Rebecca Heinitz Kunnary Beck, 94, passed away Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012, in Idaho Falls at the home of her daughter, Elaine, and son-in-law, George Harris. She had resided with them since August 2008.
Rebecca "Becky" was born Nov. 17, 1917, in Sugar City, Colo., to John Fredrick Heinitz and Gertrude Butler Heinitz. The family moved to Helena, Mont., when she was 12 years old, and she attended Helena schools. She taught herself to play the piano, and in her late teens, she played in a family band with her father and brother at many "country dances." After high school, she met Raynold M. Kunnary, and they were married Sept. 6, 1936, in Helena. They became parents of five children.
Becky worked as a waitress for many years, and during the construction of the Canyon Ferry Dam, she operated "Becky's Caf." The family moved to Minnesota from Montana in the early 1950s, taking over the Kunnari family dairy farm. Ray went back into construction in 1957, which took the family to New York State. He died in 1959, and she returned to Helena with four of her children. She worked for Montana Power and the City of Helena, and retired from the State of Montana Highway Department in 1980.
She married Alfred Beck of Helena in 1961, and upon their retirement, they enjoyed traveling to Yuma, Ariz., for many years as "snow birds." Becky was an accomplished musician and enjoyed playing the piano and organ. She was an excellent seamstress and, in her later years, she enjoyed quilting with her sisters and nieces, making many items that will be treasured by her family. She enjoyed Bible study with her friends of First Lutheran Church in Helena, and during her time in Idaho Falls, made new friends at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Happy Stitchers quilting group.
She was mother to five children, two stepdaughters, 19 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren and five step-grandchildren.
She is survived by her children, Edwina (Paul) Lobb of Alden, Minn., Elaine (George) Harris of Idaho Falls, Matt (Mary) Kunnary of Helena, and Cliff Kunnary and Dona (Al) Reynolds, both of Kalispell, Mont.; stepdaughters, Julie (Wm "Butch") Ktutzfeldt of Miles City, Mont., and Trudy (Harry) Angel of Seattle. Her surviving grandchildren of her Idaho Falls family include Brad Harris and Mary Ellen Slape of Tulsa, Okla., Stacie Miller and Kelly Stoddard, and Karrie (Todd) Wackerli, all of Idaho Falls; great-grandchildren, Dannielle Miller (Ross) Ginkel of Pensacola, Fla., Brandon Miller of Idaho Falls, Justin Wackerli and fiance Casey Carter of Midvale, Utah, and Jarrett Wackerli of Idaho Falls. She held her fifth-generation grandson, Miles Ginkel, age 11/2 months, at Christmas.
Also surviving are brothers, Raymond Heinitz of Bozeman, Mont., and Vic (Norma) Heinitz of Helena; and sisters, Red Reinig of Helena and Suzanne Dodge of Salt Lake City; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husbands, Raynold Kunnary and Alfred Beck; two sisters; and daughter-in-law, Liz Kunnary.
Services and burial will take place Saturday, Feb. 25, in Helena.
Online condolences can be left at www.buckmillerhann.com.