Mary May Stockburger of Three Forks passed away on the morning of April 15, 2016, at the Gallatin Rest Home. She was 82.
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Mary was born in St. Vincent, Minnesota, on May 18, 1934, to Lawrence and Lorraine Gooselaw. She was Lawrence and Lorraine's second eldest child, sister to Frances, Lois, Connie and Doug.
Following her years in St. Vincent, Mary attended and graduated from high school in Pembina, North Dakota. She waited for her sister Lois to graduate from high school, and together they joined the United States Air Force, via the "Buddy Program" in 1955. Mary and Lois served in Washington, D.C., at the Pentagon, working in crypto for three years.
After her service in the Air Force, Mary attended airline stewardess school and worked a short while for the airlines before coming to Montana to be with her sister Frances in Three Forks.
Mary took a job waitressing at The Grill Café, where she met the love of her life, Don Stockburger. She and Don married in April of 1959 and had their son Greg in November 1960.
When Greg was young, Mary waitressed at the Headwaters Café for a number of years before attending and graduating from Mr. Mack's Beauty School in Bozeman. Mary loved doing hair and there was never a day that her hair wasn't at its finest. When she finished beauty school, she went to work for Bonnie at The Charm Beauty Shop in Three Forks.
Mary, Don and Greg spent summers at Harrison Lake enjoying time on the pontoon boat and camping with family and friends. Mary fiercely loved her family and friends. She will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her; especially by her dog Buffy, who was her faithful companion. She will also be missed by her Whitehall and Manhattan dancing friends, with whom she and Don danced every Sunday for a decade.
Mary had a special knack to make friends with everyone she met… from temporary caregivers to longtime neighbors. Her ability to connect was an amazing gift and she instantly made everyone around her feel comfortable and loved from the minute they knew her. It was a joy to be in her presence, and it was a gift to be loved by her. She was so very special.
Mary is survived by her husband of 57 years, Don Stockburger of Three Forks; son and daughter-in-law Greg and Susan Stockburger of Three Forks; sister Connie Coombs of Philipsburg; nephew Joe Coombs (Emily) of Bozeman; nephew Doug Coombs (Debbie) of Manhattan; niece Nicky Todorovich (Scott) of Helena; niece Natalie Woolard (Kaylee) of Spokane, Washington; niece Joyce Dobb (Steve) of Sheridan; nephew Jerry Short (Sandy) of Gillette, Wyoming; niece Joan Holzer (Mike) of Gillette; and many great nieces and nephews.
Mary was preceded in death by parents, Lawrence and Lorraine Gooselaw; sister and brother-in-law, Lois and Richard Heuring; sister and brother-in-law, Frances and Robert Short; brother, Douglas Gooselaw; brother-in-law, Darrel Coombs; niece, Valerie Heuring; and nephew, Wayne Heuring.
All services will take place in Three Forks, beginning Saturday, April 16. Viewing at K&L Funeral Home, on both Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Vigil (Praying of the Rosary) at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 17, at Holy Family Catholic Church; Funeral Mass at Holy Family Catholic Church on Monday, April 18 at 3 p.m., followed by burial (including military honors) at Fairview Cemetery. Reception following at Holy Family Catholic Church. All who knew and loved Mary are welcome to attend.
The family would like to express gratitude to the entire Gallatin Rest Home staff for the compassionate care Mary received the last six months of her life. The finest CNAs and nurses cared for Mary, made her laugh, anticipated her needs and kept her comfortable. The kitchen staff created delicious meals and would offer Mary her favorite foods whenever her appetite declined. The housekeepers kept her room clean and would always take time to say hello as they tidied up. The laundry staff would make friendly conversation as they folded and put away her clothes. As Mary would often say, "we love you all!"
K & L Mortuaries
109 West Second
Whitehall, MT 59759
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Apr. 17, 2016