Nola Peterson Gum (1919 - 2012)

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As mom would say, "Today was a good day." The day she looked forward to, the day she would join her husband, son, and siblings. She peacefully left this world on June 14.

Nola was born Feb. 9, 1919 to Ted and Katie Peterson at home on the ranch near Fishtail. During her elementary school years she attended the one-room, one-teacher Rosebud school. She graduated as Salutatorian from Absorakee High School in 1936. During her senior year she was selected to be Montana's first representative to the Daughters of The American Revolution's Continental Congress held in Washington D.C. The Good Citizenship Award was based on her ever-present qualities of "dependability, service, leadership and patriotism."

She also was active in 4-H and was a delegate to the regional and state conventions where she gained recognition as an outstanding seamstress. After high school, Nola attended Billings Business College, and then accepted a position with the Stillwater County Superintendent of Schools.

Nola was married to Bill Gum on Feb. 3, 1940. After residing in Livingston and Nye, they moved to Bozeman in 1943 where they raised three sons, Bob, Bill Jr., and Barry, and enjoyed supporting their participation in school activities, sports, music and graduation from Montana State University.

She and Bill were active in the Bozeman Methodist Church and especially enjoyed being members of the Springhill Square Dancing Club. She was employed by Montana State University where she was supervisor of the MSC/MSU Extension Service mailing department for over thirty years retiring in 1981.

Hobbies were a big part of Nola's life as she created quilts, stuffed animals, dolls, and cookies for her grandchildren and the kids of many, many friends.

Her "Grandmother books" continue to provide history and insights to the Peterson-Gum ancestry.

In 1998, Nola and Bill moved to Billings to be closer to family and the enjoyment of their two granddaughters. She joined King of Glory Lutheran Church and attended until she decided to stop driving after heart surgery at age 86. "You never know what might happen to you at my age, and I would hate to hurt someone else."

Nola will always be remembered for her beautiful smile and positive attitude.

Her favorite saying was, "Every day is a good day!" and she meant it.

Nola was preceded in death by Bill, her husband of 61 wonderful years, her sisters, Kathryn Siblerud of Kalispell, Nellie Vegge of Billings; her brother, Ted Peterson, Jr. of Worland, Wyo., her son, Bob Gum, and daughter-in-law, Susan Gum, both of Ferndale, Wash.

She is survived by sons, Bill (Jane) Gum of Stanwood, Washington and Barry (Pat) Gum of Billings, and six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A family celebration will be held in Billings and Nola's ashes will be placed alongside her husband, son, Bob, and daughter-in-law, Susan at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Bozeman.

Memorial contributions in Nola's memory may be directed to Bethlehem Lutheran Church All Are Welcome fund, or simply do something kind for someone.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on June 21, 2012
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