Blondina Clementina. Her given name. How could she not have been a remarkable woman?
“Blondie” was born Oct. 20, 1933, in Flasher, N.D., the second of eight children and the only girl to Adam and Frances Schafer. Her family drifted with opportunity through eastern Montana during which time Mom stored up a treasure chest of fond memories she loved to share, written or spoken, about that simple, austere life. They settled on the family farm west of Billings, where she graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1951. In the ensuing decades she would live in Billings; Ranchester, Wyo.; Columbus; Absarokee; Rapelje; Park City and Rock Creek, circling back to Billings in 2002, leaving an indelible mark as wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, businesswoman, dancing machine and “artist at large” of quality souvenir paintings — a career she began and gained regional recognition for at the tender age of 55 — along the way. She passed peacefully on Saturday, June 21.
Mom’s character was forged in the “make do!” spirit of the post-Depression Era, the “can do!” exhilaration of the ‘60s and the “let’s do!” attitude that developed over 53 years of adventurous marriage to Frank J. Seibert. It wasn’t enough that she was the lone girl among seven brothers; Blondie gave birth to four sons. Surrounded by men, she declared often and effectively her courage, strength and independence, commanding our admiration and respect along the way. Mother was the catalyst for our family’s spiritual growth and wore well the traits found in Proverbs 31:30 — Charming, Beautiful and Godly. What a fine example and inspiration to her granddaughters and daughters-in-law. That we loved her completely is a given. Her leaving breaks our hearts.
Blondie was preceded in death by her parents Adam and Frances, husband Frank, her brother Michael, and daughter-in-law Diane. She is survived by her sons Frankie (Vince) of Denver, “Lucky” (Tammy) of Billings, David (Sande) of Columbus and Nick (Julie) of Duvall, Wash. She was “grandma” to Brian, Lisa, Traci, Ben, Olivia, Dani, Matthew, Lucas, Whittney and Gabriel and “great-grandma” to William, Andrew, Alejandro, Jake, Eli, Alissa, Claire and Natalie. She leaves behind her brothers Robert, Raymond, Roger, George, John and Jess, as well as her dear friend, loving companion and dance partner, Larry Richardson.
A celebration of her life is planned at Faith Chapel, 517 Shiloh Road, for Thursday, June 26. Viewing will be available at 9 a.m., with the memorial service to follow at 10 a.m. Interment will be at Mountain View Cemetery in Columbus for family and close friends in attendance. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to RiverStone Health Hospice or the Elks Club of Billings.
Dance, Mother, dance!