Charity Jean Miles DeLawyer was born February 1, 1989 during a snow storm at Cherry County Hospital in Valentine, Nebraska to her delighted parents Craig and Joy (McCrory) Miles. She was raised on the Miles family ranch near Brownlee. Here she learned to love the outdoors, ranch life and her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. From an early age Charity had a strong faith and a strong will. That strong will would help her stand firm in her faith all her life even when it wasn’t popular. Horseback riding, playing with animals of every kind and swirling in skirts were some of many things she so enjoyed. She was homeschooled from 3rd grade to 7th grade. While in the 3rd grade, her Bible class teacher encouraged her class to read and note the entire New Testament, which she did. From then on she had an unshakeable faith and concept of God. Charity attended Thedford scho-ols from grades 8-12. Playing volleyball, acting in plays, giving speeches, going on mission trips to Mexico and running cross country and track kept her very busy. While in 8th grade her classmate suggested she run the 1600 (one mile) race, mainly because nobody else wanted to. She ran it and loved it! After running several races in 8th grade, a track official told her God had given her the gift of running and that she should use it. From then on she tried to use this gift to glorify her Lord. She loved running cross country with the Valentine Badgers her junior and senior years, making wonderful friends. Her favorite races in track were the 1600 and 3200, winning state championships in both her junior and senior years.
She graduated valedictorian of her class and decided to go into nursing because, as she said, “I was genetically sucked into it.” Her aunts, mother and grandmother were all nurses. She was blessed to go to Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, where she ran cross country and both indoor and outdoor track. She set several GPAC conference records in track, but as Charity would say, all the awards were but rubble compared to Jesus in her life. She loved her wonderful teammates and classmates, graduating Sum-ma Cum Laude in 2011. Charity was blessed to be inducted into the Northwestern Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017.
As a registered nurse, she came back to the same hospital she was born at to give love and tender care for her patients. It was there in Valentine that she dated and married the love of her life, Steven DeLawyer. They were married April 18, 2015 staying in Valentine until the fall of 2016 when they moved to Rapid City. She loved working at the Black Hills Surgical Hospital while in Rapid and found great Christian community at Parkview Church. Their two sons were born in Rapid City, Samuel Ross in May 2018 and Jesse Craig in November 2019.
In March of 2020, Charity, Steven and their boys moved back to help her family expand their ranch to include a lease on the Pearson Ranch south of Valentine. Their boys absolutely love living in the country and Charity even had milking goats. Charity was so gifted artistically as well as in hospitality, having company for Bible studies or just a meal of her delectable food. She loved spending time with her family and friends, writing special notes, cooking intricate meals or giving her famous foot massages. She also loved her patients in the Oncology department at Cherry County Hospital. Charity always wanted to help others to know and grow in Jesus, sharing the gospel tenaciously especially with those easily dismissed. Valentine Berean became their new church home. As her friends said, “In her life she constantly pushed me closer to God, whether in teaching me something; in displaying it in her own life; or in challenging me to dive deeper in my faith.” “She had that extra specialness about her that would make one feel so welcome and loved, she was full of grace.”
Charity went to the arms of her loving Lord and Savior in the beautiful Sandhills that she loved on April 18, 2021.
Charity was preceded in death by her grandparents: John McCrory, DVM, Jean Ravenscroft McCrory McGaughey and Royal McGaughey.
Left to grieve her passing are her husband, Steven, of exactly six years; their two sons whom she adored and treasured Samuel and Jesse; parents Craig and Joy Miles; best friend and brother Caleb; grandparents Sam and Charlotte Miles; parents–in-law Mark and Marilyn DeLawyer (Joice, IA); brother and sister-in-law Jacob and Kelly DeLawyer (Joice, IA); uncles and aunts Scott and Gwenna Miles (Haslet,TX); Julie and Terry Pitkin (Scottsbluff); John and Rhonda McCrory (Tonapah, AZ); Carol and Steve Moreland (Merriman); many wonderful cousins, family and friends.
Services were held on Friday, April 23 at the United Methodist Church in Valentine. Burial followed at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Valentine. Sandoz Chapel of the Pines in Valentine was in charge of arrangements.