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Sharon Annette Hoyt Denison was born March 8th, 1941, to Willard Lynn and Violet Virginia Hoyt in McCook Nebraska. She passed away September 7, 2021, in Martin, SD.
She grew up on a farm nine miles south of Culbertson Nebraska, the oldest of four daughters. She became her dad’s right-hand man at an early age, when during WWII, it was hard to find help on the farm. She started very young, driving her dad’s pickup, tractors and other machinery on into the 1950’s. She always loved those old tractors. When Willard started driving stock cars, she would help with the mechanics, and then would race up and down the country roads. In later years, she also drove school buses and ambulances for Bennett County.
In the summers, when the field work was done, the family enjoyed a summer home in Chipita Park Colorado, and Sharon would walk to Green Mountain Falls where she worked as a wrangler for a dude ranch. There she met people from all over the world.
Sharon was baptized at the Stone Church, south of Culbertson. The church built by her grandfather Lynn, was built on one corner of the farm and she went to school built on the opposite corner of the farm. The family later moved to town, when the school closed.
She began 5th grade at Northward school and attended there till Junior High. Her parents and her then went to Curtis where she was enrolled in the University of Nebraska School of Agriculture, A boarding school for farm kids. She like the school so very much that her folks sold the house and town and moved back to the farm. Her sister Virginia also attended Curtis.
She loved dorm life and still considers many classmates as family. She also won the Jr. Ak-Sar-Ben, the first girl to do so.
Sharon met the love of her life, Wallace, at UNSA, and were married soon after graduation. They moved to Bennett County to a farm that Wallace’s dad, Elmer, had rented, southwest of Patricia. Three of their four children, Debra, Dean and Kenneth were born while living there.
Over time they raised beef cows, milk cows, hogs, and sheep. They both drove school bus, to supplement their income.
In 1972, they bought and moved to the Francis farm east of Tuthill, where their son Jim was later born. They continued to milk cows, farm, also doing custom work and both drove school bus.
When Wallace started working for Tom Gaskins, in Eli, doing well work, Sharon continued to farm and do the milking.
In 1988, she became a Emergency Medical Technician, which she continued to do until she retired 22 years later. She also worked part time at the local Veterinary clinic.
She joined the Bennett County Conservation Board, becoming chairman. She was also the chairman of the Badlands Rural Conservation and Development board. She was also the first woman elected to the Bennett County Board of Commissioners. She was awarded the “Excellence in Conservation” by the State Association of Conservation Districts.
Left to mourn her loss are her husband Wallace, her daughter Debra Spencer, her sons Dean and Connie Denison, Kenneth and Frances Denison and Jim and Katie Denison. Her grandchildren, Joel and Beth Spencer, Joshua Spencer and Jessica Denison and two Great grandchildren, Mason Spencer and Angel Spencer. Also grieving are her sisters Virginia and Jack Clark, Patricia Forch, Barbara and Patrick McGill, and one sister in law, Leora Denison, as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews, neighbors and friends.
She is preceded in death by her parents Willard and Violet Hoyt, her parents in law, Elmer and Bessie Denison and son – in-law, Lawson W. Spencer jr.
Saturday, September 11, 2021
Starts at 10:00am (Central time)
Martin American Legion
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