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February 25, 1917 - February 18, 2023
Service Date March 3, 2023
Location Rimrock Evangelical Free Church
A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, March 3, 2023, at 11 a.m. at Rimrock Evangelical Free Church in Rapid City. Burial will be in Alpena, SD beside her first husband.
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Mary Frances Holland Heuer Doescher
Mary Frances Holland was born Feb. 25, 1917, to Francis Marion and Rosa Pauline Holland in Auxvasse, Mo., the oldest of three children. She graduated from Auxvasse High School at which she played running center on the girls basketball team. The team uniforms were bloomers and they played on an outdoor dirt court. Her nickname was Flea because she was always in motion.
She attended Central Methodist College in Fayette, Mo., the College of Art at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., and NE State Teachers College at Kirksville, Mo.
Mary met William Lawrence ?Heuer in a Red Cross class. They were married March 12, 1943, in Reno, Nev. He was a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Force and was stationed in Europe during WWII. To this union, two daughters were born, Lois Jean and Norma Gayle.
Mary and Lawrence owned and operated the telephone exchanges in Stickney and Alpena, S.D. Mary taught school for 20 years in Auxvasse and Fulton, Mo., Stickney and Alpena and at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. She was the first director of the Head Start program in Mitchell, S.D. She was a Hospice volunteer and a Red Cross instructor. She taught Sunday School, Bible studies and gave piano and art lessons. As an artist, she painted murals, signs and paintings. She was known throughout the region for her chalk drawings.
She lived a life of service to others.
After her husband of 20 years died in 1963, Mary went back to college at Dakota Wesleyan University where she met and married her math instructor, Wilmer Doescher. They were married March 19, 1965, and moved to Rapid City, S.D. He died in 1982.
Mary was a charter member of Rimrock Evangelical Free Church at Johnson Siding, S.D., and was secretary and assistant to the pastors there for 16 years. She retired in September 1996.
When she was 101, she fell and broke a hip during one of the three weekly exercise classes she participated in. After her recovery, she was forced to give up her car, her apartment and her independence. She moved to Wedgwood Assisted Living in Custer, S.D. In 2022, she moved to Seven Sisters Nursing Home in Hot Springs, S.D., where she died Feb. 18, 2023, seven days short of her 106th birthday.
Two weeks before her death, she told her daughter that she had had a good life.
Her favorite scripture was Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Mary was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Harry Holland; a sister, Sarah Elliott; both husbands; a son-in-law, Ben Bittner; and a granddaughter, Tara Bittner.
Survivors include her daughters, Lois Bittner of Hill City, S.D., Norma (Charley) Najacht of Custer; seven grandchildren, Troy Bittner of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Trent Bittner of Windsor, Colo., Melanie Wiedmann of Rapid City, Darlene Running Bear of Rapid City, Jason (Xenia) Najacht of Highland, Ind., Jonathan (Veronica)?Najacht of Hoffman Estates, Ill., and Joshua Najacht of Kearney, Neb.; and 10 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held March 3 at 11 a.m. at Rimrock Evangelical Free Church in Rapid City. Burial will be in Alpena beside her first husband.
She requested that memorials be sent to Rimrock Evangelical Free Church or to a favorite charity in lieu of flowers.