Valerie (Belden) Thomas (1955 - 2014)

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Valerie Belden Thomas died Oct. 15, 2014, at St. James Hospital in Butte, Montana. Proud to be a fourth generation Montanan, Valerie was born May 23, 1955 in Havre to Chester Logan Belden, Jr. and Erma Martin Belden, the youngest of four sisters.

Valerie attended elementary schools in Billings and Bozeman and graduated from Bozeman Senior High School in 1973. During two years at Montana State University, she met William Michael Thomas. They were married in September 1975.

After marriage Valerie worked at both Montana Power Company and the Bozeman Public School District Offices until the couple moved to Butte in 1983. Her university studies continued from 1984 to 1987 at Montana Tech where she earned her B.S. in accounting.

Following graduation, Valerie first worked as manager of accounting at Special Resource Management Company.
Her final career move was to proudly carry on the legacies of her father and grandfather, Chester L. Belden, Sr., at The Montana Power Company where she was known as "an accountant's accountant." Valerie invested heart and soul into her work, maintaining high personal and professional standards of excellence. She not only loved her work, but held dear her co-workers with whom she shared a mutual respect.

A dedicated volunteer, Valerie served in various executive positions, including president, on the United Way of Butte and Anaconda Board of Directors, and led them to a successful goal.

Valerie's fun loving spirit enjoyed motorcycle rides with husband, Bill, and her organizational skills kept a "tight ship" on the home front where her recent love of cooking was especially appreciated by others. Beautiful flowerpots and a sunflower garden displayed her expert gardening skills. Valerie and friend Judy enjoyed an annual sunflower growing competition for the biggest, the best and the most - and they both adamantly claimed victory!

Valerie is survived by husband Bill; sisters Margo Balzarini (Steve) of Colfax, Wash.; Gini Ogle (Randy) of Kalispell; and Jill Aman (Brian) of Lethbridge, Alberta; father- and mother-in-law William H. and Frances E. Thomas of Great Falls; brothers-in-law, Bob Thomas (Lynette) of Lakeside and John Thomas (Leslie) of Great Falls; aunt Kay Martin of Two Dot and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Valerie was preceded in death by her parents and nephew Nicholas Ogle.

A service in celebration of Valerie's life will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, at Duggan Dolan Mortuary, 1805 Meadowlark, Butte. A reception will follow at Basin Creek Power. To honor Valerie's spirit of generosity, you may choose to "pay it forward" by giving to The Butte Food Bank.
Funeral Home
Duggan Dolan Mortuary - Butte
1805 Meadowlark Lane
Butte, MT 59701
(406) 723-3239
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Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Oct. 19, 2014
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