Obituary: (Blanche) Wilma Younkin

Posted at 2:59 PM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 16:59:47-04

(Blanche) Wilma Younkin passed away on March 22, 2022. Wilma was born on May 31, 1935, to Irene (Main) Hagaman and George Hagaman in the midst of the Great Depression, near Alliance Nebraska. She grew up on farms in the Sandhills around Alliance riding her horse to a one-room schoolhouse. When it was time for high school, she attended St. Agnes Academy boarding school in Alliance and graduated from Alliance High School in 1952. It was there she met the love of her life, Charlie Younkin. They were married in a blizzard on February 24, 1952, the beginning of 67 happy years together. They started out on the Snow Ranch, southeast of Alliance where they lived when the first four of their five children, Jim, Glenda, Cindy, and Joe were born. She raised a large garden, tended chickens and made scrumptious meals for her family and the hired men. It was there they started their own Angus production.

In 1964 they moved their young family to Whitehall, MT when their fifth child, Jeff, came along. Wilma was not impressed with the doctors in Butte, so Charlie made plans for her to fly back to Nebraska, where Jeff was delivered by the same doctor in the same hospital as their first four kids.

Wilma attended nursing school in Ft. Collins, Colorado and obtained her LPN certificate in 1968 after having all 5 kids. She nursed in Alliance NE and, after moving to a ranch near Manhattan in 1969, at Bozeman Deaconess. She was the office nurse for Robert Hathaway when he first started private practice in Bozeman. She was honored when her peers elected her LPN of the year in about 1972. Wilma, being the attentive mother she was, would leave pancake batter or biscuits to bake for Charlie and the kids before she left for work. In her "spare time" she always had a big garden, canned vegetables and sewed clothes for her kids and grandkids. She was always busy helping with the kids’ activities in Cub Scouts, school and 4-H/FFA, and was secretary of the South Montana Angus Association for years. As the consummate "ranch wife", she was Charlie's right hand in all things. She spent the winter of '73-'74 feeding and calving cows when Charlie was laid up due to an accident. After the kids all flew the coop, they found more time away from the ranch, fishing around Montana and Canada. Plus, Wilma turned her sewing talents to quilting.

They sold the ranch near Manhattan in 2000 and took perhaps the biggest move of their lives to retirement in Townsend. She and Charlie enjoyed 18 good years there where they were involved in the building of their home, gardening, more fishing, and her quilting. She would spend hours making quilts for all her kids and smaller projects for grandkids and friends.

Wilma lost her beloved Charlie in March 2019, after which she moved to Park Haven in Manhattan in 2020 where she passed away on March 22, 2022, and finally reunited with him. She was predeceased by her parents, Irene and George Hagaman, grandson, Garrett Younkin, parents-in-law, Glenn Younkin and Alice (McLaughlin) Younkin. She is survived by her children, Jim Younkin (Lorna), of Frenchtown, MT, Glenda Ehler (Rod), of Scottsbluff, NE, Cindy Younkin (Terry) of McAllister, MT, Joe Younkin (Brenda) of Laurel, MT, and Jeff Younkin (Tabitha) of Hamilton, MT, grandchildren, Tanya Smith, Wendy Ramos, Brandon Younkin, Britney Carlson, Nick Pettigrew, Brent Hanson, Courtney Hanson, Alyssa Kranz, Ashley Herbert, Chase Younkin, Cadence Maliawco, Cache Younkin and Cordell Younkin (currently serving with the Montana National Guard in the middle east), and 11 great-grandchildren. In addition, she is survived by sister-in-law Iris Younkin and brother-in-law Dave Younkin.

A special thank you goes to all the helpers at Park Haven and Eden Hospice for their compassion and to Wilma's regular visitors, Arletta Derleth, Wilma Vanderby, Teresa Raisland (to name a few) and the constants for 50+ years, Iwy and Sharon Obrigewitch.

Memorials to honor Wilma may be sent to: the Montana 4-H Foundation, PO Box 173580, Bozeman, MT 59717, the Montana FFA Foundation, 502 So. 19th, Ste 113, Bozeman, MT 59718, or the Manhattan Public Schools Foundation PO Box 425, Manhattan, MT 59741.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. []