Jean Menzel was born on Dec. 2, 1915, in the Horseshoe Hills just north of Manhattan, Mont., to Alvie and Irene (Curtis) McWaid. The doctor drove to their homestead on that cold winter day to make the delivery.
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Jean attended school in Manhattan, and when the family moved to Bozeman, she attended and graduated from Bozeman Senior High School.
During World War II, when her country needed people to work in the naval shipyards, she moved to Seattle and worked in the shipyards until the end of the war.
She moved back to Montana and attended nursing school and worked as caregiver in rest homes.
She married William Menzel in Red Lodge in 1946. They moved to Bozeman and Jean continued to work as a caregiver, and William worked for the gravel company.
They bought a farm just out of Belgrade, where they worked while continuing to work their other jobs.
Jean always had a big garden and always saw to it that there was good home cooking on the table.
In 1958, Jean made a decision to trust Jesus Christ as her personal savior and became a member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Belgrade, where she was involved with the ladies missions group and teaching children's Sunday school.
In 1968 they sold their farm in Belgrade and bought a ranch in Scio, Ore., where they raised registered Angus cattle with the family. In 1976, they sold the farm and moved to the town of Scio where they set up a business, Maaco Green Houses, which sold and installed greenhouses.
Jean also attended Portland Reflexology School and became a certified reflexologist. She treated many people while also distributing health care products.
While they were on their ranch and living in Scio, they attended Scio Baptist Church and became members of the church.
Jean became very active in the church, working with the ladies missionary fellowship and church outreach in the community. Her real joy was teaching children's Sunday school, which she did for over 30 years. She also worked with Child Evangelism at the state fair and with Children Vacation Bible School.
A special ministry of her own was taking meals to people in the community who where sick or just needed help. She had a real heart for people.
Jean moved back to Montana in 2005 in the loving care of her family until she went to her eternal home to be in the presence of her Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, on Aug. 4, 2010.
She is survived by her sons, Harold (Bonnie) Leray White of Aumsville, Ore., Gary (Inga) White of Belgrade; daughters, Linda Dykstra of Belgrade, Holly (Leonard) Uiterdyk of Manhattan, and Pam Menzel of Ennis.
She is also survived by 14 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and 10 great-great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, if you desire to do something, the family asks that contributions be made to Nursing Home Ministries Inc., care of Harold L. White, P.O. Box 22246 Portland, OR 97269-2246. This is support the Lord's work to the elderly.
Special recognition and thank you to the Dykstra and Uiterdyk families for their special love and care and to two dear and special friends, Joan Benson and Bea Baughman, and a special thanks to Barb Hilton for all the help she gave her.
A celebration of Jean's life will be held Monday, Aug. 9, 2010, at Dokken-Nelson Sunset Chapel at 2 p.m. Interment will follow at Meadow View Cemetery.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from Aug. 8 to Aug. 9, 2010