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Lorraine "Jean" Stengem
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Obituary for Lorraine "Jean" Stengem

Lorraine “Jean” Stengem, 86, of Great Falls, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 31, 2018.

Jean was born in Havre, MT on November 11, 1931 to Wilford and Marie (Shinners) Cole. Jean was one of ten children. Jean met the love of her life, William “Murray” Stengem in Havre and they married June 29, 1948. Jean absolutely loved babies and together they raised eight children. Over the years they lived in Havre, Great Falls, Kalispell and Whitefish.

In addition to being a loving mother, Jean had a professional career. She was the Director of Admissions and then the Director of Volunteers at Columbus Hospital in Great Falls, and the Director of the RSVP program in Kalispell. A highlight of her years with RSVP was a trip to DC and the White House Rose Garden to meet the President when one of her volunteers was honored as Volunteer of the Year.

Jean’s most treasured memories took place at the family cabin in Whitefish, fondly known as Jean’s Folly. Trips to Disneyland with extended family provided joy and laughter never to be forgotten. A lifelong desire was fulfilled by a 1984 trip to Ireland. As her children spread out across the country, she loved traveling to see them, her grandbabies and great grandbabies. Jean was passionate about politics and prospective members of the family learned how quickly her children could disappear from a room. You were a keeper if you could stand your ground. You are fortunate indeed if you are considered to be part of “The Jean Pool.”

Jean is survived by daughters Karla (Jeanard) Aafedt of Anchorage, AK, Ann Janikula of Great Falls, Julie Stengem of Missoula, Lisa (Bruce) Mohr of Libby and Kelly Stengem of Missoula; sons Curtis Stengem of Haltom City, TX and Christopher (Danell) Stengem of Keller, TX; daughter-in-law Sally Stengem of Bryan, TX; 14 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law Gordon (Beth) Stenhjem; sister-in-law Beverly Williams; and a large, loving contingent of the “Cole Clan.”

Jean was preceded in death by her beloved husband Murray Stengem; son Gregory Stengem; son-in-law James Janikula; her parents; and several siblings.

Cremation has taken place under the direction of Schnider Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.SchniderFuneralHome.com.

A joint celebration of Jean and Murray’s lives will be held at a later date. For now, they are together again beautifully dancing among the stars.


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