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Joan M. Milam

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Joan M. Milam Obituary
KALISPELL Joan M. Milam, 83, died following an extended illness Friday Nov. 23, at Edgewood Vista, Kalispell.

Her memorial service is 11 a.m. Friday at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Kalispell. A private burial at Glacier Memorial Gardens will precede the service.

Joan died surrounded by her loving family. She was born July 28, 1929, at Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Park, to Henry and Esther Peterson.

She grew up in Bozeman and graduated from Bozeman High School. She met Donald B. Milam, a boarder at her mother's boarding house. They were married in 1951 at Hope Lutheran Church in Bozeman and enjoyed 61 years together.

Joan and Donald moved to Kalispell and worked in the floral business for eight years. Three children, David, Barbara and Nancy were born in Kalispell. In 1959, they moved to Havre and started their own business, Milam Floral, which they operated for 32 years. Two more children, Julie and Jeff, joined the family during this time.

In 1992, they retired and moved to Kalispell. They were the first of five Havre family friends to build homes at Glacier Village Greens. One by one, all five friends built homes and moved there also. They spent the next 20 years retired and enjoying their beautiful new home, golf and the social camaraderie of the Village Greens Community.

Joan was a person of many talents. She loved bridge, flowers, needle point, cross stitch, quilting, fabrics and cooking. Her flower arrangements were a thing of beauty and her knitting, needle point and cross stitch productions were nothing short of perfection.

Joan was a lifetime member of Montana Florist Association, a lifetime member of the Lutheran Church and an active member of P.E.O.

Joan is survived by her husband, Donald B. Milam; her children, David and wife Carla of Havre, Barbara Richards and husband Gwyn of Bloomington, Ind., Nancy of Denver, Julie Austin and husband Tom of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Jeff and wife Charlotte of Loveland, Ohio. She is also survived by grandchildren Megan, Jillian, Daniel, Ben, Cari, Brianna, Adam, Torianne and Natalie; great-grandchildren Carmyn, Cambree and Everett; and brother Donald H. Peterson and wife Phyllis of Ronan.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Esther Peterson; and nephew Wayne E. Peterson.

Memorials may be made to Alzheimer's Foundation at, or Kalispell Home Options Hospice at 275 Corporate Dr, Suite 600, Kalispell Mt. 59901

Condolences may be posted online at

Published in Great Falls Tribune on Nov. 27, 2012
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