PUYALLUP, Wash. — Nettie was born on May 13, 1913, in Spearfish, S.D., the daughter of Newell and Edna Dority Hibbard. She passed away peacefully, on May 8, 2013, in Puyallup, Wash., while in the loving care of her daughters, Ramona and Renee.
Nettie's maternal grandparents, William and Clara Hauschild Dority, and her paternal grandparents, Palmer and Jessie Kimble Hibbard, were pioneers of Deadwood, S.D., coming there with the gold rush in 1877. William Dority and his brother, Edwin Dority, had one of the first saloons in the beginning days of Deadwood. Her father was a lifetime Forest Ranger in the Black Hills.
Nettie's remarkable memory allowed her to remember details from a very young age, continuing throughout her lifetime of a century. She enjoyed reminiscing about her younger life in the Black Hills, always telling descriptive and valuable details. Nettie told of remembering hearing the horse hooves clopping along on the brick streets in Deadwood. One of her greatest enjoyments as a young child was riding with her grandmother Hibbard in her horse drawn buggy.
Nettie received her education at Pringle, S.D., as well as at Ravenna, Neb., and graduated from high school at St. Martins Academy at Sturgis, S.D. She loved to dance and described the fun times of the flapper era, and doing the Charleston! It was at a country dance that she met Ira Michaud. Ira was a son of Frank and Mary Katherine "Mamie" Riley Michaud. Ira's grandparents, Felix Michaud and Mathew and Sarah Riley, were very early pioneers in the Custer, S.D., area.
Nettie and Ira were married in September 1933 in Custer, S.D. As newlyweds, they lived at the Michaud homestead in Pleasant Valley, west of Custer. Still being in the Depression, times were tough, and work was hard to find. Ira learned to be a heavy equipment operator through experience and they followed construction in various areas of the Black Hills and onto the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Reservations of S.D.
In 1942, they had an opportunity to move to a small ranch on Pryor Creek, South of Billings. Nettie soon learned how to cook for haying and threshing crews. Here they raised their family of three daughters, Monica, Ramona and Renee, and son, Frank.
For many years, Nettie worked as a custodian at the Morin School. She enjoyed raising vegetables, flowers and chickens. Their cellar was abundant with her preserving. Her apple pies were always a favorite. St. Charles Mission at Pryor, Mont., was an important part of Nettie's life. Both Ira and Nettie were active in gathering family histories for the Trails and Tales, South of The Yellowstone book.
They had 59 happy years together before his death in November 1992. She remained in her small log home on Pryor Creek that Ira built until declining health didn't allow her to live alone. She lived for a time with Monica on Blue Creek and her last years have been with Renee in Puyallup, Wash.
Throughout the years Nettie continuously related her life during the Great Depression to modern times. She taught her family the values of life and being frugal that she had learned while living in those hard times. In her 80th year she wrote the story of her life which is a valuable remembrance for her descendants. She truly enjoyed being the family genealogist. Nettie often remarked about all the changes she saw in her lifetime and she loved to stay up with current events. Recently she said 100 years seems like a long time until you look back on it.
Nettie was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Ira; her sister, Helen Hibbard Jenniges; grandsons, Lon Locke and infant Marc Weldon. She is survived by her brother, Bill Hibbard of Sundance, Wyo.; her daughters, Monica (Dick) Weldon of Blue Creek, Ramona Michaud of Tacoma, Wash., Renee Michaud of Puyallup, Wash.; and son, Frank (Janna) Michaud of Pryor Creek.
She is also survived by twelve grandchildren, Charles "Chuck" Weldon, Monita (Warren) Nemitz, Jeff (Leslie) Weldon, Dave Strobbe, Steve (Maggie) Strobbe, Larry Strobbe, Rita Strobbe (Dave) McNutt, Celeste Locke, Sean (Pam) Locke, Brandi Locke, Abbra Michaud and Ira Michaud; and 17 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to Franciscan Hospice, Box 1502 Tacoma, WA 98401 or one’s choice. The family wishes to express sincere appreciation to Central Pierce Fire & Rescue in Tacoma, Wash., for their assistance.
Memorial Services for Nettie will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 25, at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Burial of ashes will be in Rockvale Cemetery. Memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlfuneralchapel.com