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Beverly Joy Watts Johannsen

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SUNBURST Beverly Joy Watts Johannsen, 79, who was born Sept. 2, 1933, in Spokane and was the only child of Christina Rutgers Watts and Percy Claude Watts, died of complications of cancer Monday, April 22.

Funeral services are 11 a.m. Friday at the Sunburst United Methodist Church. Whitted Mortuaries is handling arrangements.

She loved Spokane, where she was raised, and was salutatorian of John Rogers High School. As a school girl, she became lifelong friends with Lyla Mae (Johannsen) Henderson. It was Lyla Mae who introduced Beverly to her cousin, Jay Johannsen. They were married June 7, 1952, and the Spokane city girl embraced her new home as a farm wife outside of Sunburst with the love of her life.

Beverly showed unconditional love for her four children, Tracy, Jay Dean, Paul and Kristi. Her children's love for each other is a testament to her dedication to her family.

Active in her community, she volunteered as a Girl Scout leader, member of the United Methodist Church, Daughters of the Nile and the Eastern Star. On Wednesday afternoons, you could find Beverly working for the Marias Medical Center Auxiliary in the gift shop.

Bev and Jay traveled the corners of the world, often with their dear friends, Pattie and Paul Coolidge. They saw Europe, China, Thailand, Japan, Panama, Mexico, Russia and the Caribbean. They celebrated their 50th anniversary with a Mediterranean cruise.

They were very fortunate to enjoy nearly 30 years as snowbirds in Mesa, Ariz., where they made many great friends.

Beverly loved her Sunburst Birthday Club, a group of ladies who found a monthly excuse for lunch or cake.

Some of Bev's happiest times were family get-togethers, large and small, where she was known for her delicious pies.

Beverly was preceded in death by her parents.

She is survived by her husband of nearly 61 years, Jay; her children Tracy (Marcia), Jay Dean (Robin), Paul (Teddi) and Kristi (Scott); grandchildren Bennett, Amelia, Jace, Zach, Jordan, Cassi, Justine (Patrick), Mandi and Greg.

The family suggests memorials be directed to the Shriner's Hospital for Children at

Condolences may be posted online at and/or

Published in Great Falls Tribune on Apr. 25, 2013
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