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Mary Lois Hurd Wonder


February 1, 2018

Mary Lois Hurd Wonder of Paradise and Plains passed away from a stroke January 27, 2018. She was born May 19, 1915 in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, to George W. Hurd and Mary Catherine Smith Hurd, Americans who came to Canada to work on a farm. They returned to the United States in 1918, where she grew up first in eastern North Dakota and then in eastern South Dakota. She graduated from high school in 1935 at Rockham, S.D.

Lois attended college for one year at Wessington Springs, S.D., and began a teaching career which spanned more than 35 years. The first position was in a one room country school near Miller, S.D., in 1936. In 1937 she took a teaching position in the Black Hills near Pringle, in western South Dakota. In 1938 she returned to the Miller area to teach for one term, but for health reasons she went back to the Black Hills near Hot Springs, S.D. where she taught for the next five years.

In 1945 she married George Donald Wonder of Buffalo Gap, S.D. Son David was born in July of 1946. In 1952 she moved to Custer State Park where her husband had begun working. In 1961 she returned to teaching and taking college classes in the summer. In 1968 she returned to college full-time at Black Hills State in Spearfish, S.D., graduating in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree.

In 1970 she moved to western Montana and began teaching at Elmo and then at Saltese, and then in 1973 she began teaching at Paradise, which was the largest school she ever taught in. She had always taught in the one room rural schools. She retired from teaching in 1982 at Paradise and continued to live in Paradise. Many of her students from the Paradise school are still in the area. In 2017 she went to live in Plains with her son and daughter-in-law in Plains, and in April she entered long term care at Clark Fork Valley Hospital.

Lois is survived by her son David Allen Wonder and his wife Raquel of Plains; seven grandchildren, Cassandra, Rachel, Mary, Christina, David, Dennis, and Antoinette; several great-grandchildren; two nephews, Steven Foster of Portland, Ore., and Kevin Foster and his wife Teri of Rock Springs, Wyo.; and his children, Carrie, Kevin, Stacy, and Amanda. She also leaves a host of friends in Paradise, Plains and Hot Springs.

Lois was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, a sister, Ruth Ann Shull, an infant brother, Maynard Allen Hurd and many of her dear friends.

She was a member of the Hot Springs Bible Church and attended the Plains Bible Chapel for several years, in her last years she attended the Plains Alliance Church as her health allowed. She enjoyed painting and her Bible study group. She rode her horse, Flicka, until she could no longer ride. She always had a little dog as a companion. In lieu of flowers a memorial may be given in her name to the charity of their choice or the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch.

Services will be held Friday, Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. at Alliance Church. Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, at Sunset Hills Funeral Home in Plains.


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