MISSOULA ~ On June 26, 2022, at the age of 91, Grandma Berna left her earthly presence to join the angels that have gone before her.
She born Dorothy Ann Connally on February 17, 1931 to Nettie and Jake Connally in Gillette, Wyoming. She faced many obstacles as a child but never let it stop her from achieving the highest standards in her life, in her work, in her faith and in her love of family and friends. She graduated from the School for the Deaf in Omaha, Nebraska in 1948. She attended business school in Sheridan, Wyoming shortly afterwards. She stayed with her mother at the Catholic Parish House in Sheridan until she married Louis Taberna in 1953.
During their marriage, Dorothy and Lou raised 4 children while making residences in Wyoming, Colorado, and eventually in Montana in which they established their permanent home in 1965. Life in Missoula was full of unique experiences, endless shenanigans, and continual road trips to visit family and friends all over the country. Dorothy established her career with the Forest Service balancing work and family, yet never sacrificing one for the other all while perusing her personal passions including: bowling, baking, square dancing, learning to ball room dance, sewing, being a fashionista, mall walking, playing cards, and most importantly being an active member of the Catholic Church. No one passion was more important than to pass her faith on to her children despite their adolescent objections.
In 1988 Dorothy and Lou divorced and she began her own journey as an independent, adventurous, and a single career woman. Dorothy eventually retired from the Forest Service after 20+ years and ramped up her adventures. She spent several winters in California enjoying the life of a snowbird traveling to Branson, MO, Las Vegas, NV and spending time enjoying her love of the Bob Hope Classic golf tournaments. She decided to return to Montana, settling down back in Missoula permanently to be near her family and friends. Dorothy filled her time as a Senior Companion helping other seniors in maintaining their independence and providing loving companionship. She also volunteered as a Foster Grandparent at Valley Christian school teaching children reading and helping them with math – becoming Grandma Berna to them all. As life forced her to slow down and up until Dorothy’s final day, she fought the loss of her independence with every ounce of her being.
Dorothy was not only a remarkable woman but an amazing person. She enjoyed her role as a mother, grandmother, great grandmother and dear friend – touching the lives of every person who came into her life. There was no challenge in her life that she could not overcome and she did so with tenacity and stubbornness. She did this all while enjoying her life to its fullest setting an example for us all.
Dorothy is preceded in death by her son David Taberna, her parents, 2 sisters and a brother. She is survived by her sister Francis (Keith) Purington, her daughter Debra Taberna, son Chris (Janelle) Taberna, and son Tom (Karen) Taberna, 14 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.
Please join us in celebrating the unending legacy of Dorothy’s life.
Memorial Service: Sunset Memorial Gardens July 23, 2022 at 2:00 pm. Interment will follow to her Forever Home.
Celebration of Life will be held at 4:00pm at The Eagles Lodge and Lounge 2420 South Ave W.