Avis (Butler) Zopfi, 97, of Bozeman passed away Friday, Feb. 5, 2010.
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Avis was born in 1912 in Williston, N.D., and grew up there. She enjoyed a very happy childhood with three siblings and loving parents.
She attended college for two years at Valley City, N.D., and taught a combination of third and fourth grades in Alexander, N.D., for two years. She continued her education at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and was a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority. She graduated with a bachelor's degree and then taught and was principal in Zahl, N.D., before settling permanently in Wibaux.
In 1940, Avis married Lester Zopfi. They were blessed with a baby boy, Gerald, in 1941. The bombing of Pearl Harbor engaged the United States in World War II that year. Avis returned to Williston to be with her parents while Lester served in the Marianna Islands. A daughter, Avis Gail, was born in Williston. A second daughter, Rita Ann, joined the family in 1953.
Avis taught high school English to a large percentage of Wibaux County. She taught before she was married and later returned to her career, retiring in 1971. The Wibaux County Library claimed a large portion of her retirement years. She spent afternoons for several years updating the library catalog system and reorganizing the library. Books and reading were her lifelong passion. She also enjoyed doing handwork, knitting and crocheting.
Avis was civic-minded and was a charter member of the Nursing Home Auxiliary to assist in raising funds for the Wibaux County Nursing Home. She attended the Wibaux Methodist Church. She was active in the Order of the Eastern Star and Past Matrons organizations. She was a faithful bridge player and enjoyed the Thursday evening bridge club for more than 40 years.
In 2005, Avis moved to an apartment in Highgate, an assisted living facility located in Bozeman. Rita, her youngest daughter, and husband, Daryl Kroon and grandsons, Nicolas and Daniel were in Bozeman and kept her active, along with the new friends and many social events at Highgate. Avis had a wonderful sense of humor, was respected by the community and loved by her family and friends.
Loving survivors include her two daughters and their spouses: Avis Gail (Donald) Davis of Longmont, Colo., and Rita Ann (Daryl) Kroon of Bozeman. She had four grandchildren: Stacy (Daniel) Collender of Longmont, Colo.; Ross (Julie) Davis of Annapolis, Md.; and Nicolas and Daniel Kroon of Bozeman. She also had four great-grandchildren: Sophia and Eliot Collender and Hannah and Patrick Davis. Avis had one surviving sister, Janet Scarff of Bismarck, N.D., and her family.
Avis was preceded in death by her husband, Lester, in 1987; and her son, Gerald, in 1991.
Visitation will take place at Silvernale-Silha Funeral Home in Wibaux from 11 a.m. to noon Friday, Feb. 12. A funeral service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, at the United Methodist Church in Wibaux, with burial to follow in Wibaux Cemetery.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Feb. 9, 2010