Pamela Cher May, age 49, of Kadoka, S.D., passed away on Tuesday, November 23, 2021 at Monument Health in Rapid City.
Pamela Cher May was born December 15, 1971. Pam grew up on the family ranch east of Kyle, S.D. She attended Interior Grade School and graduated from Kadoka High School. During her school years, she participated in basketball, track and rodeo. She graduated with honors from the Oglala Lakota College Nursing Program. Over the years, Pam worked at various jobs in the Kadoka area.
On September 11, 1993, Pamela May and John Word were married in Kadoka. To this union, two children were born: Mackenzie Mae and Sydney Beth. Pam was proud of her daughters and bragged about them any time she spoke of them. She passed onto her girls her sense of humor, love of family, and compassion for animals.
From a very young age, it was clear Pam would excel at everything and anything that involved ranching. Pam along with her sister Timarie and cousins Pam and Janelle Larabee were known as the “All Cowgirl Crew.” They could hold their own against the best cowboys. Pam was known for being one of the best when it came to running the scalpel during branding season.
Rodeo was another family legacy that Pam loved and excelled at. Roping was her passion and with her horse George, they achieved many honors while competing in 4-H and at the high school level.
Pam’s compassion for animals was endless; calves, lambs, colts, dogs, cats, chickens and yes even pigs! Some animals that Pam had NO compassion for were mice and snakes. On one occasion while taking out the slop bucket to the chicken house, she found herself in close contact with a large bull snake that lost his grip and fell on her when she stepped into the chicken house. Nobody knows who was more scared, Pam or the snake. It is without doubt George the bird dog greeted her with great excitement when they were reunited. She also had quite the soft spot for her granddogs, Hoke and Little Dog.
Besides being a “Cowgirl” at heart, Pam also learned at an early age how to raise and care for a garden. When she was growing up she could eat a whole quart of dill pickles in one sitting. Pam carried that love of gardening with her throughout her life.
Family was deeply important to Pam and she made it a priority to attend as many family gatherings as she could. Growing up, Pam and her siblings and cousins spent many hours ice skating in the winter and swimming in the summer. One of her favorite times of the year was gathering at John and Dorothy’s for “Christmas Tree Hunting.”
Pam is survived by her daughters, Mackenzie Word of Kadoka and Sydney Word of Mission; mother, Ada Hochberger of Martin; brothers: Evry (Linda) May of Kyle, Avery (Liz) May of Kyle, John (Shirley) May of Interior, and Wayne (Carrie) May of Rapid City; sisters: Peggy (Lloyd) Two Crow of Interior and Timarie Larabee of Valentine, Neb.; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends including her dear friends Elizabeth (Liz) Meighen, Cheryl Amiotte, Eric Osborne and Boyd Letellier.
Pam was preceded in death by her father Bud May, sister Tammy May, and brother Jerry May.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 4, 2021, at the American Legion Hall in Martin.
Burial will follow at the Martin Community Cemetery.
Arrangements are with Rush Funeral Home of Philip.