On Saturday, Nov. 22, 2010, God took another angel home.
Val was born Feb. 14, 1927, to Henry Benner and Anna Bolton Benner. She grew up and went to grade school in Westmore, Mont. She was married to Melvin “Pete” Shear in Miles City on May 28, 1954. To this union, two daughters were born: the first, Teena Marie, followed 14 months later by Rita Faye.
After living the first few years of marriage on the Lear Ranch in Augusta, the family moved to Worden in 1960, where Val resided until 2007, when she moved to Prairie Towers in Billings. Val worked at the Worden Café and then the LongBranch as a cook for many years. After her husband became ill, she retired to spend time with him and her grandchildren. When Pete passed away, she spent her time volunteering at the Worden Library, Huntley Project Irrigation Museum and the Pompeys Pillar Rock Museum. She received several “volunteer of the year” awards while at the Rock. She was always a people person and loved visiting with the tourists every summer.
Val was preceded in death by her parents; stepfather Earlen Duneman; her husband of 40 years and her brother, George Benner.
She is survived by her daughter, Teena (Rob) Smyth, Billings, her children, Caree Jo (Cory Elkin) Bernhart, Billings, Valerie Schwindt, Monmouth, Ill., Adam (Jen) Schwindt, Billings, their children, Parker and Addee, Billings, Veronica, Aden and Erin, Illinois, Taelor and Kylah, Billings; daughter, Rita (Gary) Schuetzle, Huntley, her children, Jamie (Trent) Lofing, Huntley, Susan (Jerry) Simonson, Billings, Eva Schuetzle, Seattle, their children, Chase and Paige Lofing, Huntley and Haedyn and Harper Simonson, Billings; her sister, Evelyn (Sam) Myer, brothers, Arnold and Ralph (Gloria) Duneman and sister-in-law Doris Benner, all of Baker, and brother Kenneth (Marion) Duneman of Ballantine; as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Tevlin, Jenny Koffler and the staff at the dialysis center, the staff at Billings Health and Rehab Community for the wonderful loving car you gave Mom, and also to Rocky Mountain Hospice for all your support during her illness.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 26, at the Bethlehem Congregational Church in Worden. Private family burial will be held at a later date.
Memorials can be made to The Bethlehem Congregational Church, HP Irrigation Museum, Billings Health and Rehab, or Rocky Mountain Hospice. Smith Downtown Chapel is in charge of arrangements.