Alta Woosley, 90, of Billings, formerly Wilsall, passed away Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at Riverstone Hospice.
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Born Aug. 6, 1921 in Wilsall at the Robinson's Hospital, she was the 5th of seven children of Emma (Deitz) and Cott Gwaltney.
Alta's dad worked for Walter Hill. He moved the family to Minnesota where she started school. In about 1930 they returned to the Hill Ranch in Wilsall; the kids at the ranch attended Latt Country School, up the Shields River. Alta lettered in basketball and graduated from Wilsall High School.
Alta married Allen Woosley. They celebrated their 50th and 60th anniversaries with parties and lots of family and friends. Allen passed away in July 2005 after their 66th anniversary.
Allen loved rodeos and was a constant pickup man, and had a little bunch of bucking horses. Alta decided to time rather than sit in the grandstand. She timed MARA, high school, college rodeos and Jackpot Roping's. She timed the first college rodeo in MSU's Field House and the College National Finals Rodeo when they were held in Bozeman.
Alta and Allen had two children Lyle Woosley who is on the ranch in Wilsall and Judi Fraser of Billings.
Mom was always a great supporter of all we did: 4-H, basketball, rodeo, and other activities. She was Montana High School Rodeo Secretary for many years.
When grandchildren and great-grandchildren came along, they called her "Granny." If anyone criticized them she reared like a rattlesnake!
Mom was a ranch wife. They ranched in the Sedan area, where she helped put up hay with a team of horses and moved cows horseback-hot and cold, pulled a calf or two, milked the cows if needed, helped feed cattle, pulled the horse trailer over hill and dale, fed branders at cow camp and cooked for hired men.
Mom refinished furniture, caned chairs, remodeled a lot of her house herself, sewed, knitted, played her organ, and trapped mink. She loved to dance, ride in the mountains, a good book and funny joke.
In 2009, due to health problems, she made Billings her home. She did her best to accept living in town for the first time in her life.
Granny missed the Bridger and Crazy Mountains, the wildflowers, wild game, creeks, the smell of it all, but not the cold and snow. She missed her house of 66 years and the Ranch Home.
Mom cooked a zillion meals for anyone showing up and always had some goodies for coffee (in later years it was the lemon cake). We teased that we would put "Loved to Cook" on her tombstone; truth is "She Hated To Cook!"
Granny is survived by her son, Lyle (Mert) Woosley of Wilsall; daughter, Judi (Danny) Fraser of Billings; sister, Pearl D'Ewart of Wilsall; brother, Bob Gwaltney of Texas; sister-in-law, Anne Gwaltney of Livingston; grandchildren, Bucky and Josh Woosley, Tara Swandel, Jodi Knight, Wylie Fraser, and Holley Vennis; and seven great-grandchildren.
Alta was preceded in death by her husband, Allen; sisters, Pat Grimes, and Glenna Hamilton-Stein; and brothers, Bud and WJ Brownie Gwaltney.
Funeral services will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the Wilsall Community Church.
Memorials may be made to the Wilsall Community Scholarship Fund or the Sedan School Refurbishing Fund.
Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary has charge of arrangements. Remembrances may be shared with the family by visiting www.michelottisawyers.com.
Michelotti Sawyers Mortuary & Crematory
1001 Alderson Avenue
Billings, MT 59102
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Mar. 8, 2012