Jeannine Achenbach(1929 - 2014)

Jeannine Achenbach

Billings, MT —Jeannine Yvonne Achenbach

Jeannine Yvonne Achenbach, 84, of Billings, died peacefully on the morning of Jan 20, 2014.

Jeannine was born on May 27, 1929, in Choteau, Montana (Teton County). She was raised in Dutton, where she participated on the family farm, including working on the combining, driving truck and cooking for the ranch hands. She even ran the grain elevator during WWII, when the men went off to war.

While attending college in Great Falls, she met her future husband, Lyle Rathman Achenbach. She followed him to Missoula, where he was a student, and they were married in 1949.

Shortly after, they started a family. Lyle's job provided them the opportunity to move around the state of Montana, finally settling on Billings in 1961: the home where Jeannine and Lyle's family grew, and they raised their five sons.

Her boys were the center of her life. When she wasn't attending the boys' ball games, she was working behind the scenes, including as Auxiliary President for Little League Baseball and Vice President for Pony Colt Baseball. Jeannine was always supportive of her sons, and enjoyed sharing their ideas, goals and life pursuits, and their accomplishments.

Jeannine participated in many community activities, including State Delegate for the Montana Jaycees, a lifetime member of the Elks club, and perhaps one of the most celebrated and remembered activities, she was one of the founding member of Christmas Wreath Lane on Avenue D .

She loved gardening and was very proud of her rose garden. She cultivated an amazing indoor garden, as well as spreading her famous bearded iris throughout the west coast. Jeannine loved cooking and passed on her passion to all of her boys. She made sure when her boys went out on their own, they would be able to cook and take care of themselves.

As an entrepreneur, she was part owner of the Gustof's Barbeque, Hickory Hog Pizza, Red Lodge Ski Food Service, and Fire House Pizza in Carson City, Nev.

Jeannine is preceded in death by her mother, Irene Jensen, and stepfather Chris Jensen; her half-sister, Billie Lou Stevens; and her husband, Lyle Rathman Achenbach.

She is survived by her five sons, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Lon Achenbach and wife Kathy, Rocklin, Calif., granddaughters Erin and Leslie, great-grandchildren James, Garett and Logan; Lary Achenbach and wife Catherine, Vancouver, Wash., grandchildren Shannon, Kevin, Cady and Adrienne; Lee Achenbach and wife Cynthia, Kaiser, Ore., stepdaughter Angie, great-grandchildren Xander, Tyson and Alexis; Loren Achenbach, San Diego, grandson Alex; Lloyd Achenbach, Billings, grandchildren Trevor and Lloyd (LJ).

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave.

The family wishes to express their gratitude and a special thanks to Karen for being Jeannine's right hand for all the years, and to all the girls at Casmur Assisted Living for the great care they gave Jeannine.

Condolences may be made online at

Funeral Home

Michelotti Sawyers Mortuary & Crematory
1001 Alderson Avenue Billings, MT 59102
(406) 252-3417

Published in Great Falls Tribune on Jan. 24, 2014