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JOLIET — Thelma Eugean Howells, age 96, passed away peacefully in her home on Friday, Jan. 6, 2012.

Thelma was born in Plum Creek, Mont., the youngest of four children born to Embuary and Delila Stockton Depee. At the age of six her family moved to Christina, Mont.

On May 7, 1931, Thelma married Earl Charles Eaton. From this union came children, Georgia, Maxine and Gary. Later the family moved to Tacoma, Wash., where they raised their family and made their home for 23 years.

Thelma met Edward Robert Howells in Tacoma, Wash., and they married in Downey, Calif., in April, 1953. During their stay in California, they owned and operated several restaurants from Malibu to San Clemente. They sold their last café in 1972 and Eddie passed away in 1983. Now we know why you were such a good cook Thelma.

Thelma moved to Joliet, Mont., in 1990. She was an avid gardener and loved her yard and her flower beds. She was famous for pulling weeds. In 1996, at the age of 81, she won first place in the Senior Olympics in the Fast Walking Event.

She has many relatives in the Billings area including Leo Stockton, Ken (Vicky) Stockton, Carol (Jack) Stockton Cooney. Other relatives in the Lewistown area include a niece Shirley and husband Boots Brown, and their son Pat and wife Shelly, and their two children Kim and Jake.

Thelma is a member of the Joliet Wesleyan Church. She is a member of the "Red Hat Society." She was active in the garden club as well.

Cremation has taken place. Memorial services will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, at Smith Funeral Chapel-Laurel. A reception will follow at the Joliet Community Center at noon.

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