Published: Thursday, June 20th, 2013
Jean Wiehe was born in Saint Paul, Minn., Feb. 6, 1929. She became highly skilled at secretarial skills, finishing at the top of her classes in typing and short hand. She came to Custer, S.D., to work for the Forest Service when she was in her early 20s. There she met Carl Wiehe, her beloved husband.
Together Jean and Carl established the Frontier Museum at Sylvan Lake and the summer theater “The Hanging of Fly Specked Billy” in Custer. The museum later moved from Sylvan Lake to Custer. Jean put in long hours managing both businesses but somehow found time to work as secretary of the Custer Chamber of Commerce and raise two boys.
In 1975, Jean and Carl sold the museum and stopped production of “The Hanging of Fly Specked Billy” show. They moved to Arizona permanently where Jean worked as office manager for a law firm in Apache Junction.
Jean loved children and became involved in many of their lives. She was a Cub Scout den mother when her boys were young and later would “adopt” children of co-workers and others. For several years, while in her 70s, she provided full time day care to one of her great-grandsons.
Jean was a hard worker and loving mother who will be missed by those who knew her.
Jean died peacefully on June 7, 2013, while in hospice care in Mesa, Ariz. She was 84.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Carl Wiehe; two brothers; and two sisters.
Jean is survived by brothers, Keith Keeling of St. Paul, Minn., Richard Keeling of St. Paul and Phil Keeling of Mobile, Ala.; sister, Alice Starkman of Saint Paul; sons, Will Wiehe of Mesa and Tim Wiehe of Oroville, Calif.; three granddaughters; and six great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held in the late fall.
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