Cynthia G. Thomas (Michael) of Deadwood, S.D.; granddaughter, Lauren E. Miller of Lexington, Ky.; grandson, Trevor M. Barnes of Teays Valley; sister, Vera Rowell of Fort Worth, Texas; and brother, Leo McManaman of Dayton, Ohio.
The family celebrates Anita’s ascension into heaven to join her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and invites friends to commemorate her life at a funeral service at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, in the Westervelt-Warner Chapel at First Presbyterian Church, 900 Greensboro, Ave., Tuscaloosa, Ala. 35401, with Dr. Charles Durham officiating. Visitation from noon to 12:45 p.m. will precede the service. Heritage Chapel Funeral Home & Cremations, a Dignity Memorial Provider, is in charge of arrangements.
She will be laid to rest in Oak Ridge Cemetery in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, which she loved so much. Graveside services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday March 23, with Fidler Funeral Chapel in Spearfish, S.D., in charge of the graveside services.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations honoring Anita be made to the Parkinson’s Association of Alabama, PO Box 590146, Birmingham, AL 35259.
Condolences may be offered at


Thanks to Margaret Crary Sager and Bill Beshara for dhsclassmates support and contributions.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Mattie Hill's Grandson Clifford Melrose Celebrates his 78th Birthday

Clifford Melrose is recently shown celebrating his 78th birthday.  He is Mattie Hill’s grandson.  Clifford and Georgia Melrose, Dr. Lila Morton Pengra and I nominated Mattie Hill for the Deadwood Wall of Fame.  It took over 3 years but Mattie was inducted into the 2012 Deadwood Wall of Fame.  Mattie is finally recognized for her diversity pioneering spirit and her African American contributions in Deadwood.  Clifford looks very much like his grandmother Mattie and sounds just like her too.

Happy Birthday dear friend, Mattie would be proud of you.

I met with Clifford and Georgia Melrose the first time and we discussed Mattie’s Wall of Fame nomination.  We also visited Mattie’s Mt. Moriah grave to pay our respects and admire her new family provided headstone.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sara Nikont Owner of One of Deadwood's Last Core Businesses "Leo's Shoe Shop" Dies at age 94

October 12, 1918March 12, 2013
Sara Ruth (Kane) Nikont, 94, of Deadwood, passed away on March 12, 2013 at the Lead-Deadwood Regional Hospital.
Sara Ruth was born on October 12, 1918, in Bowman, ND, one of seven children to Robert and Charlotte (Etheridge) Kane. The family moved to Lead, SD when she was eight years old, and she lived in the Lead-Deadwood area all of her life, except for college at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO. She graduated from Lead High School and worked for the J.J. Newberry store and the Hearst Mercantile Co. when on vacation from college. In 1942 she married Leo F. Nikont of Deadwood, owner of Leo’s Shoe Shop. She lost Leo in February of 1981 and continued to manage the store for the next seven years until she completed his 50 years in business.
She always felt so fortunate as there was always so much love, happiness and music in her life; the love of parents, husband, brothers, sisters, her twin brother, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She loved people, music, travel and filled her life with all of these. She had traveled extensively both in the United States and abroad.
She is survived by her children, Charlotte (Don) Dickson, of New Brunswick, Canada; Cal (Myrna) Nikont of Lemmon, SD; Miles (Christine) Nikont of Lakewood, CO; and Marcie Ruth (Alan) Gappinger of Aurora, CO; her grandchildren, Saraya Arnold, Miles Skoog, Leandra, Kane, Robbie and Sara Nikont and special grandchildren Ryan, Rebecca and Laurie; great-grandchildren, Bella Ruth, Emilia, Tyson, Austin and Makayla; sister Charlotte Mowrey, sister-in-law Florence Kane and many nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life for Sara Ruth will be held at a later date.
Arrangements are under the care of the Lead-Deadwood Memorial Chapel in Lead.

