Marjory Elaine Wambach Todd

Saturday, October 17, 2020
Marjory Elaine Wambach Todd

Marjory Elaine Wambach Todd was born on Nov. 10, 1927, the third child of Alphonse and Mary McClellan Wambach in Poplar, Montana. Marjory, or Marge, as she was commonly known, attended country grade schools and graduated from Poplar High School in 1945. She attended Northern Montana College, achieving certification as an allgrades teacher and served several oneroom country schools, including Mineral Bench and Kolin.

Marjory’s life, indeed, the life of the entire Wambach family, changed irrevocably in 1937 when the family patriarch Alphonse died unexpectedly of diphtheria. In the aftermath of this unexpected tragedy, the entire family banded together, earning money through part-time jobs so the family could make ends meet. The older children helped raise the younger children, and Marjory, as the oldest daughter, assumed a load of responsibility at an early age. It was during those years that Marjory’s cardinal virtues of thrift, hard work and loyalty to family were forged.

On Sept. 17, 1949, Marjory married George Todd in Poplar, Montana and relocated to the Todd family farm outside Denton, Montana. Together, they raised five children; Wayne, Vance, Burt, Jill and Glenn and educated them in the Denton Public School system. Her children, and later grandchildren and great-grandchildren, were the greatest joy and primary motivation for her life. No grandchild ever lacked a nice blanket or failed to have a story read to them when Grandma Marge was on the job.

Marjory and her husband George were founding members of the Denton Bible Church, and were active in the Judith Basin County Farm Bureau and the American Legion/Auxiliary. Marjory also served as an election judge for many years. Through these and other avenues, George and Marjory exhibited the civic responsibility and commitment to the community that are typical of the Greatest Generation. Their commitment to each other and to the shared task of raising their children and making the farm pay were honest expressions of their deep and abiding faith.

Throughout her life, Marjory Todd embodied the principle of “Brighten the corner where you are." When the community of Denton needed something to do through the winter months, Marjory started a community card tournament that thrived through the next 20-plus winters. When one of her religious groups presented a need for warm children’s clothing in the Third World, Marjory secured yarn donations and began knitting children’s sweaters. Four hundred plus sweaters later, she was still going strong. This, in addition to making quilts for all the grandkids, sewing wool shirts for the fellows, and mending every tattered sock or torn pair of Levis she laid her eyes on.

No account of the life of Marjory Todd would be complete without mentioning her love of knowledge and her voracious appetite for reading. She read everything she could lay her hands on, from medical information (helpful in doctoring mishaps on the farm) to historical and theological material. She remained an intelligent conversationalist to the end of her days, and was always a good source of practical wisdom and advice.

Marjory was preceded in death by her parents Alphonse and Mary Wambach, her brothers Marvin and Miles, and her husband George Todd. She is survived by her brothers Marion of Denton and Milton of Vancouver, Washington; sisters Maxine Melton of Lewistown and Myra Gilkey of Billings; and children Wayne (Carol) of Coffee Creek, Vance (Stephanie) of Denton, Burt (Debbie) of Butte, Jill Waldbillig (Jim) of Philipsburg, and Glenn (Jane) of Denton; 13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, and friends and neighbors too numerous to count.

A special heartfelt thanks to the staff at Central Montana Medical Center for your kindness and compassion shown to Marjory and her family during her final week.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Oct. 24 in the Denton Bible Church at 2 p.m. for family only, and a public gravesite service at 3 p.m. at the Denton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorials to the Denton Ambulance Fund, the Judith Basin County Library, the Denton Bible Church, or donor’s choice.

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