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BOZEMAN — Katherine Elizabeth Day, 85, of Bozeman, formerly of Glendive, passed away Dec. 18, 2011.

She was born June 20, 1926, in Madill, Okla., to Harry and Donnie (Mason) Bates.

Katherine eloped with William "Willie" Day "the love of her life" on Nov. 21, 1942, in Lawton, Okla. Soon after their marriage they moved to Richmond, Calif., to help with the war effort in the ship yards, Katherine as a key punch operator and Willie as a welder.

They moved back to Oklahoma, where their first child ,Jerry, was born. He died in infancy. Soon after their second child, Linda, was born.

Katherine and William owned and operated a custom combining business out of Elgin, Okla., and traveled north as far as the Canadian border beginning in early spring and returning in late fall. A wheat rancher near Baker, Mont., offered them the opportunity to lease his two wheat ranches. One was located at Baker and the other in Ekalaka.

After moving to Baker, their third child Sandra was born in 1953 and their fourth child, Ed, arrived on Christmas day two years later.

The Day family moved to an irrigated farm west of Glendive, Mont., in November of 1957. Their family expanded with their fifth child, Barry, in 1963.

Katherine was a member of a local homemakers club for many years. She was a staunch Democrat and supported Willie as he served as Representative from Dawson County for two terms.

She loved agate hunting and fishing, square dancing and playing a variety of card games and dominoes with family and friends. She was fantastic baker, specializing in pumpkin and pecan pies. She was a classic southern cook and avid gardener growing okra & black eye peas, and serving up a Sunday fried chicken for her family and friends.

 After Willie's tragic death in November of 2005, Katherine moved to Bozeman, Mont., to be near her daughter Sandra. She had been residing at Spring Creek Memory Care there since March of 2011.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Willie; son Jerry; and son-in-law Wade Waldo.

Survivors include sister Bobbie Dennis, of Dallas, Texas; two daughters Linda (Dan) Gregory of Rancho Mirage, Calif., and Sandi Waldo of Bozeman, Mont.; and two sons Ed (Sharon) of Eagan, Minn., and Barry (Denise) of Huntley, Mont. She is also survived by two granddaughters Teresa Sidransky and Tiffany Day; four grandsons Art Garro, Jeremy Waldo, Blake Waldo and Danny Waldo; and twelve great-grandchildren.

A service to celebrate Katherine's life will be held at a later springtime date in Glendive, Mont.

Memorials may be made in her name to The National Alzheimer's Foundation and Hospice of Southwest Montana.

Condolences and memories may be shared with her family at

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