Jim Beshara DHS1952 Long Time Rapid City Restaurateur Dies After Brief Illness

James L. Beshara

August 31, 1934March 11, 2013

RAPID CITY, SD - James L. "Jim" Beshara, 78, died Monday, March 11, 2013 at his home in Rapid City with his wife Marlys by his side. 

Jim was born August 31, 1934 in Deadwood, SD to Henry and Mildred (Holso) Beshara. As a young man, Jim was raised and educated in Deadwood, and began his entrepreneurial career through working with his grandparents, father and uncles at their store, Beshara's Supermarket. 

Throughout his life, Jim was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed fishing and hunting, as well as playing cribbage and poker with his family and friends. 

Jim married the love of his life, Marlys Windedahl, on October 9, 1955. For the next 57 years, Jim and Marlys raised a family and started several businesses in the Rapid City area, including B&B Hardware near Ellsworth AFB, Bryan's Cleaners, the Chuckwagon Restaurant and the business he is best known for, the Pirates Table Restaurant in Rapid City. 

Jim was not only dedicated to assuring that his businesses were the epitome of excellence, but he was also a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. All who were part of his family will cherish the memories of Jim's devotion, as he gave completely of himself through the time, attention, generosity and love he showed each child. Jim's "extended family" includes the many employees who worked for him over the years, whose lives he touched in powerful and influencing ways. 

Jim is survived by his wife, Marlys, Rapid City, three daughters, Teresa (Christopher) Grant, Monica (Chuck) Farruggia, Lisa (Chris) Holbrook, one son, Ron (Valora) Beshara, his sisters Suzanne Beshara of California, Deb (Ed) Barck of Nevada and two brothers, Dick Beshara and Tim (Anna) Beshara, both of Rapid City, 11 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren, all of whom live in Rapid City. 

Jim will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him and the entire Beshara family is grateful to have been a part of his life. 

Visitation will be Friday, March 15, at Osheim & Schmidt Funeral Home from 6:00pm to 7:30pm with a Christian Wake Service to follow at 7:30 p.m. 

Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at Blessed Sacrament Church in Rapid City on Saturday, March 16 at 1:00pm with the Rev. Brian Lane presiding. 

Interment will follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Rapid City. 

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Lola Miller of Deadwood Open Air Market Fame Died 2-19-2013

Lola Miller, Gary Mule Deer and Ruth Miller
DHS1937 Classmate Lola Thompson Miller passed away shortly after getting her red hair spiffed up in the beauty shop. She is Gary Mule Deer's Mother.  Gary Mule Deer (born Gary Miller) is an American comedian and country musician. 

What a life she lived, steeped in Deadwood history. The Open Air Market next to Deadwood Hospital was nearly my second home as was all neighborhood kids. No wonder Deadwood was a Black Hills commercial center in the 1940's and 1950's

Lola Miller 
(August 16, 1918 - February 19, 2013) 

Lola Miller passed away early Tuesday morning February 19, 2013, at Spearfish Regional Hospital.

She was born on August, 16, 1918, at her grandparent’s farm in Sterling, Idaho. Her parents were Marvin and Bertha (Satterfield) Thompson. After her parent’s separation she moved with her father and two siblings to Salt Lake City, Utah, where she lived with several aunts and uncles and her grandmother. She and her sister Norma sang on Salt Lake radio and at local dances. In 1933 Lola moved to Deadwood, South Dakota, to live with her father where she attended high school and made many lifelong friends. She often remarked that the difference between Salt Lake and Deadwood was astounding. (Still is!)

