Jody B. Menge, 47, died Friday, Oct. 19, 2007, of injuries sustained in a horse back riding accident.
Funeral services for Jody B. Menge will be Friday at 2 p.m. in the Fergus Center for the Performing Arts in Lewistown. Interment will be Saturday at 11 a. m. in Grandview Cemetery in Saco. Visitation will be Thursday from 2 p. m. to 6 p. m. in the Cloyd Chapel. Jody was born in Glasgow on Oct. 5, 1960, the daughter of Darrell and Loretta Menge. She graduated from Saco High School in 1978 and from Montana State University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in fine arts. She enjoyed working on the family ranch during her young life, spending many hours on horseback. During and after her college days she worked at various eating places in the Gallatin Valley. It was during this time that she met her life partner, Mark Zuidema in Bozeman. She and Mark moved back to Saco in 1987, working on the family ranch. They also purchased the Big Dome Hotel, making it into a bed and breakfast. It was a favorite place for hunters and they also served delicious gourmet meals. Mark and Jody moved to Hilger in 1998, purchasing the Rainbow Bar, where they resided until her death. Jody was an accomplished western artist. Her works are included in the permanent collection of the Federal Reserve Bank in Helena and in collections across the U.S., Canada and Japan. She was accepted into the Western Heritage Artist Association in 1999 and was also a member of the Academy of Western Artists. Her work has appeared in juried shows all over the West including the prestigious Western Spirit Art Show in Cheyenne, Wyo. Currently she put together a show with painter Robert Spanning called “Downstream” which is traveling to galleries around the state. Present in all her work is a sense of place and belonging, a kind of kinship with the region evoking an impression of stewardship, protection and pride. She stated recently in a magazine article, “Being from Montana, I’ve never lived anyplace else, I guess I’m sort of obsessed with landscape.” She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Hans and Cordelia Martin and Pat and Pansy Menge. She is survived by her husband, Mark Zuidema of Hilger; her parents, Darrell and Loretta (Martin) Menge of Saco; brother, Russell (Bobbi) of Saco; and sisters, Robyn (Scott) Cassel of Glasgow and Crystal (Charlie) Mears of Malta; and several nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles. Friends are asked to make memorials to the charity of their choice and they may be left at the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome. com The Cloyd Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Lewistown is assisting the family with arrangements.