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Funeral services will take place on Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 10:30 AM (Mountain).

St. Paul's Catholic Church
Belle Fourche, South Dakota

A private family burial will be held at a later date at the Grand River Cemetery on the Hett Ranch.
A visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 18, at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Belle Fourche with a rosary and vigil service starting at 7 p.m.

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In memory of

Billie Hett

of Buffalo, South Dakota, died on Saturday, November 14, 2020 at her home in Spearfish at the age of 71

Billie Jean Fortune was born on November 7, 1949 in Philip, SD to Howard and Irene Fortune of Quinn, SD. Billie was named after her father whose nickname was Bill.

Irene and the children moved into Philip for school from where Billie graduated with her dear friends in the Class of 1968.

Billie then enrolled at Black Hills State for a year and rarely missed a class at the Campus Pub. Following her college days, she worked at the Philip Nursing Home.

She married Donn Hett on May 9, 1975. The couple made their home on the Hett Ranch near Buffalo, SD. It was here that they raised their children, cattle, and sheep for 45 years.

With a strong determination to get things done, Billie was very involved in her community. She belonged to various organizations including EMT’s, Book Club, Investment Club, Quilt Guild, and was an active member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church and Altar Society. Billie and Donn were delighted to chaperone several 4-H trips to the Denver Stock Show.

Curious by nature, she enjoyed learning and doing new things. She had many great adventures after discovering Babes with Bullets, a camp to empower and teach women hunting and shooting skills.

Billie enjoyed spending time and learning to quilt with friends. Her quilting ability resulted in many beautifully crafted quilts for her family.

Always ready for a good time when the work was done, Billie and Donn often took a mid-winter trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico before calving season began. They could be found on the dance floor many places including the German Tent. They enjoyed several events in the Hills including Kool Deadwood Nites, The Cowboy Christmas Ball, Cowboy Poetry gatherings, following the Lyle Berry Band, and being with their friends at Guadalajara’s and The Sunshine Saloon. Billie loved meeting new people in her travels and getting to know them and their story.

Her lively and fun-loving personality drew people to her wherever she went. Billie had a hearty laugh, quick wit and was full of good humor. She entertained everyone with her funny stories and anecdotes.

Her nine grandchildren were her deepest heartfelt passion. She was a spunky Grandma who loved spending time baking cookies, praying, and playing with her grandkids. She could make her presence known at their events with her signature “Fortune” cheer. They were the light of her life.

Grateful for having shared her life are her husband, Donn of Buffalo; children, Jason Hett, and significant other Cassandra Shull of Brookings, Kristi (Tim) Peart of Amarillo, TX, Tyler (Marisa) Hett of Buffalo, and Janie (Dave Cromes) Hett of Spearfish; step-daughters, Holly Hett of Burnsville, MN and Jodi Noll of Castle Rock, CO; grandchildren, Mackenna, Macade, and Troi Peart, Camden, Keegan, Kelby, and Quade Hett, and Nathan and Reagan Cromes; sisters, Kay Williams of Philip, Judy (Dan) Harrington of Ridgefield, WA, Pam (C.K.) Dale of Howard, and Mary Lou (Pat) Guptill of Quinn; numerous nieces and nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Howard and Irene Fortune; sister, Janet Waara; and brother, Scott Fortune as an infant.

A visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 18, at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Belle Fourche with a rosary and vigil service starting at 7 p.m.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 19, at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Belle Fourche with Father Zane Pekron as celebrant.

Both services will be live-streamed and can be viewed from this obituary page.

A private family burial will be held at a later date at the Grand River Cemetery on the Hett Ranch.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 5-7 p.m.
St. Paul's Catholic Church
Belle Fourche, South Dakota

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 7 p.m.
St. Paul's Catholic Church
Belle Fourche, South Dakota

Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 10:30 a.m.
St. Paul’s Catholic Church - Belle Fourche, South Dakota

Father Zane Pekron

Father Ed Vanorny

Marianne Frein and Chet Murray - Pianists
Sarah Carlson - Cantor
“Holy Is Your Name” - “How Great Thou Art”
“On Eagles Wings” - “Ave Maria”
“Song of Farewell” -“May The Choirs of Angels”

Wayne Fortune - Roger Fortune

Josie Kutchta - Coven Kautzman

Dawson Kautzman

Paul Williams - Ross Williams - Michael Rotzein
Molly Albright - Tate Guptill - William Morrison

