Mary Jo Averett, 54, of Billings, passed away peacefully on Nov. 3, 2008, at her home, surrounded by her family. She had courageously battled cancer for the past two years, which had left her paralyzed from the chest down.
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Mary was born May 21, 1954, in Powell, Wyo., the daughter of Therrill and Bonnie (Pettiford) Averett. She spent her childhood years in Wyoming and Montana, graduating from Absarokee High School in 1972. She was outgoing, friendly and always made people laugh with her humor and quick wit.
On Aug. 14, 1972, Mary married Charles Henry Gerttula Jr., and through this union, she was blessed with a son and daughter. She loved being a mother and always gave her children unconditional love and support. The marriage was later dissolved in May 1991.
She married Gary Mollett on June 7, 1998, and they were divorced December 2007.
Mary worked many positions during her lifetime, which included being a waitress, meat wrapper and business owner. Mary began a 20-year career with Costco, holding many manager positions, including membership, foods, deli, staff manager, front end, anseler and administration manager.
Mary enjoyed many outdoor activities, including hunting, fishing, hiking, scuba diving, bird watching and gardening. She especially loved to dance and was blessed with a beautiful singing voice. She had a love for animals and always surrounded herself with them.
She was a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held several callings.
Survivors include her daughter, Ivy (Jake) Mettler, son, Jeffery Gerttula, and two grandchildren, Stephanie and Brandon Mettler, all of Billings; three sisters, Minta (Victor) Sisk of Billings, Melva (Darren) Bloomquist of Aurora, Colo., Mona Sisk of Sheridan, Wyo.; a nephew, Michael Sisk of Billings; a niece, Cassandra Baker of Sheridan; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Therrill and Bonnie Averett, and her paternal and maternal grandparents.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 7, at the Monad Chapel of the LDS Church, with interment to follow at the Laurel Cemetery.
Arrangements are by Smith's West Chapel, 304 34th St. West, Billings.
Smith Funeral Chapels - Downtown
925 South 27th Street
Billings, MT 59101
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Nov. 7, 2008