Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Scott Mason Clarkson

Scott Mason Clarkson, 78, of Spearfish, SD passed away with his family by his side in Rapid City, after a brief but insurmountable series of medical crises.

Scott was born to Herbert and Dorothy (Herb and Dot) Clarkson on April 6, 1946 in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. He grew up with his sisters and brother, fishing, hunting and trapping along the banks of the Belle Fourche River on the family farm east of town.

He attended Ingersoll Country School just down the road from his home through 6th grade. He then attended Belle Fourche schools through 1962, Shattuck Military Academy in Faribault, Minnesota, for his junior year of high school, returning to Belle Fourche High School to graduate in 1964.

Scott began his college career attending Black Hills State College (now University) and ultimately graduated from the University of Wyoming with a bachelor's degree in economics in 1969. While attending college, Scott was also a member of the South Dakota National Guard from 1967-1973.

On August 20, 1966, Scott married Kathleen Soper. Scott and Kathy raised their three children Heidi, Dylan and Trey on the family farm. He loved sharing his passions of fishing, music, skiing, tennis, shooting sports and other hobbies with his children, and later his grandchildren, spending countless hours helping and encouraging them to develop a lifetime love of sports and hobbies.

Scott began his lifelong career in banking first in Laramie, Wyoming, where he worked for one year at the Bank of Laramie. In 1967, he began working at the Bank of Belle Fourche (now Pioneer Bank & Trust) alongside his father Herbert, later his brother Jeb, and most recently, son Dylan as the family helped to grow the Bank of Belle Fourche from the original branch in Buffalo, South Dakota (First State Bank) to what Pioneer Bank & Trust is today.

Scott retired from Pioneer Bank & Trust in 2001 but remained a member of the Board of Directors until his passing.

On July 29, 2006, Scott married Mary Espeseth and they made their home along Piney Creek near U-Cross, Wyoming, where Scott enjoyed fishing (of course), raising pheasants, tying his own flies, reloading shotgun shells and teaching himself how to make sculptures out of driftwood and metal. Most were fish.

Here he also developed a shooting clays range where he and Mary (affectionately dubbed the "theme queen") hosted friendly shooting competitions and fabulous dinner parties for their numerous friends and family.

In 2016, Scott and Mary settled in Spearfish to be close to family and enjoy their grandchildren. From here they also travelled extensively in their RV and spent time in Arizona.

Scott Clarkson was a brilliant businessman, a trained pilot, an expert marksman, a world-class fly-fisherman, an excellent skier and tennis player and a connoisseur of fine cars, food and music. But above all, he was a loving and beloved son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend who will be dearly missed by those whose lives he touched.

He is preceded in death by his father, Herb and sister, Kelli. He is survived by his wife, Mary; his mother, Dotty, Spearfish; daughter, Heidi (Matt) Stefanich, Beulah, Wyoming; sons, Dylan (Nicki), Spearfish and Trey (Brittany), Belle Fourche; and Mary's son, Matt (Karen) Espeseth, Denver, Colorado; grandchildren, Logan and Myles Stefanich, Sawyer, Lennon and Maddox Clarkson, and Benjamin and Elyse Clarkson; brother, Jeb (Maureen) Clarkson, Belle Fourche; sisters, Karen (Doug) Anderson, Spearfish, Cathy (Gerry) Bennett, Spearfish; as well as numerous nieces and nephews and their children and countless friends across the country and Canada.

On Saturday, June 15 friends and family are invited to celebrate Scott's life at the Clarkson family farm located East of Belle Fourche at 11510 US Highway 212 at 2 p.m.

An online guest book is available at

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