Lola was a Deadwood telephone operator from 1936 to 1941. Deadwood being Deadwood, Lola and the other operators knew the secret whereabouts of everyone in town. The stories were great! In 1938 she met her future husband Bruce. In her words he was, “The best looking man in the Black Hills.” They later married and moved to Spearfish in 1941 where they operated the Open Air Market and later other businesses one of which was the Vita Theater. She had fond memories of selling movie tickets to townspeople and especially the children. Lola was involved in establishing the Modern Mother’s Club, the first kindergarten at the Lab. School, and the first P.T.A. Her mother’s club membership lasted for 64 years. Throughout her life she actively enjoyed participating in several other clubs and events. Lola was a very social person and was seen about town shopping in La Mode, eating at the Country Kitchen, and playing tennis in the park with Flora Lee until both were 85 or one of them fell. She also bowled until she was 84. She was an avid fan of music, movies, and taking thousands of snapshots of her family and every person she ever knew. Undoubtedly her favorite form of entertainment was the Lawrence Welk Show. This started in the 50s and lasted until last Sunday. Lola was a Welkologist. Her friends remember her as having a good sense of humor and being prompt with sending a card for every occasion. She loved to travel and some of her favorite memories were Hawaii, New York City, and multiple trips to Branson.

She is preceded in death by her husband Bruce, two brothers and one sister. Lola is survived by her four children: Gary (Nita), Cheryl, Susan, and Kevin. In addition there are five grandchildren: Shawn, Jennifer, Jamie, Justin, and Joshua. Her great-grandchildren are: Tel, Jordan, Daulton, Tyrell, Kaycee, Jaxon and Brecken. Finally, she has two great-great grandchildren Tripp and Tee.

Her words of wisdom were of a health focus: “Wear your boots, bundle up, and I told you not to go out in the cold night air!” On Lola’s last day she was short of breath but had the Edgewood staff wheel her to the beauty shop where she got her hair colored and set. She often said, “I came into this world as a redhead and I will go out as one.” She did.

Due to Lola’s request there will be no funeral service. Memorials or cards may be sent to the Hospice of the Northern Hills or the High Plains Heritage Center at P.O., Box 828, Spearfish, 57783.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Robert Kirk Gorder Died Unexpectedly March 1, 2013

Robert Kirk Gorder, 66, of Deadwood, SD passed away on Friday, March 1, 2013 at Rapid City Regional Hospital. Beloved father, grandfather, brother, son, uncle, husband, and friend, he was born November 26, 1946 to Carlton Olaf and Rose (Degner) Gorder.

He is survived by his sister Carol Smith of Minneapolis, MN; his brother, Tom Gorder of Tuscaloosa, AL; five children, son Jeff Gorder of Woodbridge, VA; daughter Jennifer Crandell of Woodbridge, VA; daughter Jinger Phelps of Orlando, FL; son Thomas Gorder of Rapid City, SD; daughter Summer Gorder of Galveston, TX; and 7 grandchildren.

Robert graduated from Deadwood High School class of 1964 and in 1979 earned his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Black Hills State University. His career led him to numerous places spanning from Mission, SD to Yerington, NV. Wherever he taught, his students were empowered by his creativity and compassion, touching the lives of not only them, but also his colleagues and community.
Always the life of the party Robert enjoyed cooking, golfing and being a friend. He was involved in the Northern Hills Community Band for over 50 years as both a player and director.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established to the Northern Hills Community Band P.O. Box 431 Deadwood, SD 57732.

Memorial arrangements are pending.

Kirk Funeral Home On-line Guest Book

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ann Charles Release "Better off Dead in Deadwood (Deadwood Humorous Mystery Series #4)" Yesterday, 2-12-2013

Unless noted otherwise image credits are Ann Charles
Images credits, Ann Charles and  State Line Observer
Ann Charles is friend and contributor to the dhsclassmates web site.  I communicate with her frequently. She is sensitive to how her books will affect those who hail from Deadwood.  “Will the real residents in Deadwood and Lead grow tired of me sitting on benches along their Main Street and daydreaming about Violet’s world? I hope not. Judging from their entertaining, exciting histories, they are pretty tolerant of quirky characters.”  Ann welcomes all of  us into her quirky literary world.  

She now adds Lead to this new book.  So now we have two maps!

Ann has a interesting FaceBook group called  Ann Charles' Purple Door Saloon.  Join her and her quirky followers in shared merriment!

