Emily Krall Schelly

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Emily Krall Schelly, 104, of Great Falls, a retired teacher, died of natural causes on July 13, at Benefis Healthcare. She marched forth for 104 years. Funeral services are 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Rose Room at Croxford Funeral Home, burial to follow in Highland Cemetery. Croxford Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Emily was born March 4, 1908, to Joseph and Mary Krall in Thief River, Minnesota. She was the 7th of 13 children. She was four years old when the family came to Montana by train to Bear Springs, where they homesteaded on a farm and later moved to Danvers. All the children had a coulee named after them on the farm. She only spoke Bohemian until she attended the Prairie View School, where she learned English with the help of her sister, Agnes. She graduated from Fergus High in Lewistown in 1928. She loved school and was a star basketball player and a member of the National Honor Society. She was known as "a girl of Might" in her yearbook.

She graduated from Eastern Montana Normal School in Billings, receiving a Life Teaching Certificate. She went on to teach in rural one-room schools, starting in 1930. She taught in 11 different schools, ending her teaching career at the Dorner School near Fort Benton in 1970.

Emily married LeRoy Schelly on December 23, 1939, in Great Falls, and two girls, Judy and Jackie, were born. She and her husband loved the outdoors, so they became charter members of the Good Sam's Club and took their camper on many trips. They also belonged to the Montana Pioneer and Classic Auto Club. Emily was secretary and editor of the club's newsletter. LeRoy had restored many antique cars, including a Model T and a Franklin, which they took to car touring events and won many trophies. She enjoyed dressing in period clothes when riding in parades in their antique cars.

In addition to teaching, she was a nanny to Senator Harrison Flag's children, a cook at a dude ranch, a Red Cross first aid instructor and a Camp Fire Girls first field director. As director, she took a bus, train and plane to their conferences in New York City. She was also active in Eastern Star Evergreen Chapter and a Job's Daughter Chaperone. As an RSVP volunteer, she received an award from President Reagan. She also was a charter member of the Golden Age Toastmasters and is in their hall of fame. Additionally, she drove a school bus for three years and was a member of the Great Falls Iris Society for 38 years.

Her hobbies included crocheting, gardening and playing cards. She taught herself how to play the piano and knew over 50 songs, and she loved to sing. She knitted mittens which she gave away to children and made beautiful afghans. She created art with recycled materials.

Emily had a long and varied life, and she was a dear and a joy to know. She was loved by all who knew her. She devoted her life to her children and grandchildren. She was called "GG" by her great-grandchildren.

She is survived by her sisters, Louise Coan of Tuscon, Ariz. and Barbara Weir of Hood River, Ore.; daughters Judy Mitchum of Great Falls and Jackie Schelly of Salt Lake City; granddaughters Renee (Mike) Redler of Missoula and Schelly (Kevin) Paterson of Warren, Mich.; great-grandchildren Cody Lund, Westley Lund, Emily Paterson and Joe Paterson.

She was preceded in death by her husband LeRoy Schelly in 1990; siblings Agnes, Elizabeth, Rose, Antoinette, Stella, John, Tom, Chuck, Joe and Jim.

Donations may be made in Emily's name to the Great Falls Senior Citizens Center or Camp Fire Girls through the United Way.

"From this valley they say she is leaving; we will miss her bright eyes and sweet smile."

Condolences may be posted online at www.croxfordfuneralhome.com and/or www.gftribune.com/obituaries.

Published in Great Falls Tribune on July 16, 2012
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