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Helen Joan (Wenger) McNinch

June 6, 1929 ~ January 22, 2022 (age 92)

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Obituary

Corvallis - Helen Joan (Wenger) McNinch, 92, entered into eternal rest with family by her side on January 22, 2022. Joan was born on June 6, 1929 in Jackson, Montana to John and Jean Wenger. Most of Joan’s childhood was spent in Dillon helping her family manage the Beaverhead County Golf Course. It was during these years that Joan developed a “from dusk till dawn” work ethic that would serve her family throughout her life. Following her graduation from Beaverhead County High School, Joan continued working the family business, eventually enrolling in Montana State Normal College to pursue a degree in education. Her plans to become a teacher were altered when she met a rugged cowboy from Lima in Ted McNinch, whom she married on September 5, 1953, weeks after they began dating. They enjoyed over 60 years together. In 1955, Joan followed Ted to the Bitterroot Valley where they started another family business in Bass Creek Post and Poles, which eventually became Bass Creek Logging. During the next four decades Joan’s work ethic and willingness to do whatever was needed to get the job done earned her the nickname, “The Gofer.” Whether it was stacking poles, feeding cows, cooking hearty meals for the crew, or running parts to jobs sites in timber GPS would not find, Joan was always on the go holding everything and everyone together. Joan’s greatest pride and joy came in the form of her two children, Maggie and Jim, and her six grandchildren. Joan had Maggie and Jim, and eventually her grandkids, working by her side on the ranch, in the post yard, and in the woods. The most joyous occasions for Joan were the family gatherings she hosted celebrating holidays and birthdays, which were filled with endless laughter. She made it a point to know the latest happenings of every family member, and never forgot a birthday or anniversary. As the family matriarch, Joan purposed herself to care for and sustain her family with joy, perspective, and support as they experienced the peaks and valleys of life. Personally, Joan found renewed strength and purpose through her faith, specifically in the form of hymns, scriptures, and poems. Joan is preceded in death by her parents, John and Jean Wenger, brothers John and George, sister Elveretta, and daughter Maggie. She is survived by her son Jim (Kari), her six grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and one great, great grandchild. A graveside service will be held on Monday, January 31, 2022 at Riverside Cemetery at 1:00 P.M. A celebration of Joan’s life will be held on Saturday, June 4, 2022 at 1:00 P.M. at the Triple Sisters Group Site at Lake Como. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.

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Services

Graveside Service
Monday
January 31, 2022

1:00 PM
Riverside Cemetery

Stevensville, Montana 59870

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