Gerald Woodford

Gerald “Gary” William Woodford was born Nov. 26, 1945, to Ted and Bonnie (Ayers) Woodford in Hot Springs, S.D. He spent most of his childhood in the Custer, S.D., area, graduating from Custer High School in 1964. He left briefly to attend Black Hills State College and obtained a degree in business administration.  
As an adult, Gary cut timber, worked for Boeing, the U.S. Forest Service, a buffalo ranch, finally settling on a career as a nursing home administrator. He spent the first two years in Ipswich, S.D., returning to Custer in 1974 to manage the Colonial Manor until he retired in 1994. He devoted the next several years to operating Woodford Construction and Woodford Logging until becoming the Custer County Highway Department superintendent from 2009-19.  
He was a lifelong rancher and truly enjoyed his cows, especially the calves. Gary enjoyed fishing, hunting, boating, camping and spending time at Angostura with family and friends. He was always an avid “car guy,” and he could tell you when the events of his life happened by what car he drove.  
During his time in Custer Gary was a member of the Custer Volunteer Fire Department, the Masonic Lodge, Custer Lutheran Fellowship Church, the South Dakota Healthcare Association, the Custer Community Hospital Board of Directors and the Custer School District Board of Education.
Gary passed away peacefully Jan. 13, 2023, at Monument Health Custer Hospital. He was 77.
Gary will be missed by his wife, Sue (Scott); children, Kim (Mike) Miles, Mike (Heidi) Woodford, Tanner (Jill) Woodford, Vicki (Brad) Gray, Betsy (Trent) Shearer and Cassie Plooster; his grandchildren, Kennedee, Kody, Rachelle, Zoey, Lane, Ava, Hayze, Dani, Aly and Nate; and great-grandchildren Autumn and Elliott.  
Following a private graveside burial a Celebration of Life will be held at Mt. Rushmore Brewing Company, 140 Mt. Rushmore Road, Custer, Friday, Jan. 20 at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers the family is asking donations be made in his name to the Custer Volunteer Fire Department or Custer County Search and Rescue.
Arrangements have been placed under the care of Chamberlain McColley’s Funeral Home in Custer.

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