Mabel Mae Demarest Iverson, 91, a longtime Whitlash-area farm and oil and gas manager, died peacefully surrounded by her family on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005, at the Marias Medical Center.
Viewing will be at Whitted Funeral Chapel today from 1 to 9 p.m. A service will be Tuesday at the Shelby High School Auditorium at 10:45 a.m. followed by a reception at the Elks Lodge. Interment at the Whitlash Cemetery will follow the reception.
Mabel was born in Great Falls on Nov. 8, 1913, to Harry and Amelia Brown Demarest. She worked the ranch as a child, herding sheep and raking hay behind a team of horses. She attended grade school in Whitlash, graduated from Chester High School in 1931, and earned her teacher's certificate from Northern Montana College in Havre. Mabel taught in rural schools north of Lothair until marrying Carl J. Iverson at the Demarest Ranch on Aug. 1, 1937. They farmed and ranched in the Sweet Grass Hills, where they raised three children. With Carl she founded Western Natural Gas Co., a northern Montana oil and gas production company. She served as president, going to work every day until Christmas 2004.
Mabel was a longtime member of the board of directors of the Marias Museum of History and Art and an active member of the Northern Montana Oil and Gas Association. She loved baseball and the rodeo. Children loved "Chee Chee," and she loved them right back. She could tell a good story and was an avid reader, participating in the Shelby Book Club for 41 years. Mabel maintained homes both in the Sweet Grass Hills and in Shelby before moving into the Heritage Center in January 2004.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Carl.
She is survived by: sisters, Helen Weber of Kalispell and Lucille Ritter of Lakeside; a brother, Claude Demarest of Whitlash; daughter, Ardelle (Bruce) Watkins of Great Falls; sons, Dennis Iverson of Helena and Warren (Karen) Iverson of Whitlash; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Her family suggests memorials may be given to the Marias Museum of History and Art.