Obituary - Florence Wilmes


Last updated 10/17/2023 at 11:57am

Florence Wilmes

Florence Wilmes passed away Monday, October 9, 2023, in Oregon. She had been living with her youngest daughter Deb for a year and then in May entered a nursing home.

A graveside memorial service will be held 10:00 a.m. Monday, October 23, at Highland Cemetery in Great Falls.

Asper Funeral Homes has been entrusted with arrangements.  

Florence Rediger was born January 25, 1928, on the family farm near Miller, South Dakota, the 11th of 13 children. Her father and mother, Christian C. Rediger and Lena Beckler, were Mennonite natives of Nebraska. The Redigers and Becklers were originally from the Simmental in Switzerland.

Florence's ancestor, Johanes Rediger, father of Sebastian, born in 1717, accompanied Jakob Ammann - namesake of the Amish - to St.-Marie-aux-Mines in Alsace.

Florence attended country schools in the Miller area and at age 18 worked in a hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska, before settling permanently in Montana. Two of her oldest sisters had already gone to "Big Sky" country.  At one time, five Rediger sisters were living in Montana.

Florence married Johannes Ritland and they had one son, John Hardy Ritland. Johannes passed away in October of 1949. Florence then married Leonard "Swede" Kassmeier of the Montague/Elim area of Chouteau County, MT. Florence and Swede were "hitched" in Butte in 1951 and lived in Fort Benton. Six children were born before Florence and Swede were divorced in 1968.

In 1977, Florence married Joe Wilmes (1911-2006), a farmer from Joplin, MT. They continued farming until Joe was in his late 80s. They wintered in Yuma, AZ, and Pahrump, NV, for many years.

Florence loved to travel, having lived in and then visited Alaska. She had also traveled to Hawaii, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, Florida, and states in between, visiting her many kids, relatives and friends. She had also traveled to Canada, Mexico, Bolivia and Brazil. Florence enjoyed making a wide variety of crafts and the quality of her work was impressive. Florence loved working 1000+ piece jigsaw puzzles and word find books.

Florence is survived by her children, John (Harriet) of Brady, MT, Lynnette Cook, Cheyenne, WY, Harry 

Kassmeier Loma, MT, Donna Arvidson, Fort Benton, MT, Loretta (Bradley) Dunn-Meier Troy, MT, Deb Kassmeier, Mill City, OR, Steve Kassmeier, Jax, FL; stepdaughter, Rosalie Martinson, Helena, MT, and dozens of grandchildren, stepgrandchildren, and many great-grandchildren, plus dozens of nieces and nephews.

Florence was preceded in death by her parents, siblings, husbands Johannes and Joe, daughter-in-law Debbie Wilson Kassmeier; stepsons David and Roger Wilmes; grandchildren Johnny Ritland and Larisa Kezar Jastad.

Condolences can be made to .


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