On June 3, 1929, Sylvia Frances Fields was born to William and Sylvia Fields at 938 Terry Ave. in Billings. She attended school in Billings and, upon graduation from Senior High, she worked for Continental Oil for several years. Frances and Lee Burt married in November of 1951 at First Christian Church. They had three children, Sheri, Steve and Colleen, in 3 ½ years. She was a woman who knew how to multitask!
Our mother was an unparalleled mother and homemaker. Mom played catch with Steve every evening throughout the summers he was in Little League. She had quite an arm! She loved her gardens, especially her roses: she would rather dig in the dirt than vacuum any day, but somehow found time to do both! Mom sewed her own dresses as well as matching dresses for her young daughters for the holidays. She continued to design and sew special dresses throughout their school years and even made Sheri’s wedding dress.
Mom helped lead Pioneer Girls’ Club at Covenant Church and was President of the Christian Women’s Club. In 1966, Mom went to work for St. Vincent’s Nursing School for many years and then continued working for St. Vincent’s Hospital until she retired at 67 years old.
Mom loved football and enjoyed watching the games with the men in her life — her son, sons-in-law and grandsons. She was enamored with the outdoors, loved her mountains, camping and driving the boat. Mom always wanted to ski and, at 58, took on a new sport at which she excelled. She won a race trophy for best in her age group at Big Sky. Mom was an accomplished swimmer, with the breaststroke her favorite. In Georgia, Mom would spend hours in the backyard chirping back and forth with her cardinals. She loved to play games and never “let” anyone win: her opponents had to earn that! Oh, the badminton and Skipbo games we played!
Mom enjoyed knitting and crocheting, making many sweaters and afghans for her family; however, her passion was quilting. For Christmas, Mom quilted tree skirts for each of her children and eight grandsons!
To celebrate Mom’s 80th birthday, Steve and DeMaris offered to take her anywhere in the world: Mom chose Glacier National Park. When asked the same question on her 82nd birthday, she chose to see the ocean on the West Coast. Mom was truly an unpretentious, humble woman.
All her life, Mom was passionate about dogs, from her first dog as a child, Brownie, a Springer Spaniel, to her last dog, faithful Baron, a black Lab, and every dog in between.
Mom lived her entire life in Billings until she moved to Georgia in 2015 to live with Colleen and her family. Yes, our mother, was a true “Montana Girl” in every way!
Mom was a lifelong believer and loved the Lord and her church family at Lifeway Church. She exemplified her daily walk with her strength, kindness, generosity, joyfulness, faithfulness, courage and resiliency. She made certain her children knew all about Jesus and His Word. Oh, the verses we memorized! She walked the walk every day of her life. We are so very grateful to have her example of a life well-lived and we honor her. Her family chooses not to mourn her passing, but, instead, to celebrate her homecoming! Welcome home, beloved Mother, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother! You are treasured!
Frances Burt is survived by her sister, Helyn Davis; sister-in-law Eunice Shishkowsky; brother-in-law, David Burt (Annie); her children, Sheri Baker (Doug), Steve Burt (DeMaris) and Colleen Spann (David); her grandsons, Taylor (Angela) and Chase Baker (Jessica), Andrew (Jennifer), Daniel (Jessica) and Cameron Burt (Erika), Luke (Lindsay), Alec (Shelby) and Jordan Blackmon; her great-grandchildren, Wyatt and Ella Baker, Madi Stricker, Jaiven and Khoen Parker and Maclan Burt, Hudson and Harlan Blackmon, and Leo Blackmon; great-great-grandson, Leighton Stricker; and many nieces and nephews.
If you wish to honor Frances Burt’s life, please consider donating to either the Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter (yvas.org) or the American Bible Society (americanbible.org). We thank you!
There is a viewing from 10 a.m. to noon on Monday, Nov. 2, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. Due to current gathering restrictions, there will be a graveside service later that day for family.