Durwood Lyle Weaver, 85, passed away at his home on April 17, 2018.
He was the first child born to Lyle and Famie (Froid) Weaver on June 27, 1932, in the house his grandparent’s homesteaded. His Grandma Lena and Aunt Nancy Sipe were there to welcome him. The doctor didn’t arrive for several hours after he was born.
He was the only child for nine years, so he did a lot of playing with his dogs and making harnesses for them to pull him in his wagon or sled in the winter. He was his dad’s shadow and learned a lot about farming from the seat of his dad’s steel wheeled McCormick Deering tractor, as his dad stood to drive.
Together they cared for the cattle, pigs, hayed, combined, cut corn and helped the neighbors with whatever needed to be done. He went to the Dillavou School about a mile south of the place.
He was near sighted and couldn’t see the board at school, so quit school when he completed the eighth grade. As a teenager, he was called upon to stay at neighbors to do their chores and sometimes care for their younger children when their folks had to be gone.
He liked riding his horse and tried his hand at breaking broncs for the neighbors. He got a job as a grease monkey with a neighbor on the road construction past his place, then later went on as a laborer on I-90 west of Sundance, Lander and I-25 at Kaycee.
Uncle Sam called, so he spent two years in the Army before coming home and working for his Uncle Nels as a ranch hand. He worked for the Forest Service and was down in the southern hills when his Dad passed away suddenly on August 6, 1962.
He quit working for the Forest Service and came home to do the combining and haying on the family farm. He went to work for Garhart and Pool, cutting logs, skidding etc. with Preston Mitchell’s crew. He still stayed at home and took care of his mother’s cattle, chores, farming and haying.
He had done chores on the neighbor dairy farm and thought that might be a good job and he could be home. He and his brother Ron started building a barn and he got a couple calves from the neighbor in pay for work. He bought six Holstein Swiss calves and raised them.
On July 4, 1975, he called a lady mechanic who worked at John’s Garage in Belle Fourche and asked her for a date. Six months later, on December 27, 1975 he and Gwennie (Gwen) Maddison were married at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. To this union four children were born: Kelly, Kenny, Judy and Joany.
Together the two finished the barn and started a Grade A dairy farm in April of 1976. They bought heifers from Wisconsin to get started then raised all of their own replacements.
They worked side by side in the dairy barn, haying, feeding, fixing fence and hauling many loads of hay from Newell, South Dakota, until April of 2007, when the milk plant in Rapid City, South Dakota, closed. With no place for the milk to go, they had to sell the dairy cows.
It was a sad day when they sold the cows and watched them leave to a new home. He was very proud of his dairy cows and wanted them to be healthy and in good shape. He spent a lot of time caring for them.
You couldn’t quit or eat until all the livestock was fed and watered. He could be seen out in the pickup checking cows or fixing fences and always had a Border Collie dog at his side.
He was very proud of his four children and enjoyed having them with him to show and teach them what he knew and instilled a good work ethic in all of them. Then the grandchildren started coming and he was so happy to spend time with them to love, hold and teach.
He was so happy to have his kids and grandkids around, especially for a big holiday meal. His quiet manner and smile will be dearly missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lyle and Famie Weaver; father and mother-in-law Milton (Micky) and Helen Maddison; special aunt Edla Pearson; angel grandson Kage Matthew Weaver; sister-in-law Peg Weaver; and brother-in-law Evan Maddison.
He leaves behind a loving wife of 42 years, Gwen Weaver; two sons Kelly (Tami) Weaver and Kenny (Lynn)Weaver; two daughters Judy (Ben) Neiman and Joan (Dean) Bethea; six grandson Donnavan, Cameron, Michael, Kody, Lance and Collin; five granddaughters Jade, Maddison, Arianna, Rose and Emma; five step-grandchildren, Luke, Maria, Taitlyn, Rebecca, Titus; brother Ron (Nancy) Weaver; and special honorary grandchildren, Ellie and Jozi.
Visitation will be from 5-6 p.m. on Thursday, April 19, 2018, at Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapel in Spearfish. Vigil will follow at 6 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 20, 2018, at St Paul Catholic Church in Belle Fourche. Burial will follow at Pine Slope Cemetery in Belle Fourche.
Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapels and Crematory Service of Spearfish. Online condolences may be written at www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com.