Merle “Ann” LaCroix went home to be with the Lord on Nov. 14, 2019, at the age of 84. Ann was born on Feb. 10, 1935, in Havre. Family was important to Ann. She came from a big family (with five sisters and four brothers) and she raised seven children. There were always get-togethers and fun times. She loved to play softball and spent many years playing for the Lucky Lagers Team in Havre.
After moving to Billings, Ann worked as a bookkeeper for Buttrey’s/Albertson’s. After that, she started a delivery service with her sons Cole and Dean (ADC Delivery), and drove all over Montana and into neighboring states, delivering for the airlines. In her free time, she played cards and dominos (her favorite), and enjoyed square dancing with her friends. And there were times with family: birthdays, holidays (always Christmas Eve at Grandma’s), and softball and kickball in the park. Ann loved life and had an adventurous spirit. She loved traveling to new places and, as a military wife, she lived in Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and in many places in the United States. Ann had a way of making life look easy. She always had a beautiful smile and laughed as much as possible. She was strong and compassionate — the matriarch of our family. She always knew exactly what you needed, even when you did not. She was a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Ann was preceded in death by her parents, Wilford Neal “Buzz” and Marie Violet (Shinners) Cole of Havre; and by her siblings, Thelma McLain, Bill Cole, Dick Cole, Della Pimley, Lois Waller, Dorothy Solomon and Jean Stengem. She is also preceded in death by her son, Cole Raymond LaCroix.
Ann is survived by her two brothers, Jim Cole of Havre and Tom Cole of Plains; as well as her sons Douglas (Judi) LaCroix of Kalispell and Dean (Lan) LaCroix of Elgin, South Carolina; and by her daughters, Judy (Martin) O’Neil, Patricia Smith, Lori (Ala) Abdel-Ghafour, all of Billings, and Leah LaCroix of Siler City, North Carolina; and 25 grandchildren and 51 great-grandchildren.
We all love you, Mom.
Memorial mass will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 22, at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 2055 Woody Drive.