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BIG SANDY Arlene Geyer Sibra, 86, a retired homemaker, died Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2002, at a Missoula health care facility of natural causes.

Funeral service is 2 p.m. Thursday at the Christ Lutheran Church in Big Sandy with the Rev. James Robinson officiating. Committal rite will be at the Big Sandy

Cemetery. Fellowship to follow the committal rite is to be announced at the service.

Arlene was born May 3, 1916, to John and Lydia (Roediger) Geyer at Danvers, Minn. She was the youngest of 12 children. Her family owned a farm in the Danvers area, where they also raised livestock, including horses that they bred and sold. As a young girl, Arlene loved to attend country dances with her older brothers. Arlene dropped out of school after completing the eighth grade and remained at home to care for her ailing mother. Arlene's mother Lydia died in 1936, when Arlene was 19 years old.

Arlene remained in the area and around 1943 she married Elwood Pemberton. They were separated around 1949.

In 1951, Arlene moved from Minnesota to the Big Sandy area where a number of her brothers and sisters had migrated upon leaving the Geyer family home near Danvers. Arlene worked as a cook and waitress at the Mint Caf in Big Sandy, and met Dana Sibra, a local bachelor farmer and World War II Veteran.

Dana and Arlene were married on Jan. 21, 1953, in Fort Benton. They lived in town in Big Sandy at first, but in 1955 they moved a large farmhouse down from the Rudyard area, and located it on the Sibra farm, approximately six miles southeast of Big Sandy.

Arlene enjoyed the farm life and worked hard. She managed to produce very elaborate flower gardens on the farm, despite the shortage of available water. She also grew a large vegetable garden and raised chickens for many years. Arlene had considerable creativity. She enjoyed music and played the piano expertly by ear. She also painted and created accomplished seed picture art, some of which won her blue ribbons at both the Montana and Minnesota state fairs.

The Sibra family enjoyed fishing, camping out and arrowhead hunting. After Dana and Arlene retired from farming in 1980, they moved permanently into their house in town in Big Sandy. They continued to travel locally, staying in their motor home, camping and fishing throughout the state.

After Dana's death in 1993, Arlene continued to live on her own in Big Sandy until 1999, when she relocated to Missoula, to be nearer her son. Throughout her lifetime Arlene had a closeness and affection for animals of all types and sizes.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Dana; brothers and sisters, Clarence, Laura, Harvey, Merle, Mabel, George, Grace, Hazel, Harold, Lawrence and Ernie.

Survivors include her son, Steve (Stacey) Sibra of Missoula, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorials in Arlene's honor may be made to the Dedman Society, Box 1282, Fort Benton, MT 59442.

Services and arrangements are under the direction of the Holland and Bonine Funeral Home.


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