Mary Elizabeth “Betty” (Buche Boehnen) Roby was born July 7, 1923 to G.F. and Catherine (Forrestal) Buche at Yankton, SD. During the 1930s, her family moved from Lake Andes to Mitchell, SD, where she grew up, attended school, and graduated from Notre Dame High School in 1941.
Following high school, she attended the College of St. Benedict’s in St. Joseph, MN, and then interned at Swedish Hospital, Minneapolis, MN. She married Lloyd L. Boehnen on September 7, 1945 at the Marine Corp base at Quantico, VA, completed her degree in Medical Technology and continued to work at Central Emergency Hospital in Washington D.C.
After the war and Lloyd’s military service ended, they returned to Mitchell, SD. Betty worked at St. Joseph Hospital (now, Avera Queen of Peace) for a few years until they started their family. While Betty was a homemaker, she volunteered in many community service capacities, including serving as a Girl Scout and Cub Scout Leader. When her children were out of school, she and friend, Mamie Berry, started the first bridal business in Mitchell called, The Bridal Boutique. They began the business in the basement of the Berry home but, as the business grew, they moved to the main street district and became an anchor business there for fifteen years.
Betty married Raymond L. Roby December 17, 1977 at Sioux Falls, SD. She and Ray designed and built their dream home on Lake Mitchell, where they lived happily for the next 35 years. In 1985 she successfully passed the tests to become a stockbroker for Piper Jaffrey & Hopwood in Mitchell, serving as office manager the last few years prior to her retirement.
Though talented in business, family and friends were her passion. Betty was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church. She served on the Board of Directors of St. Joseph Hospital (Avera Queen of Peace), the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce and the Industrial Development Board and the SD Hall of Fame Museum Board in Chamberlain. In 1959 she received the National Carnegie Medal of Heroism. She was an avid golfer and belonged to Lakeview and Wild Oaks Ladies Golf Clubs. Additionally, she was a member of Fortnightly Club and an investment club for years. Betty was a life- long learner; sewing, water color painting, reading, staying on top of current events, and becoming an accomplished computer user. She and Ray traveled extensively, especially following her retirement.
She is survived by her husband, Ray L. Roby; her children: David L. Boehnen and wife, Shari of St. Paul MN, Vikki A. Lansing Copley and husband, Patrick of Sioux Falls, SD and Daniel A. Boehnen and wife, Jennifer of Chicago, IL; step-children: Michele R. Bittner and husband, George of Mitchell, SD, John L. Roby and wife, Elaine of St. Paul, MN and Julia R. Cuban and husband, Michael of Coronado, CA; seven grandchildren: Lesley Boehnen Casillas , Michelle Boehnen Negri , Heather Boehnen Meeker, John A. Bieberdorf, Nina Bieberdorf Theiss, Christopher B. Boehnen and Lindz Boehnen; three step-grandchildren: Brett J. Bittner, David R. Cuban and Andrew M. Cuban; eight great-grandchildren; two sisters, Patricia Tomforde of Rochester, MN and Teresa Friederich and husband, Karl of Columbus, GA and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Jean Ann Graff and a brother, Robert “Bob” F. Buche and brother-in-law, Lawrence “Spud” Tomforde.
Memorials may be directed to the Prehistoric Indian Village of Mitchell SD or the Mitchell Foundation for Catholic Education.