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Grace Marie (Seibert) Cline—known to many as Grandma Grace—of Frenchtown was called home to be with the Lord Tuesday, Aug. 2, surrounded by those she cherished most, her family.
Born Aug. 5, 1929, to Herbert and Helen Seibert, Grace jokingly claimed responsibility for the Great Depression. Though she called herself a “Depression Baby,” she brought brightness into the world as soon as she entered it. Grace’s family relocated to Frenchtown from Mobridge, SD, in search of better opportunity, when she was 5—and she never left. In fact, after visiting family in Illinois, Grace cried as the train rolled into Montana, and she saw its majestic mountains. Montana was her forever home. She helped run the family Texaco station with her faithful dog, Rex, at her side for many years. She graduated from Frenchtown High School in 1947. The trailblazer she was, Grace went on to attend college in Missoula at what is now known as U of M and became a lifelong Grizzly fan.
She met the love of her life, Orville “Orv” Cline, while he was visiting cousins after WWII. He became friends with Grace’s brother Jack and spent a lot of time in the Texaco station. He loved Montana so much, he decided to stay, but Grace had a lot to do with that decision. They married March 17, 1951. A little more than a year later, Grace started what she considered one of her greatest accomplishments, her family.
She worked for the Western Montana Production Credit Association as an assistant secretary and office manager for a number of years, but decided to take time off to raise her growing family. It’s no surprise that her supervisor asked her to hire her own replacement, and then the one who followed. She returned to the PCA, where she ultimately “retired.” She never retired from her position as the part-time bookkeeper for the Frenchtown Irrigation District, which she started in the early 1950s.
A “make things happen” type of personality, Grace held many titles in addition to her roles at work and home. She was a founding member of the Frenchtown Community Church and served in nearly all capacities there, with the exception of pastor. She was a long-term member of the Frenchtown School District volunteer board and an active member of Altrusa, participating in many local, regional, national and international events—including serving up “fry bread” at the fair. She also helped organize the Frenchtown Senior Citizens Group and often played chauffeur to get members to the regular luncheons.
There were few aspects of the Frenchtown community that Grace wasn’t involved with, lending a hand and offering free advice. She never met a stranger, and her door was always open to those in need. She was a role model to many and one of the best representations of the “Greatest Generation.” Grace’s faith never waivered, and when the Lord called his Saint home, she answered. She was an angel who walked among us and left a lasting impression on everyone she met.
Grace held many titles during her life, and now that she’s gained her wings, she is the Guardian Angel to those she’s survived by, including son Raymond (Marcia) Cline of Fernandina Beach, FL, daughter Vicky (Les) Wuerffel and son Chuck (Jacki) Cline of Frenchtown; grandchildren Chris Cline of Missoula, David (Paula & daughter Daisy Murray) and Ann Wuerffel of Frenchtown, Tyler (Jennifer & daughter Josie) and Holly Cline of Atlanta, GA. She joins those who preceded her in death, including Orv, son Richard and granddaughter Becky.
Memorial services are 3 p.m., Sunday, Aug.7, at Frenchtown Community Church. In lieu of flowers, Grace’s family asks for donations to the Rocky Mountain Bible Mission, Frenchtown Community Church or any organization that benefits U.S. veterans. Condolences for Grace’s family may be sent to www.sunsetfuneralhomecemetery.com
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