HAVRE Lucille “Lucy” Margaret Wiench Bressler, 103, of Havre died Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2007, at Big Sandy Medical Center in Big Sandy of natural causes.
The funeral service for Bressler will be held at 11 a. m. Tuesday at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in Chinook with burial following in Kuper Memorial Cemetery. A reception will follow at the church. The Rev. Jose Valliparambil will officiate. Vigil will be at 7 p.m. Monday at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church. She was born March 4, 1903, to Peter and Hedwig (Gaida) Wiench in Box Elder. Her father died just three months after she was born. At age 3, she was sent to live with her sister Mary, who was the maid for John McLarn, a prominent sheepherder near Lohman. The McLarn family treated her as one of their own and gave her many opportunities her siblings did not have. She attended school at South Yantic and was the first of her family to graduate eighth grade. She believed education was very important and stressed it heavily to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She married Harry Walter Bressler, a farmer south of Chinook, in December 1930. It was then, when the marriage was blessed by the Catholic Church that she learned she had been baptized “Lucia Dorothy Wiench.” Since she had lived with the McLarns since she was young, she assumed Lucy was short for Lucille and her confirmation name was Margaret. Therefore, she had taken the name Lucille Margaret. A bona fide country girl, she enjoyed exercising quarter horses, caring for animals and working the land. While living on the farm south of Chinook with Kathy and two grandchildren, she loved to cook and could sew anything without a pattern. Weekends were usually western movie marathons with Jason. But she always took time on Saturday to watch WWF wrestling. Angie enjoyed early morning coffee sessions and fresh baked cinnamon rolls just out of the oven. All grandkids were instructed to call her “Gram.” As a centurion, reallife experiences made for riveting stories. She told firsthand tales of the Depression, the home front during World Wars I and II, waitressing at Gourley Brothers Bakery, and being a phone operator during prohibition. She remembered noon cannon shots at Fort Assiniboine, visits from local Native American chiefs, barn dances in the country and was proud that Roosevelt was the first president she had voted for. In 103 years, she rarely required more than an aspirin to stay healthy and kept her immune system strong by drinking fresh carrot juice every day. She had a distinctive laugh and always a mischievous twinkle in her eye. In her last years some of her favorite memories were of hours spent with great-grandsons. Music played a large part in her life. She taught herself to play guitar and piano and sang, danced and played every chance she got. Her favorites included “My Wild Irish Rose,” “I am a Frito Bandito” and almost any ragtime or jazz she could find. She enjoyed John Wayne and Louis L’Amour, playing cards, the color red and red roses. Her faith was also important with a special devotion to the Virgin Mary. She was preceded in death by her parents, Peter and Hedwig; husband, Harry; children, Richard, Kathy and Beryl; siblings Mary, Annie Clara, Martha, Joe and Leonard; and one grandchild. Survivors include her daughters, Shirley Isbell of Havre and Dorothy (Frank) McViegh of Seattle; son Harry Bressler Jr. Of Philadelphia; 29 grandchildren; 110 great-grandchildren; and 14 great-great-grandchildren. Memorials may be sent to St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church to buy new vestments for the church. Arrangements are by Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook.