On Wednesday, April 20, 2011, Audrey (Woodside) Reese peacefully passed away in the company of family at Spring Meadows Assisted Living in Bozeman. She was 90 years old.
The Guest Book is expired.
Audrey was born to Hugh and Elma (Parker) Woodside on January 7, 1921, in Jefferson Island, Mont., delivered at home by Dr. Packard.
The family lived at Jefferson Island and a short time in Missoula, finally settling on Old Yellowstone Trail, Willow Creek, Mont. Audrey attended all 12 years of school in Willow Creek, graduating in 1939. After retiring Audrey moved to Willow Creek and lived out her final years on the home place.
Audrey attended Montana Normal College in Dillon for two years and her first teaching job was in for grades 5-8 in Two Dot, Mont.
She then spent her next teaching years in the field of special education. She worked 17 years at the Montana State Training School, Boulder, Mont. The last three years there she was teacher-principal. She also worked summers doing jobs in the institution. The specials jobs were assisting groups of boys in raising and maintaining gardens. She also taught dance to the students and they often traveled to raise funds for special projects in the community.
Audrey married Donald Rand in 1948. They later divorced.
Audrey married Joe Reese, Jr., on October 17, 1964, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. She had started teaching junior high level students special education in Anaconda when she met Joe, a project engineer, building the Anaconda Job Corp.
The next year they moved to Kalispell and operated Reese Engineering Inc. clearing land.
Due to Joe's illness they returned to Anaconda where Audrey taught primary special education students and later transferred to Anaconda Senior High as teacher and work study counselor. She taught half day and placed students on job training in the afternoons. She retired from Anaconda Senior High in August 1976.
Joe passed away October 26, 1973. Prior to his death he was part owner in Anaconda Tire Center.
Most of Audrey's teaching years were in special education, with the exception of her first year in1946-1947. She taught art and music in Billings and while living in Kalispell she finished a half year at Lakeside, teaching grades 5-6.
After retiring, Audrey sold their home in Opportunity and she and her mother moved to the home place in Willow Creek in May 1978.
Audrey was on the Montana State Board of Directors for Montana
and helped draft their bylaws, and served as secretary for many years. Audrey was the first woman insurance underwriter in Montana.
She was a member of AAMD (American Association For Mentally Deficient) and the Anaconda Teachers Union. She belonged to a vintage antique car club. While living in Billings she was a member of MTA (Montana Teacher's Association).
Audrey loved her art, home, garden, flowers and most of all, her pets.
She was preceded in death by her husband Joe, her parents Hugh and Elma and step-son Dick Reese.
She is survived by her step children Cathy Sommers, Michelle Spence, Carol Cox and step grandson Richard Morgan. Her great-niece Connie Mackay and children Calder and Serena.
Aunt Lottie Flint, Fred Flint, Joe Copenhaver and Charlotte Holland. Her Parker cousins, Bill and Rose Lynas; Eric and Marsha Fendler and family; Steve and Debi Lynas and family; Jeanette Mack; Zane and Maryann Holmberg and family; Kris and Bula Skolrud and family; Bill and Laurie Mack and family; Dorthy Mack; Judy Kloppel and family; Dave and Carrie Bremer and family; Darrell and Lori Bremer and family; Curt and Shelley Mahn and family; Ron and Diane Bremer and family; Dan and Wanda Haasakker and family; Mark and Doris Pinkerton and family; Rick and Cheryl Haasakker and family; Bennie Haasakker.
Audrey was raised in a Christian home. In her later years her faith sustained her life. Audrey was able to remain comfortable in her childhood home and maintain her independence, largely due to the compassionate care and concern of her many neighbors and friends from Willow Creek and surrounding areas.
A special thank you to the Spring Meadow Assisted Living and Southwest Montana Hospice staff for their wonderful care.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at K & L Mortuaries; Three Forks, Mont. Interment will be in Mount Green Cementary, Willow Creek.
Memorials in honor of Audrey M. Reese may be given to Montana
or the charity of your choice.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Apr. 24, 2011