Marie Skinner(1936 - 2013)

Marie Estel Skinner

Great Falls — Marie Estel Skinner, 76, of Great Falls, passed away September 6, 2013 from natural causes.

A celebration of Marie's life will be held Saturday, September 21st at her son's home, 420 20th St. SW, at 12:30 .

Marie was born on September 14, 1936, on her grandparents farm in Ulen, Minnesota, to Morris and Anna Pearson-Madson. After serving in WWII her father moved the family to Great Falls to work at the Smelter.

During high school Marie worked at Beckman's and as a fashion illustrator for the Tribune. Along with some of her best friends she was a member of the Illustrious Flairs. After graduating from Great Falls High School, Marie married George W. Tilton in 1955. They had three children, Daniel, Scott and Lori.

She enjoyed working as a floral designer, an interior designer, and was a gifted artist throughout her life. She later went on to marry Dr. Robert Skinner in 1982. Together they formed the Highwood Canyon Ranch in the foothills of the Highwood Mountains. There she raised purebred Arabian Horses for many years. Marie was a fiercely independent woman who loved the ranch life. She was perfectly content to care for and feed over 30 horses most times on her own, regardless of heat, mud, or blizzard.

Marie was a wonderful cook and delighted in entertaining friends and family. Christmas at "Grandma Rie's" house combined tones of Norman Rockwell and notes of Martha Stewart. She was a loyal and dedicated mother and grandmother. She was a kind and gentle soul who will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Marie is survived by her three children Daniel (Carol) Tilton, Lori (Art) Matsko, both of Great Falls, and Scott (Monica) Tilton, of Bigfork, MT, her brother, David(Joyce) Madson, and sister, Judy (Dr. Mark) Moser. She leaves behind nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents Morris and Anna Madson, her brother Melvin Madson, sister Janet Madson and her great grandchild Declan Matsko.

Condolences may be left online at

Funeral Home

O'Connor Funeral Home & Crematory
2425 8th Ave North Great Falls, MT 59401
(406) 453-7257

Published in Great Falls Tribune on Sept. 15, 2013