Fredrick Dean Heathershaw

Fredrick Dean Heathershaw, 68, of Scenic, S.D., passed away January 24, 2022, in Rushville, Neb.

Fredrick Dean Heathershaw was born on April 28, 1953 in Rapid City, to Charles and Verna (Pourier) Heathershaw. Fred made his last and final ride here on earth on January 24, 2022, at the Oglala Sioux Lakota Nursing Home in Rushville.

Fred attended grade school at Rapid Valley and in Interior, South Dakota then went on to graduate from Rapid City Central in 1971. He was an adventurous little boy and continued to be so his entire life. He was a jack of all trades: a talented artist, electrician, wood carver, horseman, movie stuntman, cowboy, but his love as always, was rodeo! He started his rodeo career as a young boy. Many nights you’d find the entire family, brothers, sisters, and cousins, at their grandparents arena, bucking out cows, steers, calves, colts, and anything that grandpa would allow! Always a friendly competition! 

Fred continued his rodeo career competing in Little Britches Rodeos, High School, Amateur, PRCA, but his love was Indian Rodeos. Fred qualified for the Indian National Finals in 1978 in the Bull Riding. When his rodeo career was over Fred began to judge rodeos in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. 

Fred was a stuntman, wrangler, and an extra for movies such as Lakota Woman, Dances with Wolves, and Thunder Heart. In 1993, he traveled to Meaux France to perform at EuroDisney with the Wild West Show. He served on the United States board for the Canadian Museum of History. Upon his return from France he settled in Montana, working for the Small Ranch and Rumney Ranch. He was a cowboy and guide for the Dude String. He had charm and the gift of BSing which was great for the dude string. 

Fred moved back home to the South Dakota Badlands after the passing of his dad. He continued to judge rodeos. The highlight of the year was to attend the Indian National Finals Rodeo where he worked as the out-gate man for several years. He always said he had the best view of the rodeo running the out-gate. It was from that position where he proudly watched his family compete. He was especially proud when at the end of the week of tough competition his nephews and nieces loaded up World Championships to head home to South Dakota and Montana! Fred was known to many as ‘Uncle Rodeo!’ He loved that title! 

Fred was quick witted and always had plenty of stories to make a person smile and laugh! He had a love for his family & friends, always sending them words of encouragement or songs he loved, checking on them as they traveled the rodeo trail. 

Fred leaves behind his sons, Quentin Heathershaw and Ty Heathershaw; granddaughters, the brightest stars who lit up his world, Erynn and Avia Heathershaw; brothers, John (Donna) Heathershaw, Mike (Anita) Heathershaw, and Pat (Jackie) Heathershaw; sisters, Marquitte Heathershaw, Marilyn (Rick) Green, and Brenda (Ronnie) Wilson; sister-in-laws, Phyllis Heathershaw and Bobby Crawford; and many nieces and nephews.

Fredrick was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Verna (Pourier) Heathershaw; brothers, Chuck Heathershaw and Ronnie Heathershaw; nephew, Todd Heathershaw; maternal grandparents, Johnny and Pearl (O’Rourke) Pourier; and paternal grandparents, Lew and Bess Heathershaw.

Visitation services were held from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., Sunday, January 30, at the St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church in Rapid City, with Rosary Services at 7:00 p.m.

Mass of Christian Burial began at 11:00 a.m., Monday, January 31, at the St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church in Rapid City, with Father Ed Witt, S.J. officiating.

Burial services will be held at a later date at the Heathershaw Family Ranch.

Arrangements entrusted with Sioux Funeral Home of Pine Ridge.

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