Sunday, June 29, 2008

Gramma Phyllis

We planted a living memorial to Bryan's mom, Phyllis, who passed away June 17th after a short battle with colon cancer.

Phyllis Faye Lea

Phyllis F. Lea passed away Tuesday afternoon, June 17, 2008 after brief illness. Her husband was a tender rock for her and an inspiration to all of us during her illness. She and Dick are long time residents of Billings. She was born in Stevensville, Montana to George T. Wickham and Violet Wickham in 1929. After living in Hamilton for a couple of years, the family returned to Stevensville. Phyllis graduated high school in Stevensville and attended college in Dillon. She eloped with Dick in 1948 much to the chagrin of her father. They started a family while Dick attended the University of Montana in Missoula on the G.I. bill. Eventually they made their home in Missoula. Her passion always was to have children. Her devotion to her family was her greatest commitment and accomplishment. She was a constant foundational presence in the lives of her children and will remain so in death. (She was a particular stickler for grammar and table manners in our formative years!) We could always make her laugh. She had a life long love of reading and music which she passed on to her children. In her later years she was a painter and avid golfer. For years she was a daily fixture at the gym. She learned yoga, worked with weights and treadmill and loved socializing. She was in her element meeting new people. We always said she could talk to a lamp pole. She loved her organ. She enjoyed peaceful evenings in the sanctuary of her garden and yard. Dick added many elements to that sanctuary which delighted her. She even took an occasional turn on the big swing in the yard. Saturday was her shopping day and she always stopped for a latte, bantering with the staff, before coming home. She had a great affection for animals of all kinds, She enthusiastically mothered several small dogs throughout the years. She left us just a few months shy of their 60th wedding anniversary. Our wife and mother pushed through life's many challenges with grit and unyielding perseverance. We are her living legacies. We hope we've made you proud, mama.

Phyllis is survived by her beloved husband, Richard H. (Dick) Lea, three children, Peggy Bargmeyer, Tucson, Arizona, Dan Lea, Belgrade, Bryan Lea, Albany, Oregon; seven grandchildren, Paula Flatt, Livingston, Jesse Lea, Belgrade, Amy Olson, Butte, Zack Lea, Belgrade, Jessica, Hannah and Abby, Albany; and four great-grandchildren, Jacob and Ashley, Butte and Haylee and Piper, Belgrade. She is also survived by her much loved sister, Patti Hellman, Lakeside and two nieces, Susan and Jill. Adoring and adored by every single one. We are honored to call ourselves her family.

There will be no public service. The family will gather to celebrate her life at a later time. Memorial tributes may be made to the Humane Society. Cremation will take place. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel. Memories and condolences may be made to the family at .

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A day at the Oregon Coast

Aquarium, that is. We took a trip to Newport today. The girls and I really enjoyed the new exhibits at the aquarium. As always, we had to take the picture of the girls on the playground. I need to dig out the others from the past 7 years.

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