Janice Louise Witt was called home on June 23, 2017. She was born to Robert and Lucille Gordon on June 21, 1927, in Idaho Falls, Idaho. She died peacefully at Aspen Meadows, after a short bout with pneumonia and congestive heart failure. She was 91.
She lived in Dillon before moving to Great Falls, where she attended school. It is there, while working as a waitress, that she met the love of her life, Edward C. Witt. They were married on Dec. 7, 1946, and moved to the family farm in Geraldine, where, together, they raised a family of 10 children. She worked hard and never shied away from the chores of cooking, cleaning, canning or the endless laundry. They moved the family to a small farm in Belgrade before moving to Three Forks, where Janice owned and operated a restaurant. Later, they moved back to Geraldine until Ed retired in 1969 to Lewistown. Janice became the housekeeper for the rectory of St. Leo’s Parish, where she took care of many parish and visiting priests. She often spoiled them with her homemade pickles and famous raspberry jam. She later started a cleaning business, and cleaned the Corner Pocket Billiards, which later became the Sportsman’s Lounge.
Janice had a “green thumb” and raised a beautiful garden. She was most proud of her raspberry patch and her asparagus patch. The family reaped the benefits of her efforts, as she was a wonderful cook. She loved baking bread and rolls, especially for Sunday dinners. Her hobbies included sewing, and she loved to crochet. She made many afghans for her family and friends, and even made the bridesmaid dresses for her daughter Shirley’s wedding. She endured many hardships raising her family, but was proud of all their accomplishments. She always said that after being on the farm and moving to Lewistown, that she was living in a big city. She loved going to the movies, and westerns were her favorite. She was a huge John Wayne and country music fan.
After the passing of her husband in 1999, she moved to Billings in 2001, where she lived with her daughter. She became a member of St. Bernard’s Parish, as she was a devoted Catholic. In 2014, she suffered a stroke and moved to Aspen Meadows.
She is survived by her son, Ken (Debbie) Witt; daughters, Roseanne Witt, Patricia Schmidt and Debbie Witt of Billings; daughter Barbara (Wayne) Jones of Springfield, MO; son, Joe (Monica) Witt of Castle Rock, CO; and son David (Jerilynn) Witt of Lewistown. She has 12 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Janice was preceded in death by her parents; her stepfather, William Bancroft; her two sisters, Evelyn and Barbara; her husband of 53 years, Edward; her three children, Shirley Hansen, John Witt and William Witt; and granddaughter Jennifer Witt.
The family would like to thank the staff at Aspen Meadows for making Janice feel at home for the past three years.
Go now, and rest. We love you and will miss you.
Memorials can be made to the charity of one’s choice or St. Bernard’s Parish.
A vigil service will be at 7 p.m. Monday, June 26, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. Funeral mass will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 27, at St. Bernard’s Parish, 226 Wicks Lane.