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Lucille was born in Missoula on April 2, 1926, to Henry P. Sol and Ruth Hanke Sol. She died at age 90 on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, in her home, attended by her son Doug and daughter-in-law Diane, just exactly as she wished. Nearly a century of life, filled with so much love and grace and beauty – her stories could fill volumes, but here are the bits that she wanted you to know.
Lucille’s own mother died in childbirth with the younger of Mom’s two little sisters (Colleen and June) when she was 6 years old; the three girls were raised on a “dry” farm with no electricity in Guernsey, Wyoming, by her mother’s brother, Homer Hanke, and his wife Margaret (who was also her mom’s best friend). The family had very little except for the loads of love that remained evident throughout Lucille’s life. Her first schooling was in a one room school house five miles from the farm (sometimes the horse waited for the girls, and sometimes it was a long walk home).
After high school and during World War II, Lucille went to work as a clerk/typist at Fort Francis E. Warren near Cheyenne, Wyoming, where she met and married Donald D. Davis on Aug. 3, 1945. At the end of the war, after spending a few months in Don’s hometown of Akron, Ohio, they moved to Missoula. She worked for the Forest Service, Northern Region, as a secretary, and was a partner with Don in starting and managing Don’s Food Market for many years. She returned to work for the Forest Service at the Intermountain Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula in 1978, where she worked until her retirement in 1994.
Lucille’s father had emigrated from Holland with his siblings to first Canada and eventually Montana; she had a large extended family with strong Dutch accents in the area. Lucille was a longtime member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, where she taught Sunday School and was active on the Altar Committee for many years. She maintained wonderful friendships from all of those sources and others throughout her life; she was a model on how to be loyal and how to love. She was a spectacular friend. Ask anyone.
Certainly, she showered her love on her sons Donald Bruce Davis of Chandler, Arizona, and Douglas F. Davis of Missoula; and daughter Maggie Bennington-Davis of Portland, Oregon, and their partners (and their friends). She is survived by them, seven grandchildren; and in this past year she also had the pleasure of welcoming three great-grandchildren, all of whom she was able to meet and hold. She is also survived by her sister, June Craven of Torrington, Wyoming, and many nieces and nephews.
Lucille liked to read, garden, sew and embroider. She passionately loved music. She loved spending time with her grandchildren. She was a wicked Scrabble and card player and finished the daily crossword regularly. Satisfying a lifelong love of learning, she attended MOLLI classes up until these past few months. She was preceded in death by her parents, her guardians Homer and Margaret Hanke, her ex-husband Don, and her sister Colleen DeMers.
A graveside service for immediate family has already taken place, and she is laid to rest at Sunset Memorial Gardens. A memorial service is planned for Saturday, Aug. 13, at 11 a.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 202 Brooks, in Missoula. All are welcome. She’d want us to say that. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family would suggest memorial donations in Lucille’s name be sent to St. Paul Lutheran Capital Fund Appeal or to the Humane Society of Western Montana.
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