"I'm gonna live till I die!" This was Mom's philosophy that she abided by throughout her lifetime. Mom chose Nov. 4, 2011, as the date to join her soul mate, Steve, in Heaven.
The Guest Book is expired.
Mom was born Dec. 22, 1928, one of 16 children to Benjamin and Violet (Reeder) Hipp. She came into this world as a middle child between several boys, so she grew up a tomboy. Mom participated in the "boys" sports such as crack the whip (she was always put on the end) and marbles, but she always felt very proud of her protective brothers.
For many years, our mom was a champion horseshoe player in Butte. She would get her chin up and tell "Betsy" that Grandma needs new shoes, and lo and behold, she would get one or two ringers every time. Mom was also an avid bingo player for years and took up gambling on keno machines in recent years. She thoroughly enjoyed Lucky Me Casino and The Sunken Treasure Casino because of their wonderful staff, but she always gambled very conservatively.
Also, Mom and Dad camped out at Georgetown Lake many weekends as that was their "relaxing" place.
Even throughout the "tomboy" years, Mom grew up to be a very classy lady. She was always dressed impeccably chic, wore very appropriate jewelry, and had a fetish for very neat hair and nails. Her chicness and tomboy origins complemented each other in the form of walking in the mall and the Butte walking trail.
She was known to always be complimentary of her fellow residents at Big Sky Senior Living by telling them how lovely, healthy and wonderful they looked. Her upbeat attitude toward others will certainly be missed.
Mom was preceded in death by her loving husband, Steve; her parents; and several siblings, in-laws and family members.
She is survived by her son, Stephen "Pat" (Dianne) Kramarich of Belgrade and their children, U.S. Army Col. Kris Kramarich of Arizona and Col. Jay Chapman of Virginia, Amy (Doug) Docter of Boise, Idaho, and their children, Shea and Samantha, Steve (Erin) Kramarich of Billings and their children, Colton and Chase, and Toni Finlay of Boise, Idaho, and her son, Thomas. Her surviving daughter is Sharon (Ray) Haffey of Fairmont Hot Springs and their daughter and son-in-law, Annie (Jeff) Yerkich of Butte, and stepsons, Tim and (Rebecca) Haffey of Laurel and their children, Sara and Bridger, as well as Joe Haffey of Anaconda. Joan (Harold) McManamon of Butte is Mom's only surviving sibling, as well as their children. Numerous nieces, nephews and family members survive.
Cremation has taken place. Liturgy of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. Her family will receive friends beginning at 9 a.m. Entombment of ashes will follow in Mountain View Cemetery.
Donations in memory of Rita may be made to the Paul Clark Home/McDonald's Family Place, or to a
We will always remember Mom as the wonderful and caring wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and aunt. Family always came first to Mom. It is important for all of us to live by her philosophy of "I'm gonna live till I die; I'm gonna laugh till I cry."
Salla tama cachami, Mom! (Here's hoping you live forever and I never die.)
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Nov. 9, 2011