Bee Williams Huddleston

Bee Huddleston passed away on November 17, 2021, at the age of 103, at the Bennett County Nursing Home in Martin, South Dakota.

Bee was born December 14, 1917, at Thermopolis, Wyo., the first of seven children, to Barney and Myrtle Baker Williams. Bee, her parents, and younger brother Basil, came to South Dakota in 1923, by team and wagon. They made the long trip from Wyoming to Interior in fourteen days. Bee’s Dad, Barney, had bought 160 acres of land seven miles west of Wanblee where he built a one-room tar paper shack for his family. Later he built a log house with a sod roof that had a dirt floor.

Bee grew up in the Wanblee area and attended Garner School (a one room school). She attended Wanblee High School in Wanblee, graduating with a class of ten as Valedictorian. The next year she attended Spearfish Normal School in Spearfish where she received a First Grade Certificate for Teaching. She taught three years at the Headlee Ranch School, south of Interior, and one year at her home school, Garner School.

She met Billy Huddleston, a mail carrier, and they were married on June 3, 1941, at Rapid City. They moved to Camas, Wash., where Billy worked at the Camas Paper Mill. Several months later they moved back to South Dakota and to Bennett County, where they bought land in early 1942. They made a life on their ranch located eight miles north of Vetal.

They were blessed with three children: Joan, Keith, and Robert.

Here they raised Hereford and Holstein cattle, pigs, horses, sheep, and chickens. Their crops were corn, oats, wheat, and alfalfa; and they always raised a large garden.

Bee helped with the many chores on the farm and was also a great cook. Bee was a 4-H leader, a member of “The Order of Eastern Star Chapter 171” of Martin, was in an extension club, served on the local Pass Creek School Board and was a member of the Retired Teacher’s Group in Martin. She loved family and community get-togethers.

Bee liked to talk to you about all the changes that had occurred in her life. From the days of horse and buggy to the modern cars and planes and space travel; witnessed 18 presidents; from most things done by hand to all the technological wonders.

Bee is survived by her three children: Joan (Ervin) Seidel, Riverside, Calif., Keith Huddleston, Martin, and Robert (Delora) Huddleston, Martin. Three grandsons: Ryan (Patia) Boomsma, Trophy Club, Texas; Robbie Huddleston, Martin; Rocky (Laura) Huddleston, Martin; and one granddaughter Christina Boomsma, Riverside, Calif.; four great-grandchildren: River Lynn Huddleston, Martin, Evan, Waverly, and Gavin Boomsma, Trophy Club, Texas. One sister Jean Larson, Belgrade, Mont.; and her brother Emil (Beulah) Williams, Rice, Minn. She also leaves behind many nephews, nieces, and many friends.

Bee was preceded in death by her parents, Barney and Myrtle Williams, two brothers, Clayton and Basil, two sisters Maggie Lou Heltzel and Connie Lehr, and her husband Billy.

Funeral Services were held Tuesday, November 23, 2021, 10:00 a.m., at the New American Legion in Martin. Bee was buried next to her husband at the Martin Community Cemetery, Martin. 

A memorial has been established for the Bennett County Nursing Home and donations may be sent in care of Bennett County Funeral Service, PO Box 65, Martin, SD 57551.

502 Second Avenue, Martin, SD 57551 • 605-685-6866 • booster@gwtc.net