Dona Jean Eblen "Lovely Lady" passed away on January 29, 2015 after a brief stay at St. Peter's Hospital. Dona was born on October 7, 1929 in Tolley, North Dakota to Louis and Gladys Pope. During her childhood the family moved numerous times and finally ended up in Manhattan, Montana where she attended Grade school. Her Father opened the Manhattan Shoe Shop, but they had to close the shop during the war due to the shortage of leather. After the war they moved back to Manhattan and reopened the shop on Broadway.
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She then attended Manhattan High School where she met Louis "Shorty" Eblen, the love of her life. After high school, Dona and Shorty were married and started a family.
While raising her family she worked at the Manhattan State Bank, while Shorty worked at the Oyler Lumber Yard. After several years they purchased the Lumber Yard and started Eblen Lumber. Dona did all of the bookkeeping for the business and her boys helped in the yard. It was truly a Family Business. She was also a wonderful homemaker and a great cook. The family worked hard together, but Dona made sure they had time to go camping, go to basketball games, fishing, hunting and all of the other things that the three boys wanted to do.
Due to Shorty's health problems they sold the Lumber yard in 1972. She then worked at Gallatin Farmers in Bozeman and later was the Clerk of Manhattan High School. After they retired they spent the winters in Arizona. In 1989 they moved to Helena to be closer to their beloved grandchildren, where she lived until her death.
She was a member of the Manhattan Presbyterian Church and later the First Presbyterian Church of Helena.
Dona was preceded in death by her Husband Shorty, her Parents, Louis and Gladys Pope, and brother Donald Pope who was killed in France during World War II. She is survived by her three Sons, Donald (Alvina) Eblen of Helena, Dennis Eblen of Helena, and Lance (Vicky) Eblen of Woodinville, WA. Grandchildren Wendi (Miranda) Speer, Shane (Tina) Eblen, Shawn (Jennifer) Eblen, Carly and Cole Eblen, and Kirtus Eblen. Great-Grandchildren, Keesha, Kyle, and Sidney Puderbaugh, Louis Grady, Mason and Ashlyn Eblen, Teagan and Drew Eblen and Alex Murdock. Great-Great-Grandchildren, Hayden Puderbaugh and Clayton McFarland.
A graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 3rd at the Meadow View Cemetery in Manhattan. A Reception will immediately follow at the Manhattan Presbyterian Church, 214 North Broadway Street, Manhattan, MT, 59741. Please visit www.retzfuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Dona.
Retz Funeral Home
315 East Sixth Ave
Helena, MT 59601
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Feb. 1, 2015