Cover photo for Melba Slenes's Obituary
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1920 Melba 2016

Melba Slenes

October 7, 1920 — May 25, 2016

Obituary for Melba Slenes

Mom died peacefully on Wednesday, May 25, 2016, at Brookdale Assisted Living in Missoula where she resided for the past 10 months.

Mom was born in Seattle on Oct. 7, 1920, to Curtis and Katherine Hillis. After her father's death the family moved to Deer Lodge. Mom graduated from Powell County High School in 1938. She married her high school sweetheart, Chet Arthur, and they had three daughters.

In 1943, they moved to Missoula where Mom worked for several businesses as a bookkeeper. After 18 years of marriage they divorced.

In 1958, she met and married Martin Slenes. They lived in Missoula for 18 years, where they owned several homes. Mom owned and operated a ceramic shop on Clements. Mom enjoyed painting, bowling, play the organ and all her pets, including a chipmunk named Popper.

In 1976, Mom and Martin moved to Arlee where they lived for 27 years. During those years, Mom enjoyed family get-togethers at Fish Creek, Petty Creek and at her home in Arlee. Mom's greatest joy was following all her grandchildren in their athletic endeavors.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sister Edna; daughter Darlene and her husband Martin.

She is survived by her daughter Barbara (Larry) Westover of Missoula; daughter Penny (Clyde) Tucker of Arlee; brother Hugh Hillis of Sumner, Washington; nine grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren and several great-great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be announced at a later date. Sunset Memorial Gardens is in charge of arrangements and cremation has taken place.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Melba Slenes, please visit our flower store.

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