Ruth Charlotte Holton Helmer 1923-2012

Ruth Charlotte Holton Helmer, 88, quietly and peacefully entered into her well deserved rest surrounded by family members on Mother’s Day, May 13, 2012, at the Belle Fourche Health Care Center.

Ruth was born July 10, 1923, on the family farm in Kingsbury County to Herbert John Holton and Mary Magdeline (Stankey) Holton. She graduated from Erwin High School in 1941. Ruth attended Spearfish Normal College and received a teaching degree. She taught in several country schools. Ruth met LeRoy while attending College in Spearfish. They were married on November 27, 1949. They first farmed on Red Water on the Helmer home place. Karen was born there. The young family then moved to a farm near Watertown where Herb was born. Then back to West River to a farm north of Arpan, where Gail joined the happy family. They lived on the Shevling place for a short time before moving South East of Newell to the Wilson place where they farmed until the early 1970s. First Pamela and then Kimberly were born there, completing the family.

Relatives came from near and far to indulge in Ruth’s famous fried chicken. Every minute of the day was full, whether sewing, embroidering, crocheting, baby sitting, tending her huge garden, canning meats, fruits and vegetables, making jams and jelly, churning butter, butchering chickens, gathering eggs, playing cards, Bingo, Farkel or Dominos, selling her doll clothes at flea markets and craft shows, teaching grandchildren the basics of sewing, coloring, writing and cooking. Many of Ruth’s sewing projects, garden produce and canned items brought home ribbons at the Butte County Fair.

Ruth was a long time member of the East Side Extension Club, Moose Lodge and volunteer with RSVP.

Those grateful for having shared her life include her children, Karen Miller (Danny) of Denver, Colorado, Herb Helmer of Sheridan, Wyoming, Gail (Dennis) Rentz of Spearfish, South Dakota, Kim (Art) Somervold of Hulett, Wyoming; her sisters, Ruby Klungseth of Bryant, South Dakota, and Joy Middleton of Colorado Springs, Colorado, several grandchildren and great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, LeRoy Helmer; her daughter, Pamela Orcutt and three sisters, Honey Holton, Shirley Tucker and Margaret Severson.

Funeral services were held Friday, May 18, 2012, at the United Church of Christ Congregational in Belle Fourche with Pastor Del Neumeister officiating. Burial followed at Pine Slope Cemetery in Belle Fourche.

The family has established a memorial.

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