Nancy Lu (Frary) Donovan


October 14, 1935 - April 17, 2022

Nancy Lu Frary was born October 14, 1935, in Hot Springs, S.D., to Verda and Glenn Frary, and passed away at Westhills Village in Rapid City, S.D., on April 17, 2022. After suffering a stroke, and rallying for a week to talk with her husband Uhl, all her children and grandchildren, and many family and friends, she died on Easter Sunday -- quite fitting for a most gracious and gentle soul whose faith-filled life of loving and caring for others was evident up until the end. 

Nancy lived life to the fullest. Her childhood in Hot Springs was very active, despite her father being the principal and coach at the high school. She loved swimming in the Plunge, hiking through the hills and gullies of the Fall River, riding bikes up Battle Mountain, playing clarinet in the school band, etc.  She also treasured summer trips to SE Nebraska, accompanying her grandfather on the train and visiting her farming relatives. After spending months in the hospital with polio, Nancy developed a deep appreciation for the Sisters and nursing staff, resulting in a strong desire to become a nurse herself one day. 

Nancy graduated from high school in 1953, and attended Stephen’s College in Columbia, Mo. for a year, where she met Uhl, then a student at the University of Missouri, on a blind date. In 1957, she graduated from the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing, University of Denver, as a Registered Nurse. She and Uhl were married in 1958, and moved to Kansas City, Mo. where he entered Dental School. Nancy worked nights as a surgical nurse in the operating room at the Veteran’s Administration hospital in K.C. After graduation from Dental School, they spent two years in Deadwood, S.D., in a private dental practice, returning to Kansas City and ultimately Lincoln, Neb., where Uhl taught dentistry at the Universities of Missouri and Nebraska. During much of those years, Nancy ran the household, including four kids and an untold number and variety of pets! 

Nancy loved being a nurse, a homemaker and staying home with her babies. She was a wonderful wife and mother, guiding and disciplining with a gentle yet firm hand, always reminding the kids as they left the house for a night on the town, “Now, keep your nose clean!” Eventually, Nancy went back to work at Allergy & Asthma Associates in Lincoln, giving allergy shots for the next 20+ years. She was ordained a Deacon in 1996 at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Lincoln, and served there until she and Uhl retired and moved to Silver City, S.D., to the cabin her parents purchased in the 1960s.  She served St. Matthew’s Rapid City and St. Matthew’s Edinburg, Texas (while wintering in South Texas) from the late 1990s until a few years ago, and was active in P.E.O., Dental Auxillary, and community volunteering wherever she lived. She and Uhl moved to Westhills Village in Rapid City in 2017. 

Nancy loved her Lord, church, family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, her beautiful Black Hills and everything in them, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, or not… She loved history, experiencing new things, meeting new people, reading, studying, traveling, outdoor adventures… she loved it all and everyone she met. She was a kind, gentle, caring, and loving soul. She will be missed by many, far and wide.

Nancy is survived by: her husband of 64 years, Uhl; children, Timothy (Sarah), SaraBeth, Nathan (Jody), and Andrew (Alexandra); grandchildren, Tracy, Matthew, Patrick, Joshua, Aidan, and Zachary Donovan; brothers, Ladd (Alice) Frary, and Lynn (Patty) Frary; sister in law, Jackie Donovan; and numerous dear relatives and friends.  She was preceded in death by her parents, other family members and friends, and her beloved pets (a parakeet and dogs (Rosie, et al).

Nancy’s funeral service will be held at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 620 Haines Street, Rapid City, on May 21, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. The service will be live-streamed via link at “” or on YouTube at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Rapid City, SD. A visitation will be held at St. Matthew’s on May 20, 2022, from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., with prayers and remembrances at 7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to St. Matthew’s Rapid City or the Peru State College Foundation (Glenn and Verda Frary Scholarship fund).

Family and friends are welcome to sign Nancy’s online guestbook at

Fall River County Herald Star

EDGEMONT OFFICE: 410 2nd Avenue   Edgemont, SD 57735-0660 | 605.662.7201
HOT SPRINGS OFFICE: 334 S. Chicago St.  Hot Springs, SD 57747 | 605.745.3930
Send news to: Send Ad requests to: