HomePeopleObituary | Edith White of McLaughlin, South Dakota

Obituary | Edith White of McLaughlin, South Dakota


April 29, 1934 – November 12, 2023

Funeral services for Edith White, 89, of McLaughlin will be at 11 AM, Saturday, November 18, 2023, at Elk Horn Congregational Church in Little Eagle. Burial will be at the White Family Cemetery under the direction of Kesling Funeral Home of Mobridge. Visitation will be at 5 PM Friday with a prayer service at 7 PM Kesling Funeral Home.

Edith Poor Thunder White passed away peacefully at her home with her family at her side. She fought a courageous battle and was the strongest, toughest cowgirl anyone ever met. She was the 4th born child of Luke and Marie (Parks) Poor Thunder on April 29, 1934, at the Red Shirt Table on the Pine Ridge Oglala Reservation in South Dakota. She learned about riding horses and tending cattle early in life. She dropped out of the 9th grade in high school to help her mother care for her younger siblings. The family moved to Rapid City in her teen years, where she met her future husband, Charles White. They were married on February 3, 1950, in Rapid City. They resided in Rapid City where their first five children were born. They moved to Standing Rock in 1960 to help care for Charles’ mother. They had big plans on starting a cattle ranch and a sanitation business. Together they did just that and worked hard all their lives to take care of their large family. They instilled that hard work ethics in all their children.

Edith was a loving, humble, adventurous, caring, and hard-working mother to her 8 children of which she had one son and seven daughters. She loved dressing her daughters in matching outfits for any outing and especially for church. She never had to raise her voice as she gave “the look” to them and all would fall into line.

Her favorite horse Gypsy was very feisty on a day out riding, she threw her against a fence. Edith still holding onto the rains, stood straight up and got right back on her horse. Those who observed this, thought it was planned and was trick riding.

Over the years, the ranch saw many extended relatives that would help out. Edith’s brothers, Charles, Thomas, and Felix moved in to help. Charles’ nephews, Buddy and Reynold “Dukes” Archambault, brother, Moses Culbertson and friends, Lewlwyn Uses Arrow and Aloysisus Martinez lived on the ranch and helped out as well. Edith enjoyed cooking for everyone on the ranch.

Edith was the best homemaker; her children have fond memories of getting off the school bus and smelling her fresh baked bread and cinnamon rolls. She worked for many years for the Antell Laundry and Dry Cleaning Service for many years and her last job was at Prairie Knights Casino where she was at for seven years.

Edith’s most fun-loving thing to do was attend rodeos. She would sit in the stands and whoop and holler and encourage all the riders. She loved it when her grandson Lukas rode bulls, and she was there to watch.

Charles and Edith attended the Elk Horn church in Little Eagle, SD and were very dedicated and devoted church members. Later on, Charles was deacon for the church.

They raised and baptized all their eight children at Elkhorn Congregational Church. They also raised Maurice Little Bear from the age of three years old and adopted grandson Nigel White. Edith stood by her husband Charles in all his endeavors, ranching, self-employed business and later on in his public service as a council member of 20 plus years. Edith worked in various places throughout her lifetime; cooking, cleaning, babysitting, laundry (dry cleaning service)

Edith was a two-time breast cancer survivor.

Edith is survived by her son, Gillard, adopted grandson, Nigel White, daughters, Florence, Cheryl, Jacquelyn, Donna, Charlene of McLaughlin and Theresa of Pittsburgh, PA, three sisters; Ethel of Tacoma, WA, Marie of Rapid City and Charlotte of Denver, CO. 30 grandchildren, 44 great grandchildren and 6 great-great grandchildren, special nieces; Shirley Poor Thunder, Ida Brushbaker, Mary Rose Gaston, and Starlet Fills the Pipe, special nephew, Darrell Brushbreaker Sr., Hunka daughter, Kelly Morgan and special friend, Patty Jones.

Edith is preceded in death by her husband Charles, daughter Ella Marie, adopted son Maurice, grandchildren; Corey, C.J., Mason, Jeremy, Charles, Kansa, mother, father, Luke, brothers; Charles, Everett, Thomas, Felix, sisters; Lillian, Ruth, Hazel and Ida Bell, favorite cat, Stormy, and favorite dog, Boots.

Special thanks to the hospital staff of Sanford, Mobridge Regional Hospital, Standing Rock IHS, West River Clinic, for the care of our mother these last few months. Please forgive us if we forgot to list anyone.

To plant Memorial Trees in memory of Edith White, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.


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