Margery D. Eliason


Margery D. Eliason


Our dear Mom, “Gramma Marge,” “Grams,” and “GG” left us to join her loving husband, her mother and father, her grandson and many friends waiting for her in heaven early Sunday morning, March 24, 2019, surrounded with the abundant love of her family. She was 89 years young and lived a life of love and dedication to her family and programs that served children and families. She did not want a long obituary, so we are honoring her request to keep it “short and sweet” and more about others than herself.

Mom truly believed what you did is not as important as what you do, good or bad. Her greatest wish was that people continue to carry on the programs near and dear to her heart — some she started and all she enhanced with her passion for teaching and helping people succeed and live to their potential. Rarely did we go anywhere with Mom where someone didn’t come up to reminisce about how she so positively influenced their life. Mom was always in awe at the impact she had on others because it came so naturally to her. Though proud of her work, she mostly cherished the wonderful friends and colleagues she made along the way.

Marge is preceded in death by her husband, Carroll Eliason; her mom, Sally Marion; her dad, Edward Marion; and her grandson, Callan Taylor Pyburn-Cole. She is survived by three sons, Steve, Jim (Debbie) and Stan (Jennifer); one daughter, DuRee Cole (John); 14 grandchildren, Sam (Gwen) Eliason, Sarah Ballard (Andreas), Shea Roth-Nelson (Jason), Sydney McKittrick (Terrance), Taylor Cole, Lizzy Axier, (Ben), Riley (Crystal), Joseph Eliason, Cade (Abby) Eliason, Reid (Ali) Eliason, Mitchell Sinnema, Colton Eliason, Nick Eliason and Hunter Eliason; and 21 great-grandchildren.

Our world will never be the same without her adorable sense of humor and presence, but there is great joy in knowing we will all be with her in a better place one day. In the meantime, per her wishes, a joyful celebration of her life, open to all who loved and adored her, will be held at Rose Park on July 5, with details to be announced closer to that time.

Three programs near and dear to Mom’s heart were: The Young Families Program (1020 Cook Ave., Billings, MT 59102), The Callan Taylor Fund for Polycystic Kidney Disease (2937-1/2 Clairemont Drive, San Diego, CA 92117) and CASA of Yellowstone County (1201 Grand Ave., #5, Billings, MT 59102).

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17 thoughts on “Margery D. Eliason”

  1. Mary Pickett Parker

    I had the privilege of interviewing Marge many times while I was a Gazette reporter and enjoyed each visit. Marge was always gracious, warm and deeply concerned about the young people she helped. She was kindness personified! She spent her life caring for and comforting those who might otherwise have fallen through the cracks. In addition to teaching kindergarten and volunteering for CASA, Marge helped start Young Families, the Billings Career Center Early Childhood program and the parenting program at the Montana Women’s Prison. How lucky each child, teenager and woman in these programs was to have Marge in their lives. And how lucky we are as a community to have had someone like Marge in our midst. Her family will miss her and so will we.

  2. I first knew Marge as DuRee’s mom. I always thought “what a fun mom!”, as she welcomed every teenager like her own. Years later, I ran into Marge again when she and Linda started the parenting program at Montana Women’s Prison, where I was a volunteer. Marge made everyone feel valuable, no matter their background or mistakes. At that point in her life, she could have “retired” and done most anything. But, she continued to help others. I want to be a Marge when I grow up. Loved her smile, her sass, her class, but especially her heart. She will be greatly missed.

  3. Marge was so sweet and kind to so many young women. One of her young mothers and child lived with us. We saw how much that program made life easier for that little family.

  4. Melanie McCulloch

    Dear Family of Marge,
    We are so very sorry for your loss. What a beautiful soul heaven has gained. We send you love and prayers.
    Scott, Melanie and Ben McCulloch

  5. Linda Bofto
    so many times our lives have crossed over so many, many years. She greeted everyone with a smile and I often wondered how she did that when she would obviously be in pain. That didn’t stop her in all her pursuits to help women and children in the Billings community. She touched so many lives in a positive way. Always a lady in every way right down to her lipstick. Marge have a good time in Heaven where you belong and will you please slow down and rest, you deserve it.

