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1923 Mary 2015

Mary Ringham

January 28, 1923 — July 29, 2015

Mary R. Ringham, 92, of Lebanon, OR passed away on Wednesday, July 29,2015 at her home. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 12:00 PM, Wednesday, August 5, 2015 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Choteau. Burial will be in the Choteau Cemetery under the direction of Gorder Jensen Funeral Home.

Born on the Rocky Mountain Front in the Belleview community, Mary Rose LaRance Ringham was the third child to enter the family of the union of James LaRance and Mabel C. (Fellers) LaRance. She appeared on their ninth wedding anniversary, January 28, 1923 and joined a sister, Cecilia LaRance (Wiseman), a brother, Joseph LaRance and half-sisters Annabelle LaRance and Marie LaRance (Bruno), and half-brother, Gillis LaRance.

Having to ride to school on horseback, she was educated through the eighth grade in the Belleview and Kalma Schools in the Belleview area. Her father didn't think women needed an education beyond that and when a neighbor and employer, Vince Ward, offered to pay her tuition to high school in Choteau, her dad declined.

In 1942 she and her parents and a niece, Marjorie, moved into Choteau. Mary worked doing restaurant work and, for a brief time, she and a friend purchased and ran the Chuck Wagon Cafe. Later, she took a job working at the Choteau Dry Cleaners.

In 1944 Mary met E. Theodore "Ted" Ringham while he was home on leave from the service. About three years later they became reacquainted and were married on January 3, 1948 in Choteau. Together, they ranched on the Blackleaf west of Bynum, Montana, raising cattle, sheep and wild hay. Two children were born during the stay on the ranch, Mildred (Millie) and Donald (Don). In 1965, because of Ted's declining health, the ranch was sold and the family moved to Lebanon, Oregon where the elevation was lower.

Ted passed away on December 5th, 1975 in Lebanon and was buried in the Choteau, Montana cemetery. Mary was working at the Stayton Cannery in Scio, OR at the time where she continued to work until her retirement in 1985. While in Montana, she was a member of the V.F.W. and American Legion Auxiliary. She was also on bowling leagues in Choteau and Lebanon.

In the early years of Oregon living, Mary was a prolific letter writer to friends and family back home in Montana. Her letters were always lengthy and descriptive telling of work or travel adventures. It was nothing unusual to receive from her a twelve to fourteen page "book." She was also a good oral story teller. Leather tooling was a hobby she enjoyed while living on the ranch in Montana and many friends and family members were recipients of her handiwork. She loved the cowboy ruggedness of Montana and enjoyed being outdoors. In later years, she enjoyed reading western books.

She is survived by her daughter Mildred (Millie) Sivak of Great Falls, MT, her son Donald (Don) Ringham of Lebanon, four grandchildren - Todd Sivak of Seattle, WA, Michelle Sivak of Great Falls, MT, Bradley Ringham of Albany, OR and Scott Ringham of Scio, OR. Three great-grandchildren, Tyler, Gracie & Reese Ringham of Oregon also survive as well as five step-grandchildren and eleven step-great-grandchildren. Preceding her in death were her husband, her parents and all the brothers and sisters.
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