Jean Kary, of Norris, South Dakota, age 88, passed away October 8, 2019, in Wichita, Kansas. Jean was born to Cody and Alice (Boyden) Sinning on March 3, 1931, at Cody, South Dakota. She was a ranch wife, artist, historian, and author. She enjoyed photography and always had a camera with her.
Jean grew up east of White River at Cody, South Dakota. She attended White River High School. She worked as a telephone operator in the Northwestern Bell Telephone office in White River prior to her marriage on November 4, 1950, to rancher William (Bud) Kary.
As a young ranch wife, to her husband’s pride, she was an excellent shot with a rifle, and horseback rider, having learned some trick riding earlier in life. She was involved in farming and ranching in Mellette County all of her life. Jean was part of 4-H growing up and a member of the local extention club. Jean belonged to a ladies quilting group and enjoyed making quilts. She loved what she called her “Heritage Quilt Project” where she would complete unfinished quilts. She was an avid reader and belonged to a Topeka book club and a book club in Goddard, Kansas, until she lost her sight almost entirely in the last few months.
Jean enjoyed being a collector of various things such as rocks and brass plates with which she decorated her home. Jean was a great example of what a friend should be and actively corresponding with family and friends by mail and phone was one of her greatest joys. She enjoyed visiting with all her friends.
Jean as a writer, has written poetry and short stories for years. For the past twenty-two years she has researched, written and presented history papers at the South Dakota West River History Conferences. Her work has earned her various awards over the years including the one commending her for preserving South Dakota and Dakota Territory history. She was also nominated for the governor’s history award in 2014 and presented a certificate. Over the last ten years she wrote out in long hand a saga of ten novels as part of the National Novel Writing Month project. Jean also enjoyed music. She played the piano and learned to play an accordion later in life.
Jean was always active in her community and was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary. She attended Cattle Women meetings and Mellette County Historical Society meetings. She strongly believed in voting and donating blood which she did many times.
Jean is survived by her older sister, Florence Strickland, of Lamesa, Texas; son, Ace Kary (Edna Kary), son, Brant Kary, both of Norris, South Dakota; daughter, Rae Kary Staab (Eric Staab) of Mayetta, Kansas, daughter, Anita Kary Barrett (John Barrett), of Goddard, Kansas; grandchildren, Paul Kary, Rebekkah Kary and fiancé Landon Fanning, David Kary, all of South Dakota, Elizabeth Staab Van Deusen and husband David Van Deusen, Cordelia Staab Whitlatch and husband Michael Whitlatch, all of Oklahoma, Emily Barrett Simms and husband Robert Simms of Kansas, Lawrence Barrett of Texas, Rachel Barrett Cress and husband Ben Cress of Utah; great grandchildren, Jaelynn Simms, Declan Simms, Samuel Van Deusen, Jeremiah Van Deusen, Josiah Whitlatch, and many extended family members and friends.
Jean was preceded in death by her husband, William (Bud) Kary in 1992, her parents, Cody and Alice Sinning, and her older sister, Marie Ramsborg.
Jean Kary trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior. She recognized and appreciated His many blessings in her life. Jean attended Believers Baptist Church in Wichita for the past several years.
Viewing will be at Webb-Shinkle Funeral Home in Clearwater, Kansas, on Saturday, October 12, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Visitation, 11am-1pm, Friday, October 18, 2019, Norris Bible Church followed by Funeral Services at 1:00pm Central Standard Time.
Memorial: Norris Volunteer Fire Department, 24820 270th St, Norris, South Dakota, 57560.
To send flowers to Jean's family, please visit our floral section.
Norris Volunteer Fire Department
24820 270th St., Norris SD 57560