Fern Boomer of Martin, S.D., died on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, at Avantara Mountain View in Rapid City, at the age of 84.
Fern G. (Coats) Boomer was born June 9, 1937, to parents Clyde, Sr., and Jennie (Cummings) Coats in Martin. Jennie delivered Fern at home with the assistance of midwife Mrs. Evelyn Audiss. Fern shared her birthday with older sister Opal. Fern was the youngest of nine siblings: Vera, Robert, Darwin, George, Clyde, Jr., Hazel, Eileen, and Opal. Because of the age gap in the siblings, several of her nephlings and cousins were the same age as her and became dear friends. As a child, she remembered looking forward to attending Sunday School with Johanna. Fern was very social and loved roller skating and riding her bike. She also helped her mother, Jennie, with the many chores of running Coats’ Cabins. At age 13, she started working at the Club Café washing dishes, and she later waitressed at Spike’s Café. Fern attended Martin Grade School and Bennett County High School, and she was proud to earn her GED.
Fern married Jesse Morrison from Rushville, Neb. They had three children, McKinley Len, Michelle Kay, and Jesse, Jr., (Bimbo). They divorced, and Fern married Cleon H. Boomer on October 3, 1960, in Ft. Pierre, in a double ceremony with Raymond and Joan Greenough. In addition to Kenny, Shellie, and Bimbo, they added Scott, Holly Rae, and Kelly. Fern worked diligently as a mother on the Boomer ranch near Snake Butte west of Hisle.
Besides raising the children, she cooked many branding dinners, co-gardened with her in-laws, canned all summer, and kept the children fed and the house tidy. Fern was a good cook and enjoyed collecting and trying new recipes. She liked to bake and always had treats ready after school. She shared a special relationship with her sister Hazel and they traveled most everywhere together. Fern and Cleon both enjoyed attending all the school events, scholastic events, and rodeos in which her children participated. She was proud that all her children graduated from high school. Later in life, Fern participated in the Foster Grandparents’ Program, and received a Presidential award for her participation, at Martin Grade School where she worked with students in both LaVerne Arnold’s and Gail Winters’ classrooms. Fern and Cleon joined St. Katharine’s Episcopal Church in Martin, were faithful members, and raised their children in that faith. She was a life-long member of American Legion Auxiliary in Martin.
Cleon and Fern have ten grandchildren ranging in age of 44 years young to five years old: Mandi Sioux, Jason Allen, Seth Albert, Justin Len, Fern Nicole, Brittany Dawn, Summer Dawn, Thunder Cole Cleon, Shane Harold, and Emersyn Hawley. They have nineteen great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Fern is survived by daughters Holly Rae and Shellie Kay, sons Ken (Konnie), Scott (Sue), and Kelly (Chaney), sister-in-law Hope C. Weimer of Rapid City, all the grandchildren and greats, many nieces and nephews, and several cousins. She was preceded in death by husband Cleon, son Bimbo, parents Clyde Sr., and Jennie, all eight of her siblings, and in-laws Hawley and Minnie Boomer.
Graveside services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, February 4, at Martin Community Cemetery.
Arrangements are with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip.
Livestream of the services is available at www.rushfuneralhome.com