Mary Lou Hill was born in New Underwood, South Dakota, on August 12, 1936, to Cliff and Fern Hill. She received her education at Scenic Grade School and Rapid City High School. When Mary Lou was 10 years old she was enrolled in the Lois Martin School of Dance where she was a star pupil. She also played the piano. For several years she tap danced all over the Black Hills and at several civic events.
While attending Rapid City High School, Mary Lou, Loretta McFarland, Lila Lee, and Valerie Anderson sang in a chorus and performed at civic events throughout the Black Hills, including the USO Club, the Air Base hangars opening, etc.
Mary Lou married Buster Berry on June 24, 1953, at Scenic. They lived at Scenic until Buster’s induction into the U.S. Army 10th Division in January of 1954. After completion of basic training, Mary Lou moved to Fort Riley, Kansas, where she and Buster lived for one year. In 1955, when Buster was sent to Germany, she returned home and lived with her parents at Scenic. Upon Buster’s discharge in 1956, they lived at Scenic where they entered a partnership with Mary Lou’s folks in a farming and ranching operation. In the fall of 1958, they moved to Farmingdale, South Dakota, with Buster’s grandfather, August Bollmann, where they continued farming and ranching. In 1964, they moved back to Scenic until 1970. After a short stay in Martin, South Dakota, it was back to Scenic where Buster was employed by the Costello Ranch until the ranch was sold and they moved to Gordon, Nebraska in 1975.
Mary Lou was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 240 in Martin, South Dakota. She was a member of the Scenic Congregational Church where she played the piano for many years. Always a faithful follower of the Lord, she came to deepen her relationship with God through her involvement with the Victory Bible Church and Pastor Dave Morrison in Merriman, Nebraska.
Mary Lou was devoted to her six children. She said shortly before her passing, “I have six kids you could only dream of”. She was a joyful grandmother and great-grandmother. She known as one of the best cooks in the country and fed many a cowboy going down the road. Mary Lou also worked 31 years as a grocery clerk and produce manager.
Mary Lou was preceded in death by her father, Clifford Hill.
She is survived by her husband, Buster Berry of 55 years, 11 months, and two days, of Gordon, Nebraska; three daughters, Deb (Kip Krull) of Harrold, South Dakota, Roxanne Hauk (Ron Ward), of Caputa, South Dakota, Tracy (Rick Burdyshaw) of Perry, Ohio and three sons, Wade (Corina) of Miles City, Montana, Bruce (Jeanne) of Interior, South Dakota, and Ote (Jamie) of Checotah, Oklahoma. Also are 17 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Mary Lou is also survived by her mother, Fern Hill, age 104, of the Golden living Center in Rapid City; two sisters, Margie Habinck, Miles City, Montana, and Betty Black, Tea, South Dakota; and one brother, Art Hill of Casper, Wyoming.
Visitation was held 6:00-8:00 P.M., Monday, June 1, at the Mother Butler Center.
Services were Tuesday, June 2, 2009, at 10:30 A.M. at the Mother Butler Center of Rapid City followed by a luncheon.
Interment was at the Scenic Cemetery following the luncheon.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Victory Bible Church or the American Legion Auxiliary Post 240 of Martin.