Dorothy D. Cwach, 84, Gering

Dorothy D. Cwach, 84 of Gering died on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at her home with her family by her side. Abiding by her wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held on Friday, November 9, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at Christ the King Catholic Church in Gering. Memorial contributions may be made in Dorothy's name to Valley Bank and Trust Co.

Dorothy was born November 4, 1928 in Winner, South Dakota to Jack and Pearl (McKee) Wang. She was the oldest of nine children. She grew up and attended school in Wood, SD and graduated from high school there in 1947. Dorothy attended Black Hills State College in 1947 following her graduation from high school and she obtained a Teaching Permit which enabled her to teach in the rural schools of Mellette and Beadley Counties. She continued her education at Huron College and obtained her Bachelor's Degree, and then she accepted a position in her first "town" school at Wolsey, SD. In May, 1948 Dorothy married Richard (Dick) McKean of White River, SD and to that union five children were born. Dorothy and Dick divorced during the summer of 1959 and that fall she married Elmer Cwach, whom she met at Black Hills State College while attending summer school. In 1962, Dorothy and Elmer accepted positions with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and began their careers as educators in Indian Schools. She began her teaching career in September, 1947 and continued in that profession until she was 79 years old.

Most of her teaching years were spent in Indian Reservation schools in North and South Dakota; with the last 38 years spent as an educator on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Dorothy devoted much time furthering her education and was certified by the State of South Dakota to act in almost any educational capacity in that State. She served a variety of capacities on the Pine Ridge Reservation, first as a federally employed teacher and later as a principal of Porcupine Day Schools for several years.

Dorothy was a very loving mother, grandmother, and great grandmother; always stressing the importance of education, participation in our country's political process and compassion for those less fortunate. She enjoyed the numerous family gatherings at her home and always made sure everyone knew how welcome they were.

Survivors include her husband Elmer, Gering, her children: Mark McKean, Leesburg, FL, Kerry McKean, Amarillo, TX, Richard (Kathleen) McKean, Bayard, Katherine Hatfield, Sturgis, SD, and Becky (Randy) Richter, Gering. Grandchildren: Ryan, Stephen, Jason and Jared (Katie) McKean, Caine VanDeWater, Melissa (Shad) Forgey, Ashley Hatfield, Marty (Maria) Gillen, Christi (Zac) Hays, Michael Gillen, Michelle (PJ) Hoehn. Great Grandchildren: Bradley and Anabelle Gillen, Aiden and Caitlyn Hoehn, Brianne and Lily Hays, and Vincent and Valerie Forgery; two sisters, three brothers and numerous nieces and nephews. Preceding her in death were her parents, two brothers and one sister.

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