Margaret Jane (Huntley) Shutes

2011-04-21T00:00:00Z Margaret Jane (Huntley) Shutes The Billings Gazette
April 21, 2011 12:00 am

BOZEMAN — On Wednesday, April 6, 2011, Margaret Jane (Huntley) Shutes peacefully passed away in the company of family at home in Bozeman. She was 91 years old.

Margaret was born Jan. 29, 1920, to parents Percy and Blanch (Tatham) Huntley at their homesteaded ranch in Saco. She was sister to Wadine and Marion. They were all sisters to Chet Huntley of NBC news fame, "the Huntley Brinkley Report" and developer of Big Sky Resort. The youngest daughter of a telegrapher for the Northern Pacific Railroad, she and her siblings grew up in nine different railroad depots in Montana. In 1938 she graduated from high school in Sidney. She continued her education at Montana State University in Bozeman, Eastern Montana Normal School in Billings and Billings Business College. She was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority.

Staying with her parents in Reedpoint, on a school break, she met Howard Shutes, the "boy" next door. She married Howard Anthony Shutes on June 10, 1942, in Laurel and started their life together in Montana. Their first son, Richard Anthony Shutes, was born on March 6, 1943. Soon after, Howard joined the U.S. Army and was stationed overseas in England and then France during WWII. All of the Huntley sisters and their children spent the war years living with their mother in Reedpoint. The Huntley's house is still there.

After the war they were stationed in California. Their twins, Kelly and Kristin, were born on July 13, 1951, at the Presidio in San Francisco. The family then moved overseas to postwar occupied France and Germany until their return in 1956. She and Howard raised their family in Colorado Springs, Colo., for the next 26 years. Howard "the Colonel" eventually retired after 28 years in the U.S. Army and went on to work in real estate sales and as head bell captain at the Broadmoor Hotel and Resort. Margaret worked as a loan officer at the Ent Federal Credit Union and as a medical assistant. They owned a mountain cabin near Cripple Creek that they spent weekends refurbishing and they raised Yorkshire terriers together as a hobby. Their summer vacations were always spent with their extended families around Reedpoint, Mont. On one of their trips back to see family, they decided to return to Montana.

They settled in Absarokee in 1985. They enjoyed road trips in the motor home, camping, fishing and gardening together. Margaret's sister, Wadine Cummins retired and lived next door until her move to Washington in 2005. Howard passed away in 1998. Margaret stayed until 2006, then moved to Bozeman to be closer to her son, Kelly, and his family.

Margaret belonged to the Congregational Church, played bingo, Mah Jongg and did arts and crafts. She was an avid reader and loved the daily crosswords. She was a lovely women, always a lady, a wonderful mother, loving wife and generous grandmother. She favored her bourbon in the evenings, old-fashioned cooking methods, hairstyles and her favorite TV show was "Little House on the Prairie." She was full of wisdom, stamina and humor all her life. She will be fondly remembered by all who knew her and loved her.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Colonel Howard A. Shutes (1918-1998); mother, Blanch Huntley; father, Percy Huntley; brother, Chester "Chet" Robert Huntley (1911-1974); sister, Marion Turner; and her son, Richard Anthony Shutes ( 1943-1967).

She is survived by her son, Kelly Scott, and his wife, Gretchen, of Bozeman; her daughter, Kristin, and her husband, Frank, of Big Sky, Mont., and Westport, Conn.; her sister, Wadine Cummins, of Port Townsend, Wash.; two grandchildren, Kelly Huntley Kern, of Wellesley, Mass., and Heather Karo of Bozeman; two great-grandchildren; and various nieces and nephews in Montana and Washington; her constant four-legged companion, Fannie, who now lives with Margaret's niece, Bonnie Willson, in Miles City.

Graveside services are planned for August to inter her ashes at the Huntley family plot at Sunset Hills Cemetery in Bozeman. Memorials may be made to Bozeman Cancer Center, 931 Highland Blvd., Suite 3130, Bozeman, MT 59715.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. Condolences and memories can be left at

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