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FORT BENTON - Lillian "Billie" Lippard, 95, a retired nurse, died April 10, 2003, at a Fort Benton care center of natural causes.

Memorial services were Saturday in the Bertha Brock room at the Missouri River Medical Center. Cremation has taken place.

Lillian was born at the family home in Watertown, N.Y., to William and

Bertha Bates on Dec. 24, 1907. When she was almost 3, the family moved to the Bear Springs area near Denton, where her father had purchased a relinquished

homestead. They went by train to Wolf Point and made the rest of the trip in a covered wagon. She was going to a country school at age 4, riding several miles on horseback, double behind her older sister. When the family sold the homestead and moved into Denton, she attended school there. She later worked for her room and board as a nanny and housekeeper for a family in Lewistown, so she could attend high school. At that time, Lillian traded housekeeping for piano lessons from a local teacher. Her piano was her proudest possession.

After completing high school at the age of 15, she attended a local business college. Following college, she worked as a bookkeeper and secretary for several Lewistown businesses.

Lillian married Ross Harrison in 1924. The marriage failed.

After working in Lewistown, she moved to Helena and put herself through nurse's training, graduating in 1933. During World War II, she worked as a nurse at Fort Harrison in Helena.

Lillian married Gordon Lippard in 1944. They lived on a ranch near Loma before moving to Loma. In 1949 they moved to Fort Benton. Gordon died in 1979.

Lillian worked at the old St. Claire Hospital in Fort Benton. She also worked many years as a part-time bookkeeper for Ragland's Grocery and for Bennet's Grocery after they bought the business. She owned and operated the Needlecraft and Hobby Shop in Fort Benton in the late 1950s and early 1960s. She worked nights part time as a special nurse to those in critical need. After closing her store, she worked as a full-time nurse in Fort Benton and in Great Falls for Dr. John Margaris. She worked for Deaconess Hospital until her retirement in 1974. She continued part-time nursing with the regional health nurse.

Lillian was a member of the VFW Auxiliary, Easter Star, Rebeccas, and was on the Governor"s Council on Aging. She was instrumental in the founding of Sunrise Bluff Estates retirement home, where she served as secretary. She spent the next 23 years living there until ill health forced hospitalization.

Lillian enjoyed her family, hunting, fishing, gardening, playing the piano and any kind of needlework. She was proud of her trip to the homestead in the covered wagon. She shot a bear in Helena, and at one time she shot her own deer. She won a Field and Stream award for the second largest freshwater fish caught in the United States in 1953.

Lillian was preceded in death by a son, Ross Harrison Jr.; and husband, Gordon Lippard.

Survivors include her son, Gary Lippard of Havre; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild; special friend and companion, Ken Boggs of Fort Benton; and the Boggs family.

Arrangements are by the Chapel of Chimes Funeral Home.


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