Betty Lou Stratton

of Pierre, formerly of Kadoka, South Dakota, died on Monday, January 22, 2024
at the Avera Maryhouse in Pierre at the age of 86

Betty Lou Allen was born April 20, 1937 in old Washabaugh County, South Dakota to Orval Pete and Margaret (Dithmer) Allen. She grew up with her brother, Richard, and attended rural grade schools in Washabaugh County. She graduated from Kadoka High School in 1955.

Betty Lou’s first job was working at the Long Valley store in the summer of 1948. She then worked for Leslie and Thelma Handcock in the summers until she graduated high school. She attended teaching classes in Spearfish and taught one year at the Pleasant Hill and Brunsch schools.

Betty Lou was united in marriage to Wilbur “Joe” Stratton on June 9, 1956. Betty Lou and Joe moved to Billings, Montana where Joe had gotten a job at Firestone Tire while they were on their honeymoon. Their oldest two children, Cynde and Dick, were born in Montana. The couple returned home to South Dakota in July, 1958.

Betty Lou started working for the City of Kadoka in February 1979 and worked for there until she retired in April 1999. After she retired, she worked part-time for Myron Lindquist. In their retirement, Betty Lou and Joe owned several rental houses in Kadoka. After Joe died on July 3, 2017, Betty Lou moved to Pierre where she resided until her death.

Betty Lou was a member of the United Presbyterian Church, the Kadoka Lion’s Club and the Kadoka Ladies’ Auxiliary. She also served as an EMT for the Kadoka Ambulance for over 16 years.

Survivors include two daughters Cynde (Dennis) Stoakes of Hartford and Rose Ann (Greg) Wendell of Pierre; one son, Dick (Phyllis) Stratton of Hartford; a granddaughter Anna Stoakes-Wong (Nathan Wong) of Valley Springs and a grandson Preston “PJ” (Daniela) Stoakes, Danny, PJ and Michelle of Lincoln, Nebraska; five step-grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband Joe, her parents and her brother, Richard Allen.

Visitation will be held one hour prior to the memorial service at the church.

Memorial services will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 20, at the Kadoka Bible Church with Pastor Gus Craven officiating.

Interment will follow at the Kadoka Cemetery.

Service Details

Saturday, April 20, 2024 - 11:00 a.m.
Kadoka Bible Church
Kadoka, South Dakota

Pastor Gus Craven

Kadoka Cemetery
Kadoka, South Dakota

Guest Book

Betty Lou will leave a huge void in my life. We were cousins, and even though we grew up separated by several states, we saw each other in the summers as kids and stayed in touch through our lives. We had a wonderful visit three years ago with her and her family
I will cherish this memory for the rest of my days.

   ~ Merritt Odor Chico, California (1/23/2024)
We are sorry for your loss. You will all be in our thoughts and prayers.
   ~ Oliver & Gayle Carson Kadoka,SD (1/23/2024)
I’m so sorry to hear of Betty Lou’s passing. She was such a sweet lady. She will be missed.
   ~ Larry & Jo Johnston Belvidere , SD (1/23/2024)
Betty Lou where to start thanks for all the memories . thanks for what you did for Kadoka you were a pillar in the community.... So sorry Rose Ann and Dick heaven gained another Angel. Bet your Dad was glad to see her there!!!!!!!
   ~ Bonnie Madsen Kadoka South Dakota (1/24/2024)
You all don’t know me, but, your mom was an amazing woman. In June of 1993, my husband, 2 sisters, and our son were on vacation and we were staying at the motel in Kadoka my husband had a heart attack in the middle of the night, your mom was one of the emts. We lived in Texas at the time and I was just going through the motions. Your mom sat with me and held my hand for comfort. She had a special place in my heart. I loved getting her letters and hearing about her family. Cherish the memories and my deepest sympathy to you all
   ~ Joan Durham Hebron, Nebraska (1/23/2024)
I’m so sorry to hear of Betty Lou’s passing. She was a wonderful friend, very kind, and always had a smile! She is absolutely one in a million. Sending prayers for peace and healing to her family. She will be greatly missed!
   ~ Lori Cordell (1/23/2024)
Rest in peace Betty Lou. Heaven knows you deserve to. I will miss you the rest of my days.
   ~ Woody Davis Kadoka, SD (1/24/2024)
Betty Lou was my cousin and my Mom’s niece. For the related family members in California Betty Lou was our main connection to South Dakota and the family members living there. We loved to read the letters she wrote. This is a lost art that is replaced by newer styles of communication. She made my Mom laugh with some of the great stories she could relate about Kadoka and the different family members. We will definitely miss all of this. She won’t be forgotten. Our condolences to all the family members. My son and I will be at the funeral to pay our respects. God bless you Betty Lou!

   ~ Marv Langford Stockton, CA (2/7/2024)
So sorry. Thinking of you 🙏
   ~ Kathleen Murdock Kadoka (1/23/2024)


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JoAnn, Jeff, and Jerry Stilwell
Elaine; Carol, Grant, and Family; Joan, Wes, and Family; and Rhonda, John, and Family
Owen and Bonnie, Josh, and Kyler
Harry Weller - Mayor of City of Kadoka