DEVON Annie C. Wiegand, 93, died natural causes Thursday, Dec. 5, at Marias Care Center.
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Visitation is 1 to 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, at Whitted Funeral Chapel. Funeral service is 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, with burial to follow in the Valley View Cemetery.
Annie was born April 28, 1919, the sixth of eight children, at the Devon family homestead to Carl and Caren (Sabo) Ekholt. She grew up and attended Hawthorne Country School and later Shelby High School.
She married Charles James Wiegand Jr., March 21, 1936, in Shelby. They spent their first winter in Eureka, where Jim worked in a logging camp and where their first child was born. Returning to Shelby in the spring, Jim worked on local farms and later for the Great Northern Electric Company.
During World War II, while Jim was off to war, Annie worked very hard to support herself and their five children.
In 1949 Annie's father offered to sell them the family farm, which was a dream come true for both of them. Over the years they improved the farm with better equipment, more land and a new home. Annie kept busy raising a big garden, canning loads of vegetables, baking and raising a good sized family.
In 1978 Jim had to retire due to a heart attack. They traveled all over the states west of the Mississippi River. Jim and Annie took up square dancing, spending their summers living in their RV at the Lolo Square Dance Center, where they danced every night and made many new friends. They spent their winters at home, but still square danced several nights a week all over Montana.
They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 1996 and renewed their vows at a service with family and friends. Jim passed away Feb. 2, 1997.
Annie moved to Shelby and made her home at the new Marias Heritage Center on Jan. 1, 1999. She stayed there for over 13 years before moving to the Care Center six months ago.
She stated, "I've had a good life, good parents, good husband, good kids and friends, Thank You, Lord!"
Survivors include her daughters, Dorothy (Norman) Seymour of Shelby, Sue (Loren) Heavirland of Choteau, Patricia Marks of Mesa, Ariz., Karen (Murray) Taylor of Oilmont and Polly Ettinger of Great falls; 29 grandchildren, 54 great-grandchildren; and several great-great-grandchildren.
She is preceded by her parents; husband, Jim; daughter, Sally Caplis; and sons, Charles J Wiegand III and George Wiegand.
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Dec. 9, 2012