Irene Kinghorn, age 88 of Belle Fourche, died Sunday, July 28, 2019 at the Hospice House in Rapid City, with her loving family by her side.
Her life will be celebrated 10 am Thursday, August 1, 2019 at the United Methodist Church in Belle Fourche, with Pastor Sheri Fadley officiating. Visitation will be held Wednesday at Leverington Funeral Home of the Northern Hills in Belle Fourche, from 5 to 7 pm, with a time of sharing at 6pm. Interment will take place in Black Hills National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Hospice of the Northern Hills or the Tri-State Museum.
Irene Christine Jacobsen (Kinghorn) was born September 14, 1930, in Lead, South Dakota in the home of a nurse friend (mid-wife) of her mother. She was the daughter of Jens and Roxie (Hopkins) Jacobsen. Irene grew up and attended country school in Carter County, Montana. At that time, to pass the 7th and 8th grade, students had to take and pass county achievement tests. Her Mother presided (proctored) over many of these tests for the area kids but obviously could not proctor over Irene’s own testing.
Shortly after graduating from the eighth grade, Irene’s parents sold the ranch to the Williams family. Florence & Shirley Hett, Irene and her mother moved to an apartment in the upstairs of the Prichett grocery store, at which time Irene started High School in Belle Fourche in the Fall of 1944. Shortly after that they moved to a house across from the Jail and in 1947 Irene and her mother moved to a house on 4th Ave. that her mother purchased. The house was large, so she boarded elderly persons and high school students to make ends meet. Her dad, Jens, worked for a rancher north of Belle Fourche, working long hours, Irene said Daddy hardly could come home.
After graduating from Belle Fourche High School in 1948, Irene enrolled in nursing school. She took a bus to Miles City to join the new students at which time they all took the train to Aberdeen to complete their 6-month probationary period. Upon completion, they received their caps and returned to Miles City for training. During the 3 years of training Irene joined her classmates in Glenn Lake, MN for 6 weeks to train at the tuberculosis sanitorium, and Creighton Hospital in Omaha NB for 3 months of psychiatric training. She completed her training in Miles City and graduated with a diploma in nursing in September 1951. After graduation, Irene passed the dreaded state boards and returned to Belle Fourche to work at John Burns Memorial Hospital. During this time, her Dad had a stroke and returned to the house in Belle Fourche. Her mother cared for him until his death in 1952.
Irene met Leonard Kinghorn at the St. Onge supper club while working in Belle Fourche. They were married in Belle Fourche in 1953. They lived at the home ranch at the Two-top Buttes until 1959 at which time they purchased and moved to a ranch on Redwater River located southeast of Belle Fourche. There they raised their 3 children, Patty (Thomas), Dave and Mike. The three children still live on the ranch.
Irene worked as a nurse in Belle Fourche for Drs. Marousek and Sherrill for many years, and at the Belle Fourche Medical Center with Jim Bohl, coming to know many of the residents of the area. After selling the cattle, Leonard and Irene purchased a motor home and set out on a journey to visit every state in the continental US and collect a magnet while there. Unfortunately, Leonard passed away in July of 2012 but apparently, they collected all 48.
Irene loved playing bridge, gambling in Deadwood and volunteering at the Tri-state Museum. She was devoted member of the United Methodist Church and participated in anything she could to stay busy. Four weeks ago, she was diagnosed with cancer and she passed away at the Hospice House in Rapid City on July 29th 2019.
Irene is survived by her children, Patricia (John) Thomas of Belle Fourche, David (Reggie) Kinghorn of Belle Fourche, Mike Kinghorn of Belle Fourche; 8 grandchildren, Jeff (Kelly) Thomas, Jeremy Thomas, Jennifer (Mark) Kennedy, Jessica (Kasey) Keller, Lyndsy Kinghorn, Krystina (Jerome) Kinghorn, Stefanee (Darrel) Prawalsky, Shawn Damberger; and 8 great grandchildren, Bryn and Sophia Thomas, Nyla and Tara Kennedy, Noah and Finley Keller, and Elsie Doohen. She was preceded in death by her parents, and husband, Leonard.
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