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1919 Fidelia 2011

Fidelia I Gilger

October 14, 1919 — April 23, 2011

Fidelia I. Gilger, age 91 of Belle Fourche, died Saturday April 23, 2011 at the Spearfish Regional with her family at her side. Services will be held 1pm Wednesday April 27th, 2011 at the United Methodist Church in Belle Fourche with Rev. Gail Arnold and Rev. Andy Anderson officiating.  Visitation will be held 5 to 7 pm Tuesday at Funeral Home of the Northern Hills in Belle Fourche, and one hour prior to the service at the church.  Interment will be held in Pine Slope Cemetery, in Belle Fourche. Memorials are preferred to the Emmanuel Baptist Church. Fidelia Irene Tope was born in a snow storm on October 14, 1919 in Belle Fourche.  She was the daughter of Herbert Edward and Gertrude Asenth (Hall) Tope.  Fidelia’s father and both grandfathers homesteaded in Crook County, Wyoming.  If they ever wanted to go somewhere it was by horseback, driving a team, or walking. Her introduction to horses was well established early, and she loved her kid horse, Dolly and later a colt of hers named Croppy, as he was born in the terrible winter of 1936 and had the tips of his ears frozen off.  Fidelia attended school in Belle Fourche, graduating in 1937.  She received her teacher’s certificate from Gillette WY, and her first school was in the home school of Colony with five pupils.    She received 80 dollars a month, which was exceptional teachers pay back then.  With her money she was able to buy a trick riding saddle.  Her and her sister, Rosemary received their first contract at Deadwood, as the “Tope Sisters” and they performed many times following that at the Black Hills Roundup.  They also performed at shows in Iowa, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and all over South Dakota.  On March 14th, 1942 she was united in marriage to Douglas Gilger in Sundance WY, at the Methodist Church.  To this union, three children were born: Dusty, Gayla, and Paul Daniel.  Following their marriage they ranched near Indian Creek.  Her life since had been one of ranching, teaching, riding, and raising their three children.  Douglas died May 10, 1989 and her daughter Gayla on July 5, 2009.  Having her two boys nearby was a blessing to Fidelia; as were her many grandchildren and great grandchildren.  For the past several years she has lived in Belle Fourche on the south side of the river, about a block and a half from where she was born. Fidelia is survived by her sons, Dusty (Ellen) Gilger of Boyes MT; Paul Daniel (Jan) Gilger of Belle Fourche; sister, Rosemary Seymour of Spearfish; brother, Robert (Mildred) Tope of Moorcroft WY; 12 grandchildren; and 11 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Douglas Gilger; daughter, Gayla DeCock Fredrickson; and sister, Emajean Mitchel. FUNERAL SERVICE 1:00 P.M. – Wednesday – April 27th, 2011 United Methodist Church Belle Fourche, South Dakota OFFICIANTS Rev. Gail Arnold – Rev. Andy Anderson  SPECIAL MUSIC Pianist – Faith Goehring The Pickers “The Old Rugged Cross”, “Amazing Grace”, “Go Rest High on that Mountain”  Hymn #302 – “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” CASKETBEARERS Truston Gilger                                         Steven Fredrickson Gaiton Gilger                                                               T.J. Ewing Gideon Gilger                                                    Ivan Rosander INTERMENT Pine Slope Cemetery Belle Fourche, South Dakota  
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