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314 Church St. | P.O. Box 12
Stevensville, Montana, 59870
Phone 406-777-5711 | Fax 406-777-0181
Email: whitesittfh@gmail.com

Bessie Bolin

Died: Sat., Mar. 5, 2011

- Service details not available -


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Feb 13, 1934-March 5, 2011: STEVENSVILLE - An unforgettable woman, our mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, was chosen by our Lord and Savior to join Him in heaven on Saturday, March 5, 2011. Her death was sudden and without any regrets, she was right where she knew she should be, with the Lord and all those she missed and loved dearly who have passed before her.

Bessie Pauline (Nelson) Bolin was born on Feb. 13, 1934, in Polson. She was the third youngest of 14 children born to Emma and Ole Nelson. Her childhood days were spent growing up in Polson. In 1948, Emma moved to Missoula with Ed, Bessie, John and Shirley. Bessie graduated from Missoula County High School in 1952. The family moved to Lolo and she worked at the Hughes CafAC. as a waitress. It was during this time that she met Ernie. Ernie always arranged to have the grain loaded in the truck by 11:30 to take to Missoula just in time to have lunch at the cafAC. so he could see this wonderful, fun-loving gal who would eventually become his wife. Ernie and Bessie were married on Aug. 30, 1952, and honeymooned in Crescent City, Calif. On Aug. 30, 2007, they celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary together.

Bessie became a rancher's wife and loved the life she was given. She had a zest for life, loved entertaining and cooking. Her cookie jar was always full of fresh-baked cookies and a smile and joke went with it. She was comfortable being a rancher's wife and mother, but her greatest joy was being everyone's grandma.

Mom loved being involved in community affairs. In the '50s, she got involved with Lone Rock Women's Basketball. She jokingly bragged about how good she was. Mom and Dad were largely involved in the community dances, skit and talent shows and all the other community functions. Mom got involved in PTA and 4-H Club Leadership and she served as a 4-H judge at the fair until retiring in 2005. For the past 30 years, Mom served as an election judge, and we girls were privileged to be able to do this with her. The cemetery board was another one of her passions. Rain or shine, Mom was a faithful servant to all who needed her quick assistance and compassion. Mom again encouraged us and her sister-in-law, Mary Lou, to be involved with the cemetery. We often joked that soon the family reunion would be held at the cemetery as in recent years we've seen a lot of our loved ones multiply there.

She always attended church and had a true relationship with her Lord and Savior which she passed on down to her children. She taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, nursery and Awana. She was interested in all aspects of the Bible. Her relationship to the Lord was true and private, and very genuine. She always had a deep trust in the Lord through all her trials and tribulations which gave her the strength she was known for. At the time of her passing, her daughters found a Bible laying on the bed and two pictures of Jesus surrounding her room. We knew who her best friend was.

Mom liked adventure. If she wasn't involved in the community or entertaining for friends and family, she was planning her next adventure. She and Ernie took a lot of trips with Marlene and invited all the brothers and sisters to go because "Life's a Party," the more the merrier. They saw Australia, Alaska, Hawaii and Norway and took many cruises. Bessie also loved her trips to the hills with Ernie checking the cows, looking for elk, shooting gophers or simply just enjoying the mountains. It was their serene escape.

The girls attribute all their canning knowledge to mom, but she didn't always enjoy the gardening and weeding as much as Ernie. Canning was certainly her forte. She loved it and loved the company of all. It was hours of quality time with good, hard work ethics.

Other enjoyments in her life included crafts, dump digging, old bottle collecting, hunting and branding. She was an avid cribbage player and loved card games, she knew a little about cheating too. You would always find a deck of cards and a cribbage board setting on her table ready for an opponent. Her daughters always teased her about her busy social schedule and joked about how their mom was in her 70s but acted like she was in her 40s. She set quite an example for them to follow.

Most people will attest to the fact that what made Bessie the person they all wanted to be around was her quick wit, joking, constant hospitality and simply just because she made life interesting and fun. Life was never dull when she was around and like her recent best friend, Ed said, "She was always positive." They were quite an inspiration to one another. This past year had been spent adoring her special friend. They spent many a day together just talking about everything under the sun. We thank you Ed for making our mom's life worth living through the past year. Bessie will be more than missed in many people's lives.

Bessie is survived by her two daughters, Marlene Bolin (Ivan Roy) and Shirley (Gary) Layton; and grandchildren, Jason, Angie and Levi Shackelton, Amanda (Andy) Brown, Trent Layton, Taylor and Karleigh Bolin. She has four great-grandchildren which are Jorjah and JJ Sloan and Tanner and Tony Brown. She is survived by a brother, Ted (Mary Lou) Nelson and Shirley Johnson.

Preceding her in death were her husband, two sons, a grandson, 12 siblings and many other loved ones.

Viewing will be 5-7 p.m. Friday at Whitesitt Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at the Lone Rock Bible Church. Interment will follow at the Sunnyside Cemetery with a reception at the church following.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lone Rock Bible Church, 1142 Three Mile Creek Road, Stevensville, MT 59870.

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Marilyn Stromberg
   Posted Wed March 09, 2011
I got to know Bessie when she was the 4-H leader for all 3 of our kids. I enjoyed seeing her at elections. A wonderful lady.

Rich and Vicky Kilger
   Posted Wed March 09, 2011
You have our Deepest Sympathy. We'll miss Bessie very much. We had so much fun with her when we would come out to visit. Loved playing cards and dominos with her even though she never lost! You are all in our prayers and we will be thinking of you all. God Bless,
Vicky and Rich

Sandy Harthan
   Posted Thu March 10, 2011
We were very fortunate to have this wonderful family adopt us into their clan. We all have wonderful memories of time at the ranch. The unconcitional love and hospitality that Bessie and Ernie had is truly reflected in their children. We are forever blessed because of the love this entire family showed us. Sandy and children.

Alaln and Janice Kelley
   Posted Fri March 11, 2011
Our sincere sympathies to the family. Bessie will be very much missed. Alan and Janice Kelley

Carter and Judy Mason
   Posted Sun March 13, 2011
We are far away in Arizona, but you all are in our thoughts and prayers. We will remember Bessie with great fondness.
She was a true class act.
Carter and Judy Mason

Bill & Bobby Cruce
   Posted Sun March 13, 2011
Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and friends of Bessie. Just knowing that she loved the Lord and is in Heaven is a blessing.

Chris Fortune
   Posted Mon March 21, 2011
I just learned this evening of Bessie's passing and I was shocked to hear the news. This time of year I'm on the road non-stop supervising wild turkey banquets all over Montana and Wyoming.

The entire Bolin family I considered my friends and a nicer family I have never met. Bessie was the sweetest lady one could ever meet, her smile was addicting and she loved her wild turkeys that her and Ernie allowed us to transplant on their ranche several years ago. They were great stewards of their land and consevationists in every sense of the word.

Bessie will be truly missed.
Chris Fortune

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