Darlene L. Lansberry

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Darlene Lorena Lansberry passed away at Benefis Senior Memory Care on June 23, 2018 in Great Falls, Montana. She was 103 years old. She was born May 13, 1915 in Lewistown, Montana to Howard Fredrick Lansberry and Eva Lou Beal Lansberry.

Darlene graduated from Fergus County High School in 1932. She attended Intermountain College in Helena, Montana until she went through the earthquake of 1935 and classes were moved to Great Falls, Montana. In Great Falls she lived with other displaced students at the First United Methodist Brother Van Parsonage. She then continued her education in Missoula, graduating in 1937 with a history major, and French and biology minors. She received her BA degree and Certificate of Qualification to Teach. She made many lasting friendships in college and kept in touch with them until they passed away.

Her first job was in the CC camps teaching young men history, math and english. She then taught in the rural Montana communities of Christina, Garneill and Roy. She also taught in Omak, Washington before returning home to Lewistown where she taught first grade for 32 years, retiring in 1977.

She so enjoyed working with the children. Her own nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews have been blessed by her love of children. A special part of Amber and Shane Colton’s life was being able to live so close to her. When we visited her we were the center of her world. She would read, play games, help us write little books, bake cookies with us, teach us to ice skate, show us the stars, never worrying about time or the many things she needed to do. She also loved working in her yard with the flowers, vegetables and strawberries. She hung many bird houses and enjoyed learning about the different kinds of birds. She was an avid reader and had a book collection of almost all of the presidents of the U.S. She sewed many of her clothes. She had many dogs she shared her home with throughout her life. If you were lucky enough to be her pet, you were fed regularly and given treats, and walked every day.

She was an active member of the Methodist church and taught Sunday school for over 25 years. She helped with the summer camps at Neihart and worked in the church office. She was a member of Eastern Star and a past Worthy Matron. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma and also a past president.

As Darlene’s memory declined she was cared for at Valley Vista, Caslen, and then her great niece Katie McVeda lovingly cared for her for 17 months, along with other family members. During this time her friend Mary Jones would pick her up every week for church on Sunday and Bible study on Tuesday. Mary was a thoughtful, kind, cherished friend of Darlene’s. Since January 2017, she was cared for by Benefis Senior Services. They truly made her feel safe and she was content with their kind care and lovely surroundings. We thank all the dedicated staff at all of the facilities in which she lived for their care and kindness to our Aunt Darlene.

Darlene is preceded in death by her parents; and siblings, Dorothy Evelyn Corbett, Emma “Joy” McVeda, and Robert Frederick Lansberry. She is survived by her nieces and nephews: Linda (John) Colton-Thayer, Steve (Diane) McVeda, Dave (Margie) McVeda, Kathy Cumpton, Douglas (Linda) Corbett, Debbie (Rick) Patterson, Eva Lansberry, Miles (Nancy) Lansberry, and Ian (Llisha) Lansberry.

Graveside Services will be held at 3:30 p.m. at the Lewistown City Cemetery, Aug. 1. Memorial donations can be made to a charity of your choice. Arrangements are under the care of Creel Funeral Home. Darlene’s family and friends can share memories and condolences at www.creelfuneralhome.com.

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