Following a three-year battle with cancer, Dolores Ruth Mundale was released by the bounds of this earth and died peacefully on Monday, June 12, 2017, with her family at her side. She was 90 years young.
In Heaven, she is freed of discomfort, finally at peace, sharing her brand of love that is boundless. Sharing a compassion that is arresting. Sharing an ability to nurture the spirit that is incomparable.
Dolores was born March 15, 1927, in Great Falls. She was one of two daughters born to Carlton and Clara Balsley. Dolores received her education in Great Falls, was a high school cheerleader and graduated in 1945 from Great Falls High School.
Following high school, she began working as an operator at the local telephone company. While attending a coworker’s wedding, she met a handsome, humorous Norwegian sailor, Edward “Sonny” Mundale, and they were married on Aug. 15, 1948.
As a newlywed, Dolores worked diligently in her role as homemaker and mother to one son and two daughters, but also enjoyed escaping the drama of their teenage years to work at the European Health Spa down the street.
As their children had families of their own, Dolores and Sonny built a family cabin on Montana’s Dearborn River, where they enjoyed relaxing, fishing, sledding and entertaining. They created countless happy memories together, traveled the U.S. and Europe, and were married 37 years when her true love Sonny died of cancer in 1985.
She enjoyed good health and remained active in the community. She adored serving her beloved St. John’s Lutheran Church, volunteering often and singing mightily in the church choir, which she did throughout her life. She loved Montana history and volunteered for many years for the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. She also played bridge with friends every Thursday and was an avid gardener, reader, cook, gimlet artist, storyteller, grammar-corrector, and was an accomplished painter. Dolores continued to live in her and Sonny’s home in Great Falls until 2014, when she sold her property and moved to Billings to be closer to her family, where she found a soft, welcoming place to land in Morningstar Senior Living Community with her treasured, antisocial cat, Rusty.
Our Dolores is a sincere Montana gal in spirit and values who loved to be outdoors rather than in. She encouraged all of us to keep climbing and was always there with a moment of wisdom, a soft cheek-kiss, and reassurance in her smiling hazel eyes that instantly made troubled times good again. She lived her 90 years to the fullest and was a precious friend, daughter, wife, sister, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Survivors include her 101-year-old sister and forever friend Marion Tuss of Columbia, MD; son David Mundale and his wife Karla of Castle Rock, WA; two daughters, Susie Barbero and her husband Joe of Billings and Barb Knight and her husband Dave “three” of Billings; six grandchildren, Betsy Miller of Denver, Todd Brandner of Connell, WA, Brita Jones of Laurel, Sarah Lacey of Newcastle, WY, Anna Mundale-Claycomb of Loveland, CO, Maggie Holliday Wahpeton, ND, and Gunnar Mundale of Castle Rock, WA; 16 great-grandchildren, Riley, Madison, Avery, Breanna, Chase, Emma, Levi, Logan, Lydia, Jake, Cole, Isaac, Lauren, Sophia, Allison and Camden; many cousins; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A special heartfelt thank you to the amazing staff and generous hearts at Morningstar Senior Living and RiverStone Hospice House (Honey & Louise) for your kindness and compassion. You are angels in their truest form.
Memorial services will be at 1 p.m. Friday, June 16, at Morningstar Senior Living of Billings, 4001 Bell Ave. Please wear green, the favorite color of our favorite tiny matriarch.
Our Dolores is no longer with us, but we know that she IS with us, with you, never too far from the memories we all live by.
“Gute Nacht,” our dear Delly.