Jean Weldele, 88, of Missoula, passed on to Eternal Life on August 3, 2017. She was at home and we were blessed to be with her. Mom was born on September 26, 1928, in Great Falls, Montana to William and Catherine Fayden. As a young girl, she lived with her brother and four sisters and was educated from kindergarten through high school at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Great Falls. There she forged what would be life-long friendships with six other girls, known as the “Heavenly Seven.”
After briefly attending college at the University of Montana, Mom decided to return to Great Falls where she invested her hard-earned tuition dollars on something better suited to her tastes by purchasing a spectacular mink coat. After attending business school in Great Falls, she began working for the American Casualty Insurance Company. During a fateful trip to the Copper State Cleaners, she met Robert T. Weldele. A few years later, they were married on August 8, 1953. In their early years together, Mom and Dad loved dining and dancing and participating in archery tournaments.
In 1961, Mom and Dad moved the family to Missoula. They worked together as a team for years in the insurance industry. Because of her devotion to us, Mom became involved in Girl Scouts from 1964-1975. During these busy years, she added new life-long friends. Mom thrived on the social, artistic, and cultural aspects of scouting and endured the more rustic camping, canoeing, and hiking adventures, which were not her cup of tea, with sheer grit and determination.
Mom delighted in her role as mother. She was actively involved in our lives, supporting us in school, piano, band, choir, cheerleading, painting, debate, pageants, and played a significant role in Loyola-Sacred Heart High School’s annual BASH fundraising event for many years.
Extremely artistic, Mom was an interior design enthusiast, decorating and redecorating (and redecorating!) the family home that she and Dad designed themselves. She enjoyed working with wood, staining, antiquing, and refurbishing furniture, and painting with oils and watercolors.
Mom loved to travel. She began her adventures with Dad across Canada by train to New York, trips to Florida, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, and Washington. Later, trips with siblings to Colorado, Missouri, Virginia, Washington, DC, and New York. Later still, trips with us to Europe, a Mediterranean cruise, Colorado, North and South Dakota, Nevada, and Florida.
Mom always immersed herself in family events, dividing her time between Montana and Washington enjoying her grandchildren. Whether it was Baptisms, First Communions, birthdays, baseball, volleyball, basketball, tennis, dancing, musical productions, holidays, graduations, or weddings, Grandma was always front and center…and she will continue to grace us with her presence.
Mom loved life and spending time with family and friends. She took much joy in lunching with friends, browsing for antiques in the Bitterroot Valley, shopping for trinkets that glistened and sparkled, and watching Griz football.
She was a people magnet. She spoke her mind. You always knew where she stood. People respected and admired her for her honesty and candor. She was exquisitely genuine and fiercely independent.
We will deeply miss our mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend, but we rejoice in knowing that though she is gone from our sight, she lives on and will remain part of our lives forever.
Family survivors include two daughters, Stacey Weldele-Wade (Jon) of Missoula; Sidney Weldele-Wallace (Randy) of Washington; step-son, Bruce Weldele (Rosalind) of Great Falls; six grandchildren, Adam Wade (Emma), Caroline Wade Habich (Austin), Chloé Wallace, Eden Wallace, Brett Weldele, Oceane Weldele; one great-grandchild, Beau Levine; two sisters, Beverly Schumacher (Don) and Shirley Gleason, and numerous nieces and nephews. Mom also leaves behind a vast circle of dear friends.
Rosary/Vigil will be held on Thursday, August 17th at 7:00 p.m. at Garden City Funeral Home, 1705 West Broadway, Missoula, MT 59808.
Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, August 18th at 10:30 a.m. at Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 420 W. Pine Street, Missoula, MT 59802.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Eden Wallace Captioning Scholarship, Green River College Foundation, 12401 SE 320th Street, Auburn, WA 98092.
Tributes and messages of condolence may be posted at http://gardencityfh.com/