Both Amazon and Barns and Noble released the Ebook version and the hard copy version will follow in a month or so.

Meet the Author

Ann Charles first book signing, Purple Boots
were surprise family/friends gift! 
Ann Charles is an award-winning author who writes romantic mysteries that are splashed with humor. Her book NEARLY DEPARTED IN DEADWOOD won the 2010 Daphne du Maurier for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense Award and the 2011 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award for Best Novel With Strong Romantic Elements.

Currently, she has several fiction books available: NEARLY DEPARTED IN DEADWOOD, OPTICAL DELUSIONS IN DEADWOOD, DEAD CASE IN DEADWOOD, and BETTER OFF DEAD IN DEADWOOD, which are all part of her ongoing Deadwood Mystery Series. The fifth in this series will be out in early 2014.

Also available from Ann are the first two books in her Jackrabbit Junction Mystery series: DANCE OF THE WINNEBAGOS and JACKRABBIT JUNCTION JITTERS. The third book in this series will be out in mid-2013.

A member of Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America for many moons, Ann has a B.A. in English with an emphasis on creative writing from the
University of Washington. She is currently toiling away on her next book, wishing she was on a Mexican beach with an ice-cold Corona in one hand and her Kindle in the other. When she is not dabbling in fiction, she is arm wrestling with her two kids, attempting to seduce her husband, and arguing with her sassy cat. Most nights, you can find her hanging out over at, on Facebook as Ann Charles, or as DeadwoodViolet on Twitter--especially around midnight when her quirky fictional world comes to life.

Dear Reader,

I’m often asked, “How many Deadwood books do you plan on writing?” With this fourth book in front of you, I thought you might be wondering the same thing.

An organized author would have all the books planned out with a high-level outline that indicated how she was going to weave the series plotline through each book, and how everything was going to end and when. Fortunately for you, Violet Parker had other plans.

When I started writing this series, I put together a high-level plot plan for multiple books. I really did! I was going to go about this whole business of writing a series as planned. By the time I’d finished writing the first book, NEARLY DEPARTED IN DEADWOOD, I was already “off” plan and had to pretty much scrap the rest of what I’d written down. At that point, I threw my hands up in the air and told Violet, “Fine, you tell the dang story; I’ll just keep notes.”

She took over and ever since, I’ve tried to keep up on the keyboard. The last time I asked Violet how many books she thought it might take to tell this story, she looked at me like I was wearing a red rubber nose and rainbow-colored wig and said, “As many as it takes to reach ‘happily ever after.’”

Do I know how it’s all going to end? Yes. Well, sort of. I think I do, anyway. But maybe not. With every book, I keep digging and realizing that this adventure goes much much deeper than I ever expected. Like in the mines now filled with water beneath Deadwood and Lead, there are story veins leading in many directions that are rich with fun-filled chambers yet to be explored. New characters arrive on scene with each book, adding more laughs and nail-biting anxieties to the world we’re discovering with every page.
Will Violet always leave you hanging at the end of the books in this series? Let’s ask my Magic 8 Ball … It says, “As I see it, yes.” There you go. Seriously, this is going to be a long tale, and I need to divide it into books to give everyone a break—the characters, me, and you. I’ve always enjoyed shows on television that have season finales which leave me excited and anxious for the next installment. My goal is similar; however, I often receive emails in the middle of the night full of cursing because someone couldn’t put the book down and now must wait until I finish writing the next. While I don’t like to frustrate people, those emails do make me chuckle. I’ve learned some very colorful language thanks to these folks.  

Will the real residents in Deadwood and Lead grow tired of me sitting on benches along their Main Street and daydreaming about Violet’s world? I hope not. Judging from their entertaining, exciting histories, they are pretty tolerant of quirky characters.

I hope you enjoy this most recent slice of Violet Parker’s life. I sure did a lot of chuckling and wincing and grinning and holding my breath as she told it to me.

Hold on tight, because the ride is getting a little bumpy now.

Welcome back to Deadwood ... and Lead.