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