Mary Schmidt

Long-time Custer resident Mary Emalee (Strain) Schmidt died July 13, 2020, at her home. Emalee was born May 14, 1937, in Springfield, Mo.
When Emalee was young, she worked for Hallmark cards as an illustration artist. She married Vernon Schmidt and she and Vernon worked as EMTs for the Ute Tribe in Utah. They did that for many years and Emalee loved to tell stories of their adventures. 
Later, Emalee and Vernon settled in Custer, S.D., off Pass Creek Road. During those early years on Jewell Road, Vernon and Emalee hosted the Gathering of Eagles.
After Vernon’s death Emalee continued to host and encourage spiritual groups to come to her land and do ceremonies or just connect with nature. 
Emalee’s passion for caring for animals gave her purpose in this life. Her dream was always to have a no-kill cat sanctuary on her land. Her furry cat family already misses her loving care. 
Emalee was preceded in death by her husband, Vernon, and brothers, John and Larry Strain of New Mexico. Em left many friends from various communities in the Hills. Everyone who knew her was touched by her loving heart and generous nature. 
There will be a memorial followed by a luncheon, to say goodbye to Emalee, on Em’s land Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, at 1 p.m.
For more information please contact Nancy Herman at 605-673-5169 

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