Helen Ann Peabody was born on Aug. 14, 1921, to Dr. Percy Dickinson Peabody and Carrie Inez Huntington in Webster, S.D. Mom died the morning of April 3, 2011, just as the sun came up. She was the youngest of three brothers and a sister. Mom spent her younger years mostly at Pickerel Lake, fishing, boating and exploring with her dog Pete (good training for her future raising three boys). She graduated from St. Mary's Hall and received her physical therapy degree from Carlton College in 1943. It was while at school in Northfield, Minn., that she met Malcolm Harrison Clark "Mac." He proposed to her on the bridge in the Carlton Arboretum and they were married on March 3, 1945. She and Pop spent 52 great years together, nearly all of it in Billings. Mom and Pop were "blessed" with three active boys, Malcolm, Samuel and David. Mom quit a satisfying career in physical therapy, including work in the Polio Ward, to be a wife and mother to her "boys." Mom worked hard raising us boys, taking us chokecherry picking, fishing and hunting. She continued to take us hunting even after the dog had several unsuccessful encounters with skunks. Mom also taught each of us to drive, rode in every new car, on every motorcycle that we had and in every boat and airplane that Sam owned.
We will always remember the Family Sunday dinners, where young boys were gently instructed in table manners and the art of proper dinner conversation. Along the way there were joyful camping trips, paper routes that Mom made sure we did well and lessons about manners and common courtesy. She was also the confidante and counselor to many of the neighborhood teenagers.
Pop died in 1997 and, after several lonely years, Herb Hadley and Mom shared a special friendship until Herb's death in 2009. Herb's daughter and son-in-law Carol and John Limbach became family to Mom and continued their kindness and support to the very end.
Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Mac; both of her parents; all of her brothers and her sister. She is survived by her sons, Malcolm and his wife Leta Ann (Brown) and their daughter Brianna Dagney and son Malcolm Ian; Samuel and his wife Kristy Ann (Becker) and their daughter Kimberly Ann and son Mathew Robert; David and his wife Anna Maria (Casas) and their son Cole Casas and daughter Katelyn Anne. Her sister-in-law Gail Clark and numerous nephews and nieces also survive her.
During Mom's last few years, she received wonderful medical care from Dr. Jeff Johnson and his nurses, the nursing staff at Westpark Village, Valley Nursing Home, the St. Vincent Wound Clinic and lastly, but most importantly, the kindhearted and compassionate staff at St. John's Transitional Care Cottage, who tenderly cared for Mom during her last days.
We will celebrate Mom's life with a service at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 1241 Crawford Drive, Billings, on April 8, at 3 p.m., with reception to follow. As per Mom's written request, "no sad times only happy memories."