Mary Slovek

Mary Slovek, age 91, of Philip, South Dakota, died on Tuesday, January 16, 2024 at Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital in Philip.
Mary was born on November 9, 1932 in Manderson, South Dakota to Helen and Bill Parsons. The family moved to Hardingrove where she attended grade school and then off to high school in Rapid City. Mary rode the train from Philip to Rapid City to attend school. She graduated from Philip High School and then attended Black Hills Teachers College and taught country school. Mary told many stories about enduring the terrible blizzard of 1949 during her high school years.
Mary met the love of her life at a roller skating rink. The tall, handsome, dark- haired man was Frank Slovek. They were married on June 8, 1952. To this union six children were born.
They bought the Dorothy and Ray Smith place and started their married life on the ranch. Mary was very involved with the ranch and her community. Mary was a sports enthusiast; baseball and bull riding were her favorites. Mary and Frank loved to travel together and went on many wonderful trips: once to Hawaii, Branson, Missouri, the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City and traveled to Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, a couple of times with friends.
Mary and Frank had roller skates and enjoyed skating Sunday afternoons in Philip. She even had her own snowmobile and skies. As the kids were growing up, Sunday afternoons were filled with numerous kids around loving the cinnamon rolls she would make for them.
Mary was a faithful member of The Evangelical Free Church, teaching Release Time, Sunday School and Bible School. She enjoyed the many gatherings after church on Sundays. She also operated a dress shop, The Fashion Shoppe, in Philip for many years in the 70’s.
Her married life was sadly shortened when Frank had a heart attack and left her a widow at 53. She continued to live on the ranch until she was 70 years old. During that time she spent many winters in Sun City, AZ. She moved to the Black Hills for a few years and then finally returned to Philip.
Mary loved a good card game and going to Hill City during the Motorcycle Rally. She would sit out front of her daughter’s store looking at all the beautiful motorcycles and visiting with the bikers. Once she was even given a ride on a Harley.
Her family called her the Energizer Bunny. She lived in her own home and even mowed her own yard up to the very end. On December 4, 2023 she found out she had cancer. Mary’s last big joy was Christmas surrounded by all of her family.
Mary is survived by her children, Judy Walker of Custer, Carol Slovek of Philip, Julie McQuirk of Rapid City, Scott (Greg) Boehm-Slovek of Crab Orchard, TN, Paul Slovek of Philip, and Dwight (Marie) Slovek of Philip; numerous grandchildren, great- grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild; sisters, Doris Berry of Philip, Leah (James) Waddell of Phoenix, AZ, brother, Bill (Connie) Parsons of Milesville; sister-in-law Joanne Parsons of Rapid City, sister-in-law Janice Parsons of Milesville; and many other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Frank; granddaughters, Alicia McQuirk and Chris Poper; sons-in-law Ralph McQuirk, and Larry Walker; and brothers, Dean, Boyd and Bart Parsons.
In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established locally.
Visitation was held 5-7 p.m. Friday, January 19, at the American Legion Hall in Philip.
Funeral services were held 1:30 p.m. Saturday, January 20, at the American Legion Hall in Philip.
Interment followed at the Masonic Cemetery in Philip.
Arrangements are with Rush Funeral Home of Philip.

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
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