Ardiss was born in Clay County on the family farm near Wakonda South Dakota to Herbert and Olga Hall on November 10, 1931. The doctor declared she was born on midnight November 11, looking at a clock in the home that had not worked for years, but her father corrected the mistake. After her brother Joe had died when she was 11, and then her dad when she was 12, she and her mother moved into the town of Wakonda. She attended Wakonda High School, graduating in 1949. On College preparatory exams, she scored the highest in her class. With the prospects of college in her sights, she had a different plan in mind. She and James H. Dwyer were married on April 11, 1950, at St. Patrick’s Church in Wakonda, at which time she chose to learn the Catholic faith and become a member of the Catholic Church. Later that year, they moved to Vermillion, had their first child, then in 1953 made Wakonda once again their home.
She devoted herself to her family, including six children, and to her community. As an active mother, Ardiss required her three oldest sons to have paper routes in Wakonda and would drive for them if the Sunday paper was thick or the snow was deep. She would also walk the fields with her children when they worked for their uncle Lewis, cutting corn, and picking rocks.
Ardiss was active in the church, teaching catechism to elementary school children and cleaning the church and rectory as well as providing occasional meals. In 1960 she worked on the local John F. Kennedy campaign; at which time she inspired her son Joe’s love for campaign memorabilia collecting. In addition, she acted as den mother for the cub scouts for her oldest three boys. In 1965, the family moved back to Vermillion, and soon built a home in 1967 on East Lewis Street near St. Agnes School. Ardiss took pride in designing the finishing touches on the home for her family. She worked as an assistant to the pharmacist at Ray Cash Drug, worked as an Avon representative, had her seventh child (also a mini-Avon representative) and worked for the census bureau. In the mid-1970s, the family purchased and ran the Varsity bar, where Ardiss put her older 6 children to work, creating profit where there had been none. In later years, she worked for the USD Business Research Bureau on projects regularly for 5 years. She was known to keep the work moving and organized, and the group enjoyed their work together.
Ardiss was an active member of St Agnes Church since 1965. For nearly 20 years, she sang in both the adult and funeral choirs, where she shared faith, love for music, and long friendships. She participated in church circles, providing meals and desserts, serving, and helping in all ways needed, and was a long-time member of the Catholic Daughters of America. She and Jim chose to build a home across from St Agnes so they could easily provide a Catholic elementary education to their youngest three children. Her faith was paramount to the way she lived
In their retirement years, Jim and Ardiss enjoyed traveling, especially to see their children and to be south for the winter. Ardiss loved to read and follow maps and could also map out and find her direction by the constellations. Ardiss found joy in life, in her family, and in every visit she had.
She is survived by her children: Scott (Toni) of Sioux City, Iowa; Dan of Scottsdale, Arizona; Joe of Vermillion; Jean (Tom) Salem of Omaha, Nebraska; David (Susan) of Bargersville, Indiana; Debbie (Steve) Gapp of Vermillion. She is also survived by 18 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Herbert and Olga Hall, her son, James H Dwyer III, one grandson Justin James Salem, and seven siblings George “Joe” Hall, Lewis Hall, Kermit Hall, Elizabeth Everson, Minnie Hanson, Evelyn Babb, Herbert “Snooks” Hall.