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LAUREL - Gwen Nottingham of Laurel passed away peacefully on Jan. 18, 2009, in the presence of her family. Gwen was born in Hannaford, N.D., on March 12, 1919, to Dr. and Mrs. Ross Benson. She spent most of her childhood in Sidney. She graduated from the University of Montana in 1940 with a degree in History and Library Science. Gwen married Dr. Don Nottingham in August of 1941 in Bellingham, Wash. They lived in California, Washington and Virginia before they settled in Laurel, where Don established his dental practice. Gwen raised their four children, while also helping in the dental office and doing volunteer work. They were married for 51 years before Don passed away in 1993.

Gwen loved bridge, music, dancing and crossword puzzles. She especially loved books and established the Laurel Library Trust. She was a member of PEO, president of the Laurel Ladies Golf Association, and served on numerous library committees. She was active in the Laurel Methodist Church, where she taught Sunday School, participated in Bible Studies, and played the organ. When she was unable to get out, what she missed the most was her reading group, her bridge club and going to plays with her friends.

Gwen traveled extensively and visited more than a dozen countries throughout the world. While recovering from breast cancer, her love for archaeology and adventure took her on a dig in Israel. She also visited the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Amazon River, and the historic sites of Greece, Italy, Mexico and England. She loved to be on or near the water, whether at the family cabin on the Stillwater, or boating on Flathead Lake or at Yellowtail Dam.

Gwen is survived by her children, Don (Cherry) Nottingham of Littleton, Colo., Linda (Ron) Pierce of Billings, Keith (Kim) Nottingham of Boise, Idaho, and Peggy (Bud) Arnold of Laurel; 12 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Gwen spent her last years on the St. John's Campus. Her family wishes to express their sincere gratefulness and love to the compassionate staffs at Fischer Cottage, The Vista and Mission Ridge.

Cremation has taken place. Memorial service will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 21, at Laurel Methodist Church.

Memorials may be made to: Laurel Methodist Church, PO Box 1055, Laurel, MT 59044; the Laurel Library Trust, PO Box 462, Laurel, MT 59044; RiverStone Hospice or St. John's Ministries.

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