Audrey Joan Harris was born Feb. 4, 1935 in Mankato, MN to Merle and Veronica (Bunker) Harris.She was the middle of three children; older brother Neal and younger brother Russell.She attended school in Arlington. In 1951 she married Gene Dahl in Arlington. From this union came five children: Mary Ann, Mark, Marlen, Mitchell and Jerome. What a wonderful wife and mother. In 1972 she married Albert Chapman in Rapid City. From this union they had one son, Jamie Chapman.They lived most of their marriage in Silver City running the Wagon Wheel Lodge.Albert died in 1994.Audrey then moved to Hill City where she resided until the week before her death.
Her greatest joys were her children, grandchildren, friends and kitty Shadow. Mom was such a lover of life and people, a friend to everyone, her cup was always half full.She found humor even in the darkest times to get us all through.
Mom instilled self-esteem in her children.She taught us to believe in ourselves and follow our dreams.She believed in us and accepted our life choices without criticism and was our biggest fan.We were taught to always reach out and love and accept others unconditionally. She was tough as nails but cried if a butterfly died.
Our home was filled with joy, laughter, music, children and animals.We lived close to highway 14 in Arlington. If she ever saw a hitchhiker on the road she would send us out immediately to give him a bologna sandwich and lemonade.
Mom had many great sayings that we still use in our day to day lives.In her last days I said "Mom give me one of your quotes." She looked at me thoughtfully and then said in her weak broken voice, "OK honey here's one." I quickly grabbed a paper and pen. She said "Never go to bed mad" (than with a long pause and a giggle said) "stay up and fight all night!"
She was such a funny darling lady.We have her to thank for our wit, wisdom and bright outlook on life, such an amazing sense of humor.She told us it would make us live longer.I believe her.Thank you for being you, Mama!
Audrey was preceded in death by her parents, Merle and Veronica (Bunker) Harris; two sons, Marlen and Mark Dahl; and husband, Al Chapman.
She leaves behind four children, Mary Ann Havener (Patrick) of Rapid City, Mitchell Dahl (Nelly) of Rapid City, Jerome Dahl (Kendra) of Aurora, CO, and Jamie Chapman of Rock-ford, IL; 16 grandchildren, Cally, Zachary, Noah, Travis, Breeze, Caleb, Gabriel, Max, Jack, Stacie, Cory, Haley, Elizabeth, J.J., Colby, and Cody.She also leaves six great grandchildren,Mark, Mason, Tycen, Maggie, Sampson, and Oliver.
Visitation was at Kirk Funeral Home in Rapid City on Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m. with a public prayer service at 7 p.m.
Services were 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008 at the funeral home with YWAM Missionary and granddaughter Cally Finney officiating. A luncheon followed, with interment at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Hill City Cemetery.
Friends may sign Audrey's online guestbook at www.kirkfuneralhome.com.
Donations are suggested to Hospice of the Black Hills or Hospice House of Rapid City. These people involved in these organizations are truly "Angels" in street clothes that cared for Audrey in her last months and days.