Our dear mother, Grace Amelia (Cass) Vail, 85, passed away Jan. 10, 2010, at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital surrounded by her children.
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Grace was born March 22, 1924, in Bozeman to Edward Frederick "Ed" Cass and Verna Ellen (Alleger) Cass.
As a child, besides living in Bozeman, her family lived in Townsend for a short time. Grace spent many of her summers in Harrison with relatives and developed a special friendship with Peggy Durham. As a young girl, one of her favorite pastimes was to roller skate down Willson Street, the longest street in town.
Grace attended school in Bozeman and graduated from Gallatin County High School in 1942. After graduation she moved to Seattle, Wash., to stay with her sister, Evelyn, and her husband to find work. She found a job working for a motion picture exchange house and later as a long-distance toll-biller. While there she met and married Charles Robert "Bob" Young in 1944. Three children were born of their marriage and later they divorced.
After returning to Bozeman, she met and married Walter Benson "Ben" Vail on June 16, 1950. Not only did she get a new husband but his three children whom she readily welcomed. Two sons were born of their union.
Besides being a wife and mother, Grace was active with the United Commercial Travelers Auxiliary, the Bozeman Lioness Club and women's ministries with Grand Avenue Christian Church. She was a member of the Mount Hyalite Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and a lifetime member of the Lily of the Valley Chapter No. 4, Order of Eastern Star.
Grace loved the outdoors and spending time with her family, snowmobiling, fishing, boating on Canyon Ferry Lake, picnics, and gardening in her flower beds. Her lilacs were her pride and joy. All her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are enjoying the afghans and other items that she lovingly knitted or crocheted. She also was an avid crossword puzzler and loved putting together jigsaw puzzles.
Grace was proud of her children and always took time to listen and encourage them in all their endeavors. She had a gentle spirit and a mischievous wit. She liked a good belly laugh.
She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, two brothers, one sister, and her granddaughter, Denise Vail.
Grace is survived by daughters, Juanita "Nita" (Vern) Veltkamp of Bozeman and Marilyn (Ken) Christensen of Helena; sons, Robert "Ed" (Jessie) of Bozeman, Raymond "Ray" of Gallatin Gateway, Kenneth "Ken" of Bozeman; stepchildren, John of Bonney Lake, Wash., Diane of Bonney Lake, Wash., and David (Paula) of Lakewood, Wash. She is also survived by 17 grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
In the last year and a half, Grace made many friends at the Bozeman Deaconess Cancer Center and they became part of her extended family. She was very appreciative of the hope and joy they brought to her. There are many others that brought special joy to our Mom, and we thank you.
Now the pain is gone and you are safe in the arms of our Lord and with your loving husband. We love you, Mom.
Memorial services will be held at a later date. Cremation has taken place.
Memorials may be given to the Bozeman Deaconess Cancer Center, 931 Highland Blvd. Suite 3130, Bozeman, MT 59715; or to a charity of the donor's choice.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service; www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Jan. 13, 2010