Celeste Lucille (Iams) Mares passed away on Nov. 18, 2020. She was born on Feb. 14, 1930, in Taylor, North Dakota. She moved to Billings in 1946 and graduated from Billings Senior High School in 1947. Lou, as she was affectionately known to her friends and family, got her teaching degree from Eastern Montana College. In 1952, she married the love of her life, Timothy Raynaldo Mares. Just days after their wedding, Tim left to serve in the Army and Lou went to teach in her first job in Bridger. In 1953, they started their married life in Billings and were married for 60 years. They tragically lost a daughter (Madolla) in 1970.
Lou worked as a first grade teacher for 30 years. She was a skilled, kind and very dedicated teacher who loved teaching young children the love of reading. She was an avid and knowledgeable bird watcher and was an active member of the Billings Audubon Society. When she retired in 1985, she and Tim loved to travel in their motorhome. They mainly followed the bird migration and spent many enjoyable winters in Texas with friends, but also visited all the states, Mexico, Canada and a few Asian countries. Lou’s devout Christian faith was important to her and was an inspiration to many. She was also an avid gardener and has left a legacy of trees planted all over Billings in the many houses she built with her husband.
Celeste was preceded in death by her parents, Aaron and Barbara Iams; sister Barbara (Isy) Griffith (Robert); brother Michael Iams (Grace); sister-in-law Adelle Iams; husband Timothy R. Mares; and daughter Madolla Louise.
She is survived by loving siblings, Jeffery Iams (Barbi), Douglas Iams (Gloria) and Sarah Swearingen (Charles); children Carmella, Arin (Nick) and Timothy; grandchildren Louise Demaree Bray (Paul), Douglas Demaree, Steven Mares, Maria Reed (Jeff), Jordan and Elliot Mares-Manton and Hunter Mares; as well great-grandchildren, Rachel, Jana, Jessee, Danielle Bray, Elijah, Sophie Madland, Kevin and Bella Reed, Hunter Mares, Donny W. Demaree, Allegra and Orion Mares; and even a great-great-grandson, Emmitt Bray. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and their children.
At her request, cremation has taken place and no services are planned.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Montana Rescue Mission.
Lou will be missed but remembered affectionately by her family. May we all be so lucky for others to say of us… hers was a life well lived.
Condolences may be made at www.michelottisawyers.com.