Jean Christian Talmage was born Sept. 23, 1923, in Saint Ignatius, Mont., to Robert J. and Eva Kermeen Christian, settlers who came from the Isle of Man, U.K.
Jean grew up on her parents’ homestead in the Mission Valley, and it was during her high school years that she met her future husband, Eugene Roy Talmage. Following graduation from Charlo High School in 1941, she took part in a wartime accelerated registered nursing program at Montana State College. While intending to enter the armed services, her training completed simultaneously with the end of World War II and Roy’s return from service as a Marine in the Pacific Theater. They were married in Vallejo, Calif., in 1945, and later moved to Spokane, Wash., where Jean began her nursing career at the VA hospital, Roy pursued further schooling and a career in accounting, and they started a family. In 1960, Jean and Roy moved to Conrad, then Choteau, Mont., where Jean’s primary occupation was the care of her children. After their move to Havre in 1963, she worked as a hospital nurse and nursing manager at Deaconess Hospital. In 1965 she joined the teaching faculty at Northern Montana College in the registered nursing program, then took on directing the licensed practical nursing Program. In Havre, she belonged to the St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church parish and took part in the Catholic Daughters of America. In 1980, Jean and Roy moved to Chinook, Mont. After Roy passed on in 1982, she returned to Havre. Post retirement, Jean was a member of the Teacher’s Retirement Club. She worked and volunteered for the Women, Infants and Children program and volunteered for the American Red Cross. She moved from Havre to Kalispell, Mont., in 1991, and then moved to Richland, Wash., in 1998 to join her daughter, Patty. Jean enjoyed golfing, reading, caring for the family dogs and cats, travelling and following the Seattle Mariners. Jean was proud of her family and was a loving and tolerant mother. She set an inspiring example of strength, resoluteness, integrity, hard work and kindness. Jean Christian Talmage was preceded in death by two young sons, Lester in 1959 and William (Billy) in 1963; her sisters, Doris Hill in 1991 and Alice Johns in 1984; and her brothers Kenneth Christian in 2000 and Robert Christian in 1993. Jean is survived by her sister, Shirley Bennett of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; her children, Ron of Seattle, Marilyn of Anchorage and Pasco, Joe of Salem, Ore., and Larry and Patty, both of Richland, Wash.; her grandchildren, Briana, Jacob, Isaac, Alicia, Vidhatta and Ethan; and step-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. A special Mass was said in her honor at the chapel at Christ the King Catholic Church, Richland, Wash., at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 22. A graveside service will be held at Highland Cemetery in Havre on Saturday, Sept. 5, at 11 a.m. followed by a luncheon at noon at St. Jude’s Parish Center. Jean’s family will be at the Eagles Club at 202 1st St. from 4 to 6 p.m. should friends care to visit at that time. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to American Cancer Society for research.