Dorothy Kepford - Brookings

Feb. 24, 1932- June 19, 2019

Dorothy Kepford


Feb. 24, 1932- June 19, 2019

Dorothy H. Kepford, 87, of Brookings, died on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, at the Neighborhoods at Brookview in Brookings.  

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 25, 2019, at Faith Reformed Church in Brookings with burial to follow at Greenwood Cemetery.   Visitation will be 5 p.m. until 7 p.m., on Monday, June 24, at Eidsness Funeral Home in Brookings.  

Dorothy was born on Feb. 24, 1932, on the family farm near Edgerton, MN, the daughter of Henry and Minnie (Lock Horst) Pater. She was baptized and confirmed at First Reformed Church in Edgerton.  She received her education in country school until the 5th grade and then transferred to Edgerton Public Schools, graduating in 1949 from Edgerton High School.  

After receiving her education, she moved to Sioux Falls and was employed at Morrell’s.  In June of 1954, she met James E. Kepford at a dance and they married at First Reformed Church in Sioux Falls in November of that same year.  Dorothy said she decided to marry so quickly because Jim wanted to go out every night and she was getting tired of going out every single night.  In 1957, her husband’s job took them to Brookings, .  Dorothy continued working at Morrell’s until 1959. 

After being a working and commuting mom and when she had finally saved enough money for one last project - drapes for the duplex they lived in at the time - she quit the Morrell’s job.  Money she socked away was rolled into building an apartment house and Dorothy took up being the landlady while her husband traveled for his job.  She operated the Silver Bell Café in Volga from 1983 until 1985.  In 1985, they moved to Arizona where she took jobs for the Mesa School District Kitchen, Taco Bell and Hotel Host.  In 1989, they moved to Casselton, ND where she was employed at the local Dairy Queen.  By 1990, they returned to Brookings to again manage their apartment house.

The most important things to Dorothy were her family and her church.  She opened her home and heart to foster children, earning a five year service plaque covering 1980 to 1985 from the South Dakota Foster Parents Association.  She remained in touch with some of those foster children for years after they left her home.  She also joined Jim in working with the Civil Air Patrol from 1982 until 1985, earning the rank of 2nd LT.  She was also active in the church circle.

Dorothy did a great deal of traveling by car and camping with her husband and children through most of the continental US.  She and Jim also traveled overseas to such destinations as London, The Netherlands, Jamaica, the Bahamas and Hawaii.

She had many hobbies including woodworking and upholstering.  Most fun were the cake decorating classes.  She made many graduation and wedding cakes.  At Christmas time, she turned her skills to building elaborate Gingerbread Houses.  

She loved to bake and often gave the treats to her friends, neighbors and tenants.  She and Jim were founding members of the Brookings Homemade Wine Lover’s Club.  Dorothy attended many of her grandson’s basketball games at the high school and college level.

Dorothy is survived by her children, James (Veronica) Kepford of White, Corinne Kepford-Jackson of Pierre, Julie (Doug) Pederson               of Volga,  Thomas (Joyce) Kepford of Brookings; her grandchildren, Nadine Kepford of Pierre, Jesse Kepford of Moorhead, MN, Dwight Pederson of California, Cole Pederson of Brookings; great-grandchildren, Kyle Sterling and Samuel Sterling of Pierre;  Step-Grandchildren, Christopher Poole of Brookings,, Catherine Poole of Brookings, and Amanda Poole of Jacksonville, FL.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, four Brothers (Arthur, Gerrit, Henry, and John) and two Sisters (Henrietta Spronk, Tracy Bruxvoort).


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