Mary Joan Holzer

Gillette resident Mary Joan Holzer, 87, died Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020.

Mass of Christian Burial begins at 1 p.m. Saturday at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in Gillette with the Rev. Cliff Jacobson officiating.

Visitation is from 4-6 p.m. Friday at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church.

She was born Jan. 15, 1932, at the EN Comeau farm 5 miles west of McLaughlin, South Dakota, to Milo Maxon Sr. and Maud (Comeau) Maxon. When she was young, the family moved to a ranch near the Grand River.

She attended the Stephen Indian School in Highmore, South Dakota, and graduated from McLaughlin High School in 1951. She then attended Northern State College and majored in education in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

After college, she taught at the Hughes schools and lived with the Emil Schneider family for one year and fond memories were made.

She eventually taught at the country school in Trail City, South Dakota. Her first class had 13 students.

She met the love of her life, Willie Holzer, at a dance and they were married June 6, 1955.

The couple moved to McLaughlin, where she was a tutor at McLaughlin Public School. They moved to Gillette in 1980.

She was a member of St. Matthew’s Catholic Church. Religion was a big part of her life, which included the prayer line, funeral dinners and lay ministry. She was a substitute teacher, worked at the News Record and as a nanny.

She enjoyed gardening, reading and cooking. She loved all her nurses and caregivers, and anybody she met loved her. She especially loved the hospice staff.

Mrs. Holzer is survived by her husband of 64 years, Willie Holzer; daughters, Doris Byington of Fargo, North Dakota, Patty Ulmer of Greeley, Colorado, Cindy Schmeichel McLaughlin of South Dakota, Mary Hunt of Gillette and Paula Welch Keiser; sons, Bill Holzer and Steven Holzer, both of Gillette; brother, Lester Maxon of Palm Desert, California; 20 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; four siblings; and three grandchildren.

Memorials and condolences may be sent in care of Walker Funeral Home, 410 Medical Arts Court, Gillette, WY 82716.

Condolences also may be expressed at or attached to the obituary at

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