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Betty Jean Stemple silently slipped into the loving arms of Jesus, her source of constant faith and strength on May 25, 2017. Betty was born in Missoula, MT the youngest daughter of Effinger A. and Maud Askins Neeley on February 26, 1919. She graduated from Missoula County High School in 1937 and the University of Montana in 1941. Shortly after college graduation she married her childhood sweetheart, Harry C. Stemple on June 14, 1941.
They lived in Missoula until Dad’s enlistment in the Army and Mom worked at a tire factory in Akron, OH until returning to Missoula prior to the birth of their first daughter Delores Kathleen December 4, 1943. After Dad’s honorable discharge from the European theater they returned to Missoula building a family home that was the center of activity with the neighborhood children. A second daughter Joyce Louise joined the family May 30, 1948.
In 1968 they built a ‘cabin’ up the Bitterroot which soon became a full fledged house, a home filled with laughter, card games, fishing, hunting, yard croquet and picnics. Surprise guests would arrive to sit down to a delicious dinner fit for a king at a moment‘s notice. Special was the aroma of homemade bread fresh from the oven.
Saddness, too, had challenged and strengthened Mom, including the tragic loss of Delores in 1969 and grandson Mark Danuser in 1988 and the surprise loss of Harry in 1984. Betty and Harry adopted Delores‘ daughter, Kimberly Danuser in April 1969 following Delores’ passing. Faced with the considerable challenges raising a small child, she lovingly replied ‘she just needs a grandma’ and without hesitation took on the challenge.
In 1989 Mom returned to Missoula, enjoyed a few vacations with friends and several car trips with Kimberly, sapphire digging with Joy and Ron and many hours of scrabble and crossword puzzles following Kimberly’s neurological illnesses.
She was survived by her daughters Joyce (Ronald) Hines of Huson, MT and Kimberly (Michael) Lindquist of Corvallis, MT. She was a grandma to Kevin (AmyJo) Hines of New Mexico and Chad Hines of West Virginia as well as five great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at Frenchtown Community Church on Wednesday May 31, 2017 at 1 p.m. Rev. Scott Davis, officiating. Condolences for Betty’s family may be left at www.sunsetfuneralhomecemetery.com
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