Mary Still Memorial Scholarship

Posted on

Article courtesy of Dawn Covey, Tripp Co. Community Foundation

An amazing gift has been given to support the further education of Winner High School Graduates.  Included in the estate of a life-long member of the Winner community, Mary Still, was a gift in the amount of $50,000 to be used to fund scholarships for selected recipients from Winner High School. 

The fact that this woman who owned her own beauty salon in Winner for many years was able to leave a gift of this amount is remarkable and inspirational. 

With this gift she will not only help recipients further their education but will leave a legacy of what hard work and commitment can accomplish.  The name of Mary Still will live on into perpetuity with the Mary Still Memorial Scholarship.

The representatives of Mary’s estate, Cleo and Jerrene Watzel, have chosen to set up this fund with the Tripp County Community Foundation where it will be administered through the permanent endowment fund that is maintained by the South Dakota Community Foundation.  The fund will be named the Mary Still Memorial Scholarship.

Mary Still was a delightful lady who spent countless years working as a beautician in Winner, SD.  She passed away in July, 2017, at the age of 106.

Mary was born on Nov. 7, 1910, to Joseph and Freda (Saub) Shaheen in O’Neill, NE.  She was the seventh of eight children.

Her parents emigrated from Lebanon to the United States and settled in O’Neil, Nebraska.   They moved to a farm near Millboro, SD shortly after Mary was born.   Her father worked on the construction of the Tripp County Courthouse and later started a shoe-repair business on Main Street in Winner.   Joseph Shaheen expanded his business to include the sale of shoes for men, women, and children.   The business was later taken over by Shaheen’s sons, Ed and Ernest Shaheen and served the Winner area for decades. 

After Mary graduated from Winner High School in 1930, she went to a beauty school in Sioux City, IA.  Her first beauty shop was in Kennebec, SD and her second was in Presho, SD.     

In 1942 Mary met and married Earl Still.  Earl was a traveling salesman for the Diamond Match Company.  Earl’s job required traveling, but they eventually settled in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  There she worked as a teacher for 8 years in the Milwaukee Accredited Beauty School.

In 1967 Mary moved to Winner.  Though she came to care for her brother Ed, who had cancer, she also opened her own beauty salon in the basement of her house on South Main St. Because she was cheerful, fun-loving, and outgoing, she soon had a steady stream of loyal customers who liked what she could do with their hair.  After about 30 years, she passed her beauty shop on to another beautician and moved into the Golden Prairie Manor.

Mary lived at Golden Prairie for 17 years.  On Mary’s 100th birthday she was asked what her thoughts were on turning 100 and she stated, “I don’t feel 100, in fact, I have people tell me they can’t believe I am turning 100!” 

As the years passed, walking became difficult.  One day when she fell, she injured one hand, so she couldn’t use her walker to walk anymore.  In February 2015 she then moved into the Winner Long Term Care facility at the age of 104!  She contributed her long, healthy life to abstaining from alcohol and smoking, eating healthy food, along with lots of sunshine and exercise.   

Mary’s hobbies were playing cards, doing needlework, crocheting, playing bingo and visiting with friends.  She loved to be productive and giving, so she made many afghans, hot pads, etc. to give to others.  At the age of 85 she was still doing hair for what Mary referred to as “the old people” in the nursing home!  At the age of 100 she was still crocheting booties which she gave to the hospital for the new babies born there.

Mary was the last survivor of her family as she was preceded death by her seven siblings, Helen, Julia, Ernie, Edward, Anna, Fred, Martha, and their spouses.  Remaining to treasure their memories of her were many nieces and nephews, including Margaret Legge of Winner.  Also, her church family, the members of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Winner.

Photo-Mary Still with her dog, Pumpkin