Keith Swan |

Keith Swan

Keith Swan |

Stanford Keith Swan, 81, passed away on April 2, 2010 at his ranch northeast of Newell, SD, while doing morning chores.

Keith was born Sept. 15, 1928 at the Swan Ranch near Hugo, CO to W.H.C. and Elsie (Palmateer) Swan. He grew up on the ranch and graduated from Hugo High School in 1946.

When the Swan Ranch sold and the family’s relocation to South Dakota was pending, he and his high school sweetheart decided that they would get married and move to South Dakota together. He and Lois Mae Ball were united in marriage in Hugo, CO on March 20, 1949.

They moved to South Dakota with Keith’s family in the spring of 1949. During the winters of 1950 and 1951, they lived near Sublette, KS, where they wintered lambs on wheat pasture.

Keith and Lois lived south of Newell for several years and then moved to their present home, the ranch on Willow Creek, in July of 1956. They raised their family, three sons and a daughter there, running mother cows and yearling cattle.

Keith was very active in their church, serving on the board as Deacon and Trustee for many terms. He was also involved in 4-H as a leader and in the Newell Saddle Club while his family was growing up.

Keith’s greatest joy was his family and he was very proud of the childrens’ achievements. He and Lois loved going to all of their children and grandkids’ church, school, 4-H, FFA, Rodeo, Boy Scout and family activities. He was extremely proud of all of them. He was looking forward to the arrival of two great-grandchildren this year as well. Keith held a special affection for his daughters-in-laws and son-in-law, saying that they were just the perfect person for each of their kids to marry.

Keith genuinely enjoyed raising black Angus cattle, ranching, riding good horses, and haying on the beautiful meadow bottoms on Sand and Willow Creeks. Best of all for him, though, was every day he spent with Lois, whom he affectionately called “Ralph” when she was working alongside him outside on the ranch. He was particularly fond of the cookies she baked for him, often snitching them before they went to the oven.

Keith was a kind man who was slow to anger, had a good word about everyone, and was a fine example of living one’s faith.

Blessed to have shared his life are his loving wife of 61 years, Lois; sons Ron and Linda Swan, Buffalo, SD; Tom and Karen Swan, Newell; Bruce and Kathy Swan, Wall, SD; and daughter Sandy and Ed Wright, Black Hawk, SD; grandchildren: Travis Swan, Ashley Swan, and Kelli Jo Swan; T.J. and Sonya Swan, Jamie and Justin Brown, and Tyler Swan; Shari and Todd Gannon, Mark Swan, Michael Swan, and Laura Swan; R.J. Wright, Blake Wright, and Ryan Wright. Keith is also survived by his brother, W.R. (Bill) Swan, Spearfish, SD; sister and brother-in-law Jean and Hank Langeman, Wenatchee, WA; many nieces and nephews; Lois’ brother Robert Ball, John S. Ball; and her sisters, Ramona Walkingshaw, Syracuse, KS; Jonny Lulitell, Colorado Springs, CO; Donna Kay Readerman, Porta Vallarta, Mexico, and many friends.

Keith was preceded in death by his parents, W.H.C. and Elsie Swan; his in-laws John and Ruth Ball; his sister-in-laws, Patricia Haptonstall, Lois Ball and Wilma Swan and brother-in-law Chuck Lund.

Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Monday, April 5, 2010 at the Newell Christian Fellowship Church with Pastor Sean Carney officiating. Burial follows at the Hope Cemetery in Newell.

Memorials have been established to Butte County 4H and the Newell Christian Fellowship Church.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

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