Dorothy Kiyukan Ziegler Obituary

MAYETTA, KS – Dorothy Arleen “Scootie” “Wiche Quah” Kiyukan Ziegler, 58, of Mayetta lost her battle with liver cancer Thursday, January 7, 2021, at her home.

She was born November 17, 1962, in Chicago, IL the daughter of Julia Lewis.  She graduated from Marty Indian School and later graduated from the University of South Dakota with a Master’s Degree in Psychology. Dorothy was able to see a good part of the country.  She had lived in Kansas, Oklahoma, Indiana, and South Dakota. She is most noted for her passion for education and her culture.  She was the National Indian Educator, the South Dakota Indian Educator of the year, and in 1994 the governor of South Dakota proclaimed October 28th as the “Dorothy Kiyukan Day” in South Dakota.  She received a Dakota Wesleyan Alumni of the year award and the University of South Dakota Native American Alumni award as well.  Dorothy was a member of the South Dakota Counseling Association, Indian Counseling Association, was a certified school specialist, and served as a gaming commissioner at Prairie Band Casino and Resort in Mayetta.  She was a fancy and jingle dress dancer.  She was a well-known NA Cultural Coordinator and a Therapeutic Intervention Specialist. She also was a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and Potawatomi United Methodist Church.

On March 8, 2020, she married Martin “Tom” Ziegler in Mayetta.  He survives of the home. Other survivors include her mother, Julia Lewis of Mayetta; 2 daughters, Julia E. Kiyukan of Pierre, SD and Atana Bernie-Blue of Pierre, SD; son, Lawrence L. Kiyukan, Jr. (Charlotte) of Lake Andes, SD; a niece she raised, Marissa Bridegroom of Topeka, KS; 11 adopted children; adopted mom, Shirley Bernie of Pierre, SD; sister, Doris Cochran of Topeka; twin sisters; numerous hunka sisters; numerous hunka brothers; 7 grandchildren and many adopted grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her adopted dad, Francis Bernie; sister, MaLita Bernie; and 2 brothers, Raymond and Bobby Bridegroom.

Funeral Services will be 1:00 p.m., Sunday, January 10, 2021, at Mercer Funeral Home in Holton.  She will lie in state beginning Saturday, January 9, 2021, until 5:00 p.m. Dorothy will be laid to rest in South Dakota to finish her cycle of life.  She wants her final words to be… “Life is but a journey. Its’s time for me to skip on over to the pearly gates—Life is only but a journey and my new life just begun”.  Advice: Don’t worry so much, move forward in life, surround yourself with positive people, forgive others, do the right thing, follow the ten commandments, breathe, enjoy life, never forget who created you, and don’t be scared, instead, celebrate. Due to the critical situation we all are in, please remember the families during this difficult time and consider sending a card of condolence or posting the Mercer Funeral Homes website. Mercer Funeral Home, P.O. Box 270, Holton, KS 66436, or

  • Courtesy of Mercer Funeral Homes