Following a long struggle with her health, Betsy May (Padden) Kuntz was escorted by angels just four days after her 78th birthday.
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Betsy May Padden was born Sept. 28, 1929, at Camp Crook, S.D., at her grandmother's home. She was the second of four children of Easton and Sylvia (Davis) Padden.
She attended country schools at Rema and Plainview along with her siblings near the family ranch on the Tie Creek eight miles from Camp Crook. The family moved to Ekalaka to attend high school and she graduated with the class of 1947 from Carter County High School. Following graduation she attended Presentation School of Nursing in Miles City and received her registered nurse diploma in 1951.
It was during her nurse's training that she met the love of her life, Valentine Kuntz, while he was hospitalized at Miles City, and they were married April 3, 1951, a union that lasted 56 years and blessed them with nine children.
She worked as a registered nurse at Hettinger, N.D., Belle Fourche, S.D., and later some private duty nursing, but her true devotion was her family and assisting her husband with his business. In the early years she helped her husband with the Kuntz Sawmill at Camp Crook and did the selling of lumber and accounting. After her husband's logging accident she assisted him with his construction company, again doing the paperwork until he retired in 1999. She also spent the summers managing their motel, Geyser Cabins, at West Yellowstone.
She loved to "coffee" and visit, and was an excellent cook, known for her ability to create a meal out of a little flour and whatever else she could find. She knew no strangers and everyone was a friend, anyone was welcome at her table in her home. She was willing to share her experiences and what they taught her in hopes of helping others.
She was preceded in death by her parents; one brother, Paul Padden; and a granddaughter, Jacqueline Brooke.
Grateful to have shared in her life are her husband Val, and nine children: Cheryl (Doyne) Perry of Henderson, Nev.; Valory (Orman) Lende of Eaton, Colo.; Theresa (Daniel) Brooke of Miles City; Donald (Robin) Kuntz of Ekalaka; Ronald (Kathleen) Kuntz of Kigali, Rwanda; Rebecca (Jeff) LeBrun of Columbus; Monica (Dean) Peterson, Thomas (Susanne) Kuntz, and Douglas (Diana) Kuntz, all of Belgrade. She is also survived by 19 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; her sister, Carol McKinley of Lansing, Ill.; brother, Benny (Dorothy) Padden of the family ranch at Camp Crook, S.D.; along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Rosary and Vigil service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, at Valley of Flowers Catholic Church in Belgrade. Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 8, also at Valley of the Flowers Catholic Church.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Dahl Funeral Chapel in Bozeman. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.dahlcares.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of one's choice.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Oct. 4, 2007