Celeste Lucille (Iams) Mares

February 14, 1930


November 18, 2020

Celeste Lucille (Iams) Mares

February 14, 1930


November 18, 2020

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.

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6 thoughts on “Celeste Lucille (Iams) Mares”

  1. Linda Sylling Wham

    Lou was a dear friend of my mother, Rose Sylling. They had birding adventures, laughs and tears. I remember her fondly as such a cheerful, inspiring person of faith. Be comforted she is in the arms of Jesus!

  2. Remember birding with Lou, Tim and my mother, Rose. Before we started we would say the number of species we thought we would see and whoever was closest, won! She always had a smile and talked fondly of her children and grandkids! Her friendship with my mother was special! I know that they are “catching up” ! She was a gem!

  3. She was my son’s first grade teacher and was one of his favorite. He says she gave him the gift of loving to read and to learn about many things around him. She was always so proud of her students and always let each of them know how special they were. I am glad I had the opportunity to know her.

    1. Mom loved children. She had oodles of books for us growing up as well as for her grands and greats. Pictures of mom when her grandchildren and greats were at her house would be on the floor in the middle of a game playing with them. They were joy.

  4. Melvin and Becky Lutgen

    Doug and Gloria your mother sounds like a special person though not knowing her you are in our thoughts and prayers. Doug she raised you to be a good teacher mentor to kids raising her own children right speaks volumes for time .

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