RAPID CITY | Mary Lou Davis was born July 7, 1923, to Thomas Francis and Zella Odette (Hamlin) Brooks in Aberdeen. She had an older brother, Bob. She was raised on a farm six miles west of Aberdeen.
She graduated from Aberdeen Central High School in 1941, and attended Northern State College and South Dakota State College, graduating in 1949 from SDSC.
She met G. Wayne Davis during her senior year at SDSC, and the two were married on Oct. 15, 1949. They moved to Lead after their marriage, where Wayne worked for the South Dakota Forest Service and she worked as a Home Economist Extension Agent.
Four children were born to them: Kurt, Rod, Kathy, and Jerry. When the kids were young, she worked part-time at Leo Wakefield Construction Co., First Presbyterian Church, and later on full-time at Bear Butte Insurance Agency. Their family enjoyed many camping and boating outings at Sheridan and Pactola lakes, as well as jeep trips throughout the Black Hills with friends. Mary Lou was a member of the Spruce Street Gang, a coffee group consisting of ladies who lived mostly on Spruce Street or neighboring streets. This dated back to 1960.
She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, serving as an elder and deacon as well as church secretary. She belonged to several bridge clubs. Both she and Wayne enjoyed playing cards, belonging to pinochle and bridge groups. During her lifetime, she was active in PEO, and was a member of the Fort Meade Museum board, volunteering many hours at the museum. She also volunteered at the Sturgis Senior Center Thrift Store, and the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce. She became interested in genealogy and spent many years researching both hers and Wayne’s family history.
Music was a big part of Mary Lou’s life. She played tenor saxophone in the Aberdeen Central High School Band. A highlight for Mary Lou was in 1939, when the band traveled by train to Winnipeg, Canada, to play for the King and Queen of England, who had been touring there. She also played in the band while at SDSC. In later years, she played in the Northern Hills Community Band, and was a long-time member of the choir at the First Presbyterian Church.
After Wayne retired in 1986, they did quite a bit of traveling. For 20 years, they drove their fifth-wheel to Mesa, AZ, during the winter months, where they made many good friends. She and Wayne were married 62 years.
Mary Lou Davis, 95, formerly of Sturgis, died June 8, 2019, in Rapid City.
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When she could no longer be cared for at home, Bella Vista Care Center became her new home where the loving and caring staff became her extended family. We will forever be grateful to each and every one of them.
Survivors include her children, Kurt (Meri) Davis, Spearfish, Rod (Kimberly) Davis, Lead, and Kathy (Jesse) Lewis, Black Hawk; 10 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Wayne; son, Jerry; and her brother, Bob.
Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. today at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 13, at First Presbyterian Church in Sturgis, with Pastor Paul Henschen officiating. Interment will follow at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.
Memorials have been established to First Presbyterian Church and Sturgis Senior Center.
Condolences may be sent to the family at kinkadefunerals.com.