Marjorie Elerding

POCATELLO, Idaho - Marjorie (Beatty) Elerding, 97, a longtime Great Falls resident and manager of Anderson-Elerding Travel, died of natural causes Saturday, Aug. 27, at her son's home in Pocatello, Idaho.

Cremation took place under the direction of Colonial Funeral Home of Pocatello. Her memorial service is 11 a.m. Oct. 8 at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Great Falls. O'Connor Funeral Home in Great Falls is in charge of arrangements.

Marjorie, also known as Marge, Mom and Gramma Ding, went to be with her Lord and savior, Jesus Christ, from the home of her son and daughter-in-law, Ken and Grace Young in Pocatello.

Marge was born Nov. 4, 1913, in Townsend, Mont., and was raised on a ranch on Beaver Creek, located 5 miles from Winston. Her parents were Wesley and Johanna Beatty. Her grandfather, George Beatty, was the first homesteader in Broadwater County.

Marge went to a one-room school on Beaver Creek, and graduated from Helena High School. She attended Montana State College in Bozeman, and graduated in 1935 with a degree in home economics. That fall, she married Jim Young and they settled in Great Falls, where she gave birth to two sons, Jim Jr. and Kenny. Marge and Jim were divorced during World War II. In 1953, she married Wayne Elerding in Great Falls. They enjoyed 30 years of marriage before Wayne passed away in 1983. Marge lived in Great Falls, where she made her home, until moving to Pocatello in July 2011 to live with family.

In addition to being a committed family woman, Marge had a long and distinguished career in the travel business, beginning with Western Airlines, where she rose to district sales manager for central and Western Montana; one of only two women in that position. In 1961, she was hired by Charlie Anderson to manage Anderson-Elerding Travel Agency, which grew from a single-employee office to several branch offices with dozens of employees. She retired from the agency in 1979, after traveling to nearly every continent.

Marge came out of retirement in 1985 to lead group tours for A&E Travel with her niece, Norma Ashby, until 1996.

In 1976, she was selected by the Great Falls Business and Professional Women's Club as its Woman of the Year. She was chosen for her business achievements and her community activities, including with the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce, the Advertising Club of Great Falls, P.E.O. and The First Congregational United Church of Christ, where during nearly 60 years Marge was faithfully involved in her church in a number of ministries.

In the background of Marge's public life was her very special private life of family and friends. Her family was her pride and joy, as she often commented, "I have the greatest family in the world." She was a loving, faithful and much-loved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

She is survived by her two sons, Jim (Katie) Young of Milwaukie, Ore., and Ken (Grace) Young, of Pocatello, Idaho; nine grandchildren, Kathy, Christine, Carrie, Mollie, Suzy, Kenny, Sara, Joe and Ben; 24 great-grandchildren; her niece, Norma Ashby of Great Falls; nephews Wesley Beatty of Clancy, Joel Roth of Great Falls, and Rob Wood of Camarillo, Calif.; and her caregiver of many years, Char Dilly of Great Falls.

Marge was preceded in death by her husband, Wayne; her parents; her brothers, Milton and Ray Beatty; and her sister, Vicki Wood.

She was a woman of deep faith, admired and loved by her family and her multitude of friends.

Memorials may be made to First Congregational United Church of Christ, 2900 9th Ave. S., Great Falls, MT 59405; or to a charity of the donor's choice.

Condolences may be posted 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. 4, 2011