Mary Ereaux Kuntz

HARLEM Mary Ereaux Kuntz, 102, died of natural causes Nov. 10, at her home in Harlem surrounded by her family.

Wake is 6 p.m. and rosary is 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, at St. Thomas Catholic Church. Funeral service is 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the St. Thomas Catholic Church. Arrangements have been made with Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook.

Mary, who was the oldest living Gros Ventre, was born on the Fort Belknap Reservation on March 22, 1910, on the family ranch near Dodson to Frank and Mary Ereaux. Mary was the fourth of six children. As a young girl she enjoyed working with animals and riding horses. Mary attended school at St. Paul's Mission in Hays and Chemawa Boarding School near Salem, Oregon.

Mary married Michael Leonard Gray. Together they owned and operated businesses in Hays and Mary served as the Hays postmaster. Mary and Michael Gray were the parents of six children: Marilyn, Judy, Monte, Lorraine, Michael and Robert. Mary and Michael were divorced. Mary and Leo Stiffarm had one daughter, Evelyn. Mary later married Jacob Kuntz and together they raised six children: Elaine, Reuben, Charlotte, Richard, Clarice and Jack. Mary worked as a nurse's aide at the Harlem Rest Home and the Fort Belknap Hospital. She enjoyed following the activities of her children and her crocheting.

Mary has over 100 descendants spanning five generations.

She is survived by her children Marilyn Bentz of Seattle, Wash., Judy Geraghty of Fairbanks, Alaska, Monte Birdsell Bogdon (Francis) of Vancouver, Wash., Michael Gray (Dorothy) of Colville, Wash., Lorraine Lahaie of Eugene, Ore., Evelyn Patterson (Pat) of Lewistown, Mont., Reuben Kuntz (Libby) of Harlem, Charlotte Kuntz of Havre, Richard Kuntz (Ann) of Harlem, Clarice Kuntz Ritter (Bernard) of Camas, Wash. and Harlem, and Jack Kuntz (Pam) of Billings.

Mary was preceded in death by Michael Gray, Leo Stiffarm and Jacob Kuntz, as well as by two children, Elaine Kuntz Bastin and Robert Gray and two grandchildren. Memorials are suggested to St. Paul's Mission in Hays, Montana.

Published in Great Falls Tribune on Nov. 12, 2012