Ardath Ewing, 94, of Winner, SD passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020 at the Avera Rosebud Country Care Center in Gregory, SD.
Funeral service was held on Tuesday, Jan 21, 2020 at 10 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Winner, SD. Burial followed in the Winner City Cemetery.
Ardath Maurine Hopkins Ewing passed away on Jan. 15, 2020, at the age of 94. She was born on Nov. 8, 1925 and lived a full and rewarding life. She grew up with her parents, William and Lydiann Hopkins, on their homestead land.
She was the eighth child and grew up with her younger brothers and often said she was somewhat of a tomboy. As a child Ardath loved to play near or in a gentle creek that wasn’t far from their house. She spent much of her childhood days outside working and playing with her family.
Ardath graduated from Winner High School in 1943 and immediately went to summer school in preparation for a teaching position. She was only seventeen! She passed a state exam and received a 2nd grade teacher’s certificate which was being offered at that time because of a shortage due to WWII.
She didn’t have funding to go to college to further her education. Since she wasn’t 18 until Nov. 8, 1943, she was not old enough to hold a certificate. So, she was allowed to teach on a permit until her birthday. She enjoyed teaching and had good rapport with both parents and students.
Later she enjoyed sharing fond memories of her teaching days with family and friends. She taught in rural schools for three years, and during summers worked at the Outlaw.
Ardath had a boyfriend during her teaching days who was serving in the U.S. Army. After his service in WWII Ardath and Ivan “Bus”, were married.
They worked hard to build a beautiful productive cattle ranch and naturally were proud of their accomplishment. It took much of their care and dedication in good and tough times.
During their young adulthood they were blessed with four children: two boys, Robert “Bob” (Mary), Neil (Theresa), and two girls, Carol (Larry), and Marsha (Tim). They had nine grandchildren and many great grandchildren.
Ardath was an active wife, mother and citizen. She began one of many leadership roles in Home Extension and 4-H when her children were young. When she had time, she loved writing, crafts and music. She was also an excellent cook. Ardath loved to read and write. Because of her love affair with words she successfully wrote articles for magazines and poetry, many of which were published.
She wrote and self-published a book about her parents and siblings traveling by wagon through Oklahoma Territory to homestead in Dakota Territory entitled, “Long Road to Dakota”. Ardath was an active member of the little country neighborhood Lakeview Methodist Church near Dog Ear Lake, and eventually was instrumental in getting it moved and preserved at the Tripp County Historical Society after the church was closed. This led to serving the Tripp County Historical Society for several years.
Later Ardath was pleased and honored by the Tripp County Historical Society for her book, “Long Road to Dakota.” She continued her active role at The Winner United Methodist Church where she served in many capacities. She could play guitar, harmonica, piano, and the accordion and much to her delight would join in playing and singing along with others or simply listening to old familiar tunes.
As the ranch grew so did Ardath’s responsibilities. She brought big meals to the fields, helped sort cattle, kept careful records, and more. She joined the local Cattlewomen’s group and served in leadership capacities there and then went on to become president of South Dakota Cattlewomen. She enjoyed supporting the beef industry, making new friends, and traveling and learning with other leaders.
After Ivan retired Ardath and Ivan enjoyed traveling, something they hadn’t found much time to do in earlier years.
Ardath resided in the Avera Rosebud Country Care Center in Gregory for the past year. She now resides in a much happier place in heaven.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bus, and her granddaughter, Lana.