FORT BELKNAP AGENCY - Heidi M. Hockhalter, 35, died Thursday, Aug. 25, 2005, at Benefis East Campus in Great Falls due to AML leukemia.
A celebration of life memorial service will be held Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the Red Whip Center at Fort Belknap Agency. Heidi had only been diagnosed with the disease one week before. Cremation has taken place and spreading of ashes will be at a later time.
Heidi was born to Charles T. and Patricia J. (Miller) Smith on Feb. 10, 1970, in Havre. She was schooled in the Havre area and as an adult lived at Fort Belknap Agency with her husband, Gerald Hockhalter, and children, Thad and Sara.
Heidi loved people of all ages and animals. She enjoyed helping people survive and nurturing young orphaned animals. She worked throughout her life with older people as a caregiver. She was a social worker for developmentally disabled people and became an advocate for them. Heidi worked with the Head Start Program at Box Elder/Rocky Boy area with very young children, loving every minute with the children.
During Heidi's college years she was on the national dean's list for three years in a row. She graduated in May 2005 with a 4.0 grade point average. Heidi was very proud of receiving her Eagle Feather during the graduation ceremonies at Fort Belknap College. Heidi was named Montana's New Century Scholar for 2005. She received the highest All-USA Academic Team application score in the state of Montana. She was nominated to the All-USA Academic Team by the staff of the Fort Belknap College in recognition for her academic excellence and community service.
Heidi was president of the Beta Nu Alpha Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, was the vice president of the Fort Belknap College Student Government and volunteered her time with a local 4-H club. Heidi became a lifeguard so she could help children learn to swim and help the Fort Belknap community enjoy time at the pool. Heidi also received recognition of Who's Who of American College Student twice. She became Coca-Cola Scholar of 2004.
Heidi was available to the needs of her family, friends, and her community. She loved people very much. Heidi enjoyed animals and cared for them. Her pets are too numerous to mention, but she loved each and every one of them. Heidi was always finding unwanted or orphaned animals and loving the pet nobody else wanted. She saved many pets from being tossed away.
Heidi was preceded in death by her infant daughter, Elizabeth; grandparents, Charles and Phyllis Smith; grandfather, Ernie Miller; uncle, James Patrick Smith; and aunt, Elizabeth Haanpaa.
Survivors include her husband, Gerald Hockhalter of Fort Belknap Agency; son, Thad of Fort Belknap Agency; daughter, Sara of Fort Belknap Agency; parents, Charles and Jamie Smith of Townsend, Trish and Skip Taylor of Havre; in-laws, Fred and Alice Hockhalter of Fort Belknap Agency; grandmother, Peggy Miller of Milk River, Alberta; sisters; Heather (Brian) Cook of Renton, Wash., Holly Smith of Renton, Wash., and Monica (Sparky) Kaninski of Hailey, Idaho; brother, Andrew (Jamie) Smith of Havre; four nephews; and four nieces.
Arrangements are by Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook.