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Dorothy “Dottie” Marie Kaiser

Dorothy “Dottie” Marie Kaiser

Dorothy Marie Kaiser


- May 8, 2019

Dorothy “Dottie” Marie Kaiser was born July 7, 1928, in Jackson County, SD, to Fred J. & Isabel Lydia (Steele) Willert.  She grew up in Belle Fourche, SD, with sisters, Bev and Peg, and brother, Jack.  In 1946, she graduated from Belle Fourche High School, where she was affectionately known as “Beanie” and was named the most athletic girl in her senior class.

     Following high school, she attended college in Spearfish where she studied business and teaching.  In 1947, she received an elementary school teaching certificate for 1st grade.  After college, she moved to Hot Springs, SD, to work in the state unemployment office.

     It was in Hot Springs that she met Robert Raymond Kaiser.  They wed on May 5, 1949, in the Belle Fourche Methodist Church with Phillip and Francis Kaiser (the groom’s brother & sister-in-law) as witnesses.  The couple went on to have 4 children.  Linda Kay was born April 18, 1950, in Hot Springs after a difficult pregnancy that included a risky appendectomy in the 7th month.  The couple then moved to Chadron, NE, so Robert could take a position as a butcher at the Red Owl Grocery.  It was during their time there that the couple had their 2nd daughter, Lydia Lea, on October 30, 1953, followed by their first son, Robert Raymond, Jr., on September 16, 1954.  Shortly after, the couple moved to Box Elder where Robert was tasked with closing down the Red Owl store located there.  It was here that their 4th & final child, Douglas Fred, was born on December 17, 1957.

     Around the time that Doug was 3, the family began a series of moves.  They first moved to Newcastle, WY, followed by Lead, SD, Pluma, SD, and finally settling in Sturgis, SD, where they would remain.

     In 1960, Dorothy began working for state social services as a homemaker.  Three years later, she was made state social services homemaker supervisor working out of the Deadwood office.  During this time, she had the opportunity to supervise many homemakers, including her daughter, Lydia.  Later, Dorothy went on to work for Meade County as an office associate.  She retired from there in 1993.  After retirement, she ran for a Sturgis City Council position, losing by a narrow margin.

     Dorothy lost her daughter, Linda, to drowning in 1976, and her husband to cancer in 1981.

     Dorothy liked to stay busy, even when the kids were young.  She babysat for many children over the years, as well as did sewing and ironing.  She also taught Sunday School at Grace Lutheran Church in Sturgis.  In her later years, she enjoyed spending time at the senior center and playing bingo.  She loved company and was well known for her sharp memory.  She would rather do puzzles and games than watch TV.  She grew tired of full retirement and began working as a hotel desk clerk in Sturgis.  Eventually, she took a summer position to live and work at the Miner’s Resort in Keystone.  She did this for around 5 years and really enjoyed it until fully retiring.

     Dorothy, age 90, of Sturgis, passed away on Saturday, May 4, 2019, at Rapid City Regional Hospital.

     She is survived by daughter, Lydia (John) Salmen; son, Robert (Marilyn) Kaiser; daughter-in-law, Linda; 3 grandchildren, Tanya Paradise, Ross Kaiser, and Tyler Kaiser; grandson-in-law, Zach Westberg; 2 step-grandchildren, Shanna (Steve) Callies, and Josh (Rachel) Nelson; 10 great-grandchildren, Ariana (Levi) Bertolotto, Colton Paradise, Jaeden Jones, Eilissa (Devin Atkins) Rhodes, Nathan, Rylan, and Abby Westberg, and Dayla, Trayvon, and Keira Nelson; and 4 great-great-grandchildren, Autumn, Zander, and River Bertolotto, and Revlin Atkins.

     Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, Robert; children, Linda and Doug Kaiser; her parents; sisters, Peg Rail and Bev Burke; brother, Jack Willert; granddaughter, Anna Westberg; and great-grandson, Brandon Thompson.

     Memorial services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 14, 2019, at Grace Lutheran Church in Sturgis with Pastor Kris Garlick officiating.

     Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals.com.



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