Mary Schwalger passed away peacefully at home at the age of 97. She lived the latter part of her life with her daughter, Nancy Peterson, in Great Falls.
Mary was a treasured wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She will be missed by all who knew her and she will live in our hearts forever.
Mary was born on Feb. 19, 1921, in Dickinson, North Dakota, the daughter of Martin Hegel and Rosalia Ehly. Her family moved to Fromberg when she was a young girl. After her education, she moved to Billings to work at Deaconess Hospital. She married Sylvester “Sully” Schwalger in 1943. They were married for 48 years.
Mary and Sully started a dairy farm west of Billings, where they raised their family. Mary worked very hard on the farm, growing large vegetable gardens and raising chickens to provide for her family. Pastime activities were huge family gatherings; polka and square dancing; playing various card games, which she did until later in life; and traveling in their motorhome to Mexico and Canada and across the U.S. Mary was also very committed to her Catholic religion.
Mary is survived by her daughters, Carol (Jim) Carlisle of La Jolla, California, Nancy (Tim) Peterson of Great Falls; son Jim (Elaine) Schwalger of Santa Paula, California; sister Genevieve Keller of Billings; seven grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Sully; sons Billy and David; sisters Madge Shepard, Rose Sticka, Elizabeth Steffan, Katherine Giest, Veronica Hall; and brother Martin Hegel.
A scriptural rosary will be recited at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. Funeral mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 30, at St. Pius X Church, 717 18th St. West. Rite of committal will be in Sunset Memorial Gardens.