FORSYTH Donna Ruth Patrick Larson Coate, 77, of Forsyth, died of natural causes Monday, Nov. 12, at Rosebud County Health Care Center, Forsyth.
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A celebration of life is 7 p.m. Friday at the Forsyth Country Club. Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home of Forsyth is handling arrangements
"The person I picked for my family tree is my grandmother, Donna Coate. She was born in Hingham on Nov. 23, 1934. My great-grandparents paid a bag of beans to the midwife to deliver her. This was at the height of the Great Depression. She was so small she fit into a shoebox. Later she moved to Helena, where she attended area schools, graduating from high school in 1952. In September of 1952, she married her high school sweetheart, LeRoy Larson. In 1954, they had their first baby, Lenore, who is my mother. Later, they had two other children, my uncles Lane and Lance. In 1960, my grandfather LeRoy was burned in a service station fire where he worked. A month later he died of his injuries. Three years later, my grandmother met and married Alfred B. Coate. They had two children, my uncle Jesse and my aunt Clarisse. My grandfather Coate was appointed district judge in 1967, and the family moved from Helena to Forsyth. My grandma and grandpa live there now, where my grandma enjoys golfing, gardening, going for walks on the nature trail and enjoying her grandsons, of whom she has six. Forsyth is my favorite place to go."
Donna's eldest grandson, Brick, wrote this biography in about 1988 for a school project. Donna was blessed after this story was written with five additional grandchildren.
Donna is survived by her five children and their families, Lenore, Michael, Brick and Judson Meatovich of Henderson, Nev.; Lane, Lynn, Lee and Luke (Simone) Larson of Billings; Lance, Candace, Preston (Kira) and Seth (Reilly) Larson of Billings; Jesse, Paula, Ben and Leah Coate of Forsyth; and Clarisse, Alan, Austin, Mackenzie and Emma Roos of Bozeman. In addition to her children and grandchildren, she was also blessed by two great-grandchildren, Lacie Larson and Harper Meatovich. She is also survived by her brother, Gayle (Loretta) Patrick of Malta; and sisters Ralpha Smith of East Helena and Patricia (George) Taylor of Helena.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Ralph and Ruth Patrick; and two brothers, Shelby and David. Her two husbands, A. Leroy Larson and Alfred B. Coate; and her infant daughter, Leisa DeAnn, also preceded her in death.
Although extremely talented in so many areas, she was always most proud of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was a member of the boards of Riverview Villa, Rosebud County Museum and the Montana State Historical Preservation Office. She was extremely involved and dedicated to the Forsyth Country Club Ladies League for 30 years. She was also very proud of Forsyth and took an active part in helping to get many houses placed on the National Register of Historic Places. She was a gifted artist, gardener, decorator and seamstress. She also enjoyed spending time with her friends and family at the 19th hole.
The family wishes to thank the entire staff at the Rosebud County Health Care Center. The care they gave was exceptional and very much appreciated. The family would also like to thank all of mom's wonderful friends for supporting us during this difficult time.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Rosebud County Museum.
Condolences may be posted online at www.stevensonandsons.com and/or www.gftribune.com/obituaries.
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Nov. 15, 2012