Obituary: Marietta Johnstone - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

Obituary: Marietta Johnstone

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Marietta lost her courageous battle with cancer and entered into eternal rest on October 12, 2017. She leaves a loving family and many devoted friends who loved her and admired her for her many qualities.

Little Mary.  She was little in stature, but not little in any other way, whether in character, courage, compassion or intelligence. She was the oldest and wisest, the family historian, genealogist and our family glue. She kept us connected and grounded and was a constant reminder of the value and importance of family.

She was very proud to be a Johnstone, respected our heritage and expected that from the rest of us. Although at times, we all tired of her insistence on sharing her latest genealogy gems, (e.g. the marriage certificate of a great-great-grandfather), we learned to accept her disappointment that we didn’t quite share her passion.

She combined many of the best qualities of our mother and father. She shared their exceptional intelligence, with Dad’s rational, analytical qualities and Mom’s sense of nuance, empathy and compassion.

We all marveled at her capacity for friendship. She moved about a good bit, but she was never alone. In each of her locations, she quickly developed a wide circle of friends and when she moved, they moved with her. She had so many friends because she was a good friend. She valued friendship and cultivated it, always knowing and caring more about you and yours than you about her.

She saw through pretense with clarity and honesty.

She had more than her share of disappointments – the loss of a son and the past few years of serious illness were certainly the hardest. But her tragedies and setbacks did not define her. She faced them with courage and her no-nonsense, pragmatic attitude.

Her care givers were amazed at how she dealt with her illness. She rarely complained and quickly learned all about each of their families and their interests. She accepted the inevitable without self-pity, but continued the battle and wrung every inch of life out of her limited time.

Marietta was born on November 1, 1939, in Bozeman, MT, to William and Marjorie Johnstone. Early years were spent in Belgrade, Highwood and Fort Benton. She graduated from Fort Benton High School in 1957. She was gifted musically and was active in chorus and band. She attended Montana State College in Bozeman, where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority and The Montanans singing group. She met a young man, Charlie Lewis, and they were married in August of 1960. They lived in Missoula where their first son, Chris, was born. Their second son, Scott, was born in North Dakota where they lived for a few years before moving to Seattle. Although their marriage did not last, their friendship did.  Marietta moved to Bozeman. She pursued her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and later was manager of Food Services for Lewis and Clark and Hannon residence halls. At one time, she even owned Tumbleweed Antiques, a small store, with her friend, Bev. They may not have gotten rich, but they sure had fun and came out of it with wonderful stories. She was also one of the 8 enterprising people who brought the Sweet Pea Festival back to Bozeman in 1977. She thoroughly enjoyed her time helping to develop its growth.

Marietta married John Sincell in 1975.  In 1986 they moved to Maryland and then to Columbia, South Carolina. During her time in Columbia, Marietta worked in a small gift shop where she made many new friends and became known for her beautiful gift wrapping talents. After John died, she decided she wanted to move back home. So in July of 2006, she did and was so happy to be back in Bozeman. We were just as happy to have her be back. We have been truly blessed by her presence in our lives and the love she shared with each of us.

Marietta is survived by her son, Chris (Lisa), grandchildren Daniel (Carmen), Anthony and Kristen; brothers, Bill (Andrea), Bob (Nikki), Jim (Robbie); sisters, Margie (Dan), Marcia (Steve); as well as many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her son, Scott; husband, John; parents, Bill and Marge Johnstone; sister, Elizabeth; and nephew, Tom.

The family wants to express their heartfelt thanks to all the wonderful professionals who helped care for Marietta during this journey.  They include Bozeman Health Cancer Center, Bozeman Health Hospital, Bridger Orthopedics, Billings Clinic, Bridger Rehab, Gallatin Valley Nursing, Bozeman Health Hospice, Frontier Home Health Care, Cottonwood Home Care and Home Instead Home Care.

Services will be at St. James Episcopal Church, Bozeman, Montana, on October 28, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.

Memorials may be made in Marietta’s name to Bozeman Health Cancer Center, 931 Highland Blvd., #3130, Bozeman, MT 59715.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.  www.dokkennelson.com

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