Marjean Fawcett 1935-2013

Posted February 26, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Marjean Fawcett 1935-2013

Marjean Joanne Diede Fawcett, 77, of Ree Heights, S.D., died peacefully Saturday evening, Feb. 16, 2013 at her home on the ranch. She lived and died the way she wanted to: on the ranch, surrounded by family.

Funeral services were held Saturday, Feb. 23, at 1 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Miller, S.D. with Pastor Brian Jones officiating. Burial followed at the Ree Heights Morningside Cemetery.

As the sun rises over the eastern hillside, we stop and appreciate the warmth and goodness of our wonderful Green Valley, the home of Marjean Fawcett for nearly 60 years. She experienced the coldest of winters, the beauties of early spring, and the long and enduring summers and falls full of never ending work. She was in awe of the beauty of the first crocus every spring, picked especially for her by the love of her life, and marveled at first breaths of a newborn baby calf. Her front door was always open, the coffee was hot, and the dinner table always expanded to feed “her crew” and whoever else had found their way to the ranch that day.

Born to Theodore and Anne Diede on February 27, 1935, on a farm six miles southwest of Miller, Marjean was the middle child of five children.

Always a farm girl, with plenty of German spirit, most notably her hard headedness and determination, she grew up north of Miller, attending country school through the eighth grade and graduating from Miller High School in 1953. It was there she met the love of her life, her confidante, and best friend, Robert Fawcett.

The pair married on September 27, 1953 and settled on Robert’s family’s ranch south of Ree Heights. Three children were born to this enduring union. Together they opened their home to a foreign exchange student, Irene Vesci, building a relationship that has grown stronger over the past 35 years. Her 12 grandchildren are an extension of her strength and courage. Two great-grandchildren have enlightened her days and brought a smile to her face.

Marjean’s life was her family and the ranch; her home was the hub of the ranch. She knew the plan of the day, where a hired hand was working, and the price of the load of cattle that went to market that day. Her radio was always on, and her voice was heard and heeded as she directed all to “Toe the mark.”

Her basement or utility room was at times a calf orphanage, or the hospital to several young babes, born in a snow bank. Her constant attention restored them so they could soon be reunited with the momma cow. Her kitchen table was the conference room where decisions were made, weather was discussed, and the activities of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were noted. Many a pet was loved but especially Jocko, her special companion. As the matriarch of Fawcett Elm Creek Ranch, Marjean was a lady who worked as hard as any man and would clean up as pretty as any lady.

Her many talents are recorded in the stained glass windows hanging in local churches and many homes. Her leadership lives on in the lives of many 4-Hers whom she taught and nurtured. Her faith was strong, her beliefs never waned, and her love of nature and God’s Country was always the force within her.

Marjean is survived by her husband, Robert; three children,

Kim (Bill) Priest of Sabetha, Kan., Peggy (Steve) Busse of Rapid City, S.D., and Keith (Cheryl) Fawcett of Ree Heights, S.D.; 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; one sister, Mavonne (Linn) Neu; one brother, Marvin (Carolyn) Diede; brother-in-law Leo Istas; and the Fawcett, Diede and Stoebner extended families.

She was preceded in death by her father and mother; and her sisters, Shirley Wellner and Delores Istas.

Reck Funeral Home of Miller has been entrusted with Marjean’s arrangements. Please visit

(Paid obituary)