Wilma Jean Greany (Coughlin)
Wilma Jean Greany (Coughlin) passed away at the age of 91 on September 10th, 2020 in Bozeman, surrounded by her loving family.
Billie, as she was called by family and friends, was born in Deer Lodge on August 29, 1929 to William and Hazel (Meade) Coughlin. She was raised in Deer Lodge and graduated from Powell County High School in 1947. Billie attended Western Montana College in Dillon earning a teaching certificate and upon graduation she taught first grade in Thompson Falls.
On November 24, 1949 Billie married Paul Greany in a Thanksgiving morning ceremony in Helmville. In 1950, the couple moved to Deer Lodge where Paul was employed at the phosphate mine and Billie worked at the Registrar’s Office; in 1951 they moved to Drummond, where Paul became a jobber for the Continental Oil Company. Billie was a housewife and mother to four children when she and Paul purchased Miller’s Dry Goods in 1959. Initially located in the Drummond Hotel, they moved the business, Greany’s Dry Goods and Western Wear, west of town and it was coined, “The Biggest Little Store in Montana”. Billie sold everything from fabric and thread to shoes, boots, jeans and western hats. The store was opened six days a week from 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. with Billie at the helm, always dressed to the nines!
In 1981, when Billie was 52, she and Paul purchased the former Anthony’s building in Deer Lodge, opening a second store, which Billie operated until she retired in October 2013 at the age of 84.
Billie and Paul raised their four children in Drummond, supporting the many activities of each including football, basketball, track, music lessons, and 4-H.
Throughout her life, Billie epitomized the pioneer spirit of her family, who came to Montana by covered wagon in the 1850’s. She was an entrepreneur and accomplished business woman who ran a successful business for over 54 years, always greeting her customers with a smile and twinkling Irish eyes. She had wonderful business acumen and knowledge of her products; she could size up a customer and make recommendations in a flash.
Billie was an avid and accomplished bowler and participated in league play for over 30 years; she enjoyed playing bridge, had a beautiful soprano voice, sang in the church choir and played the piano and organ. She did the daily crossword puzzle and rarely missed her favorite program, “Wheel of Fortune.”
No matter the weather or the road conditions, she was Paul’s best friend and biggest fan, traveling with him as he pursued his winter sport of chariot racing in Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. “Paul ’n Billie” were said together as one name, reflecting their inseparability. She was always there to lend her support and encouragement and to enjoy the fun and friendship of their many supporters.
Billie was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, Paul, brother, Jim Coughlin and sister, Arlyne Paisley.
She is survived by her children, Patrick (Kathy), Augusta; Dannette (Sameer) Merchant, Morristown, N.J.; JD (Deb), Bozeman; Paula (Grant) Savage, Farmington, N.M.; 13 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 19 at St. Thomas Parish in Helmville, MT. Interment will follow at the Helmville Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be made to the Helmville Cemetery, PO Box 90, Helmville, MT 59843 or the charity of your choice.
Alec M. Tolon
On September 3, 2020 the world lost a beautiful soul. Alec M. Tolon lost his life in a tragic automobile accident.
Alec, born June 4, 1995, was the youngest of five siblings, Trever Denny (Sidney Hodgson), Brett Tolon (Marlena Tolon), Christopher Ball (Cecilia Spoon), and Marina Ball. He and his brothers and sister loved each other fiercely. Alec seemed to form a different special bond with each of them and with everyone whose lives he touched.
Anyone who met Alec remembered him; he was just that kind of person. Alec was passionate about many things; he loved gaming and spent a lot of time on-line with his friends. Alec just finished building his own computer and was very proud of his work. Alec was working on getting an education in computer programming. Alec loved the outdoors and he enjoyed being in the mountains and shooting his guns.
Alec was blessed to have a very large family; he is survived by his grandparents Lois Tolon, Fred and Bernice Verlanic, his parents Dan Tolon, Kam Verlanic and David Ball. His four remaining siblings and nieces and nephews whom he loved deeply, Alaiya, Bentley, Braydon and Addilyn, Jacob and Adam. They will miss his unconditional love and guidance as they grow. He will be deeply missed by his lifelong friend Tony Bosch and his very large extended family of aunts and uncles and cousins who will also think of him often and fondly.
We are all so thankful to everyone who has reached out to us in this horrible tragic time. We are deeply saddened that we will never get to see what Alec could’ve done with his life and for this world. We will forever miss him.
Services will be announced at a later date. The family will be hosting a get-together September 20 at 2 p.m.
Death Notice: Margaret (Marge) Sowa
Funeral Services for Margaret (Marge) Sowa will be held Saturday, September 26, 2020 at St. Thomas Church in Helmville. Rosary at 10:40 a.m. with Mass at 11 a.m. Burial following the service at Helmville Cemetery. Lunch at Helmville Community Hall.
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