Vonnie O’Dea

Vonnie Lou O’Dea was born on May 22, 1945 in Marshall, MN, the second child of Loyd (Pete) and Vivian Buchert. At the age of 22 months, the Buchert family moved fifteen miles north of Philip, SD. She attended grade school at the Elbon School through the eighth grade and finished her education at Philip High School. On July 16,1962, she married James O’Dea at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church at Philip. To this union was born three daughters: Sheryl, Susan and Holly. During the first years of marriage, Jim and Vonnie worked for a few different ranchers in the area. In 1970, Jim and Vonnie leased the Bierwagen place at Milesville, SD for 20 years before purchasing a ranch south of Plainview.

Over the years, Vonnie was involved in her community by being a 4-H leader and teaching youth religion class at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Milesville. Vonnie had a special place for children in her heart and home. Many times, she was often called on to care for the children of friends and family. Her favorite job of all was being a partner for sixty years in the ranching business with her husband, JIm. She enjoyed working with cattle as the second in command. At an early age, she learned to drive tractors and ride horses. She was the chief gate opener and bunk cleaner. She worked side by side with her Cowboy and could always be counted on to have a meal on the table for friends and family. Vonnie was always up for a competitive cribbage game and if she couldn’t beat you there, she would switch to marbles. Many families enjoyed ice-skating and card parties at the O’Dea house. Vonnie always had a soft spot for the less fortunate, while at the same time had high expectations for work ethic and good moral character.

Her grandkids will remember her for teaching them how to drive, bake, and all of them enjoyed extended summer “vacations“ on the ranch. Vonnie loved attending her grandkids events and supported them in all their activities. She will forever be remembered as the family historian. Her love for family heirlooms and antiques was evident in her home.

She is survived by her husband Jim of Howes; daughters Sheryl Schweitzer of Gillette, WY, Susan O’Dea of Spearfish, SD, and Holly (Doug) Phillips of Piedmont, SD; eight grandchildren: Mary (Kyle) King, Tonya (Nick) Bunning, Rachel (Andrew) Olson, Garrett (Alyssa) Schweitzer, Amy (Troy) Wilcox, Michael Deichert, Jamie (Dakota) Spiker, and Paige Phillips along with ten great-grandchildren; other survivors include sisters: Twila (LeRoy) Dean and Betty (Jim) Smith, and brother Terry Buchert.

Vonnie was preceded in death by her parents Pete and Vivian Buchert.

Memorials may be directed to the H & M Playday Series, Rural Meade County Ambulance Service, or the Enning Fire Department.

Visitation will be held 5-7 p.m. with a Christian Funeral Vigil starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, November 17, 2022 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Philip.

A Christian Funeral Mass will be celebrated 10:00 a.m. Friday, November 18, 2022 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with Fr. Gerlach as celebrant assisted by Deacon Lloyd Frein.

A Christian Funeral Committal will follow at the Masonic Cemetery in Philip.