Margaret Ann Benes

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
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Margaret Ann Benes, age 87, died on Feb. 3, 2019 at Valle Vista Manor in Lewistown of natural causes. She was born on July 5, 1931 to Nick and Anna (Kiska) Spiroff on the family homestead east of Roy. Margaret joined her older brothers, Nick and Joe, and older sisters, Mary and Katy, before becoming an older sister to her brother, Ray. Margaret attended the elementary grades in the one room Kachia and Valley View schools. Margaret had to walk for miles, board with the teacher or “batch” in Roy with her brother Ray to attend school. Margaret graduated from Roy High School and married Don Harvey in 1949. Margaret and Don farmed and ranched east of Roy. They had three children while living on this farm: Danny, Rose and Connie.

In 1956, the family moved to Billings to live for a year before buying a farm/ ranch east of Lewistown. The youngest daughter, Barb, was then added to the family. In July 1969, tragedy struck when Don and Danny died in a drowning accident. The farm was sold and Margaret moved into Lewistown. In 1972, Margaret married Gerald “Red” Barber and moved to Denton. Red and Margaret farmed and ranched north of Denton. After Red’s death in 1982, Margaret continued to live in Denton. She was active in the Denton Methodist Church, church circles, town council and community affairs. Margaret also became a member of the United Methodist Church in Lewistown.

In 1991, Margaret married William “Jay” Benes and moved to the farm/ranch at Christina. Later they sold the farm and moved into their home on Upper Spring Creek in Lewistown. In March 2018, they moved into the Villa Assisted Living in Lewistown. Jay died in June 2018.

Margaret enjoyed being a homemaker, growing flowers and taking rides in the country. Her cinnamon rolls, fried chicken dinners and lemon meringue pies were legendary. She was a devoted and loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and sister.

Margaret was preceded in death by her parents; husbands: Don Harvey, Gerald Barber and William Benes; son: Danny Harvey; brothers: Nick Spiroff and Joe Spiroff; and sisters: Mary Kirstein and Katy Marinucci. She is survived by her daughters: Rose McLees and Connie Harvey of Lewistown and Barb Gilskey (Darrell Strausburg) of Hilger; grandchildren: Brian McLees of Havre, Cody (Amanda) McLees of Molt, Shannon Gilskey (Anthony Thompson) of Helena, and Trevor Gilskey (Nicole Madden) of Billings; great-grandchildren: Nicolai and Riley McLees of Molt; brother: Ray (Mary Jane) Spiroff of Helena; sisters-in-law: Katie Spiroff of Helena, and Donna Michel of Billings; brother-in-law: Robert Benes of Lewistown; numerous nieces and nephews and other extended family members.

Visitation will be at the Creel Funeral Home Chapel in Lewistown on Friday, Feb. 8, from 5-7 p.m. A celebration of Margaret’s life will be held Saturday, Feb, 9, 11 a.m. at the Funeral Home. Interment will follow at the Lewistown City Cemetery. Memorial donations can be made to either the Denton or Lewistown United Methodist Church.

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



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