PIERRE | Marjorie I. Zeman, 97, formerly of Chamberlain, passed away on April 22, 2019 at Avera Maryhouse Hospice.
Marjorie Irene was born Dec. 26, 1921, at home near Platte to Emil and Amanda (Odefy) Gropper. Marjorie attended country school and graduated from Platte High School in 1939. She enjoyed playing softball and excelled at basketball in high school.
On Sept. 9, 1940, Marjorie was united in marriage to Fred Chilman and to this union three children were born: daughters, Lynn and Twila, and son, David. They made their home on the Chilman family farm, 10 miles northeast of Platte. Fred died suddenly on August 1, 1951, following complications of rheumatic fever. Marjorie said the saddest and most difficult time in her life was that very bad winter of '51-'52 when she was alone on the farm with her three small children. Two years later on Nov. 12, 1953, she married Charles Zeman and they moved to his farm south of Pukwana at the foot of the Bijou Hills. They had a daughter, Joan.
Marjorie enjoyed working outdoors and was what she called a "tomboy," good with a gun, and always helping with the livestock and other outside chores. She always stayed in good physical condition, walking outdoors and on her treadmill into her 80s. Her daughters often said she was stronger and more agile that they were. She and Charles always had a large garden, especially raising lots of potatoes and watermelons.
In later years she and Charles had fun dancing at the Pukwana Ballroom and enjoyed many bus tours around the United States. They also enjoyed playing cards with neighbor friends and family.
They sold the farm and moved to Chamberlain in 2001. They were members of the United Church of Christ in Chamberlain. Charles died on August 18, 2009. Marjorie moved to Kelly's Assisted Living in Pierre on Sept. 1, 2012, to be near her daughter, Twila.
She is survived by her children, Lynn Pease of Rapid City, Twila (Gary) Merkwan of Pierre, David (Judy) Chilman of Greenville, SC, and Joan Greene of Placentia, CA; six grandchildren, Todd (Barb) Pease of Phoenix, AZ, Jill Rudloff and husband Jamie Boynton of Rapid City, Tamie (Brad) Hedlund of Harrisburg, Kim (Troy) Schaefer of Rapid City, Trent (Jenny) Merkwan of Pierre, and Kari (Justin) Ballew of Greenville, SC; 11 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandson.
Preceding her in death were her parents; husbands Fred and Charles; brother, Leslie; sister, Elaine; an infant grandson; and a great-grandson.
Services will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 27, at Hickey Funeral Chapel in Chamberlain, with visitation one hour prior. Burial will be at St. Vencil's Bohemian National Cemetery in Bijou Hills.