Mom, Mother, Mamma, Grandma, Auntie. Unconditional love, tenderness, hugs and kisses (even if you didn’t want one), knowing her voice over everyone else in the gym, Sunday dinners or cold wieners and cinnamon rolls, homemade pickles, setting the table just right, telling you to speak up when spoken to be nice to grammas and grandpas because they like it when young people talk with them, don’t chew with your mouth open, wash your paddies before supper, crying with you when the person of your dreams gives you the gate, above all a real honest classy lady. I’m quite sure our mother never ever told a lie. Not even a teeny tiny little white one! She loved us all. Kids, grandkids, great grandkids, nieces, nephews. In her eyes we could do no wrong.
We were blessed with a green eyed angel Nov. 14, 1928. Heaven welcomed her Home on the evening of March 29,2012. She made her peace with this world and was ready to begin her new journey with the Lord Jesus Christ her Saviour.
Mom was born to Henry W Maas and Thelma Hamilton Maas while living on the Vermillion Ranch east of Billings. Her dad homesteaded in the Bull Mountains and where she attended Pine View school. After moving to and farming in the valley a few years they moved to Billings and lived on the south side. She was so proud to be considered a “South Side Kid.” She told us many stories about growing up during the depression years and the antics of her older brothers. And boy did she love to tell stories! You better have plenty of time because she told every single detail to make sure you got the drift!!
Despite being handicapped and enduring many surgeries she lived a full and vibrant life. She never thought of herself as handicapped! She attended Garfield Elementary school and graduated from Billings Senior High at 17. She started working in the secretarial field and soon worked her way up the ladder due to her attentiveness to meticulous detailing, filing, and transcription skills. Now how are we going to decipher all of her shorthand notes? There are plenty!! Everything had it’s own label and file. She held many different jobs. Legal secretary, sheriffs deputy, BLM, retiring from BIA as a realty specialist. She was proud of the many Native American friends she made through the years. She won many awards for her achievements for going beyond her normal duties. She loved to sew, knit, crochet and read. She loved flowers and had a garden, canning lots of fruits and vegetables.
She met our dad Roland Vail while working the desk at Billings Hardware. She was so cautious of this new, handsome dark haired boy from Sidney that when he asked her out to the show she almost said no. She went anyway and the rest is history as they say. They were married Sept. 2, 1950. We, Ronnie (Suzanne, Nicholas, Alec – Littleton, Colo., Greg – Ft. Hood, Texas US Army-3rd Cavalry, Maddie Sanders-Vail), Terry and Margie Vail, Pasco, Wash., and Charlene Murphy (Wade and Michaela, Karsen, Michael, Sari, Maysa, and Maverick) Glendive, Darcy and Wyatt Glade (Quanah, Ira, and Odessa) Miles City, Clint Murphy (Jessica Canzona-Hindman) Denver, Colo., Sterling Murphy and (Natashia Kadrmas) Billings are living proof of their 47 years together. After they retired they bought an Airstream travel trailer and spent many fun filled adventures with their Airstream family. Even after Dad’s passing in 1997 Mom kept right on going. Not being able to hitch up the trailer and not wanting to be a burden on anyone she bought an Airstream Motorhome, hitched her car to the back and she and Auntie Hazel were off to the rallies! She would often lament how she just couldn’t seem to get anything done at home with all the activities to attend. How she loved to travel. She spent 24 years as a snowbird in Yuma, Ariz.
Our Mom wore many different hats. President of the Toastmistress club, longtime member of the Billings Mounted Quadrille, lifetime member of the Billings Saddle Club where she timed many a barrel race and O-Mok-Sees back when we used hand timers, volunteered at Pompey’s Pillar, secretary of regional Wally Bynum Caravan Intl, member of Happy Hatters and NARFE.
She has been a faithful member of Atonement Lutheran Church for 45 yrs. She even helped decorate a float for the Rose Bowl parade.
Surviving her are her brother George Maas, Billings; Uncle Richard Hamilton (Jean) Arvada, Colo.; cousin Jean Plum, Billings; sisters-in-law Catherine Maas Jerome, Idaho, Hazel Maas Kingman, Ariz.; and many nieces and nephews. One very,very dear to her heart niece Gail (Kirk) Wichman, Alena Pauley and family, Vanessa, Ali, and Misty.
Going before her to make tracks so she can find them are husband Rowdy; father and mother Henry and Thelma Maas; brothers Henry and Ernie Maas; sister Anna Mae Like; sister-in-law Geraldine Maas; and son-in-law Mike Murphy.
After suffering a pulmonary embolism in Nov. she has been living at St. Johns TCC and most recently Highgate Senior Living. We thank everyone of her caregivers for being so patient & kind to make her time comfortable and enjoyable.
Finally, Mom— Run, Jump, Swim, Dance, ride a bike or a horse on your two good legs. She loved the color red. No black for her. Please honor her if you wish by wearing something red.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, at Atonement Lutheran Church with interment at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Donations may be made to Shriners Hospital, Wounded Warriors or the charity of your choice.
We love you & miss you!!
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