Elvia Angele Stockton

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Elvia Angele Stockton peacefully passed at her home the morning of June 25. She was born on July 22, 1922, in Lyon, France. She and her six siblings grew up in a suburb of Paris, where her father worked in a Citroen automobile factory. As with so many of her generation, her late teenage and early adult years were disrupted by World War II and the Nazi occupation of Europe.

In 1944, following the Allied liberation of Paris, she was employed as a secretary/bookkeeper by a U.S. Army Field Hospital which was established in her town. It was there that she met Bill Stockton, her future husband. In June of 1945, they were the first couple in Paris allowed to marry by the U. S. Army. Her first son, Gilles, was born in May of the following year. She joined her husband in the United States after he was discharged from service in 1946.

Following the war, her husband Bill attended art school in Minneapolis and Paris. In 1949 they moved to the family ranch near Grass Range, Montana. Her second son, Charles, soon joined them. Although living in rural Montana was a huge change from her previous experience, she soon made fast and lasting friendships in the community. Her neighbor, Mary Noble, was a mentor and taught her the skills needed to be a ranch wife. Although Elvia’s education had been curtailed by the war years, she soon taught herself English and supplemented the family income as a bookkeeper for various businesses in Grass Range.

In 1955, Elvia was naturalized and a couple of years later she was hired as the clerk of the Grass Range School District, a position she filled for almost two decades. She joked that she built the new Grass Range school building brick by brick because many of the daily chores of architectural planning, overseeing the bond issue, and monitoring construction fell on her shoulders. Following her retirement from the school, Elvia remained active in the Grass Range community until age curtailed her activities. All of her life she was an avid reader and had an active enquiring mind. A feature documentary of Elvia’s and Bill’s life together has been recently completed by Marie-Laure Pellosse, the daughter of one of Elvia’s cousins, and can be accessed at: https://youtu.be/H9EssUIGQCo.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Bill, a sister, two brothers and her daughter-in-law Joanie.

She is survived by her sons Gilles (Nona) and Charles (Sue); by grandchildren Antoine, Jeremy, Brittany, John, and Matt along with their children; and by three sisters, along with numerous nephews, nieces, cousins and their offspring.

The family thanks the physicians, nurses, nurse’s aides, and staff of the Central Montana Medical Center, and the nurses and staff of the Central Montana Hospice Program for their professional and kind administration of her medical needs. Particular thanks go to the nurse’s aides who gave her special assistance during the last few weeks of her life. Extra special gratitude goes to Deb Haman who was her constant companion and caregiver over the last three years of declining health.

We also thank the crew of the Grass Range Ambulance who gave her occasional rides to the emergency room and suggest that any memorial donations be directed to the Grass Range EMS, Box 842, Grass Range, MT 59032.

A memorial service will be held at the Grass Range Methodist Church at 11 a.m. on July 21. Following the memorial there will be a celebration of her life, a potluck feast, and the opportunity to meet old and new friends at the Stockton Ranch. Everyone is welcome.

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