Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Roby


July 7, 1923 - June 27, 2013



Mary Elizabeth “Betty” (Buche Boehnen) Roby was born July 7, 1923 to G.F. and Catherine (Forrestal) Buche at Yankton, SD.  During the 1930s, her family moved from Lake Andes to Mitchell, SD, where she grew up, attended school, and graduated from Notre Dame High School in 1941.

Following high school, she attended the College of St. Benedict’s in St. Joseph, MN, and then interned at Swedish Hospital, Minneapolis, MN.   She married Lloyd L. Boehnen on September 7, 1945 at the Marine Corp base at Quantico, VA, completed her degree in Medical Technology and continued to work at Central Emergency Hospital in Washington D.C.

After the war and Lloyd’s military service ended, they returned to Mitchell, SD.  Betty worked at St. Joseph Hospital (now, Avera Queen of Peace) for a few years until they started their family.  While Betty was a homemaker, she volunteered in many community service capacities, including serving as a Girl Scout and Cub Scout Leader.  When her children were out of school, she and friend, Mamie Berry, started the first bridal business in Mitchell called, The Bridal Boutique.  They began the business in the basement of the Berry home but, as the business grew, they moved to the main street district and became an anchor business there for fifteen years.

Betty married Raymond L. Roby December 17, 1977 at Sioux Falls, SD.  She and Ray designed and built their dream home on Lake Mitchell, where they lived happily for the next 35 years.  In 1985 she successfully passed the tests to become a stockbroker for Piper Jaffrey & Hopwood in Mitchell, serving as office manager the last few years prior to her retirement.

Though talented in business, family and friends were her passion.  Betty was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church.  She served on the Board of Directors of St. Joseph Hospital (Avera Queen of Peace), the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce and the Industrial Development Board and the SD Hall of Fame Museum Board in Chamberlain.  In 1959 she received the National Carnegie Medal of Heroism. She was an avid golfer and belonged to Lakeview and Wild Oaks Ladies Golf Clubs.  Additionally, she was a member of Fortnightly Club and an investment club for years.  Betty was a life- long learner; sewing, water color painting, reading, staying on top of current events, and becoming an accomplished computer user.  She and Ray traveled extensively, especially following her retirement.

She is survived by her husband, Ray L. Roby; her children: David L. Boehnen and wife, Shari of St. Paul MN, Vikki A. Lansing Copley and husband, Patrick of Sioux Falls, SD and Daniel A. Boehnen and wife, Jennifer of Chicago, IL; step-children: Michele R. Bittner and husband, George of Mitchell, SD, John L. Roby and wife, Elaine of St. Paul, MN and Julia R. Cuban and husband, Michael of Coronado, CA; seven grandchildren: Lesley Boehnen Casillas , Michelle Boehnen Negri , Heather Boehnen Meeker, John A. Bieberdorf, Nina Bieberdorf Theiss, Christopher B.  Boehnen and Lindz Boehnen; three step-grandchildren: Brett J. Bittner, David R. Cuban and Andrew M. Cuban;  eight great-grandchildren; two sisters, Patricia Tomforde  of Rochester, MN and Teresa Friederich and husband, Karl of Columbus, GA and numerous nieces and nephews.   She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Jean Ann Graff and a brother, Robert “Bob” F. Buche and brother-in-law, Lawrence “Spud” Tomforde.



 Memorials may be directed to the Prehistoric Indian Village of Mitchell SD or the Mitchell Foundation for Catholic Education. 


Sunday, June 30, 2013
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
Scripture Service ~ 7:00 PM
805 West Havens
Mitchell, South Dakota


Monday, July 1, 2013
11:00 AM
Holy Spirit Catholic Church
Mitchell, South Dakota


Calvary Cemetery
Mitchell, South Dakota

Posted by Denny Nemmers on July 6, 2013
So sorry for your loss, I will keep her in my prayers and will be thinking of you Vikki & family, Michele & family
Posted by Cheri (DeSchepper) Oleske on July 2, 2013
I am so sad to read of Betty's passing. She was always such a nice person and a friend to everyone. Even though its been 36 years since she helped us with my wedding, I still remember how patient she was with this 21 year old bride! You will be missed dearly.
Posted by Kevin Culhane on July 1, 2013
The entire Culhane family mourns the loss of Betty. She was the best of what a person has to offer. We thank you for your contribution to your community. What a wonderful and special person she was special, warm and giving. God Bless you Betty
Posted by Laurie Chenoweth on July 1, 2013
Betty you were one classy lady ... Rest in peace.. My condolences to the family.
Posted by Joe & Jan Schlimgen on July 1, 2013
Our condolences and prayers are with the Robey's and Boehnens.
Posted by Vickie Mayer on July 1, 2013
I knew Betty from yoga class. She was always so sweet, funny and always had a smile on her face and a kind word to say. What a role model for all women to aspire to!
My condolences to her family.
Posted by Tom Quinn on June 30, 2013
Thank you for your patience and indulgence with this one particular neighborhood imp here. Your cheerfulness and smile are well remembered. My condolences to all the Boehnens and Robys.
Posted by Georgi Streetman on June 29, 2013
For me, a Mitchell legend has passed on to the 'other side'. Class, style, restraint, generous, admired, savvy, compassionate, funny, dignified, interested and engaged as well as interesting and engaging.... The example set by this marvelous woman will always stay with me. Blessings and condolences to Ray, Vikki, and all of Betty's family.
Posted by Jane Swanson on June 29, 2013
The Swansons are sad today. My dad, Don, and my sister Donna and I adored Betty - one of the classiest women who ever lived. Donna and I are privileged to have known Betty all of our lives. My dad and mom had so much fun playing cards with the Boehnens over the years. I am so proud that she was my Godmother. My sympathies to David, Danny, Vicki, Ray, Muffie and George. Wish so much I could be with you at the services. Betty and my mom, Izzetta, are probably playing cards in the heavens above and having a good chat.
Posted by Msgr. James Michael Doyle on June 29, 2013
My first assignment after ordination was Holy Family Parish in Mitchell under the beloved and legendary Msgr. John Brady. I soon learned one of the most respected and loved woman in the parish was Betty Boehnan. God rest you kindly dear Betty until we meet again.
Posted by Kelly Gross on June 29, 2013
A very nice neighbor lady that would always give me a friendly wave from her convertible as she drove past! I will miss that.
Posted by Kay Schoenfelder on June 28, 2013
Wish to extend my sympathy to the family of Betty's. She was a special lady to me. Will miss her a lot.
Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Posted by Tim L. Fjellestad on June 28, 2013
Our condolences and prayers are with you. Betty will always be in our in our hearts
Sign Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Roby's Guestbook
Your Name