By Robert Lucke
Mary Ann Trumpour has been the Hill County auditor since 1996. It is not too strong a statement to say that she loves her job. Not only that, but she takes to the job, a zest for living and a humor that follows her in every aspect of living.
Being the Hill County auditor is a big job.
"We do all the personal issues for Hill County," explained Trumpour. "And we pay all the bills for Hill County, do the payroll along with all the Hill County claims."
Trumpour's job is not so much watching budgets and bank balances. Others do that in the courthouse.
"My job is to spend money. Fast and furious sometimes," added Trumpour, laughing.
Ask others who know and they will tell you that Trumpour watches Hill County taxpayers' money like a hawk in her office.
She was born in Great Falls, lived in Hogeland for a spell before coming as a first grader to Havre.
"I have lived here for all the rest of my life," said Trumpour, "except just after I graduated I spent five years in Seattle."
Trumpour has two children, Keri Brown and Teri Velk, both living in Billings.
Married to a Canadian rancher just across the U.S./Canadian border, hers is a weekend marriage or so it seems at times.
"You know we only see each other on weekends because the border is closed all the rest of the time," said Trumpour, again laughing.
And then there is Trumpour's obsession. A magnificent obsession really! Just look in the door of her first floor Hill County Courthouse office and you will see Elvis everywhere!
For Trumpour, it has been an obsession ever since she was a teenager.
"I went to every Elvis movie I could, just to see him," related Trumpour. "I like his singing, I like his acting, and I like his look. I always have and I always will."
"I honestly cannot remember a time when I didn't listen to his music," continued Trumpour.
Trumpour has pictures, memorabilia of all kinds, and even a Valentine's box that when opened plays "Love Me Tender."
She hasn't been to Presley's home, Graceland, in Memphis yet, but the minute she retires that is first on her agenda.
She has subscribed to the Memphis newspaper and has lots of issues of it while Presley was alive and just after he died. Those are secure in a filing cabinet at her home. Her office is full of Elvis pictures and right next door to her in the commissioner's office, sits Commissioner Pat Conway, who served in Germany with Presley. What a break!
"I have visited with Pat quite a bit about Elvis," Trumpour confided. "And I have gone through all his pictures. He has given me some that I have had made up and are hanging on the wall now."
So why the obsession anyhow?
"That's easy to answer. There is nobody like him and there probably never will be and for people like me, we will never get over him," said Trumpour.
It is amazing the amount of people who see all the Elvis pictures in Trumpour's office, come in and want to talk about Elvis and add something to the collection, Trumpour related.
And, of course, the big question had to come. Is Elvis still alive?
"No," said Trumpour, sadly. "I am sure about that!"
Will that Elvis mania ever cool?
"Never! It will always go on. I will always listen to his music. I think no one will ever be like him," emphasized Trumpour.
Trumpour is certain that when she retires, she will move across the Canadian line and become a rancher's wife. However, no one who knows her would be the least bit surprised to hear that she had relocated to Memphis and become a permanent tour guide at Graceland. That's how obsessions are.