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By Tristan 

ARDYS EWALD obituary

 

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Ardys Ewald, 95, passed away peacefully on Mother's Day, May 9, 2010. Until her death, she retained a clear mind and beautiful spirit, and was at ease discussing current world events or telling stories about life as a young girl on the farm north of Harlem, Mont. Ardys was born on March 4, 1915, to homesteaders Charles and Flora Olson. Growing up, she and her sister, Helen, rode a horse back and forth to school when the weather allowed. Enticed by the Great Northern Railroad branch line, a power plant for electricity and her brother Alton's repair shop that sold Chevrolets, Ardys' family left the farm and built a home in Hogeland. She became valedictorian and the first graduate of newly established Hogeland High School in 1933. Then, with a $50 scholarship, she attended Northern Montana College, earning a teaching certificate in 1936. While teaching fifth- and sixth-graders in Rudyard, Ardys met Russell Patrick, whom she married in June 1940. They soon welcomed three sons, Chuck, Larry and Warren. During the hard times and dust storms of the 1940s, the family had a mail route and survived by farming and ranching. There was no quit in the Olsons or Patricks, just strength, honesty and a willingness to work. On his 49th birthday in 1961, Russell Patrick died of a heart attack while working cattle. Ardys continued to run the farm with the help of her sons and also resumed teaching kindergarten in Rudyard. She was adored by her young students and kept in close touch with many of them for decades until her passing or, often, theirs. In 1967, Ardys married local Rudyard storeowner and World War II veteran Morris Ewald. They remained in Rudyard until 1992 when, due to Morris' failing health, they moved to Billings to be closer to medical care and sons Chuck and Warren. Morris died a year later. Ardys lived in her Greystone Place home until 2004, and then transitioned to the Vista at St. John's Lutheran Ministries. Her deep Christian faith gave her strength, peace and confidence, and was especially evident in recent years as her health declined. In Billings, and throughout her life, Ardys was an active and faithful member of Lutheran churches, and a cherished friend and family member. Upon hearing of her passing, many remarked, "Ardys was like a mother to me," "She was like a sister to me" or "Ardys was a lovely person." Billings and Montana have lost a beautiful soul. Ardys was preceded in death by her parents; four Olson brothers, Alton, Harris, Walt and Lester; and grandson Randall Patrick. She is survived by her sister, Helen Myhre; and three sons, Larry (Francine) Patrick, Chuck (Florene) Patrick and Warren (Marcia) Patrick. Grandchildren include Rhonda Steubs, Jeff Patrick, Tara Laslovich, Michelle Patrick and Rachel Patrick. She was also blessed with three great-grandchildren, Taylor Steubs, Riley Laslovich and Natalie Laslovich. A funeral service will be held in Billings at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 15, at American Lutheran Church, 5 Lewis Ave., 252-4171. Interment of ashes will be held in Havre, Mont., at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Family Support Network, P.O. Box 21366, Billings, MT, 59104, or another charity.

 
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