Sylvia MacFarlane passed away peacefully Thursday, Aug. 7, 2008, after an extended stay in Long-Term Care in the Powell County Memorial Hospital.
Sylvia Johanna Skones was born on Sept. 28, 1920, in Turner to Peter and Selma Skones, the oldest of seven children. She entered first grade in Turner speaking only Norwegian, but through stubborn determination, Sylvia quickly learned English and daily taught it to her dad. Always an avid student, Sylvia graduated valedictorian from her senior class then left home to attend nursing school at Sacred Heart in Havre. While there, she met the handsome man who soon captured her heart. She married William Fraser MacFarlane in 1942. Their twins, William Fraser Jr. And Lilyann Sylvia arrived in 1943, followed by Peter Jay in 1945 and Bonnie Jeanne in 1947. By the time her youngest was in second grade, Sylvia began her career as the Havre Public School nurse, where she served for 25 years. During this time she was selected as the Montana State Nurse of the Year. Sylvia was never content to be average. She excelled at everything she attempted, including earning her master's degree in nursing, squeezing studies in during the summers at the University of Minnesota, Northern Montana College and every available workshop she could attend. She was a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church in Havre and the local Presbyterian Church in Deer Lodge. Her involvement in professional, community and charitable organizations was extensive; those who needed help knew they could turn to Sylvia for assistance. Sylvia was preceded in death by her parents; an infant brother; her husband, Bill; daughter Lilyann; and sisters Gladys (Donald) Gill and Helen (Robert) Reed. She is survived by sons, Bill (Mary) MacFarlane of Colstrip, Pete (Pam) of Kuna, Idaho; daughter, Bonnie (Sherm) Anderson of Deer Lodge; brothers, Gordon Skones of Geat Falls and Russel (Rosella) Skones of Salome, Ariz.; sister, Arlene (“Sonny”) Anderson of Malta; eight grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom she loved dearly. Visitation will be held at Jewell Funeral Home, Deer Lodge, on Monday Aug. 12, from noon until 8 p.m. Funeral services and a celebration of Sylvia’s life will be held at 11 a. m., Tuesday, Aug. 12, at the Presbyterian Church in Deer Lodge with interment in Hillcrest Cemetery. A luncheon at the Presbyterian Church will follow. Donations may be made to the Long Term Care unit of Powell County Memorial Hospital or to the donor’s choice.