Philip High School Class of 1968

Grand River Cemetery on the Hett Family Ranch
Buffalo, South Dakota

  • My sympathy to Billie's family. I grew up around the Fortune family and have many memories involving the family. ~ Lea Willuweit Ymker Armour SD (11/23/2020)
  • Wyoming ~ Becky Logsdon-Dougherty Cheyenne (11/19/2020)
  • 57790 ~ Fr. Mike Hight Wall, SD (11/19/2020)
  • Please know that hearts and sincere condolences are with you, all. We will keep you in our prayers, Donn and Families. ~ Chuck and Peggy Humbracht Camp Crook (11/19/2020)
  • Love to you all. So sorry for your loss. ~ Dana Harrington Portland, OR (11/19/2020)
  • God received a beautiful soul when Billie joined him. ~ Sara Orth Mountain View wyoming (11/19/2020)
  • Donn and family, Our condolences to you on the loss of Billie. Our thoughts have been with you. ~ Kurt and Judy Simon Belle Fourche, SD (11/19/2020)
  • Donnie, Bob and I are so sorry to hear about Billie. I absolutely loved her. She always made me feel comfortable on our trips to Buffalo. I laugh when I think about her when we were in the Buffalo bar and she asked if I needed to go to the bathroom, I said no. She said yes you do, and so we went in the bathroom to smoke. I will miss her so much. Hugs and prayers to you. ~ Carmon Hamilton Bennett 631 Frank street (11/19/2020)
  • Dupree ~ Vicki Birkeland (11/18/2020)
  • Donn, sending sympathy to you and your family. ~ Frank Halligan Midland, Sd (11/18/2020)
  • Sending our thoughts, prayers and love to you and your family during such a difficult time. ~ Brad & Terri Hastings Amarillo Texas (11/18/2020)
  • My condolences to the family. ~ Randall Winner Sturgis, SD (11/18/2020)
  • Donn and families, We are so sorry for your loss. Billie was always
    such a fun loving friend. Always lite up the room where she was. Always had a smile and a heart warming greeting. One time on the street in Buffalo I stopped to visit Billie and Claudia. Billie said her and Claudia were going to take a trip. She said they would be called Thelma and Louise. I said well can I come with . Billie said but what will we call you? I said how about Hilda? Billie said Hilda, yes you can come along. What a darling! Billie will be missed! Hugs to you all.
    ~ Don and Shelia Giannonatti Ludlow,SD (11/18/2020)
  • Our hearts are filled with sorrow for your families loss. We are greatful to have had the opportunity to meet and get to know Billie and Don these past few years. May God bless you and easy your pain. ~ Aaron & Sarah Scherer Lead (11/18/2020)
  • South Dakota ~ Greg & Paula Richter Buffalo (11/18/2020)
  • Donn and family, prayers to the family. Billie will be missed. ~ John & Darlene Piekkola Apache Junction, AZ (11/17/2020)
  • Thoughts and prayers to the family and for Billie - she will be missed. ~ Paul & Mika (Tibbs) Peterson Faith, Sd (11/17/2020)
  • Our thoughts are with Billie's family ~ Carolyn Krogman 20648 222st (11/17/2020)
  • We are so sorry for your loss. We loved running into you two here and there. She was a special lady! ~ LeRoy and Twila Dean Belle Fourche (11/17/2020)
  • Sorry for your families loss. Billie was always friendly and full of life. She will be missed. ~ Bill Toft 6990 Cora Lee Dr. Belvidere, IL (11/17/2020)
  • Our sincere sympathy to Donn and family. Billie was always a happy person inside and out, I always enjoyed visiting and talking politics with her. Now she can rest in peace. God Bless. ~ Don Bruha Buffalo (11/17/2020)
  • My thoughts and prayers are with family and friends, I pray for understanding, comfort and healing. She was such a wonderful person and always made me smile with her sense of humor and wit. She will be missed for sure. ~ Kellee Mitchell Greeley, CO (11/16/2020)
  • I am so greatful for all the times I
    had with Billie! My crazy, fun friend! She always made me laugh & leave with a good feeling! She was a special friend & we will so miss her. Our love & prayers to Donn & Family. Lu&Ray
    ~ LuAnn Painter Ericsson Spearfish, SD (11/16/2020)
  • Billie was such a sweetie! I sure will miss her fabulous sense of humor and great stories. We spent sometime together in July and I will always treasure those memories. Big hugs to all of Billie's family. Such heartbreaking news. ~ Darcy Fortune Boggs Baker, Montana (11/16/2020)
  • My sincere sympathy goes out to your entire family during this time. Billie was such a dear friend thru out my entire life. We became very close when we both lived in Minneapolis and needed each other for support. I will never forget we went to an indoor rodeo for the first time in Minneapolis as we were both so homesick and needed something to bring us closer to our roots! That was in the day when no one in SD ever held a rodeo inside.....she whispered to me don't ever tell anyone back home we were here...they would never believe us anyway! So many fond memories and I loved her dearly. I look forward to the day we can reunite in heaven! Sending Gods peace and comfort to you all!!!! ~ Judy Goldhammer Wall (11/16/2020)
  • So sorry for your loss. I still remember having breakfast with the family antelope hunting on the ranch and enjoyed the conversation we had. ~ Mark & Alyson Fauske Eden Prairie MN (11/16/2020)
  • Billie was a special lady. I have such a special place in my heart for her, we shared a lot of memories from our high school days and on to spearfish after high school. Donna and I send our thoughts and prayers to Billies family. RIP my friend. ~ Al and Donna Crown Wall South Dakota (11/16/2020)
  • I am so very sorry for your loss. Billie was such a friendly person and I always loved seeing her. We know she is with her Lord and Savior but she will be missed so much by so many. Prayers for your family. ~ Janet Lurz Wall (11/16/2020)
  • This makes me so sad. I loved to run into Billie in Philip. She was always a great visit. I hope her and my sister, Nancy are sharing some laughs together. Hold all the fond memories close to your heart. ~ Stacy M Dole Pierre SD (11/15/2020)
  • Our sympathy to the family ~ Bill and Marsha Sumpter Kadoka (11/15/2020)
  • Remembering the jokes, the laughter and the joy Billie brought to every experience! She made all of us who knew her better--more accepting and more appreciative of life's simple pleasures. May you as her family know that we know you are hurting and send love and prayers that you will know there are many who wish you joy as you remember the journey with Billie!! ~ Karen Pearson Rapid city (11/15/2020)
  • We are thinking of all you folks during this difficult time. Billie was a special gal, always so cheerful, she will be missed by many. She was a classmate of Joann's, have many good memories together. Hold on to all the memories. Take care everyone. ~ Les and Joann Pearson Philip, SD (11/15/2020)
  • We were sadden to hear of Billie's passing. Our Prayers to the family. ~ Ralph & Cathy Fiedler Sturgis, SD (11/15/2020)