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Whitesitt Funeral Home
& Cremation Service

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

Marilyn A. (Pikkaraine) Neuvonen

Born: Tue., Apr. 9, 1935
Died: Sun., Aug. 23, 2020

Celebration of Life

1:00 PM Fri., Sep. 18, 2020
Location: Dayspring Foursquare Church

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Stevensville  -  Marilyn A. Neuvonen of Stevensville, MT passed away peacefully in her sleep at home and went into the presence of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Aug. 23, 2020 at the age of 85. Marilyn Pikkaraine was born on April 9, 1935 on a farm in Otto Township in Ottertail County, MN. She was the 8th child of ten children born to Evert and Alma Pikkaraine. Four of these siblings died as infants. She started first grade at the country school, but within a few weeks she was moved to the second grade thereby skipping a year. She attended New York Mills High School in New York Mills, MN and graduated just after turning 17. Marilyn was hired as the secretary to the Superintendent of Schools in New York Mills and worked there until her marriage to Chester Neuvonen on Sept. 18, 1953. They enjoyed 64 years of marriage. The couple moved to Minneapolis so that Chester could attend electronics school while Marilyn worked in various jobs as an office manager at Bourguins Men’s Store, at Janney Semple Hill as a posting clerk, and as an accounts receivable manager at Lincoln Equipment in St. Paul, MN. In 1956, Chester and Marilyn moved to Missoula, Montana where Chester got a job as a TV transmitter engineer. They moved a few times as his career was getting started, and Marilyn worked as a teller at First Federals Savings and Loan in Billings, MT and as an accounting manager at General Motors Acceptance Corporation in Missoula, MT. Chester and Marilyn’s daughter, Marianne, was born in 1962, so Marilyn switched to working part-time and seasonally for the Missoula Mercantile as a bookkeeper. Chester’s job in Idaho was one week on and one week off, and so the family would often spend the week off out in the Montana outdoors camping, hunting, or fishing. In 1972, the family moved from Missoula to rural Stevensville, MT where Chester and Marilyn lived the rest of their lives. In 1975, Chester’s lost his job to automation, and Marilyn looked for a job to fill the gap. She went to work at State Machine Products at the Creamery Building in Stevensville, MT and worked as a machinist. The business was sold to Turner Engineering. Marilyn continued to work as a machine operator and assistant foreman until 1984. She was then moved into the office where her years of experience in office management and bookkeeping were discovered. Eventually, she became Vice President of Turner Engineering. At its peak, the company employed 150 employees with $10-$20 million annually in defense contract sales. After the company closed, Marilyn worked as a bookkeeper at Dayspring Restoration in Missoula until she retired. In addition to being a wife, mother, and career woman, Marilyn spent many years as a volunteer fire fighter in the Three Mile Fire Department and as secretary of the local Western Montana Mining Association. Marilyn enjoyed spending time with young people and children. She encouraged them to get a good education, to pursue their goals and dreams, and gave them wisdom and advice when difficulties arose. Marilyn is survived by her daughter, Marianne Neuvonen, of Stevensville, MT, three grandchildren: Joanna Bischoff and her husband, Luke, of Lake Stevens, WA; Joel Vugteveen and his wife, Audrey, of Stevensville, MT; and Jeremiah Vugteveen of Stevensville, MT along with six great-grandchildren, Zachary, Thira, Oliver, Erys, Natalie and Auren. She is also survived by her sister, Shirlyn Bentley of Pequot Lakes, MN along with many nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Chester, and her brothers and sisters: Alma, Mildred, Marvin, Melvin, Eldred, Arnold, Mervil, and Anna.

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