WALL | Dorothy Shearer, 84, died on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, at the Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital in Philip.
Dorothy Mae Huether was born Jan. 14, 1935, in Wall, the oldest of two daughters born to Edward and Frieda (Marquart) Huether. Dorothy grew up on their family ranch in the Conata Basin, where she attended the North Conata School along with all her beloved cousins. During her youth she took the train, with her mother Frieda, from Conata to Rapid City for piano lessons, which began her lifelong passion for music.
Dorothy attended high school in Wall, and boarded in the homes of many locals, of which she often spoke highly. Those with whom she boarded with and attended school would become her lifelong friends.
While in high school, Dorothy participated in writing the school paper, drama club and many musical ensembles where she played the timpani, bass drum, tuba, baritone, piano, and trombone. In 1951, she became a founding member of the Blue Notes dance band, which played for several dances in the Wall area.
After graduating from high school in 1953, she went to work as a teller at First Western Bank, as well as working at Wall Drug as a soda jerk. She loved to reminisce of how Mrs. Dorothy Hustead would have her close up the store and secure the money box some nights, which was never put in the same place twice! When she wasn’t at work, Dorothy was very active as a Girl Scout leader in the community.
Dorothy was united in marriage to Lavon Shearer on Nov. 6, 1954, at the Lutheran Church in Wall. They made their home north of Quinn, where Glendon and Greg were born, and later moved north of Wall, where Grant and DeAnna joined the family.
Dorothy was first and foremost a mother, and to more than just her own children. She was an active member of the community serving as 4-H leader, church-school teacher for 50 years, choir director, church organist, and Christmas-wreath maker, just to name a few. She was an influential member of the local Gourmet Club, and loved hosting her friends and family for Christmas dinner, summer brunch, or her famous “Hen” Parties!
In 1965, Dorothy, along with Donna Rae (Estes) Tsitrian, Dean Patterson, and Gene Patterson, formed the Twilighters Band. For 53 years the Twilighters played for dances, entertaining hundreds of people throughout western South Dakota. During those years many honorary members joined the Twilighters, with DeAnna Kammerer becoming the latest joining member. As a member of the Twilighters, Dorothy played for the Catalyst Clubs’ Good Neighbor Banquet every year for 38 years. In 2008, she was honored with the Good Neighbor Award. For her, the true honor came from getting to play music for those who were recognized each year.
In the 1980s, Lavon and Dorothy started the Western Dakota Ranch Vacations Bed and Breakfast, where they and their family made many wonderful friends from all over the world. Dorothy was a gardener of more than just people; when she wasn’t inside, she could be found laying rock, pulling weeds, planting flowers and tending to her beautiful garden.
Her children cannot remember a time when there was not someone on her piano bench. For roughly 60 years she taught hundreds of students, and they learned much more than just how to play the piano; she taught them lessons about life, love, and God. She leaves tough musical shoes to fill, but hundreds of hearts are full because of the kindness and love she showed to each one.
Survivors include her husband of nearly 65 years, Lavon; four children, Glendon and his wife Pam, Greg and his wife Lori, Grant and his wife JoDee, DeAnna Kammerer and her husband Mitch, all of Wall, and her Danish daughter Annette Garioud and her husband Roland of Lyon, France; 10 grandchildren, Colby, Kayla, Trent, Carisa, Lainee, Jace, Garrett, Chelsie, Jed, and July; 17 great-grandchildren; all the kids that called her Grandma Dorothy, which was many; one sister, Margaret “Maggie” Bloom and her husband James of Rapid City; and a host of beloved cousins and friends.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents.
Visitation and musical celebration was held Sunday, Feb. 10, at the United Methodist Church.
Funeral services were held Monday, Feb. 11, at the church, with Pastor Harold Delbridge officiating. Interment was at the Wall Cemetery.
Arrangements are with Rush Funeral Home of Wall.