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Marna Maier

Died: Wed., Jul. 18, 2012

- Service details not available -

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2012-07-20T00:00:00ZMarna Maiermissoulian.com
9 hours ago

1931-2012 FLORENCE - Marna Maier, also known to friends and family as Jo Pete or Joey, died peacefully at her home in Florence on Wednesday, July 18, 2012. She was born in Missoula on Sept. 11, 1931, to Dorothy and Frank Head. Thirty years ago she was told she would die within a year, of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Fortunately, Marna didn't listen to the doctors and her strong will and zest for life kept her active until very recently.

Marna fully enjoyed the last weeks of her life surrounded by her family and many of her friends. Marna moved into this last phase of life with grace and dignity. She embraced the knowledge that her life was coming to a close and used her last weeks as an opportunity to tell her family many childhood stories, share her wisdom, listen to our sadness and tell us how much she loved us.

Marna's life focused on her husband and children. She taught her children to have strong opinions, principles and the desire to leave the world a better place. She went to every basketball and football game, track and field event, science fair and county fair in which her children were involved. She instilled in her children the desire to get an education; it wasn't "are you going to college?" it was "where are you going to college?" She loved being a grandmother; she was generous with her time, energy, love, creativity, and milk and cookies.

Marna continued to grow and change even as she moved toward death; this was not a surprise to those of us who knew her. She never stopped reading, learning or being curious about people and the world around her. She read voraciously, and she read widely; she kept up with the news and was known to exaggerate the villainy of politicians. When the family planned a trip to Mexico, she decided she needed to learn Spanish, so at the age of 58 she became fluent in the language. She embraced the digital age by becoming proficient in using a digital camera and computer. She was proud of the fact that she had voted in every election since 1951 and before she died was wondering how she might get an absentee ballot. Don't worry Mom, we'll figure out how to get your vote in.

Marna was an avid birdwatcher. She was an enthusiastic member of the group that conducted the annual Bitterroot winter bird counts. Nothing stopped them; the birds were counted in blizzards, subzero temperatures or driving rain.

Marna and Ray were founding members of a prayer group that has been going strong for 28 years. They worshipped at the Lone Rock Bible Church.

Wife, mother, grandmother, mother-in-law and friend, you will be so missed.

Marna is survived by her husband of 61 years, Raymond Maier of Florence; daughter Betsy Maier (Peter Bensen) children Katy of Lolo and Dan (Pavlina Borisova) of Sofia, Bulgaria; daughter Kerry Maier (Marty Rausch) of Alberton, children Tanner (Sara) and their children Kolton, Kaden and Gage of Alberton; Mike and his son, Andon of Missoula; son Jim Maier (Beth Knox), children Jared and Lucas of Issaquah, Wash., and brother Frank Head Jr. of Missoula.

Services will be held at the Florence-Carlton Community Church, 20075 Old U.S. Highway 93, at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 21, with graveside services following. Please join the family for a light lunch after the services.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to: Bitterroot Resource and Conservation Development area, for the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, 4567 Wildfowl Lane, Stevensville, MT 59870 where Marna was a longtime volunteer and a founding member of the Friends group.

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Dan Wright
   Posted Fri July 20, 2012
Dear Betsy and Kerry,
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. I always enjoyed talking with her. She was a great joy! You are both in my prayers.

Your Freind Dan Wright

Bernie Lalor
   Posted Fri July 20, 2012
Dear Betsy, Kerry, and Jim,
I am saddened about Marna, and send my condolences and thoughts to you and all the family. I am consoled by the fact that I knew your mom and can cherish the memories of her and of being with her and you over the years,
Love, Bernie

Bobbi Holman
   Posted Sat July 21, 2012
I was sadden by the loss of Marna. I remember all the times she and mom ( Irene holman) would spend talking she was a very special lady who was a true joy to know.
God bless you during this time.
Bobbi Holman

Carola Woolsey Mielke
   Posted Sun July 22, 2012
Betsy and Family,
So sorry to hear of your loss...Your mother was always so much fun to visit with. She loved life and lived it fully
My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Glenn A. Hladek
   Posted Mon July 23, 2012
Hello Ray and Betsy,

I just returned from vacation to hear that Marna had died. I am so very sorry, she was always such a delight to serve with her hearing health care needs. She was forever curious and always demonstrated such a zest for life. I will miss seeing her - my thoughts and prayers are with both of you and the rest of your family.

Susan Juvelier
   Posted Mon July 23, 2012
Dear Betsy, Kerry, Jim, and Ray:

I am saddened to learn of Jo's passing. What a vibrant, spirited light she was in the world! Her death leaves a huge void, and my heart goes out to you. I will always remember her warmth, welcome, and intelligence. May you find comfort in one another and in knowing that even those of us who didn't know her well remember her with gratitude for her having walked among us.


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