Margaret Ann Mutchler was born in New Underwood, SD, on December 9, 1942, to George “Oly” and Doris (Dow) Bauer. She joined older siblings: Jack, Joyce (Burke), and Billy on the ranch south of Fairpoint, SD. Later the family added Virgina (Keil), and Pete to the family. Margaret always described her childhood as “great fun”. She attended grade school at Fairpoint and then attended high school in Newell where she graduated in 1960.
On December 15, 1959, she eloped to Miles City, MT, where she secretly married the love of her life, Neil Mutchler. They kept the marriage a secret for a couple of weeks which might be a record for a secret in Newell. The couple built their ranch south of Mud Butte on Sulphur Creek and raised three sons, Marvin, Bill, and J.D. along the way. They taught the boys the value of hard work. Neil also taught the boys how to play whether it was roping, basketball, or football. Margaret taught the boys that when the work was done, there was probably more work to do. Margaret spent countless hours after work in her garden and flower beds. She was proud of the family’s work ethic and took great delight in watching her grandchildren use this ethic to build very successful lives and careers.
Margaret spent countless hours helping to time ropings and rodeos along with keeping the boys going with their 4-H or FFA projects.
Neil and Margaret lived on the ranch until 1980, when they moved to Spearfish, SD, and bought the Lantern Estates Trailer Court. Margaret did many jobs around Spearfish including baking for Sparrow’s Bakery. Later she worked for H&R Block in Sturgis for Gene Ewing. She purchased the business from Gene and between his training and hours and hours of self-study she became one of the most respected tax accountants in the area. Even after selling the business, she continued to work during the tax season until retiring in 2018.
Margaret loved family and getting together with the Bauer, Keil, Burke, and Mutchler families whenever possible. She especially cherished her 7 nieces as they gave her some relief from the boys. Like most ranch wives she never got to enjoy fine furnishings or accessories, it seemed if the boys didn’t ride or rope it, they just plain broke it. Amazingly two ceramic cats managed to survive the chaos of the boys, the grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren and were close by her side at passing.
Margaret passed away on November 1, 2023, at Aspen Grove Assisted Living, her home since July of 2018.
Margaret is survived by her sons, Marvin (Teka), and Bill; daughter in-laws Danelle, and Tricia Mutchler; brother, Pete Bauer (Jo); sister in-law, Marylin Bauer (Jack); brother in-law, Dick Keil (Virginia). She is also survived by 11 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and numerous nephews and nieces.
Margaret was preceded in death by her parents, in-laws, Shy and Leta Mutchler, husband, Neil Mutchler, infant baby daughter, Mary Ann, son, J.D. Mutchler, siblings, Jack, Billy, Joyce, and Virginia, brother and sister in-laws, Elwood Mutchler, Enid and Jim McMains, Phil Burke, and infant great granddaughter, Sage Mutchler.
The family would like to thank the staff and Aspen Grove for their great care over the past few years and to Monument Health Hospice for their care in the last weeks of her life.
A memorial has been established to the Sturgis Ambulance Service.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. on Monday, November 6, 2023, at First Presbyterian Church in Sturgis. Interment to follow at Bear Butte cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals.com.