BRIDGER — Betty Lou Strand Thormahlen, 82, of Bridger, passed away Thursday, March 31, 2011, at Diamond Willow Personal Care Home in Billings.
Betty was born on Dec. 7, 1929, in her grandparents' home in Big Timber, and was delivered by her grandmother, Lydia Barclay Sewell, a practicing midwife. She was the second child and daughter of Samuel and Bertha Strand and granddaughter of Anton "Tony" A. and Severine Strand of Melville and William Madison and Lydia Barclay Sewell of Big Timber.
She was baptized in 1945 at the Laurel United Methodist Church in Laurel, and graduated in 1948 from Laurel High School. She was employed for over 40 years, first by Consolidated Freightways and then A&I Distributors.
She married Thomas Wayne Shoop on Sept. 12, 1948, and they divorced in 1965.
She married Harry W. Thormahlen on Aug. 22, 1966. They spent many years on their farm on the Clarks Fork River, south of Bridger, which was a source of great joy for them. She resided there until 2001, when illness forced her to move to Diamond Willow Personal Care Home in Billings.
Her parents; her husband, Harry W. Thormahlen; and her nephew, Toby Osen, preceded her in death.
She is survived by three sons, Jeffrey Wayne Shoop and his wife, Lynn, of Dallas, Texas, Samuel Bade Shoop and his wife, Barbara, of Billings, Clinton John Shoop and his wife, Sherri, of Belgrade; four grandchildren, Dusti Fay Lowndes and her husband, Michael, of Kalispell, Nathan John Shoop and his wife, Cathy, of Belgrade, Matthew Lee Shoop of San Jose, Calif., Anna Kate Shoop of Billings; and four great-grandchildren. Three siblings also survive her: Carolyn Strand Osen Houseman of Australia, formerly of Dayton, Wyo., Samuel Gordon Strand of Fortine, Alvin S. Strand and his wife, Gail, of Burnsville, Minn.; three nephews and five nieces.
The family would like to express their gratitude to the wonderful staff at Diamond Willow Personal Care Home and Rocky Mountain Hospice in Billings for their many kindnesses, loving care and support. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Rocky Mountain Hospice, 2110 Overland Ave., Suite #111, Billings, MT 59102; the National Parkinson Foundation; or to the charity of your choice.
Cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held later in Big Timber. Her ashes will be inurned near family members, including two uncles, Adolph Orander Strand and Lloyd Strand, and an aunt, Sophie Strand Lam, at "The Rock" on Tony Creek, near Melville, where the Strand family has lived since 1897. She cherished her memories of growing up on the Strand ranch in her childhood and wished it to be her final resting place.
Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery. Condolences may be sent online at www.cfgbillings.com.