Dorothy Preheim: 1939-2022
Dorothy Preheim, 82, of Freeman, S.D., passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 9 at Oakview Terrace in Freeman. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Salem-Zion Mennonite Church. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9 at the Prairie Arboretum on the campus of Freeman Academy.
Dorothy Mae Preheim was born Dec. 8, 1939 to Jacob A. and Ella (Spomer) Miller on a farm in Turner County, rural Hurley, S.D.
She completed her eighth-grade education at Pleasant Ridge District #2 rural school and graduated from Freeman Academy in 1957. She completed her one-year teacher’s certificate from Freeman Junior College in 1958. She grew in her faith at the Salem Mennonite Church and was baptized on May 20, 1956 and on June 17, 1959 she was united in marriage to Lonnie J Preheim, by Rev. J. Herbert Fretz at the Salem Mennonite Church, rural Freeman. They were married for 58 years until Lonnie’s death on Aug. 24, 2017. Upon their marriage she became a member of Salem-Zion Mennonite Church and was a faithful member and worker, serving as teacher and deaconess.
She began her career teaching in rural schools in Turner County from 1958 to 1960 in District #34 and Fairview District #96. When her daughters Lonna and Sheila were born, she continued to impart wisdom as she raised them. Life lessons were taught well to her daughters and granddaughters as she inspired intelligence, independence and self-reliance. Young adults were always in our midst as Mom started the Cloverettes 4-H club before we were old enough to join. For 20 years she touched the lives of community girls, teaching them leadership, homemaking and community service skills.
Farming brought many challenges to our parents in the early years of their marriage, and in 1973, both Mom and Dad joined the workforce while maintaining the farm. Mom started working as a CNA at the new nursing home in Freeman, now Oakview Terrace. She enjoyed this work to the extent that she wanted to pursue a career in nursing. It involved the entire family pulling together to help her pursue this dream, and in 1979, Mom graduated from Freeman Junior College with her LPN degree. In 1988, she graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D. with her RN associate degree. She wore many hats in healthcare working at Freeman Regional Health Services; staff nurse at both Oakview Terrace and the Freeman Regional Hospital; Home Health; Cardiac Rehab; but her true calling came when Sioux Valley Hospital hired her in 1995 to develop a Hospice Program in the Freeman community. Hospice was her passion and it strongly connected her to her community which she served with compassion, common sense, and an absolute respect and understanding of guiding her clients and their families on this final journey.
She was still able to care for her husband when he died in 2017, but it was evident that she was needing more help. In 2020, she moved from Dewald Street apartments to the Salem Mennonite Home and made a final transition to Oakview Terrace in February of 2021. Her life had come full circle. The community that she took care of took care of her in her final years, which brought us all comfort and for that, gratitude.
She is survived by her two daughters and their husbands, Lonna and Emad Beshai, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Sheila and Sam McCrahan, Mesa, Ariz.; and three granddaughters: Julia McCrahan, Hanna and Katrina Beshai; her brother, Dennis Miller and his wife Florence, Hurley, S.D.; and brother-in-law Ellroy Koerner, Freeman.