Sylvia Davis, age 94

Sylvia M. Davis

Sylvia Myrtle Davis was born June 20, 1923, on the banks of the Cheyenne River, in the log cabin her parents, Guy Davis and Myrtle Rose Davis, built on their homestead in 1906.
From a very young age, Sylvia felt deep ties to the land and the ranching way of life. Her childhood was spent helping to care for her family's cattle, and she would tell stories of during drought years trailing the cattle into the Badlands to graze the undisturbed grass growing on the plateaus. Her mother would meet them in a covered wagon, and they would spend the nights out under the stars. One of her proudest moments was when she overheard her father (a cowboy in the great round up of 1902) ask her mother if Sylvia might be able to round up the cattle with him, as she was a better cowboy then most of the men he knew. 
As Sylvia grew, she kept her love of ranching, and after her marriage to William Stone, Sr., they were able to ranch first, south of Rapid City, then buying their own ranch from Leo Bastian, on the old Pedro town site in 1959, bringing her again to the Cheyenne River breaks that she loved so much.
Growing up, Sylvia loved her time spent on the prairie, but being so far from town brought up an issue of schooling for she and her six siblings, which was solved by her mother running the hotel in Wasta during the school year, so they could all attend school. 
She attended school in Wasta until her senior year, then finished her schooling in Philip, graduating from Philip High School in 1941. It was while she was a sophomore in Wasta, that a boy from up north transfered into school. His name was William Stone, and she would marry him in 1942.
In the fall of 1943, Bill and Sylvia welcomed their first son, William Robert, Jr. He was soon followed by John Ralph, Susan Marie, Guy Evans and David Luke, having five children in the span of 10 years. 
While her children attended Deep Creek School, Sylvia enjoyed teaching music classes and harmonica to all the school children. Sylvia passed on her kind and caring personality to her children, along with her love of the land she was raised on. In addition, she passed on her love for animals, and it was during this time Sylvia began a life long love of raising animals, ranging from cocker spaniels, collies, horses and even canaries, just to name a few.
In 1989, Bill and Sylvia sold the ranch, and Sylvia was able to retire, first living in a cabin near her parents homestead, then moving to Rapid City, where she had lived for the past 25 years. In her retirement, Sylvia was able to focus on her poetry, of which she was very talented. She was featured in many magazines, a PBS TV special, and in recent years had a collection of her works published into a book. Even in retirement, Sylvia was an active rancher, keeping a small herd of cattle until the day she passed.
She was a friend to all who met her, and one of the most genuinely kind and loving people that you could ever have the honor of meeting.
Sylvia Davis passed peacefully from this earth Sunday, Feb. 4, at her home in Rapid City. 
She is survived by her sister, Dona Bodkin; children, Susan (Paul) Robinson, Chamberlain, Guy Stone, Yankton, and Dave (Virgina) Stone, Spearfish; daughters-in-law, Louise Stone, Lincoln, Neb., and Linda Stone, Rapid City; 10 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, one great-great-granddaughter, and many other friends and family.
She is preceded in death by her mother, Myrtle Rose Davis, in 1942 and her father, Guy Davis, in 1960; her older siblings, Roy Davis, Ruby Brech, Rose Stahr, Lucy Wilsey, Ada Wilsey and two infant sisters, Myrtle Grace and Ida Jane; her husband, William Stone, Sr., in 2015; sons, Dr. William R. Stone, Jr., in 2014 and John Ralph Stone in 2016; and daughter-in-law, Peggy Weber Stone in 2015.
Services will be held 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at the United Methodist Church in Wall, with visitation one hour preceding the services.
No matter where she lived, or her condition in life, she always felt her heart was in the land of the Cheyenne River breaks, and to that land she will return, being laid to rest in peace in the Rose family cemetery.
Arrangements are with the Rush Funeral Chapel of Wall.

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