Olive Lorraine Van Metre was born October 3, 1921, the first of three children of Hardin and Marcella (Mundorf) Van Metre and was named for Hardin’s sister, Olive. Lorraine was born at home in the house her great-grandfather Cyrus Van Metre built on his homestead on the North Table in Cherry County near Valentine, Nebraska.
Lorraine was baptized in the Methodist Church. She attended country schools on the North Table and later she and her brother David rode old “Queen” to school. As the oldest, she got to hold the reins but Dave helped set the pace of the ride by hitting Lorraine with his lunch bucket to let her know she wasn’t going fast enough. The family moved to South Dakota in 1933. Her sister Janice was born in 1935 when Lorraine was fourteen. Lorraine graduated from Millboro High School in 1939 and then attended college at Southern Normal College in Springfield, SD for teacher training.
Lorraine and Donald C. Haley, son of Ervy and Ida (Sharp) Haley, were married on October 5, 1940. Five children were born to the couple: Donald Dwain, Martha Adele, Roger William, Michael Dennis and Linda Lorraine. All five were born in the Valentine Hospital. Donald Dwain was born prematurely and weighed a little over two pounds. The hospital’s new incubator did little more than keep the infant warm. He only lived a month and two days.
The family became life-long Lutherans in 1945. They farmed in Nebraska until 1949 when Don became a salesman for Occo Feeds in Plankinton, SD. In 1950 they bought the gas station and pool hall in Millboro, SD and later operated a grocery store. They moved to Winner in 1957 where Don was a wholesale grocery salesman and in 1960 became a district representative for Aid Association for Lutherans.
Lorraine was primarily a stay-at-home mom and homemaker even though she taught school on and off through the years and worked in the family business selling groceries, pumping gas, cooking lunches for hunters and square dancers at Millboro. In Winner she continued to supplement the family income by boarding high school students from the country. It was a fun, welcoming home and she provided great homemade meals and bread.
They were charter members of Christ Lutheran Church in Winner where Lorraine taught Sunday School and served as chairman of LWML. She also served as the Chamberlain Zone president of LWML.
They moved to Mitchell in 1966 when Don was transferred there by AAL. They were members of Zion Lutheran Church and later Trinity Lutheran Church. After Don’s retirement, they enjoyed eleven winters in Arizona in their camper. Lorraine took along her sewing machine and made many quilt tops even though Don grumbled a little about threads all over the camper.
After Don passed away in 1998, Lorraine went to live with her daughter Linda and family near Brandon. When Linda passed away in 2001, she returned to Mitchell and resided at Rosewood. She moved to Bethany Meadows Assisted Living, Brandon, in January 2006 and lived there until 2011, enjoying playing the piano and playing and winning at Bingo. She moved to Prairie Crossings Assisted Living, Mitchell, in May 2011. In October 2011 she celebrated her 90th birthday by entertaining family and friends by playing the keyboard with her brother-in-law, Stan Libolt, on saxophone. She had been Stan’s first piano player when he started his band. Lorraine had previously played piano with a band in the 40’s and she never lost her rhythm and her love for music.
Lorraine loved being a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother. Her greatest joys were babies. She always welcomed them with smiles, hugs, and kisses. She became the matriarch of five generations when her first great-great grandson was born in 2010.
Surviving Lorraine are her children: Martha Smith, Brandon, SD; Roger Haley and wife Marilyn, Mitchell, SD; Dr. Michael Haley and wife Jean, Mitchell, SD; and son-in-law Jim Brunz, Sioux Falls. Also surviving are fourteen grandchildren; twenty-two great-grandchildren; two great-great grandsons; her sister Janice (Van Metre) Libolt and husband Stanley, Springview, NE; two sisters-in-law: Donna Fae (Haley) Van Metre, Torrington, WY and Hazel (Haley) Prentice, Gordon, NE; eighteen nieces and nephews; and many other relatives and friends. Preceding her in death were her parents, her husband Don, her infant son Donald Dwain Haley, her daughter Linda Lorraine (Haley) Brunz, her brother David Hardin Van Metre of Springview, NE, and her son-in-law Vernon Smith, Brandon, SD.