A life well-lived by 97-years-young Ilah ‘Arlene’ Blaquiere ended peacefully on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, at Wheatland Memorial Nursing Home in Harlowton, Montana. Born on Nov. 5, 1921, to George ‘Milton’ Dodge and Bertha Imelda Pickering Dodge in a house on the Flats, Arlene was a lifelong resident of Harlowton. Her father was a mailman on the Milwaukee Railroad and the family often traveled by rail instilling in her a lifelong love of travel. Arlene and her mother had a very close relationship. Arlene attended business school after graduation from high school in 1940. She met Dave, the love of her life, when they were in junior high school. They married on June 17, 1942, and were together until his death in 1989. She and Dave traveled to every state in the union except Hawaii and seldom missed his WWII Railroad Battalion annual reunion.
Arlene was an amazing cook and had a catering business at one time. She also worked at Staley's Drug Store for several years. She was a member of the Federated Church and Eastern Star. She could be found helping build houses, camping, crafting, playing games especially cards, traveling, enjoying family and friends. She participated in all the community's activities and joined in anything the family was up to. She did it all with a dynamite positive attitude. She never complained or asked for help. At age 89 she put herself in the nursing home because she didn't want to burden her family with her care. She had volunteered at the nursing home for years and had made up her mind that it was where she was going to live when it was time. While she was there, she participated in all the activities that were offered and set an example of how to be old with grace.
Arlene was very proud of her three sons and is survived by Dave (Wilma) Blaquiere and Ron (Laura) Blaquiere of Great Falls; Bill (Cheryl) Blaquiere of Billings; seven grandchildren: Brandi Reinhardt, Mindy Kiser, Marnee Williams, Ryan Blaquiere, Callie Lofton, Heather Mittan and Heidi Budd; 23 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, David George Blaquiere; her precious grandson, Cody Blaquiere (Ron's son); and her only sibling, Sidney Dodge. She was a loving aunt to Judy and Jerry Blaquiere who were special to her. She leaves behind numerous nieces and nephews and friends who mourn her loss.
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The family thanks the many folks who helped make Arlene's final years happy ones. We appreciate the help of the wonderful nursing home in Harlowton and the fine people who work there caring for their patients who become like family. In lieu of flowers memorials in Arlene's memory are welcome at the Wheatland Memorial Nursing Home, Harlowton Senior Center, the Milwaukee Railroad Museum or the charity of choice.
Graveside services are planned for June 18, 2019, at 1 p.m. Cremation has taken place. A reception will follow at the Federated Church at 2 p.m. and all who care to share memories and fellowship with the family are invited.
Creel Funeral Home is assisting with the arrangements. Arlene’s family and friends can share memories and condolences at www.creelfuneralhome.com