Jeanette Sophia (deWit) Mavity passed away at St. Vincent Hospital in Billings on April 13, 2014, due to complications of pneumonia. Born Feb. 22, 1939, in Den Helder, the Netherlands, Netty (Dutch version of her name) was the daughter of Ben and Betty (Rink) deWit. She had an older brother, Ben Jr.
Netty had a tumultuous childhood. The bombing of Den Helder during WWII sent the family to Amsterdam, where they lived until 1949. She went to grade school in Amsterdam until their father’s work brought the family to Jakarta, Indonesia. There, she finished grade school and attended a private high school, C.A.S., until ’55 and, after moving back to Holland, she finished her high schooling in Hilversum. In February ’57, Netty (now Jeanette), and her folks immigrated to the U.S. under the auspices of the United World Church Organization, locally sponsored by Stuart and Jackie North.
On March 1, Jeanette went to work at what is now KULR—TV. She retired from there as comptroller and, altogether, spent 28 years in the broadcasting business. On Oct. 17, 1959, Jeanette married Bill Mavity. They had two children: Alex and Yvette.
Jeanette was a member of the 1983 Greater Billings Management Task Force and a member of the City-County Consolidation Task Force. In 1989, she worked for Latigo during the Montana Centennial Cattle Drive.
In 1990, Jeanette started a new career in the travel industry as a travel agent and later as a cruise sales specialist. She and Bill enjoyed many trips abroad, as well as several cruises.
On Feb. 14, 1989, one of two life-changing events occurred for Jeanette when their only son, Alex, was shot and killed in the line of duty. This was a devastating blow to the family, as well as to his widow (and Jeanette’s daughter-in-law), Joyce, and 6-month-old daughter, Alexis. The second one was in April of 2000, when Jeanette suffered a massive stroke, from which she never fully recovered. This left a once-vibrant, independent woman to live out the rest of her life, relying on her husband to be her caregiver, driving her to therapy three times a week, never able to drive again or to live without the need of help in her everyday life.
Surviving Jeanette are her husband, Bill; daughter Yvette (Dick) McClintock; brother Ben and sister-in-law Hilde; niece Cherise, of Rochester, Minn.; granddaughter Alexis (Pat) Kenney; and her beloved Pete, the family Boston terrier.
Preceding her in death are her parents, nephew Michael deWit and son Alex.
The family would like to thank the third-floor staff at St. V’s, especially Carmen, RN, and Kathy H., CNA, who was so compassionate and wonderful with Jeanette during her final days, and thanks to Dr. Jeff Johnson and Rolo for the great care they provided Jeanette for some years.
Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Visitation/viewing will be from 1 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, at Michelotti-Sawyers, 1001 Alderson Ave. The service will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, April 17, at Michelotti-Sawyers, with interment following in Mountview Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Al Bedoo Shrine Transportation Fund or the charity of choice.
Remembrances may be shared with the family by visiting www.michelottisawyers.com.