Jill's Journal: The story I never got to write

Jill Meier, Journal editor

As I was wrapping up the layout of the Brandon Valley Journal last week, I got a call from Heartland Funeral Home Director Todd Winkel. He was asking if I could slip a funeral notice onto one of the pages.

If I can, I will oblige, but at this point of the production process, the pages had already been sent off to the printer.

His request was for a woman that honestly, I didn’t know personally, but surely was well aware of, Dalyce Clow.

In my near 20 years of living here, I only utilized Dalyce’s alteration skills a few times. I was fortunate to have a mom that had these same skills, and when a pair of pants needed hemming or a seam had come loose, my mom would put her sewing machine to work.

As one may expect, I received a handful of requests over the years to write a story on the town seamstress.

And, as one may expect, I made numerous calls to Dalyce, only to receive the same answer over and over and over, “No.”

A day or so after learning of Dalyce’s passing, I came across a post on the Ask & Tell Facebook page that honors the woman who likely threaded thousands and thousands of needles in her 92 years of life.

“Such a sad day,” Stacy DeBoer commented. “Everyone has a Dalyce story!”

Jodi Myers shared that Dalyce was part of her life since she was about 4 years of age.

“She made my First Communion dress, many Easter and summer dresses for me as a little girl, altered all of my prom dresses, wedding dress, you name it, she altered it.”

From the tidbits people have shared with me about Dalyce, I quickly came to learn that she was the type of woman who called a spade “a spade.”

Coty McGuire confirmed that. “I loved to hear her opinions on all the bridesmaid dresses she altered for me, it was always comical!”

And Angie Wrightsman backed that up with, “(She) lived an amazing life being everyone’s friend, seamstress, critic when we would have looked ridiculous and she said ‘NO! You can’t wear that!’”

“I thought Dalyce would live forever,” Brandi Bauer shared. “I am so thankful for all she has done for my family and myself.”

Sheila Keyman told how Dalyce “fixed” countless items for her.

“She made ‘poodle skirts’ for Lynne Metcalf and me when we needed them for a Red Hat function. They were quite the hit!”

Sherrie Mattson tells how if you began as a customer, “you quickly became a friend.”

“She was the magician with that sewing machine and a truly wonderful human being. I loved that almost everyone in Brandon knew and loved her and her work,” Sherrie wrote.

Valerie Sayed tagged her as “an icon of Brandon.”

Sheri Hebb talked about their conversations and Dalyce’s keen memory of remembering details about her girls and grandchildren.

“You were the speediest and most precise seamstress. I quickly learned not to knock and just walk in,” she said.

Well, Dalyce, while you never gave me the green light to share your story and the service you provided to so many, you surely left is all with a memorable impression … one stitch, one hem, one zipper, one alteration … at a time.






The Brandon Valley Journal


The Brandon Valley Journal
1404 E. Cedar St.
Brandon, SD 57005
(605) 582-9999

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