CHINOOK - Ellen Eleanora "Toots" McGillivray, 87, died Friday, April 9, 2004, at a Havre care center on due to natural causes.
A graveside service was scheduled for 1 p.m. today at the Kuper Memorial Cemetery with burial following.
Toots was born on Feb. 28, 1917, to Al and
Veronica (Catani) August of Zurich. Her mother, who died in 1918 during a flu epidemic, left behind five children. Toots and William Smithson, whose mother had also died, were raised by foster parents Harry and Ella Becker of Hogeland. She attended school in Hogeland and graduated from Chinook High School.
Toots was united in marriage to William L. McGillivray of Hogeland. They had four daughters. They later divorced.
Although most of her life was spent in Blaine County, Toots also worked in Browning, Kalispell and Lewistown. In later years, she returned to live in Chinook, and for the past few years resided at Northern Montana Care Center in Havre.
Toots was well known for her fiercely independent nature. She was an honest, hardworking, self-supporting woman, and though she never made high earnings, she made sure her daughters received the many priceless extra special things. Her love of family encompassed not only her daughters and their families, but also her brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews. She spent many hours handcrafting beautiful heirloom quilts and afghans for family and friends. She developed many friendships throughout the Chinook and Lewistown areas.
Toots loved the great outdoors especially ranch life and fishing with Harry Becker. She enjoyed telling stories of human and animal antics and the sound of her laughter never failed to bring a smile to others. She was an avid reader and she also enjoyed playing piano and singing.
She was preceded in death by her sisters, Elva Taylor and Blanche Nelson; brothers, Phil Carlon and Dick August.
Survivors include her daughters, Veronica (Keith) Tabor of Vacaville, Calif., Bonnie(Don) Harmon of Turner, Elizabeth Jean (Lee) Larsen of Edmonds, Wash., Linda (Denny Sr.) Johnson of Havre; 10 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be sent to the Montana Association for the Blind.
Arrangements are by Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook.