Mildred Jean Potts was born August 3, 1923 in Helmville, and promptly decided she did not like her given first name. Jean died after a short illness July 24, 2019 at Deer Lodge Medical Center.
Jean was the fifth of eight children born to George and Mary Frances Potts. She and her siblings were raised by her mother after her father was killed in a horse accident when Jean was five. She grew up riding horses, selling ice cream hand churned by her mother, and working in the hayfields around Helmville. Jean graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in Missoula and then obtained her nursing degree from St. James School of Nursing in Butte, where she made lifelong friends. After graduation Jean joined the United States Cadet Nurse Corps and served during World War II.
After discharge from the Cadet Corps, Jean continued her nursing career, including in Butte and New York City. Upon returning to Montana Jean met and subsequently married James G. Haviland on September 21, 1950. For more than 51 years they were partners in raising their five sons and their tree farm at Seeley Lake. Jean loved being outdoors and her sister Terese once commented that “Jean, you have trees for eyes”.
Jean and Jim were deeply involved in the Deer Lodge community. Jean was a devoted member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Deer Lodge, belonged to various bridge and sewing clubs as well as the Deer Lodge Woman’s Club. Never one to sit still Jean refinished furniture and made quilts, much of which adorns the homes of her children and grandchildren.
Jean was at her best when she was a caregiver, nursing Jim through his final years, and caring for sons and grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband Jim, and six of her siblings, Jack, Frank and George Potts, and sisters Marie Gilbert, Terese Sewell and Eileen O’Loughlin. She was also predeceased by her son, Bill, and granddaughter Kelsey.
Jean is survived by her sister, Lois Tolon, and sons David, John (Gail), Allan (Diane), and Jeffrey (Vivian), and Bill’s wife, Kade. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, with number seven to be born at any time, and numerous nieces and nephews.
At almost 96 Jean left us too soon, while the huckleberries she loved to pick were still ripening.
Special thanks to Renaissance Senior Care and Deer Lodge Medical Center for their devotion to and care of Jean.
A vigil was held 6 p.m. Sunday, July 28 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Deer Lodge and funeral was at the church at 11 a.m. Monday, July 29 with interment at Hillcrest Cemetery, Deer Lodge, with her husband Jim and son Bill.
June Wallace, 92.
June passed away peacefully after suffering a stroke. She was born on June 8, 1927 to John and Elisabeth Perkins in Deer Lodge. She was raised at the Perkins Ranch along with her eight siblings. June attended Quinlan school and a school at the ranch. In the summer of 1947 she rode her horse down the road to the Deer Lodge Farms to get their mail and that’s where she met Richard Wallace. They married on September 25, 1947. June was a stay at home mom and enjoyed time with family. She also loved to spend time at the Perkins family cabin.
She is survived by her sister Dorothy Stone and her children Laurie (Steve) Dorvall, Don (Roxana) Wallace, Jamie (Sam) Miller, Jo Ann (Mike) Fah, and Arvie Wallace. She is also survived by nine grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
June is preceded in death by her parents, husband Richard of 38 years, grandson Kory Ring, her brothers Ernest Clifford, Jack Perkins, and sisters Grace Sullivan, Emma Tamcke, Lois Stav and Mal Risch.
There will be a Celebration of Life Potluck on August 10 from 1-5 at June’s home.
A private burial will be held at a later date.