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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

Gloria Jean "Bunny" (Wilcox) Halstead

Born: Mon., Aug. 9, 1948
Died: Wed., Aug. 14, 2019

Memorial Service

4:00 PM Thu., Aug. 22, 2019
Location: Whitesitt Funeral Home

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Stevensville  -  Gloria Jean Halstead, always known as “Bunny”, entered into her eternal peaceful and pain free rest on August 14th, 2019, just 5 days after her 71st birthday and surrounded by those she loved. She lost her courageous battle with cancer after years of fearlessly, yet gracefully fighting; she never really even believed she was sick. Bunny was born to Lester and Rosemary Wilcox on August 9th, 1948 in Montour Falls N.Y. She spent most of her younger years in Cayuta, N.Y. before moving to California where she graduated from Simi Valley in 1966. After graduation her family moved back to Wellsburg N.Y. It was shortly later that she met her husband Jim Halstead. They married on April 29th, 1967 and had 3 children; Michael James (1967), Richard Kenneth (1970) and Kimberly Rose (1975). After getting married they bought a 50-acre farm in Lockwood, N.Y. where Bunny cared for the children and Jim worked on the railroad and dabbled in farming, which he loved. Due to changes in circumstances Jim relocated their family to Livingston, MT in 1977. While in Livingston Bunny raised kids, baked, gardened, and worked in the local hospital as a nurses aide, always longing to become a R.N., but remaining mostly a stay at home mom and wife. It wasn’t until the Burlington Northern Railroad closed in Livingston (1986) and moved Jim and their family to Burlington, IA, that Bunny got the chance to return to college and complete her adulthood goal to become a nurse. In 1989, Bunny graduated from Southeastern Community College with her Associates Degree in Nursing, and there was no stopping her. Literally days after graduation they packed up their house, sold almost everything and moved back to Montana, their forever home. Bunny worked at St. Patrick’s hospital in Missoula before transferring to Community Medical Center in 1992. She worked in the ICU for nine years before transferring to the ER for the next 11 years, which she absolutely loved and flourished. She retired from nursing in 2012. Don’t stop there! Bunny never sat still, never quit and always kept on working. What started as making a few jars of pickled garlic in her kitchen for the farmers market around 2008 turned into an amazing business, five different flavors of garlic, 3 flavors of garlic dip, and a commercial kitchen built off their garage. Her new venture was Rabbit’s Pickled Garlic. It was during this time in December 2013 that Bunny was re-diagnosed with cancer. Not even this stopped her. All while getting treatment she worked vigorously in her kitchen whipping up jars and jars of garlic and dip. Everyone raved about her garlic and couldn’t get enough. Bunny ran her garlic business until December 2018 when she started to tire and closed the kitchen doors. Bunny was amazing, fearless and unbelievably strong in everything she did. She worked long hours, gardened until the sun set, loved playing games, cooked for everyone, baked amazing treats, crocheted baby blankets for every new baby, fished, boated, traveled and the list goes on. She started shopping for Christmas in January and never missed a birthday. She treated her pets and grandchildren like there was no one else in the world. Bunny lived more life in her 71 years than most, and she was not ready to quit, even when her body was. Her much-loved husband of 52 years Jim, her son Rick, and daughter Kim (Glen Heaton) survive Bunny. She is also survived by her grandchildren Jessica (Heather), Casey (Chrissy), Josie, Kylie, step-grandsons Austin, Kody and great granddaughter Arabella. The love her grandchildren have for her was immeasurable. Bunny was preceded in death by her parents Lester and Rosemary Wilcox, son Michael James and granddaughter Alexandra Rose Fontaine. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, August 22nd at Whitesitt Funeral Home in Stevensville at 4:00pm officiated by Pastor Dan Dixson, with a reception to follow at American Legion Post 94, 754 Middle Burnt Fork Road, Stevensville. Food and beverages provided. Please join us in celebration of Bunny as this is what she wanted. We would like to thank each person at Community Cancer Care for their amazing care and support, especially to Dr. Patrick Archie. We honestly feel without him our mom would never have done as well and lived like she did. In lieu of flowers please donate to one of our chosen charities that gives to cancer patients; Jadyn Fred Foundation or Harriet Anderson Memorial. Please mail your check to 8467 Wise River Road, Missoula, 59803, or bring directly to her service.

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Anthony Pagniano
   Posted Sun August 18, 2019
My name is Anthony and I handled your Mom’s business insurance. I took over her account from another agent. I was inexperienced and scared at owning my own business but when I talked to you Mom she’d always walk me off the cliff and assure me that if I worked hard I’d figure it out. I know it’s simple but she were a God sent. I’m still in business and doubt I would’ve been if not for this Bunny from the Bitterroot. God bless.

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