GREAT FALLS - Leora Catherine Hemmingson passed away Tuesday, July 8, 2003, at Peace Hospice of Great Falls. She died five short weeks after being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. We would like to express our thanks to the staff of Peace Hospice for the wonderful care, concern and dignity shown Lee during this very difficult time. A steady stream of family and dear friends filled her final days and gave her great comfort, for which we are eternally grateful.
Leora was born March 6, 1927, at Sanish, N.D. She was the youngest of 10 children born to JP (John Patrick) and Nellie Pearl Breslin. We were honored and privileged to share treasured childhood stories from her sisters, Sara and Isabel, on a final trip to Great Falls the week before she passed away.
After Lee's graduation from high school, she continued her education at Minot (N.D.) State College to pursue a teaching career like her sisters. Her first teaching job was in Parshall, N.D. There, she met her future husband, Jack Hemmingson. Jack and Lee were married July 14, 1951. As Jack was serving in the 86th Airborne Division of the Army, Lee experienced military life in Fort Campbell, Ky. Their first son, Michael, was born there.
Upon Jack's discharge, they moved to Minnesota to work in the grain business with his father. Their second son, John, was born there. Eventually, they settled in Reserve in 1961 and then moved to Plentywood. Except for a year in Alaska, Jack and Lee had resided in Great Falls since 1984.
Jack passed away in July 1998 and Lee continued to live in Great Falls and operate her antique business that brought her great joy. Many close friends were acquired on the hunt for a valuable treasure. Her years of collecting were some of her happiest. Baking, especially at Christmas, and flower gardening were also her passions. Another source of joy for Lee were her two grandsons. She and Matt had become great buddies, helping each other and providing companionship. Josh received many a package with a note enclosed, "Grandmas can do anything they want." A close relationship was always maintained with Mike, John and her daughter-in-law, Linda.
Survivors include Michael and Linda Hemmingson and their sons Matthew and Josh of Plentywood, and John Hemmingson of Post Falls, Idaho. Six siblings also survive: Ross (Alice) Breslin, Paul (Agnes) Breslin, Elinor (Clair) Williams, Dick (Pat) Breslin, Sara Johnson and Isabel Breslin. Also surviving are sisters-in-law Ardis Breslin, Gloria (Orv) Reichert, Cleo Havlis, Jean Korsmo and Verla Iwen and numerous nieces and nephews. Preceding her were her husband Jack, and siblings John Breslin, Bill Breslin and Ruth Breslin.
A vigil for the deceased will be at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 10, at O'Connor Memorial Chapel in Great Falls. Services will be at 2 p.m. Friday, July 11, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Rite of committal will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Peace Hospice of Montana.