Eunice Marian (née Venne) LeBarron, 102, died of congestive heart failure Friday, Nov. 16, at her home surrounded by her daughters.
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A funeral liturgy is noon Friday, Nov. 23 at St. Ann's Cathedral. Following the service, a reception will be held at Neighbor Works, 509 1st Ave S, Great Falls. Interment of her ashes at Mt. Olivet Cemetery will be deferred until her 103rd birthday anniversary in June. Schnider Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
Eunice was born June 10, 1910, in Hazel, S.D., daughter of Ella M. Brophy and William Venne. She lost her mother in the 1918 flu epidemic. She attended St. Mary's Boarding School in Bismarck, N.D., from 7th through 12th grade. After graduation, she worked as a secretary for Provident Life Insurance in Bismarck. In 1932 she traveled to Ireland, England and France, while attending the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin Ireland.
She met Ford Wallace LeBarron in Bismarck, N.D. and they were married there on July 6, 1935. They had six children, Kay Marian Maloney, Yvonne Marie McLain, Marie Odele Walsh, Samuel Ovide LeBarron, Suzanne Jane LeBarron and Suzette Luella LeBarron. After being widowed at age 41, she did a remarkable job of raising and supporting those children by herself. She started by running a day care, and later took employment at Montana Flour Mills, now ConAgra, where she worked for many years, retiring at age 70.
While working, she took up various hobbies, one of which was hunting for sapphires. With her numerous finds, she had jewelry made for many relatives and friends. After retiring, she began to travel the world. She took several trips to Europe, spent a month in Australia and New Zealand and travelled to Russia, China, Mexico and Canada. She walked on the Great Wall of China, took a train trip across Siberia and toured the Mexican pyramids. She took a cruise through the Panama Canal and made several trips to Alaska. A cruise to Antarctica was the only remaining travel adventure she wanted to do but never achieved. At home between travels, she swam five days a week at the Natatorium, walked several miles a day and took a number of classes at the College of Great Falls. She was a lifelong reader of books. She was a devoted Catholic throughout her life and a 60 year member of St. Ann's Cathedral Parish. It was her abiding faith in the Lord that took her through her amazing life.
Eunice is survived by her daughters Yvonne, Marie and Suzette, all of Great Falls; grandchildren Mitchell (Dona Leake) McLain of Portland, Ore., Troy (Holly Goodrick) McLain of Star Valley Ranch, Wyo., Lance McLain of Great Falls, Yvette McLain of Everett, Wash., Pat (Katheryn) Maloney of Pohnphei, Micronesia; Colin (Lena) Maloney of Bremerton, Wash., Mary (Michael McGillis) Walsh of Billings, Colleen Walsh of Helena, Beth Walsh of Great Falls, Andrea (James Dowell) Walsh of Great Falls, Debbie Walsh of Great Falls, and Elise (Mike Clemons) LeBarron of Gig Harbor, Wash.; 22 great-grandchildren; six great-great-grandchildren; and her special friend Stephi Lee of Great Falls.
She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; brother Bernard Venne; sister Odele Braun; three of her children Kay, Sam, and Suzanne; and one grandchild Kari McLain.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Peace Hospice, 1101 26th St S, Great Falls, MT 59405, or a
Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.schniderfuneralhome.com.
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Nov. 23, 2012