Rosalee Thompson, 80, of Ft. Pierre, South Dakota, died Saturday, Oct. 12 at Highmore Health Care in Highmore, South Dakota. Memorial graveside services will be held at 1 p.m. (MST) Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Martin Community Cemetery in Martin South Dakota.
Rosalee Lorene (Byrne) Thompson was born on June 28, 1939 in Martin, South Dakota to James and Beulah (Klingaman) Byrne. She is the oldest of six children. She grew up in Martin, South Dakota and attended Bennett County school through the eighth grade. She then attended St. Frances Mission High School and graduated in May of 1959.
She moved to Fort Pierre, South Dakota where she worked as a waitress and met Gailen Johnson who was in South Dakota working on the Oahe Dam. They married on Oct. 31, 1959. Their marriage was blessed with four children. They lived in various places in South Dakota, Nebraska and Missouri throughout their marriage.
In 1971, Rosalee married Charles F. Thompson at Gladstone, Missouri. They lived in Fort Pierre while Charles worked construction and Rosalee worked at the Pierre Indian Learning Center. In 1984 they relocated to Oxford, Georgia where Charles was lead man for James T. Jones who owned Deis Construction Company until his health failed him and he passed in June 15, 2000. Rosalee continued to live in Oxford and was the Executive Director of the Food Pantry in Covington. In 2015 when Rosalee’s health failed her, she retired from the food pantry and moved back to South Dakota to be near family.
Rosalee is remembered for her contagious laugh and her love of helping those around her and laid back sense of humor. She enjoyed the outdoors, spending time with family and friends and playing bingo. If given the chance to dance, she was there.
She is survived by one daughter: Lola (Brian) Scott, of Fort Pierre, South Dakota; Jim Johnson, of Martin, South Dakota; Mike (Tracee) Johnson, of Martin, South Dakota; siblings Joyce Butcher, of Wyoming; Reva Good, of New Underwood, South Dakota; Donnie (Shirley) Byrne, of Miles City, Montana; Kathy (Floyd) Peterson, of Rapid City, South Dakota; grandchildren, Rosemarie (Loren) Shoop, of Vivian, South Dakota; Rochelle (Lane) Lamphere, of Sturgis, South Dakota; Meghan (Luke O’Dea), of Fort Pierre, South Dakota; Sara Jean Johnson, of Martin, South Dakota; Sadee and Henry Johnson, of Martin, South Dakota; great-grandchildren, Davin (Nataie) Yost, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Karalynn Yost, Lydiah and Maysie Kuipers, of Vivian, South Dakota; Dallys Day, of Sturgis, South Dakota and Copelee O’Dea, of Fort Pierre, South Dakota. Also many cousins, nieces, nephews, and special friends; Christine Terrell, Lisa Jones and Fred Luttery.
She is preceded in death by husband Charles F. Thompson, ex-husband Gailen Johnson (April 2008), firstborn daughter Gaila Rose (still-born August 1960), brother Leroy Byrne, parents James and Beulah Byrne, and Maternal and paternal grandparents.