Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station
Helen M. Pfeifer

Helen M. Pfeifer

Helen M. Pfeifer, age 85, of Philip, died July 2, 2024, at the Scotchman Living Center in Philip.
Visitation will be held 5-7 p.m. Monday, July 8, 2024 at Rush Funeral Home in Philip.

Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 9, 2024 at the United Church in Philip with Pastor Kathy Chesney officiating.

Interment will follow at the Masonic Cemetery in Philip.

On May 15, 1939, Francis and Clara (Schulz) Solon welcomed their third of six children, Helen Marguerite, to the Solon family. Helen attended Weta rural school through eighth grade and was a class of 57 graduate of Kadoka High School.

On July 13, 1968, Helen was united in marriage to Larry Pfeifer in Philip, SD and to this union were born a daughter Mary and son Kelly. She was also a loving stepmother to Mark, Barbara, Danny, Darrell, Delbert and Scott Pfeifer.

Helen was a cowgirl at heart. Raised in the South Dakota Badlands, she worked alongside her Dad, and ran the Solon ranch after his untimely death in April of 1963. In their early married life, Larry and Helen raised pigs until they could afford to buy cattle. They continued to raise cattle all their married life and Helen continued after Larry’s passing in 2012 until she entered assisted living at the age of 82. She made the decision at that time to sell her cows because “hay was too damn high priced”. Helen grew up on a horse, was known to rope calves out of the red dune buggy in 60’s and 70’s and in her later years she opted for an ATV.

Helen and Larry purchased the Thunderbird Motel in 1972 and the 73 Bar in 1975. Larry sold the 73 the week after Kelly was born because he had just lost his best help. The two of them were partners in love, life and work, and they danced together every chance they could. Helen loved her family, her cattle and her cowboy boots, most likely in that order. A child of the Great Depression, Helen was thrifty. We’ll just leave it at that. Helen was a wonderful cook and she enjoyed having a houseful of family and friends gathered around her table. Not only was she physically strong the majority of her life, she was a strong-willed, independent, and at times, hardheaded woman, BUT at the same time, she had a good heart, a soft heart under that hard exterior. She could be all of that in one day.

Truly blessed to share her life are children Mark Pfeifer of Catoosa, OK, Barbara Weaver and her husband Dan, Yukon, OK, Danny Pfeifer, Sand Springs, OK, Darrell Pfeifer and his wife Sharon, Tulsa, OK, Scott Pfeifer, St Petersburg, FL, Mary Burnett and her husband David of Philip and Kelly Pfeifer and his wife Ashley of Mitchell. 15 Grandchildren, Mathew Pfeifer, Kezia Weaver, Laura Lutrick, Cody Pfeifer, Justin Pfeifer, Mitchell Pfeifer, Shae Crouthamel, Blaze Pfeifer, Melissa Holland, David Roger Burnett, Keegan Burnett, Ethan Burnett, Carver Denning, Khloe Pfeifer and Collins Pfeifer. Siblings, Sister Eleanor Solon, Rapid City, Mary Solon Lewis, Wasta, Gen O’Callaghan, David City, NE, Winnie Bell, Fountain Valley, CA, and a host of additional family and friends.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Larry Pfeifer, brother, John Solon and stepson, Delbert Pfeifer.

One of the most thoughtful things she ever said when told she would have an adopted grandchild was “We have a lot of love to give” and she meant it wholeheartedly. She was a salty cowgirl for sure, but she loved fiercely. We miss the laughs, the hugs and kisses, and the good times she shared with family and friends that dementia took away these past few years.

May we celebrate her life and legacy with sweet memories and honor her by letting our hearts dance with joy instead of sorrow for she is no longer suffering and now she can waltz with the angels. Let her spirit live on in each of us and know we will never find words beautiful enough to describe all that our Mom means to us. “Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” Proverbs 31:31

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