Dema Nadine McMurtry
Dema Nadine McMurtry was born June 20, 1921 at home in the Buffalo Flats area Northwest of Long Pine, to William Lynn McMurtry and Jane Ellen (Huitt) McMurtry, and passed away at Pine View Good Samaritan Home in Valentine on December 7, 2016.
At the time of Dema’s birth, she had an older brother, Glenn, and on December 10, 1922, her younger brother, Harold Wendell was born. Dema and her two brothers were extremely close and she often mentioned the fact that they rarely ever had a disagreement, but one of the saddest days of her childhood was when her little brother, Harold, died in 1929. Dema attended Buffalo Flats country school through 8th grade and Long Pine High School, where she graduated in 1939.
Growing up during the depression era was hard, and although there was little money, the McMurtry family had many good memories of neighborhood picnics along Pine Creek, neighborhood dances, attending Buffalo Flats Church and Sunday School, neighboring and exchanging work with the Bejots and Wheelers and other neighbors.
Dema’s favorite pastime was riding her horse, Topsy, as her job was to get the milk cows in each day, and to get the mail. There were many rattlesnakes in the Buffalo Flats area and she often killed them by removing one rein and using the snap-end to kill the snake. She would then twist the rattles off and had quite a collection.
There were many fond memories of attending high school in Long Pine. She and her brother, Glenn often attended dances on Saturday nights, and it was at one of the dances where her classmate, Doyle Hollenbeck, introduced her to his brother, Claret. She and Claret courted, and on October 14, 1940, were married, and soon moved to a ranch in the Clearfield, SD area where they made their home.
The following year, December 7, 1941, the tragedy at Pearl Harbor spun the U.S. into World War II, and every December 7 since, Dema reflected on that event and the effect it had on her family, so it is incidental that her death was on the 75th anniversary of that fateful date. Her brother Glenn enlisted in the Air Force in 1941 and became a co-pilot on a B-17. During a bombing raid over Kiel, Germany, Glenn’s plane was shot down over the Black Sea on June 13, 1943, where he perished.
On April 25, 1942, Dema and Claret welcomed their first son, Glen Wendel, and on June 10, 1946, a second son, Ronnie Claret was born. Dema worked alongside her husband building a cow herd and upgrading their ranch and was active in all aspects of the operation. On June 8, 1977, Claret died, and more sadness came to her on April 20, 2001, with the death of her son, Ron. Dema eventually sold her interest in the ranch to her son, Glen and his wife, Yvonne, but remained active in her home on the ranch until March of 2016, when a debilitating stroke forced her into a care facility.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Glenn and Harold; an adopted brother, Ralph; her husband, Claret; and son, Ron. She is survived by her son, Glen (Yvonne); grandsons, Shawn (Mardee), and Jay (Jody); Kimberlee (Brad) Adamson; Melanie (Duane) Schumacker; Tyler (Beth) Hollenbeck; step-granddaughters, Teresa (Mike) Halley and Shari Sandoz; nine grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; a special nephew, Roger Glenn McMurtry; and a host of friends and relatives.
Funeral Service was held on Saturday, December 10 at 10:30 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Valentine. Burial followed at 3:00 p.m. at the Winner, SD City Cemetery. Sandoz Chapel of the Pines was in charge of service arrangements.