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By Tristan 

Rosalind L. Harris

 


Rosalind L. Harris, 89, died in the Roundup hospital on Jan. 9, 2011, after complications with Alzheimer's disease.

She was born Rosalind Lillian Merten on June 29, 1921, at the family homestead in Petroleum County near Winnett. Her parents, Velma R. Woodard and John F. Merten, came to Montana in 1914 from Nebraska. Her father died when she was 18 years old and, being the oldest of five children, she helped raise her younger siblings, three sisters and one brother. Her mother, Velma Merten, was Clerk and Recorder of Petroleum County for many years.

Rosalind attended the Winnett schools and graduated high school with the Class of 1939, in spite of the hardship of battling polio during this time.

On March 15, 1942, Rosalind married Rex Roy Harris. They lived in Winnett where he started his trucking business with one truck, hauling fence posts and anything else that needed transported.

In 1951, Rosie and Rex moved to Roundup where they continued to grow the trucking company, which became known statewide, hauling oil rigs during the oil boom of the 1960s and easily recognized as the big red trucks of Rex Harris Oil-Field Transportation. In 1968, they put the phone in Roundup "on vacation" and moved the business to Havre until Parkinson's Disease forced Rex to retire three years later. He died at the age of 62 in 1981.

Rosalind moved back to Roundup and lived there alone for the next 26 years. After that, she briefly lived in an assisted living facility in Whitefish near her youngest son, Rex, until she moved back to Roundup's Whispering Pines. Recently, she was at the Roundup Nursing Home.

She is survived by a daughter, Carol, and her husband, Douglas Spranger of New York and Costa Rica; her granddaughter, Kelly Spranger and her husband, Bob Ahart, great-granddaughter, Hanna J. Tapparel, and great-grandson, Christopher Douglas Ahart, all of Tuxedo Park, N.Y.; her sons, Robert "Buz" Harris and Richard W. Harris of Havre and Roundup, who still operate the family trucking business; her third son, Rex R. Harris Jr., who has his own financial planning business in Whitefish and who, along with his wife, Darcie, lives in Kalispell; grandson, Evan Harris, who is attending college in Seattle, Wash.; and grandson, Adam Harris, who is a senior in high school in Kalispell.

Rosalind is also survived by her three sisters, Betty Lucille (Mrs. Charles "Mert" Knutson) of Winnett; Peggy Eileen (Mrs. E.L. Berg) of Livingston, and Janet Mae (Mrs. Roy Myers) of Livingston; and her sister-in-law, Mary M. Merten of Billings who was married to Rosalind's brother, Jack Merten, who died of cancer in 1991. Other survivors are nieces and nephews of the previously mentioned sisters. From Rex's side of the family, she also is survived by a niece, Joan Krantz (and husband, Dick) of St. Ignatius, and Jack Knight (and wife, Patti) of White Sulphur Springs.

In her younger days, Rosalind loved camping and fishing on Willow Creek. Rosalind loved her brother and sisters and all the family gatherings. She loved helping Rex run the trucking company. She enjoyed sewing, crocheting and embroidery in what spare time she could find. She and Rex had one of the earliest cabins on Dead Man's Basin and liked to go boating in spite of not being able to swim.

A memorial service will be held in the spring at the Creel Funeral Home in Lewistown followed by burial in the Lewistown City Cemetery.

Rosalind L. Harris, 89, died in the Roundup hospital on Jan. 9, 2011, after complications with Alzheimer's disease.

She was born Rosalind Lillian Merten on June 29, 1921, at the family homestead in Petroleum County near Winnett. Her parents, Velma R. Woodard and John F. Merten, came to Montana in 1914 from Nebraska. Her father died when she was 18 years old and, being the oldest of five children, she helped raise her younger siblings, three sisters and one brother. Her mother, Velma Merten, was Clerk and Recorder of Petroleum County for many years.

Rosalind attended the Winnett schools and graduated high school with the Class of 1939, in spite of the hardship of battling polio during this time.

On March 15, 1942, Rosalind married Rex Roy Harris. They lived in Winnett where he started his trucking business with one truck, hauling fence posts and anything else that needed transported.

In 1951, Rosie and Rex moved to Roundup where they continued to grow the trucking company, which became known statewide, hauling oil rigs during the oil boom of the 1960s and easily recognized as the big red trucks of Rex Harris Oil-Field Transportation. In 1968, they put the phone in Roundup "on vacation" and moved the business to Havre until Parkinson's Disease forced Rex to retire three years later. He died at the age of 62 in 1981.

Rosalind moved back to Roundup and lived there alone for the next 26 years. After that, she briefly lived in an assisted living facility in Whitefish near her youngest son, Rex, until she moved back to Roundup's Whispering Pines. Recently, she was at the Roundup Nursing Home.

She is survived by a daughter, Carol, and her husband, Douglas Spranger of New York and Costa Rica; her granddaughter, Kelly Spranger and her husband, Bob Ahart, great-granddaughter, Hanna J. Tapparel, and great-grandson, Christopher Douglas Ahart, all of Tuxedo Park, N.Y.; her sons, Robert "Buz" Harris and Richard W. Harris of Havre and Roundup, who still operate the family trucking business; her third son, Rex R. Harris Jr., who has his own financial planning business in Whitefish and who, along with his wife, Darcie, lives in Kalispell; grandson, Evan Harris, who is attending college in Seattle, Wash.; and grandson, Adam Harris, who is a senior in high school in Kalispell.

Rosalind is also survived by her three sisters, Betty Lucille (Mrs. Charles "Mert" Knutson) of Winnett; Peggy Eileen (Mrs. E.L. Berg) of Livingston, and Janet Mae (Mrs. Roy Myers) of Livingston; and her sister-in-law, Mary M. Merten of Billings who was married to Rosalind's brother, Jack Merten, who died of cancer in 1991. Other survivors are nieces and nephews of the previously mentioned sisters. From Rex's side of the family, she also is survived by a niece, Joan Krantz (and husband, Dick) of St. Ignatius, and Jack Knight (and wife, Patti) of White Sulphur Springs.

In her younger days, Rosalind loved camping and fishing on Willow Creek. Rosalind loved her brother and sisters and all the family gatherings. She loved helping Rex run the trucking company. She enjoyed sewing, crocheting and embroidery in what spare time she could find. She and Rex had one of the earliest cabins on Dead Man's Basin and liked to go boating in spite of not being able to swim.

A memorial service will be held in the spring at the Creel Funeral Home in Lewistown followed by burial in the Lewistown City Cemetery.

 

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