Jean (McCollum) Lewis Reiter

Saturday, July 2, 2022
Jean (McCollum) Lewis Reiter

Jean Ann (McCollum) Lewis Reiter, 85, of Lewistown passed away peacefully in her home after a courageous battle with cancer.

She was born Jan. 15, 1937, on a cold winter day at the St. Joseph Hospital in Lewistown to Raymond “Hap” and Martha (Grinde) McCollum. She grew up on a farm/ranch 10 miles out of Lewistown on Cottonwood Creek Road. She learned to swim in Cottonwood Creek and helped with the chores – milking cows, haying and gardening. She was active in 4-H, raising pigs, cooking and sewing. When she was 12 she moved into a new house with indoor plumbing and toilet, which she loved. She received her schooling at the Cottonwood Country School (3 miles up the road), Lewistown Junior High and Fergus County High School. She had a very happy childhood.

She married Keith Lewis on June 7, 1953, at the Lewistown Methodist Church. They made their home in Lewistown and had five children. While Keith worked for the State Highway Department, they also lived at Landusky, Roy, and the Missouri River while building the highway to the Fred Robinson Bridge. The family went on many camping trips and enjoyed hunting and fishing together.

She was a stay-at-home mom until taking a part-time job with the Lewistown Stockyards in July of 1969. After the tragic death of Keith in October 1969, she went to work for H&K Shoes, then she went to work for the Fergus County Sheriff’s Department for 10 years. In 1984, she went to work for TCI Cable office until 1994 and then transferred to the Billings Cable office. She retired in 2004.

She had many activities and hobbies. She loved bowling, playing cards and games and golfing. She was an accomplished cook, seamstress and loved painting. She was crowned the Culinary Queen of the Lewistown newspaper for her Hamburger Potato Bake recipe.

While living in Billings, she joined the Elks Club and the Chamber of Commerce “Trail Blazers” and volunteered for many activities. She was a member of the Zion Lutheran Church in Lewistown and Ruth’s Bible Study Circle. She enjoyed traveling to several U.S. states, Hawaii, Italy, Mexico, Canada, and a Caribbean Cruise.

In 1998, she married Herman Reiter of Billings. He had four grown children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. They enjoyed camping together until Herman died in 2004.

In 2017, she returned to her hometown of Lewistown and lived in the Fountain Terrace Condos (old St. Joseph Hospital) where she was born. She was very active and helped organize many activities at the condo. She was a descendant of Elias James McCollum of the early pioneers, before Montana became a state. She was a member of GAR and Genealogy.

Jean is survived by her siblings, Marilyn Lewis, Foy (Judy) McCollum, of Lewistown, Doris (Jim) Chandler of Utah, sister-in-law, Ruth (Bill) Lindstrand, of Lewistown; children, Janey (Dave) Eames of Billings, Mike Lewis of Belgrade, Dean (Dana) Lewis of Woodinville, Wash., Kristie Woodard of Clancy, Jill (Jess) Knerr of Roy; several stepchildren; 13 grandchildren, Todd (Andria) Eames, Andy (Julie) Eames, Matt (Jade) Eames, Keith Lewis, Kyle (Alex) Lewis, Kolin (Brittneay) Lewis, Tyler (Shelby) Lewis, Brynn (Patrick) Fuller, Dylan Lewis, Shane Haines, Ryan (Tiffany) Knerr, Renae (Bret) Smith, Riley (Erin) Knerr; 22 great-grandchildren; several step grandchildren and step great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews and dear friends.

She was preceded in death by husbands, Keith Lewis and Herman Reiter; parents, Raymond “Hap” and Martha McCollum; father and mother-in-law, Ronald and Helen Lewis; brothers-in-law, Jim Lewis and Harley Hoagland; and aunts, uncles and cousins.

Viewing will be held Wednesday, July 6, 5 to 7 p.m. at Creel Funeral Home. Jean’s funeral service will be at Creel Funeral Home Thursday, July 7, at 11 a.m. with burial to follow at the Lewistown City Cemetery. Memorials can be made to CMMC Hospice, Council on Aging, or a charity of your choice.

Jean’s advice: “Keep your chin up, be positive and SMILE!”

Arrangements are under the care of Creel Funeral Home. Jean’s family and friends can share condolences at