Dorothea Casper Neath, long-time resident of Helena, passed away on Friday, Feb. 6, at the Cooney Home. Her passing was quiet and peaceful, with her daughters (Nancy and Sally) and her grandson (Craig) present to start her on a new journey with all of her family's love and admiration.
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Dorothea was born in Helena on Feb. 25, 1917. She attended Helena schools and graduated from Helena High School in 1935. Shortly after graduation, she was crowned Miss Helena. She worked for the telephone company as an operator and it was there that she met her beloved Ernie. They were married in October 1939, and shortly thereafter moved to Bozeman. In 1960, they returned to Helena.
Dorothea was active in the Montana Tuberculosis Association for many years. She was also a member of the Montana Women's Club and served as both local chapter president and state president. During her term, she initiated a program to raise funds for the building of the Galen Memorial Chapel at the Montana Tuberculosis Sanitarium in Warm Springs. She was also on many local and national Women's Club committees and boards.
As a member of Daughters of the Nile, she was queen of Sapphira Temple #79. She was also a member of Josephine Hepner Chapter #89 OES, where she served as Matron and later she was elected as grand matron of the Montana Grand Chapter.
Dorothea was a strong believer in volunteer community service. She served on the board of directors of the Florence Crittenton Home and the Salvation Army, was the past president of the Sons and Daughters of Montana Pioneers, chairman of the Governor's Council on Aging for 15 years and a delegate to the White House Council on Aging.
She was known as a dedicated mother and community member who had a strong faith in God. She exemplified the virtues of honor, love and charity, always finding time to help someone in need. She made the best macaroni and cheese in the world.
She is survived by two daughters, Nancy Fuller, of Helena, and Sally Gray Nelson, of California; her grandson, Craig Stewart, of Helena; and two great grandchildren.
Her cremains will be interred at Forestvale Cemetery next to Ernie, her beloved husband of 62 years.
Chapel services will be held Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009, 11 a.m., from Hagler-Anderson Chapel. Eastern Star services will be conducted by officers and members of Josephine Hepner Chapter # 89 Order of Eastern Star.
In lieu of flowers, her family requests that donations be made to her requested memorial: Daughters of the Nile Foundation, Box 96, Helena, MT 59624.
650 Logan Street
Helena, MT 59601
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Feb. 8, 2009