Monica was born on May 20, 1966, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to Laureen and Frank Island. Later she moved to Lead, South Dakota, with her father, where she helped raise her younger brothers and sisters through high school.
This began her lifetime identity as a caretaker. After high school, she moved back to Sioux Falls and married Johnny Moss. Together they had two daughters, Tateum and Erica Moss.
Monica attended the Stenotype Institute, graduated as a legal secretary and worked successfully in that field for some time. Monica’s first priority was always her family, however, so when her father (and later her mother and then finally her uncle) suffered terminal illnesses, she sacrificed any career goals to care for them until their deaths.
During her uncle’s illness, Monica met Lew McDowell and they fell head over heels in love. Together they provided care for her Uncle Dan and enjoyed riding motorcycles, playing cribbage, attending church and spending time with their children, grandchildren and friends.
They were engaged to be married in August, 2017. Tragically, Lew passed away very suddenly on June 4, 2017 and her heart broke.
Monica adored her grandchildren Ryder Arnott and Dawson Gustafson and dreamed of building a business around grooming and caring for animals with her children and grandchildren. She cared little for material possessions but her family, friends and the animals she loved meant the world to her.
Monica is survived by her daughters, Tateum Moss (Matthew Gabel) of Beulah and Erica Moss (Hank Gustafson) of Beulah; grandchildren, Ryder Arnott of Brandon, South Dakota and Dawson Gustafson of Beulah; siblings include Michelle Island Patino of Sturgis, South Dakota, Daniel Island of Sturgis, Karmen and Darin Groos of Sioux Falls, Dustin Island of Yankton, South Dakota, Karri DeMarteleare of Edmond, Oklahoma, Tiffany Island of Rapid City, South Dakota and Tara Island of Pringle, South Dakota; and cousins, Cliff and Deb Godlevsky, were instrumental in supporting and encouraging Monica during the last days of her life.
She was preceded in death by Lew McDowell, Johnny Moss, Geraldine Christensen, Laureen Christensen, Cliff and Minnie Island, Frank and Mary Island, Dan Island and Margaret and Willie Mace.
Memorial services will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 3, 2018, at Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapel in Spearfish, South Dakota. Inurnment will follow at the Beulah Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapels and Crematory Service of Spearfish. Online condolences may be written at www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com