February 24, 1938 – September 28, 2020
The funeral service for Margaret Mae Laurenz, 82, of Eagle Butte will be 2:00 p.m. MT on Thursday, October 8, 2020 at the Faith Community Center in Faith. Interment will be in the Eagle Butte Cemetery under the direction of Kesling Funeral Home of Mobridge. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the center.
Margaret Mae Miller Laurenz, “Maggie” to family and friends, passed away peacefully on Monday, September 28, 2020, at St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck, ND.
Maggie was born February 24, 1938 in the Cramer Hospital, at Dupree, the third child of Lewis “Cully” Miller and Margaret Miller. Maggie grew up on the family farm south of Dupree with her siblings. She attended the White Swan School until the 8th grade and graduated from Dupree High School in 1955 at the age of 17.
Maggie married Frank Laurenz in Los Angeles, CA, in 1955, having taken the bus to join Frank, who was working there. Frank and Maggie lived in a small pull-behind trailer in the backyard of Frank’s sister and brother in-law in Ontario, CA. While living there, Maggie was a file clerk at an insurance agency, riding the bus through rough areas of LA to work. Maggie said she was never afraid but it was quite the scene for a farm girl from South Dakota. Frank and Maggie moved back to South Dakota in 1957, living in the same trailer now parked in Frank’s mother’s yard. In 1958 Frank and Maggie built a basement house northeast of Eagle Butte.
Maggie worked hard making a home and working alongside Frank building their farm and ranch. Life in the beginning was meager – they had so few cows that they could name each one! But hard work and dedication built their operation. Maggie was a wonderful homemaker, but make no mistake, she could out-farm and ranch anyone despite her petite size. There wasn’t a piece of machinery she couldn’t operate or an animal that could get the best of her – no matter how long the struggle.
Three daughters joined the family, Sharon, Lynn and Cheryl. Maggie took loving care of her daughters, sewing clothes and making time to read and play with the girls. Christmas and birthdays were always special to Maggie and she made every Christmas and birthday magical. She would decorate the tree beautifully and always arranged the presents and stockings to seem like Santa had been there.
Maggie was a wonderful cook and skilled at many things, especially gardening and sewing. She always had a garden and loved to spend her time outside. She loved her many flower beds and each year had beautiful displays. She made it a point to pass on her love of gardening and sewing to her daughters and grandkids.
Maggie loved being involved in the Parade, Eagle Butte and Dupree communities. Her home was open to all. Many of the nieces and nephews spent time at their house and she loved them all. Maggie always looked forward to the annual Miller reunion visiting with her siblings and cousins and getting to know each of her nieces and nephews.
After the girls graduated from high school, Maggie worked a short time in the Ridge House Café in Eagle Butte and at the Eagle Butte News where she loved the social interaction, but her family, farm and ag businesses took precedence. Grandkids joined the family and were the heart and soul of Maggie. The biggest treat for every grandkid was to stay overnight at Grandma Maggie’s house and hopefully with the rest of the cousins. Grandma would make special meals for the grandkids and always had something sweet to eat. She taught the grandkids how to cook, bake pies, work outside and be respectful. As the grandkids grew older, Maggie spent countless hours attending their school events – proudly watching and cheering each child. Her family continued to grow with the addition of great-grandchildren. She loved them all and was very proud of each new addition. Maggie was a fun and loving person and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Maggie is survived by her husband of 65 years, Frank; her daughters: Sharon (Shawn D.) Boehrs; Lynn (Keith) Watt; Cheryl (Eric) Bogue; nine grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
Maggie was preceded in death by her parents, Cully and Margaret Miller; brothers Bob Miller and Jerry Miller; infant sister, Inez Miller; brothers- and sisters-in-laws; nieces and nephews; and a special great-granddaughter, Hannah Ganje.