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CHESTER - Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Fenger, 80, died on Wednesday, March 26, 2003, at a Chester hospital of cancer.

Funeral services were today at 11 a.m. at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Chester, with burial following at the Chester Cemetery.

Betty was born on April 18, 1922, in Gilliam, La. She spent her early life in Louisiana, where she received her elementary education at Belcher. Her mother, Elizabeth Starling, married a Montana farmer, Scott Benjamin, so she grew up with her two sisters in north-central Montana. Betty finished her schooling at Galata where she graduated in 1940.

Betty married Herbert W. Fenger on March 25, 1941, in Joplin. They made their home on Herb's farm seven miles north of Lothair. She worked diligently as a farm wife and mother to their two sons. In 1979 the Fengers retired and purchased a home outside of Polson. They spent their winter months in Mesa, Ariz.

Betty was diagnosed with cancer in 1998. Because of her declining health, the Fengers moved back to the Hi-Line two years ago. They purchased a home in Chester to be near their family and friends. Betty continued to receive medical treatments. She died the day after her 62nd wedding anniversary.

Betty was baptized and confirmed at the Trinity Lutheran Church north of Lothair, where she maintained a lifetime membership. She also attended Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Chester and the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Polson. She was a member of the Big Sky Rock & Gem Club of Polson and the "Flying Farmers" of Montana. Betty was a strong supporter of cancer research and helped raise money during the annual "Cancer Walk" in Polson for several years.

Betty loved flying, camping, traveling, card games, like "Phase 10," whist and pitch, and being with her family and friends. She enjoyed rock-hounding and arrowhead hunting. Herb made beautiful jewelry from the gems and precious stones. She enjoyed crafts and painting, and her oil and China paintings were quite exceptional. She collected old bottles and Precious Moments figurines. She enjoyed cooking, decorating cakes and making jams, jellies and candy. She loved to read, mainly the Living Bible, Reader's Digest and similar publications.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents; and sisters, Ruby McGuigan and Lucille Karst.

Survivors include her husband, Herb Fenger of Chester; sons, Joel (Ruth) Fenger of Chester and Gerald "Jerry" Fenger of Galata; a special family friend, Judy Wichum of Chester; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and her loving poodle, Nikki.

Arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel in Chester.


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