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Pauline Elizabeth Laumer

Pauline Elizabeth Laumer

Pauline Elizabeth Laumer

- April 17, 2019

Pauline Elizabeth Laumer was born October 19, 1926, at Scotland, SD, to Elizabeth Talea (Rosenboom) and William Frederick Laumer.  When a year old, Pauline’s family moved to a farm six miles east of Newell, SD.  It was truly a pioneer existence, with a family of eight growing and gathering nearly everything they consumed.

     In 1941, Pauline’s mother purchased a restaurant in downtown Newell.  Pauline spent her evenings and weekends toiling in the café.  Her Spartan upbringing and hardworking lifestyle made her a tough and hardworking lady for all of her 92 years.

     During the summer of 1943, Pauline met a young cowboy with a swagger in his walk.  September 25th, a month before her 17th birthday, Pauline and Merle Smith were married in the Belle Fourche Lutheran Church.  After getting married, the teenage couple ate a shrimp salad dinner, attended a dance in Newell, and then headed the forty miles to Mason, SD.  This young couple was beginning a nearly sixty-year partnership that lasted until Merle passed away in 2003.

     The couple worked on the family ranch for some 4 ½ years and welcomed a son to the family during this time.  Then wanderlust struck and, side by side, the adventurers packed up and headed for Anchorage, AK, living in a camper sized trailer house while Merle learned the sheet metal and pipe fittings crafts with the Alaska Railroad.  They often placed their young son in a backpack and headed into the wild for overnight fishing and hunting trips.

     In 1950, Merle and Pauline loaded their little Jeep and two-wheeled trailer to the gills and headed back south down 1400 miles of the (then gravel) Alcan Highway.  The advent of rural electricity back in South Dakota had made it possible to develop a Grade A dairy.  Merle and Pauline bought his parent’s farm and they rolled up their sleeves.  In 1951, a new milking machine arrived and they began a 40-year love-hate relationship with a long series of black and white milk cows.  During the years of 1951 to 1954, three more Smith children arrived.

     The dairy was operated from 1951 to 1964 in Whitewood Valley and was then moved to an irrigated place just outside of Newell where it continued until 1990.  Pauline’s father, William, had purchased a 40-acre place back in the late 1940’s and had built a sturdy little house on the property.  After his death, Pauline bought that place from her brother.  When the dairy was turned over to their youngest son, Merle and Pauline moved into this house.  This is where Pauline lived until hospitalized just a week before her passing.

     Pauline E. Smith, 92, Newell, died Monday, April 15, 2019, at Rolling Hills Healthcare in Belle Fourche.

     Pauline was a strong woman.  She was a diminutive 5-footer but could outwork most men.  She harvested a 4-acre garden, butchered beef and venison, milked cows, canned gallons of vegetables, chokecherries, wild plums, and buffalo berries all while raising four rambunctious children.  Still she found time to craft dozens of doilies, quilts, and sweaters.  Her Faith in God was strong.  This, along with her independence and physical stamina allowed her to forge a very full 92 years.

     Survivors include four children, Allyn (Glynda) Smith, Gail (Bob) Brunner, Gerry (Larry) Stumpf, and Aaron (Bev) Smith; ten grandchildren, Ryan Smith, Lincoln (Ann) Brunner, Tamara (Michael) Loparco, Samantha (Michael) Manrique, Nathaniel Brunner, Edward (Michelle) Stumpf, Steven (Rachel) Stumpf, Brandon (Sara) Smith, Jessica (James) Halverson, and Jacob (Codi) Smith; and twenty-two great-grandchildren, Zakary, Hope, and Myranda Smith, Rebekah, Kathryn, and Elizabeth Brunner, Liam and Delaney Loparco, Alistair and Dorian Manrique, Rebecca and Wyatt Stumpf, Sawyer Stumpf, Edelia Waldrop, Gracie Smith, Kaleb and Caidon Stedeson, Lyman, Luke, and Natalie Halverson, and Lylah and Grahm Smith.

     Pauline was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and her siblings, Bernard Laumer, Gertrude Carlson, Ruben Laumer, Violet Ahonen, and Billy Laumer.

     Visitation will be Monday, April 22, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis.

     Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 23, 2019, at the Newell Evangelical Church with Pastor Tom Martin officiating.  Burial will follow at Hope Cemetery.

     A memorial has been established.

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

Phone number: 605-347-4455
E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 1612 Junction Avenue, Suite #1
Sturgis, SD 57785