Pearle Shirley (Degner) Yaeger

Saturday, February 9, 2019
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Pearle Shirley (Degner) Yaeger 86, passed away from natural causes early Sunday morning, Feb. 3, 2019, at the Central Montana Nursing and Rehab. Pearle was born the seventh of eight children to Edward and Tekla (Dengel) Degner on July 14, 1932, at the Degner Ranch on Fords Creek near Grass Range. Pearle received her elementary and high school education at Grass Range School, graduating high school in 1950. After graduation, Pearle moved to Lewistown to live with her sister, Edith. Edith’s husband, Don, was on the road trucking, and Edith looked forward to the companionship of a sister and the help with her young son, Ronnie. Pearle soon found employment at the Northwestern Bank.

Pearle loved to dance, and while at one of those country dances, she met a tall, lanky guy from Glengarry by the name of Bob Yaeger.

Pearle and Bob were married on April 6, 1952, at the First Presbyterian Church in Lewistown.

Pearle and Bob moved to Glengarry in 1953, where Bob ranched and farmed with his father, as well as in conjunction with the Yaeger Brothers ranches. Sons, David and Lowell (Kim), and daughter, Vicky were born and raised at Glengarry until 1965.

Pearle was very active in the Jayceen organization and served as State Jayceen President in 1964. Pearle was a life member of the Marie Chapter, Order of Eastern Star in Lewistown.

When Bob accepted a position at the Soil Conservation Service in 1965, the family moved to Lewistown. Pearle worked a variety of jobs while in Lewistown, including as an assistant for Dr. Jack Payne, Montgomery Wards, Sears Roebuck, the Empire Cafe and Fergus Electric.

In 1970, the family moved to Bozeman when Bob returned to college. (Go Bobcats!) Pearle immediately found a position at Montana State University as the head cashier in the registrar’s office. Pearle loved helping all the young students enroll into college, but especially those from Central Montana. It was a touch of “home” for each.

Over the years, Bob and Pearle lived in Reno, Nevada, Fort Benton, Cody, Wyoming, and Medicine Bow, Wyoming. It was during their time in Medicine Bow that Pearle’s dream of having a restaurant was realized. Over the years Pearle garnered quite a following of hunters and friends, from all over the United States, who came in for her fresh cinnamon rolls, homemade pies, soups and burgers.

After retirement, Bob and Pearle bought a fifth wheel and headed south to Yuma, Arizona, for warm winters, sunshine and many trips into Mexico, where friendships were made. When the weather got to be too warm, they packed up and returned for the cooler summers in their native home of Lewistown. In 2003, they officially made Lewistown their permanent home at the Esplanade.

She is survived by her sons, David (Flo) of Laurel and Lowell Kim (Ruth) of Owensboro, Kentucky; daughter Vicky (Bob) Ruckman of Lewistown; six grandsons, Chris, Barry, Daniel, and Matthew Yaeger, Shane and Shaun Ruckman, Brent and Clint Milliron; one granddaughter, Bethanie Shields, and greatgrandchildren Lily, Baylee, Shelby, Avery, Nora and Ivy Yaeger, Grace and Audrey Shields, Brooke, Lani, Mylee, Kalli, Miles and Andrew Ruckman and Emmy Smith.She is also survived by her sisters-in-law, Janet Lewellen of Lewistown and Zelma Degner of Grass Range; brothers-in-law, Dave Duffy and John Gilpatrick, both of Lewistown and numerous nieces and nephews.

Pearle was proceeded in death by Bob in 2009, her parents, brothers, Sterling and William Degner, sisters, Fern Hickey, Florence Duffy, Edith Duty, Ethel Gilpatrick and Maxine (Punky) Matovich.

Memorial Services for Pearle Yaeger will be Saturday, Feb. 16, at 11 a.m. in the Cloyd Chapel, cremation has taken place. The Cloyd Funeral Home is assisting the family. Memorials to the Central Montana Shrine or the charity of your choice are preferred by the family. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.

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