  6. This woman was a great inspiration in my life. I went to young families starting in 1987. She taught me to be the mom, grandma and woman I am today. I have thought of her many times over the years. She will be truly missed and was truly loved by many. I look forward to the day I get to see her again. She will now be all our guardian angel. I know she’s looking down with love the way she spent her whole life!

  7. Margot LaFontaine

    Sorry for your loss! May her memories keep her with you! She is beautiful. With love–Margie LaFontaine

  8. About fifteen years ago aunt Margery visited Susie and I in Oakesdale WA. It was so fun to talk about the past and present with her. My mom Pat & Margery are now together again. At younger age-steve-jim-stan-duree-I remember your Dad- Carroll-He was really funny. Nice talking to you guys & take care. Don’t forget you have family in Oakesdale

  9. Scott, Shelley, Tracey and Patty Beaumont
    Our deepest condolences in the loss of your mom. How fortunate we are that we have such wonderful memories of time spent with your Mom, Dad and all of you! Marge’s great sense humor and kindness always served to cheer everyone up. Certainly there wasn’t anyone who met your Mom who didn’t walk away with a smile on their face. She will greatly missed here on this earth but thoughts of her will continue to ‘bloom’ in our hearts. Take care, and God bless you during this time of sorrow.

  10. My sincere condolences to your family at the passing of MARGE. She was my mentor from afar for over 20 years, thru Young Families, Mother Read, Career Center early Childhood Program, & finally when I retired & became a CASA I caught up with her & we became friends. What a remarkable woman, kind, but ferocious in her advocacy of children & families. She was fun, innovative, energetic & always interested in what was going on. I’ll miss her so much & always smile as I think of her.

  11. Marjorie Fulton

    My mother Loris Toole always enjoyed visiting with Marge about her latest projects when they lived together at WestPark. She and I shared a common name which made our greetings even more fun. To Steve and DuRee and families, I am especially sorry to hear the world and community have lost such a great lady. Margie Fulton

  12. Michele Estep Bolte

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Marge was a hero to everyone that knew her. I met her when I was 14 and pregnant in 1987 and had the privilege of her being my teacher and mentor. She taught me how to be a parent, how important graduating was, and most of all she gave everyone she met and touched so much love. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. Instead of being a teenage parent statistic I have thrived, graduated, did some college, and have two beautiful children, a wonderful husband, and a great life. It has not been without struggles but without her I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. She will be greatly missed by all.

  13. Marge was the neighbor who welcomed my folks, Ray & Mary as they moved into Westpark Village last March. It meant a lot. I enjoyed my visits with her when our paths crossed in the hall. You all must be warmed by the outpouring of love and memories of her remarkable outreach and affect on so many, many lives. I am sorry for your loss.

  14. I was thrilled to have had a last chance to spend time with DuRee and Marge earlier this fall when they came to pick me up and we attended the wonderful dinner and auction celebration at Ben Steele Middle School for Young Families. It was great to see you Steve and meet some other relatives. I have admired your mother for so many years, as her contributions to this community and the state at large speak volumes to the kind, caring, and courageous lady that touched the lives of so many people through out Montana and beyond. I was happy to call her a friend. Even though this is a terribly difficult time for each of you, knowing that she now rests easy with your dad and other family members must make you smile. She had a great run of 89 years and left the world a much better place because she lived so well. She will be greatly missed. Blessings to each of you as you journey on in her absence, knowing that she is there watching over each of you.
    May you find peace in the journey ahead.

  15. Berdeen Claussen

    Marge was a dear friend since 1960, the Eliason family lived on Beech and the Claussen family lived on Stinson. From that time on we shared many great times together, she was a true friend. She was such an inspiration to so many. The significance of her life will extend beyond her lifetime. She will be missed by many but heaven is rejoicing with her appearance. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. Berdeen Clausssen

  16. Crystal (Chris) Purcell

    I had the pleasure of working with Marge Eliason in the planning and care for Teen moms through the Young Families Program. Marge could always be counted on to do everything humanly possible when she was asked to provide help through the Program for Young Families. Marge had the ability to find hope and words of encouragement for so many situations, then set about doing what she could to make good things happen. She was someone that I looked up to and aspired to be like. I have thought of her often over the years. Her daughter DuRee is also one I had the pleasure of working with. To DuRee and her entire family, I offer prayers for peace and comfort. Thank you for sharing Marge with us all. She will be missed.

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