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Family Owned & Operated Since 1902
314 Church St. | P.O. Box 12
Stevensville, Montana, 59870
Phone 406-777-5711 | Fax 406-777-0181
Email: whitesittfh@gmail.com

Jean (Evans) Osterheld

Born: Mon., Jun. 6, 1927
Died: Thu., Jul. 12, 2018

Funeral Service

10:00 AM Fri., Aug. 10, 2018
Location: Florence-Carlton Community Church

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Jean Evans Osterheld, 91, of North Little Rock, Arkansas passed away Thursday, July 12, 2018. She was born June 6, 1927 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania to Laighton and Martha Evans. Jean was a wife, mother, rancher, educator, and singer. As a kid, Jean loved outdoor activities and took up skiing, tennis, roller skating and probably a lot more things she never told us. Her beloved dog McTavish was the first of many dogs (and kids) she raised. She was a dog person – not a cat person. Jean received her Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Wheaton College and maintained her connection to her alma mater including funding a chemistry lab in her name. Jean earned her Master’s degree at Cornell University as an early graduate student of Nobel Laureate Paul J. Flory. Jean met her future husband Dr. R. Keith Osterheld at Cornell. This was the start of a beautiful friendship. Their planned month-long honeymoon touring the west never made it past Montana – they found where they wanted to live. They moved to Missoula, Montana in 1952 with Jean’s first of 4 sons, young Bob in tow. Jean initially taught chemistry labs at the University of Montana but paused her career for a number of years to raise her sons. During this time, Jean and Keith owned a series of small cattle ranches in Florence, Montana culminating in their last Montana home where they stayed for 50 years. They raised cattle for most of those years. Jean had the job of naming the cows. Don’t tell any of the relatives but you can be assured they each had one named after them. Apparently being a mother of 4 boys did not keep Jean busy so she earned a teaching credential and library sciences degree. She also learned to paint during this time and several of her Bitterroot Valley landscapes decorated the family home. Jean started as a special education teacher at Florence-Carlton School eventually becoming the librarian for K-12 as well as the high school chemistry teacher. As a mom and a teacher, Jean was the “no nonsense” type. She was not a disciplinarian but her classes and library did not have behavior issues. Kids probably knew she expected better from them. She was a quiet person but had an exuberant sense of humor with a boisterous laugh. Fortunately, she appreciated her husband’s sense of humor – if only we all could be so lucky. Jean had an inquisitive and adventurous soul. She tried her hand at numerous crafts and activities. Jean sewed her husband a beautiful western-cut sport coat which he wore for more than 20 years. She crocheted afghans for the family and made jewelry with her friends. In her 50’s, Jean took up aerobics and kept at it for several decades. After her retirement, Jean and her friends traveled around the country to Elderhostels including some international trips. Jean enjoyed puzzles and card games. She started most days with at least one complicated solitaire game and, in her heyday, participated in 3 separate bridge clubs. Jean and Keith became active member of the Florence-Carlton Community Church in 1960 – a loving community which was a bedrock of their lives. Both Jean and Keith committed much of their passion and social lives to the church with Jean serving as chair of the church council for multiple terms in the late 90’s. During their sunset years, the church committed much of its passion and social effort to the care of Jean and Keith, for which their family is tremendously grateful. The Montana readers may be surprised to hear that Jean was a singer. For the last 4 years, Jean has resided in North Little Rock near her son Jim. Her caretaker Florence Cuspao became her best friend and turned “mom Jean” into a singer. Many of Jean’s Arkansas friends were kind enough to actively sing with her these past few years. Another gift for which Jean’s family is tremendously grateful. Jean was a singer and a fighter but the fight ended on July 12, 2018. Jean is survived by her four sons, Bob, Al, Jim, and Tom Osterheld; and three daughters-in-law, Carol, Myrna and Claudia; and two grandchildren, Keith and Celeste Osterheld. Jean was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Dr. Robert Keith Osterheld and brother, Richard Evans. A service and interment will be held for Jean at Florence-Carlton Community Church and Cemetery on August 10, 2018 starting at 10 a.m.

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Lois Horsens
   Posted Wed August 01, 2018
I knew Jean from the time I started working at the Florence Carlton school. She was a great librarian! The little ones loved going to the library! I was also privileged to serve with Jean on the Florence Carlton Church board. She was an amazing lady and a wonderful friend.

chris osterheld
   Posted Mon August 06, 2018


With loving memories, Julie, Mike, Chris and Carmen

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