Ardene Otelia Gilman
September 1, 1923 - April 21, 2020

​Private family services for Ardene Otelia Gilman, 96, of Chamberlain, SD, formerly of Kennebec, SD, were held at 1:30 p.m. Monday, April 27, 2020, at Riverview Cemetery of Chamberlain, SD.
Ardene Otelia Gilman died April 21, 2020, at Sanford Care Center of Chamberlain, SD.
Ardene Otelia Gilman was born Sept. 1, 1923, at White Lake, SD, to Walter and Amelia (Fisher) Lloyd.
At the age of ten, her family moved to Kennebec, SD, where she attended school, graduating from Kennebec High School of Kennebec, SD, in 1941.
After graduation, Ardene attended Southern Normal College in Springfield, SD, to attain her certificate to teach school. She began teaching in rural schools in the Kennebec, SD, area, Castlewood, SD, Arlington, SD, and Kennebec Elementary of Kennebec, SD.
On one visit to town, local rancher, Wendell Gilman wondered where he could get a hot meal. A friend mentioned the Lloyd family sometimes fed strays. It was there Wendell met the love of his life as he ate a goose sandwich and she played the piano in the living room.
On Dec. 29, 1949, Ardene was united in marriage to Wendell in Custer, SD. They resided on the original Gilman family homestead on Medicine Creek, north of Lyman, SD, and in November of 1950 they were blessed with a daughter, Wendy.
Ardene continued teaching at Chamberlain, SD, in grade school and middle school levels. During school months, Ardene and Wendy lived in town going home to the “ranch” on weekends and summer vacations. She retired once and was asked back to fill a vacant position, which turned into another five years. Her teaching career of 49 years was always a favorite topic to discuss. She held her colleagues in high regard and always smiled when reminiscing.
In 2010, Ardene and Wendell moved off the ranch and into Chamberlain, SD, where they enjoyed walking around town, going to the library and sharing a cheeseburger at Dairy Queen. They moved to Regency Retirement in 2012 where Ardene resided until May of 2018 when she moved to Sanford Care Center in Chamberlain, SD.
Ardene and Wendell loved to dance. She enjoyed reading and music. She was an accomplished pianist and sometimes sang solos for church, where she was a member of the United Methodist Church in
Kennebec, SD.
Ardene and Wendell’s greatest joy was attending their grandkids’ and great grandkids’ activities and proudly enjoyed their musical performances.
Grateful for having shared her life are a daughter, Wendy Peterson and husband, Rod of Pukwana, SD; three grandsons, Chisum Peterson and wife, Cindy and their daughters, Delaney and Kendall of Chamberlain, SD, Cade Peterson and wife, Erica and son, Memphis and daughter, Rory of Pukwana, SD, and Quin Peterson and wife, Kelly and sons, Cash, Colter and Chrome of Jenks, OK; a sister, Betty Johnson of Orlando, Florida; a sister-in-law, Maxine (Gilman) Koch of Huron, SD, and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Wendell Gilman in 2013; her parents, Walter and Amelia Lloyd; a sister, LaVonne and an infant sister, Zola Maria Lloyd.
Hickey Funeral Chapel of Chamberlain, SD, was in charge of arrangements.
The obituary may be seen at
In lieu of flowers a memorial will be established.

Central Dakota Times

Phone: (605)234-0266

Fax: (605)234-1266


Office Location: 

314 North Courtland Street

Chamberlain, SD 57325

Images and Stories Owned or Shared by the Central Dakota Times
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram