Mary Chloe (Gatzemeier) Rockwell, 86, died Tuesday April 22, 2008, at Benefis Healthcare in Great Falls of natural causes.
She was a member of St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Havre. Her prayer vigil will be 7 p. m. Wednesday, June 18, 2008, with her memorial Mass at 11 a. m. Thursday, June 19, 2008, both at St. Jude’s Catholic Church with the Rev. Robert D. Grosch officiating. A fellowship luncheon will be held immediately after the Mass at St. Jude Parish Center. Her burial will follow afterward at 3 p.m. at the Hingham Cemetery. Mary was born Aug. 28, 1921, in Rudyard, the second of nine children to Edward and Anna May (Fort) Gatzemeier. She attended elementary education at a country school south of Rudyard near the family homestead. She then attended and graduated high school at St. Thomas Orphanage/ Boarding School in Great Falls. She married Albert Eder in Rudyard in 1940 and had three daughters: Charlotte, Donna and Barbara, while living in Rudyard. Barbara died as an infant in 1948 and Albert passed away in 1949. Mary stayed in Rudyard and worked for several years for the Postal Service as a rural mail carrier. She then moved her family to Havre where, over the next several years, she worked as a dispatcher for the Great Northern Railroad, secretary/receptionist for the Hill County Experiment Station and sales associate for J.C.Penney Co. It was while in Havre that she met and married Ken Rockwell in 1956 they later divorced and had two more daughters: Kathryn and Teri. By that time, Mary had began working for the Hill County Extension Service in 1954 as administrative assistant to the county agents, helping with 4-H and Home Extension, retiring in 1985. Mary loved visiting and spending time with family and friends. She appreciated that she was able to travel often and loved every place that she went, whether just a drive out to Beaver Creek Park and the Bears Paw Mountains, or around the Havre and Hi-Line area to see how the crops were coming along, or trips throughout Montana and many other states. She especially appreciated and looked forward to her annual trip over the past six years with family spending a relaxing and beautiful week at Lake MacDonald in Glacier National Park. She loved to read, work crossword and word search puzzles and watch her favorite Major League Baseball teams the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves on TV. She also loved to play cards with her most favorite being pinochle, and looked forward to challenging games against family and friends, but most of all with her youngest brother, Joe. She also enjoyed the rare opportunity of playing bingo and keno. Mary was a very good cook and her family frequently asked her to make their favorites of ham and potato dumplings, and bread pudding. Mary was a member of Catholic Daughters of America, a charter member of the Eagles Ladies Auxiliary, and a former member of the Ladies VFW Auxiliary, Moose Lodge, and Home Extension Club, and held a master’s certificate in bridge. Mary was preceeded in death by her parents; brothers Victor and Donald Gatzemeier; sister, Sister Clara Ann (Flora) Gatzemeier; husband Albert Eder; and infant daughter Barbara Ann Eder. Mary is survived by daughters Charlotte (Ray) Lewis and Teri (Jeff) Rockwell-Williams, Billings; Donna Rowley, Great Falls; and Kathryn (John) Kuhr, Havre; grandchildren Jeff (Theresa) Lewis, Gregg (Mary) Lewis, Cheryl (Eric) Mann, Mathew Rowley, and Rockwell B. Kuhr; great-grandchildren: Bradley and Brianna Mann, Tara Murphy, Robert and Sara Lewis, Coby and Carly Lewis; brothers and sisters: Joe (Martha) Gatzemeier and Hazel Gatzemeier, Havre, Edward (Helen) Gatzemeier, Helena, Helen (Alvin) Krejci, Rudyard, and Martha Haag, Fort Wayne, Ind.; many nieces and nephews, and special family friend, Judy Ward. Memorial contributions in Mary’s honor may be made to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children. Services and arrangements have been entrusted to Holland and Bonine Funeral Home.