Lillian Emma (Durand) Kulbeck, 88, died peacefully at the home of her son, Phillip, in Billings on Friday, June 29, 2007.
It was Lillian’s wish to be cremated. A memorial service will be held at the Big Sandy Lutheran Church at 2 p.m. Friday. Burial of ashes will follow at the Big Sandy Cemetery. Lillian was born Aug. 6, 1918, in Sheridan, Wyo. She was one of four children born to Arnold and Lucienne (Zoutte) Durand. Lillian grew up and received her education in Bozeman, graduating from high school there in 1936. She continued her education on an art scholarship from Montana State College in Bozeman and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in 1942. Lillian accepted a teaching position at a country school near Big Sandy. While there she met a local farmer-rancher, Willis “Bill” Kulbeck, and they were married on Nov. 14, 1942, in Havre. They made their home on the Kulbeck farm northwest of Big Sandy where Lillian worked diligently as a farmwife, homemaker and mother of six children. In the mid-1970s she updated her teaching certificate so she could teach art at Box Elder Schools. The Kulbeck’s retired in 1982 and sold the farm to sons, Neil and Joel. During their retirement years they continued to live in their country home, which contained beautiful wooden dcor and furnishings skillfully crafted by husband, Bill. The Kulbeck’s were longtime members of the American Hereford Breeder’s Association. They were also active in local 4- H programs and the Chouteau County fair. Lillian was a past member of the Eastern Star. Lillian’s husband died on April 9, 2002. She moved to the Centennial Lodge in Big Sandy in 2003. Her health remained good until this past May, when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She transferred to Billings where she received personal care from her family and hospice nurses. Lillian’s greatest pleasure in life was her loving family. She was an avid fan of her children and grandchildren in their many school and sporting activities. She loved sharing family events, like birthdays & weddings, and enjoyed cooking/baking for many of these special gatherings. She was well-known for her candy-making skills. In her quiet time at home Lillian liked to play the piano; one of her prized possessions was a keyboard she received from her children on Mother’s Day. She also enjoyed playing cards with friends and neighbors. Lillian was a kind, compassionate and caring woman who touched many lives throughout the years. She will be missed by those who loved her. Lillian was preceded in death by her husband; parents; brother, Maurice Durand; and two sisters, Gladys Richter and Irene Hill. She is survived by daughter, Kathi (Ken) Stromberg of Crookston, Minn.; sons, Neil (Bope) Kulbeck of Big Sandy, Phillip (Connie) Kulbeck of Billings, Joel (Carleen) Kulbeck of Billings, Kelly (Tricia) Kulbeck of Bozeman and Kirby (Sue) Kulbeck of Libby; 19 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Undesignated memorials will be given to the Big Sandy Medical Center. Arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel of Chester.