Dr. Don Dailey


June 30, 1939 - August 28, 2020


Don Dailey, 81, of Mitchell, SD, passed away Friday, August 28, 2020 at his home in Mitchell under the care of his family and loved ones. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 AM Friday, September 4, 2020 at Holy Family Catholic Church in Mitchell. Burial will be at a later date in Graceland Cemetery. Visitation will be 5-7:00 PM Thursday at Holy Family Catholic Church with a 7:00 PM scripture service. Arrangements by Bittner Funeral Chapel. Memorials may be directed to: South Dakota Public Broadcasting, 555 N. Dakota St., Vermillion, SD 57069

Don was born June 30, 1939 in Farmville, VA, where he spent his early years with his parents, Donald Vincent Dailey and Mattie Leigh Glenn. He would then move to Winner, SD, where his grandpa operated a mortuary and furniture shop, paint and hardware store, and spring flower shop. They were called The Dailey Variety and The Dailey Paint Store.

Don originally started school at the University of South Dakota where he spent two years before applying to dental school at the University of Minnesota. He often explained his choice of attending dental school by saying, “There weren’t as many options back then, and it didn’t seem too bad.” After he was accepted, he earned his undergraduate degree as well as his DDS. Even more importantly, he met a Minneapolis nurse and love of his life, Mary Lou Holtkamp. In 1963 he graduated as a dentist at only 23 years old. Mary Lou and Don moved to Spearfish, SD for his first position, and the couple would be married shortly after in Rapid City by a classmate and friend, Father Vernon Rasche. Together they then moved to Tripp, SD where Don would start his first practice. This fulfilled one of his biggest goals since he had always praised the value of working for yourself. In 1967, Mary Lou and Don had their daughter Anne (Pat Feterl). Their son Doug (Jennifer Schmidt) followed in 1969, the week Apollo took off for the moon. The family took root in Mitchell, where Don purchased a dental practice and where their youngest son Matt was born in 1972 (Darci Dreyer). Over the years Don would grow Dailey Dental Inc., moving it into its current location, and develop hobbies such as stained-glass work, planting a well-manicured garden every year, framing pictures, and expanding his experience in business. He would go on to open The Framer, which was originally run out of the Oscar Howe Art Center. A strong supporter of the arts, Don had the honor of framing Oscar Howe’s Art Retrospective, which traveled the United States.  He and Mary Lou also started Dailey Dental Designs, an innovative mail order dental card printing business. He spent several years on the City Council and became Mitchell’s Mayor in 1994, serving for one term. He would later open a Dailey Dental Inc. in Chamberlain and would welcome his son Matt into the dental practice. Don was a proud and wonderful grandfather to Kate Dailey (Anne), Max and Tate Dailey (Doug and Jennifer), and Jack, Maggie, and Mick Dailey (Matt and Darci). His sister Teresa Leigh (Monte) Dodson resides in Sioux Falls, SD.

Don was a true patriarch for his family. He lived his life very deliberately, and planned for success every step of the way. He exuded greatness in all walks of life, and facilitated greatness in his children and grandchildren alike. Don loved to give and enjoy time with others, and every conversation ran longer than anyone could anticipate, especially since he never ran low on Miller Lite. He brought life to every gathering, and was truly a consummate entertainer, preparing elaborate meals and playing his trademark music -- a big band and a beat he could whistle along with. Don was always the man with a plan as well; he knew how to handle every situation in stride, and he was nearly impossible to rattle. That being said, he might be the only person who could make his family belly laugh in the most serious of appointments, without even having to try. He had a sly wit that was so quick. Blink and you might miss it.  Don took care of his family in every way he could, he will be dearly missed but never forgotten.


Thursday, September 3, 2020
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
7:00 PM Scripture Service

Holy Family Catholic Church
222 N Kimball St
Mitchell, SD 57301


Friday, September 4, 2020
10:30 AM
Holy Family Catholic Church
222 N Kimball St
Mitchell, SD 57301


Graceland Cemetery
Mitchell, SD

Posted by Chuck and Linda Oster on September 17, 2020
We were so sad to hear of Don's death. May he rest in peace.
Posted by Randy & Ardis Oldenkamp on September 5, 2020
We are so sorry for your loss...Don was such a sweet man. Your family circle is broken here on earth...but a family link continues in heaven. In God's appointed time you will be reunited. He is enjoying God's glory!
Posted by Dorothy Dockter on September 4, 2020
So sorry for your loss
Posted by Jerry & Davy Uecker on September 4, 2020
Sorry for your loss, keeping your family in our prayers.
Posted by Debra and Joseph McCartney on September 4, 2020
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Dr. Don will be greatly missed. It was because of him that I looked forward to every visit to the dentist. Thank you all for sharing him with us.
Posted by Kyle Baas on September 4, 2020
Our deepest condolences to the family!
Posted by Paul Roby on September 3, 2020
Mary Lou and family, so sorry to hear of Don's passing, Such a great person, We all know that he will be missed alot.
Posted by Zach, Christy, Peyton Schroder on September 3, 2020
Didn’t know Don very well but one thing for sure awesome dentist. Thank you. Matt, big shoes to fill!!
Posted by John and LuAnn Clarke on September 2, 2020
Mary Lou, Anne, Doug , Matt and families we are so sorry for your loss. Don was so smart, witty, and such a nice man who did so much for the community and others. We so enjoyed our many bridge games and social gatherings with Don and Mary Lou. Our hearts go out to you. He will be missed by so many. We will keep you in our prayers.
Posted by Kristin Vilhauer on September 2, 2020
Dailey Family, so sorry for your loss, hugs to all of you. Hold your memories of him close to your heart. ❤️
Posted by Sandy and Frank Soltis, Rochester Minnesota on September 2, 2020
Don was an amazing man with a great sense of humor and a genuine concern and compassion for people. We will miss Don and his laughter and sense of adventure . Our sympathy to Mary Lou and their family.
Posted by Frank and Sandy Soltis, from Rochester , Minnesota on September 2, 2020
We first met Don and Mary Lou on a trip to Cuba in 2026. We got to be great friends immediately!! We have taken several trips with Don and Mary Lou since then. With Don’s sense of humor and Mary Lou’s laughter, we had great times and memories. We all laughed a lot! We will dearly miss Don , and we will be in contact with Mary Lou. He was a great person and he will never be forgotten. The Mitchell community was so fortunate to have Don as a community member! He will be greatly missed but we all will have precious memories!
Posted by Charlie & Wanda Kobes on September 2, 2020
Don will missed by everyone that blessed to know him ! You all are in thoughts and prayers in this hard time ,
Posted by Ted Nelson on September 2, 2020
So sorry for all of our loss. What a gracious man and family. My heart is with you all during this time.
Posted by Kelly Schmidt on September 2, 2020
To the Dailey Family , So sorry for your loss your dad was a wonderful man and he will be missed by many people, Thoughts and Prayers for all of you .
Posted by Len and Paula Sanderson on September 2, 2020
Thinking of all of you during this time and sending our thoughts and prayers to your family.
Posted by Paulette Houska on September 1, 2020
Sorry for your loss, keeping your family in my prayers.
Posted by Kay judge on September 1, 2020
So sorry to hear of Don’s passing. He was so talented in all areas of life and also such a decent person. He will be both missed and remembered. My sympathy.
Posted by Cherie Cogswell on September 1, 2020
So sorry for your loss.
Posted by Dave Tronnes on September 1, 2020
So sorry to hear of Don’s passing. My sincere condolences to all the family.
Posted by Pat and Bobbie Clark on September 1, 2020
Thinking of all of you during this time of loss.
Posted by Karen VanOverschelde on September 1, 2020
Thoughts and prayers Marylou , Anne, Doug and Matt 💛 my heart hurts for you. Soak in the memories and I know you have a lot of them. He was a good man💛
Posted by Donn Johnson on September 1, 2020
To the Dailey & Dailey Dental families. So sorry for your loss. Dr Don was a wonderful guy & Dentist. Thoughts & prayers are with you all.
Posted by Kirk Weller on September 1, 2020
Mary Lou, Anne, Doug, Matt & families. My most sincere condolences. So many awesome memories of Don & all of you—in Tripp, Lake Mitchell cabin/boating, the farm, country club & time spent at your home!

You’ve all been such wonderful friends even though time & distance have separated us. It was great to pop-in to see Don & Mary Lou at their home, although I had the opportunity to do so recently.

All my best to all of you.

May God bless you & God’s speed to Don!
Posted by Jan Larson-Rayburn on September 1, 2020
Always generous and kind. So grateful for his love and attention over the years,especially to my mother. I;ll never forget the fireworks he provided for July 4th celebrations on the Holtkamp farms. He also exuded every patience and concealed a snicker or two when I under baked cookies while staying with his family one summer. Turned out to be a transition time for me and I remember that part of the summer fondly. Much love to Mary Lou and the whole family.
Posted by Joan Wempe Honomichl on September 1, 2020
My condolences in the loss of Dr. Don, Mary Lou, children and grandchildren. He will be missed. May he rest in the peace of God's grace.
Posted by Mark McMahon on August 31, 2020
Thoughts and prayers for the Dailey family.
What a loss for the Mitchell community he will be missed by many.
Posted by Ethel & Robert McGuire on August 31, 2020
So sorry to hear of Don's passing. God bless you all.
Posted by Mary Persson on August 31, 2020
Dr. Don has been my dentist since he came to Mitchell. He was a kind, thoughtful, and awesome person. Uplifting Mary Lou and family in prayer. ✝️🙏
Posted by Gary and Mary Hieb on August 31, 2020
To the Dailey family - So sorry to hear of your loss. Dr Don will be greatly missed by your family as well as the Mitchell community. He was the best dentist ever! He was also a great mayor. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them May he Rest In Peace.
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