BILLINGS - Mary Lou Reeder, 75, died Thursday, Aug. 18, 2005, after years of declining health.
Her body has been cremated and a memorial service will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Billings. A time of sharing and singing hymns will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at the church.
Mary Lou was born July 7, 1930, in Mitchell, S.D., to Herbert Bird Watson and Ella Lucile Grout Watson. She was active in 4-H and made her commitment to the Christian faith at her church in Mitchell. She attended rural schools and Mitchell High School. She graduated from Sioux Falls College in 1952, where she was a homecoming princess. She attended North American Baptist Seminary and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.
She met Paul Reeder at college and they were married in Mitchell on Aug. 21, 1953. During college and seminary, they focused on possible overseas missionary service, but doors opened and they went instead into the mission fields of Montana. They spent 50 years in Montana, first at Valier, then Havre and finally Great Falls. She sang in the church choir, directed youth choirs and taught Sunday school. She also provided leadership in various state and area church projects and camps.
In Great Falls, she became a state social worker and worked with both adults and children. Declining health limited her working outside the home after the family moved to Billings in 1975. She was an RSVP volunteer and remained active in the church women's circle, other church groups and Thumb-R-Green Garden Club.
Mary Lou was a Scout leader and 4-H leader. She passed on her enthusiasm for cooking and food preparation, sewing and other craft projects, and vegetable and flower gardening. She enjoyed her watercolor class and a variety of card and board games. She became a crossword puzzle addict.
Survivors include her husband of 51 years, Paul Reeder of Billings; son, Douglas (Ellen Coyne) Reeder of Santa Barbara, Calif.; daughters, Karen (John) Zika of Statesville, N.C., and Barbara (Vincent) Thomas of Minneapolis; six grandchildren; brother, Floyd Dee (Lois) Watson of Brookings, S.D.; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church of Billings or the American Baptist Foundation.
Smith Funeral Chapel of Billings is in charge of arrangements.