Gwen Arden Ehlers

Gwendolyn Arden (Shoun) (Maney) Ehlers was born Aug. 14, 1939, to Orville Garfield Shoun and Ethel Leona Moreland, the oldest of 11 siblings.

She attended grade school at Red Owl and high school in Spearfish. After graduation she worked at Rapid City Clothing, a western clothing store in Rapid City.

Gwen entered the Range Days Rodeo Queens contest and was crowned queen. On Aug. 8, 1959, she had her daughter Jerri Ann. Gwen and Jerri moved to Salt Lake City, to be near Gwen’s Aunt Mary and Uncle Virgil VanDeventer, for a brief time before returning to Sturgis. She worked at Farmers Feed and Seed where she me t Gordon Maney. They were married from 1965 until his death in 1971. In her 30s she attended a semester at Black Hills State College. Gwen went on to accomplish and succeed in many adventures. Gwen worked for KBHB selling advertisement for several years, sold real-estate, owned a beauty shop, a flower shop, and a restaurant, and for a short time was a security guard for one of the coal mines in Gillette. While she was working at KBHB, she also, helped the Meade Co. Sheriff’s Department transfer women prisoners across the state. During her time working for the sheriff’s department, she met Merlin Ehlers, where he was working as a deputy. They were married a couple of years later on November 18, of 1983.

On their long weekends off, they enjoyed taking small trips to Wyoming. They especially enjoyed going to Yellowstone, Cody, and walking through the hot springs of Thermopolis. As well as driving south along the beautiful river into the Teton’s snowcapped mountains and around the lakes. Gwen loved to use the camera. I think we have pictures of every canyon, mountain and fence post we passed in Wyoming.

Gwen had such a very outgoing personality that everyone who met her always remembered and loved her. She had such a beautiful face and was just a very nice and pretty ranch girl, to know and talk to. “She will be extremely missed by me and all of her family and friends. I know she is going home to a more beautiful painless place. I will miss her and love her forever.” (Merlin)

Gwen was a daughter, sister, mother, grandmother and friend. She climbed a windmill to see as far as she could see; she swam in the dam with snapping turtles and nibbling fish; she picked wild mushrooms, lit kerosene lamps and ironed with flat irons; she watched lighting fill the sky and helped fight prairie fires; she has been delighted to have an outhouse in the house; she ran through fields of flowers and walked in patches of thistles; swam in the oceans and flown over land; she danced to thousands of tunes; she laughed with the sunshine and cried with the rain.

Gwen is survived by her husband Merlin Ehlers of Sturgis, daughter Jerri (Mike) Heggem-Mooney of Spearfish; grandchildren; Tim (Gina) Heggem of Rapid City, and their children, James, Oliver, and Andrew, Ryan (Elizabeth) Heggem of Spearfish, and their son Lucas, Katie Heggem (Cody Ertman) of Spearfish; brothers; Bob (Sydney) Shoun, Delbert Shoun, John (Rose) Shoun, all of Sundance, Wyo.; sisters, Loretta (Ed) Weyer of Rapid City, Betty (Don) Engstrom, Debbie (Larry) Ellsbury, Peggy Moeller, and Kim Shoun all of Sundance Wyo., Lisa (Star) Mills of Gillette, Wyo.; sister-in-law; Delilah Shoun of Sturgis, and one surviving uncle Virgil VanDeventer of Parker, Colo.; step children: Randy (Joyce) Ehlers and Kim (Harold) Matz both of Sturgis, and several nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Orville and Leona Shoun, first husband, Gordon Maney; brother, Russell Shoun; brother-in-law, Don (Tuff) Moeller; nephew, Eddie Weyer JR; niece, Anna Marie Weyer; great niece, Jessica Ann Weyer, and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Visitation is Monday, Dec. 27, 2021, 5-6 p.m., at Kinkade Funeral Chapel, Sturgis, with a Rosary at 6 p.m. Funeral Services are Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, 10 a.m., at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Sturgis.

A memorial has been established to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

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