An angel on earth, now much more in Heaven. Even a newly mended heart and fierce determination could not overcome a failing body, so God called her home for His everlasting love and protection.
Marie Eileen Sallgren was born on Dec. 15, 1937, in Miles City, to Helen and Joe Sallgren, surrounded by a large family of brothers and sisters, and always a house full of relatives and friends. She developed her future work ethic early by becoming a busy babysitter, even before high school. One of her charges became the present mayor of Billings (although he probably doesn’t remember it!). While in school and after, she honed her secretarial skills and was employed by several law offices.
In 1957, she and her longtime admirer, John Reamy, eloped to Loveland, Colo., where they were married on Dec. 29, in the First Presbyterian Church. They settled in Billings, where John, a Railway Mail Clerk, started his career with the Postal Service. Not one to mess around, Marie soon produced our pride and joy — Paul and Sheila — born exactly one year apart. Our happy family made their first home in the 1300 block of Broadwater when there was still a farm across the street. Raising a family was not enough to keep her busy, so Marie held several office manager jobs throughout the years. Our work schedules were arranged so that one of us was always home with the children. Life was good; family get-togethers and many trips in the old Chevy camper created many pleasant memories and boxes of pictures.
In retirement, and with an empty nest, Marie doubled her workload by volunteering wherever she saw a need: school monitor and aide; McGruff House; Meals-On-Wheels; Senior News Delivery; knitting hats and mittens for Headstart; organizing the Senior Alliance quilting group; baking cookies by the thousands for her church, schools, seniors, neighbors and friends. And there was never a batch rejected by John, her Chief Quality Control tester. In her “spare” time, she was a prolific quilter. We are sure she is already involved in several new projects!
Near the last of her generation in her family, who will now take over the task of remembering all the birthdays, anniversaries and family history? There will be a great many less cards sent or calls made that might brighten or soothe someone’s day. How many gravesites from Miles City to Lavina will no longer have their faithful attendant? For such a little lady, there are some mighty big shoes to fill!
Marie is preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Gordon (Al), Ray, Bob, Russell; and her sister, Phyllis. She is survived by her husband, John; son Paul (Kayleen) Reamy and daughter Sheila (Tony) Dean; grandson Jordan Dean with the U.S. Marines and granddaughter Shannon Dean at home; sisters Edna Pangburn of Billings and June Sallgren of Olympia, Wash.; sisters-in-law Wilma Jean Engebretson of Longview, Wash., and Irene Sallgren of Miles City; and in-laws Rolly “Buck” and Lillie Reamy of Bridger and Milo and Marion Reamy of Cuero, Texas. Also, many nieces and nephews from near and far.
It has been five months of an increasing uphill battle. The pain and struggle has ended and a Higher healing hand has taken over.
Mom had requested no obituary or services, but we can be just as stubborn, so there will be a memorial service at a later date.
“I would like my family and friends to remember me in Life, not death.”
Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary will be handling all arrangements, and memorials may be made to Meals-On-Wheels.