Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Dorothy Marlys French

Dorothy Marlys (Wenzel) French, 101, Sturgis, South Dakota, passed away on August 1, 2023 at Aspen Grove Assisted Living in Sturgis.

Dorothy was born on the family homestead near Bixby, South Dakota, June 22, 1922 to Walter F. and Kate Belle (Field) Wenzel. She attended grade school at Brushy School in Perkins County, two years of high school at the School of Agriculture, Brookings, South Dakota, and graduated from Northgate High School, Northgate, North Dakota, in 1940.

She continued her education at Black Hills Teachers College and began teaching at Moskee, Wyoming, where she taught in the Alva School District.

Dorothy was active in her community being a member of the Beaver Creek Homemakers Club, a lifetime member of Hulett Rebekah Lodge #49, serving as a 4-H leader and cook at Mallo Canyon 4-H Camp and being the Crook County Fair Supervisor. She also held several offices with the Farm Bureau.

On December 10, 1944, she married Russell E. French at Mitchell, South Dakota, and started their family.

Dorothy is survived by her children, Joe Russell (Patricia), Lemmon, South Dakota, Ned Victor, Winnemucca, Nevada, Lea Kathryn (Clem) Nighswonger, Wasilla, Alaska, along with many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; brothers, Henry, William (Bill), Walter L. (Bud); sisters, Kathryn (Kay) and Nora E .; daughter, Marlys Grace; great great grandson, Wilder; daughter-in-law, Susan French; and grandson-in-law, Vance Blacksmith.

Visitation will be Thursday, August 3, 2023, 5–7 p.m., Kinkade Funeral Chapel, Sturgis. Graveside services will be held Saturday, August 5, 9:30 a.m., at the Alva Cemetery, Alva, Wyoming.

Following her wishes, Dorothy will be cremated and buried beside her husband, Russell.

In lieu of flowers, donations made be made to the Children's Miracle Network, to be used locally in Rapid City and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

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