EUREKA - Leona May McManus Lenarz, 97, of Eureka and Havre died of natural causes on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2005, at Northern Montana Care Center.
A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Eureka. Burial will follow at Tobacco Valley Cemetery in Eureka.
Leona was born in the Glen Lake-area of Eureka on Nov. 15, 1907, to John and Mae Murray McManus.
She married Clarence Lenarz on Oct. 1, 1938, in Kalispell. She was educated and lived most of her life in Eureka with the exception of a time when her husband worked in the shipyards at Anacortes, Wash., in 1943. She spent her recent years in Havre with her daughter and family, and then at Northern Montana Care Center. However, her heart was always at home in Eureka.
Leona was an avid reader and served as Eureka branch librarian for 27 years, retiring in October of 1982. She started in the old library building, which now sits in Eureka's Historical Village. In 1970, she moved into the new library building. After her retirement, many of her former customers would call her to ask when she was going to the library so that they could go at the same time and have her select their books for them. She was especially fond of her young library patrons and helped to instill a love for books in many.
Following her retirement, Leona was honored with the Tobacco Valley Improvement Association President's Award in Eureka.
She enjoyed reading and writing poetry and at 97 could still recite poems she had learned in elementary school. She grew beautiful flowers, especially her roses. She liked to make latch-hook rugs, play pinochle, and she was known for her wonderful bread and potato salad. She was proud of her Irish heritage and had a quick wit and Irish humor.
She cherished her great-granddaughters and her family was very important to her.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Clarence; sister, Blanche McManus Taft; and brother, Frank Graves.
Survivors include her daughter, Christie (Walter) Lucero of Havre; grandson, Michale Lucero of Great Falls; granddaughter, Randi (David) Peterson of Great Falls, two great-granddaughters; sister-in-law, Clara Graves of Eureka; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorials in Leona's honor may be made to the Eureka Branch Library in Eureka.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Nelson-Vial Funeral Home in Libby.