Blooms are Chamber's Citizens of the Year

Webster, SDMonty Bloom knew his wife Mary was going to be named the Webster Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Citizen of the Year. But he didn’t know he was too.

It was the fib his children told him in order to ensure his attendance at the Chamber Gala January 13 at the Galley. The Webster tire shop owner originally had plans to be out of town the evening of the event.

The award was presented by Chamber president Cynthia Premus and Teri Ewalt, Webster librarian and last year’s citizen of the year. In the nomination speech read by Ewalt, the Blooms were called, “true servant(s)” and “silent citizen(s) of Webster... always helping in various ways... never ask(ing) for anything in return... willing to go above and beyond for (their) community and everyone in it.”

Both members of the Webster United Methodist Church, a good portion of their volunteering is through there. Monty cooks breakfast once a month as a member of the men’s group and Mary plays piano and organ for services, volunteers with youth programs and they both help with the annual Walk Through Bethlehem event. Mary has served as church council president.

Among some of the activities she’s done, Mary is the secretary/treasurer for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary and American Legion Auxiliary, is a past Kiwanis Club president and current member who volunteers at sports concessions, is the Day County Arts Council treasurer, a Red Hatter and has been a Relay for Life board member.  As a business owner, Monty often goes above and beyond in the name of customer service by making runs late at night to help others. He mows neighbors’ lawns and clears snow from the sidewalks on Webster’s Main Street in the winter time.

“It’s humbling to think that people see what we do as something out of the ordinary, something that needs recognition,” Mary said a few days later during an interview with Monty at his business, Webster Tire, Inc.

“We just love helping people out,” Monty said. “I just do it just to do it for the people. I don’t think I deserve all that (but) it’s a great honor, a huge surprise.”

They were married in 1977 and lived for about a year on a farmstead just up the road from Monty’s home place. They moved to Page, ND for two years when Monty took a job there as a farm hand before returning to Day County and the countryside they’d grown up in. Upon their return, Mary began working full time at Dacotah Bank (where she still works today, 38 years later, as Market Operations Supervisor) and Monty worked with his dad milking cows, raising sheep and shearing sheep around the area.

Eventually they bought the farm Mary grew up on and milked cows and farmed on their own for a few years. They switched to stock cattle for a while before Monty began working at Lake Area Farm Supply for Roger and Helen Williams. In 1993, when their children became more involved with school activities, they moved to Webster and later bought the tire portion of the business from the Williams. They expanded and have had a successful business since. 

The pair celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary last March.  They are the parents of three children - Nicci Lundeen, Nathan and Jared, all of Webster - and have nine grandchildren.


by Amanda Fanger, Reporter & Farmer, Webster

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