Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo Silver Spur Hall of Fame Inductee: NanCee Maynard
It began in 1974 when NanCee Maynard worked a gate at the Central States Fair with a five-year-old son running around her legs and a new baby swaddled in the stroller. She had asked what they needed help with and has been asking the same question ever since.
On January 27, 2018, a day she intentionally goes nowhere, NanCee will be inducted into the Black Hills Stock Show Silver Spur Hall of Fame for her dedication and years of volunteering. It’s also the same day her husband passed away five years ago. It isn’t an anniversary, she said, just another day that she wants to be just her aunt’s birthday once again.
“When Ron Jeffries told me the date, I said, ‘I can’t go on that day, that’s the day he passed away,’” NanCee said. “Ron told me I have to, and I said, ‘Alright I’ll go, I’ll go for him.’”
NanCee was on the board of directors volunteering at the stock show when she received news that Buster Maynard, her husband of more than 40 years, had passed away.
“He’s the one who should be getting this award. He just encouraged me to do anything I wanted. I’d say I couldn’t do it, and he’d say, ‘Yes, you can,’ with a hand on my back. I thought we’d be together always,” NanCee said.
NanCee tried to talk about others who deserve the award more, and considers herself fortunate others ask her to do things, grateful for the opportunity and experience. Considering NanCee’s roster of boards, jobs, and positions she’s poured her heart into through the years, everyone she’s touched along the way are the fortunate ones.
Just for BHSS and Central States Fair, she is on the board of directors, Range Days Rodeo Committee for 25 years, the co-creator of Taste of Country, has helped with team roping, mutton busting, sheep dog trials, the parade, served as superintendent and co-superintendent of horticulture for 15 years, helped with the brisket cook-off, South Dakota Beef Council, the chili cook-off, and the Old Timers Committee Pioneer Breakfast.
“I have no plans to stop helping. I’m looking for a powered chair one of these days. My kids have helped. My husband was on Range Days Committee. Those guys are a wonderful bunch of volunteers,” NanCee said. “It’s amazing. I shouldn’t be getting this. It should be going to everybody. I just got to join in with the group. When I think of it, I’m just fortunate to be in a place at the time where I could be of help with all these outstanding people.”
Outside of BHSS and CSF, NanCee has driven a Douglas School District bus for more than 30 years, which she started driving because she wanted to be involved with her two children, Bret and Bart, and see who their friends were. When they graduated, she said, she forgot to retire.
Nancee has sat on the Deadwood Days of ’76 Rodeo committee for nearly five years, is a core member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, volunteers for Safari Club International and the Mule Deer Foundation, and belongs to the Ellsworth/Box Elder Lions Club.
The Maynards are long-time residents of Box Elder, South Dakota, but she is a native of Faith, South Dakota, and family friends Jim and Joni Hunt, of Faith, provided nominations for NanCee’s hall of fame induction.
“I’ve gotten to observe NanCee involved in her community, which basically is western South Dakota, Dupree, Faith, Eagle Butte, Newell, the Black Hills area,” Jim said. “She has made herself available to the stock show, fair board, and the youth. She just truly gives with a positive attitude and shares that same spirit. She’s so engaged when it comes to stock show activities, especially when it comes to the youth. She’s always available and willing to give everything she’s got. She defines the true meaning of the Silver Spur.”
Another person who nominated NanCee is Lori Maude, treasurer of CSF board and co-coordinator of the open class of Central States Fair, which includes categories like culinary and fine arts, with NanCee.
“Nancee is the ultimate volunteer. She has always been very passionate about what committee she serves on for Black Hills Stock Show or Central States Fair,” Maude said. “She’s the kind of volunteer you’d like to clone; she’s so vested in what she volunteers for and wants it to be successful. She truly cares about growing the events she involved in. I adore her. I think she’s a wonderful lady. She always has a smile and is very upbeat. She’s one you’d love to have a hundred of.”
NanCee is one who lives life to the fullest and doesn’t look back. She said she doesn’t have a bucket list because there isn’t enough paper. While losing her husband has left a sore spot on her heart, she has found peace in knowing she loved him with all she had and Buster loved her and their sons completely.
“He spent his whole life loving us. I never knew I had so many people in my corner as when that happened,” she said. “God gives you things you have to deal with, but he’s also given you the tools to work with them. You have them, you just have to put them to work. It’s not always easy but it’s livable.”