Vera B. Phillipe

Vera B. Phillipe, 91, of Lewistown, passed away Oct. 24, 2017 of natural causes at the Central Montana Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Lewistown. She was born April 23, 1926 in Benzien, Montana, the daughter of Clarence and Alice (Elliot) Songer. She completed her elementary grades at the N Bar and Tyler schools. She spent her freshman year of high school in Spokane, Wash. and graduated high school in Lewistown, Montana in 1944. She spent her childhood years on the Shorty Brooks Place on North Fork of Flatwillow Creek where her brother, Dick, was born and on the N Bar Ranch where her dad was the cow foreman for 13 years. She attended Eastern Montana Normal School (now MSU-Billings) in Billings, Montana where she received her degree in elementary education. Her first teaching job was at Pompey’s Pillar near Billings, Montana where she taught elementary education.

On Aug. 17, 1947, she was united in marriage to Raymond R. Phillipe in Lewistown. She taught at two elementary schools in Bozeman, Montana while Raymond was attending Montana State University after he was discharged from the US Navy. They moved to Belfry, Montana for two years where Raymond taught vocational agriculture at the high school. They moved to the Pronghorn Ranch for eight years where her dad was the manager and Raymond became the foreman. They then moved to Shepherd, Montana where she taught at the elementary school from 1960-1965. They moved to Lewistown, Montana in 1965 where she taught at the Brooks School and was a substitute teacher at various schools in the Lewistown area.

Mom loved the western lifestyle – riding horses and working with cattle. She loved her childhood growing up on the N Bar Ranch, especially helping her dad with the cattle, being her mother’s little helper cooking at the N Bar, and raising her children on the Pronghorn Ranch, and was the happiest when she could be sitting on a horse. She loved children and so being a teacher was very natural for her. When she was in front of the classroom, you could see the passion in her eyes as she was teaching to her students. These were her passions in life that made her a very strong, caring, healthy, independent lady who loved her family. She also loved flowers and had the most beautiful flower gardens in her yard. For many years, she volunteered her time, maintaining the flowers at the Labyrinth Garden in Frank Day City Park. Mom also loved to write, documenting family history and memories of many life events. She enjoyed playing games with her grandchildren and doing crossword puzzles.

She is survived by one son and two daughters: Gary (Donna) Phillipe of Stanford, Mont., Linda (Jim) Mitchell of Lewistown, Mont., and Darlene (Ken) Golob of Lewistown, Mont. She is also survived by eight grandchildren: Stacey (Luke) Wines, Cory (Christa) Mitchell, Kristy (Beau) Smith, Chad Mitchell, Casey (Meredith) Phillipe, Melissa Mitchell, Heather (Luke) Berg, and Michael (Rachel) Golob, and 13 great-grandchildren (nine boys and four girls). Surviving also are her sister-in-law Carol Songer, niece Debbie (Ken) Wilmore, nephews Cal (Anita) Songer, Larry Ray and Jim Ray and several cousins.

Vera was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond, on Dec. 31, 1996, her parents, Clarence and Alice Songer, and her brother Dick Songer.

Cremation has taken place. A family memorial service will be at a later date.

Family and friends may make memorials to the charity of their choice.

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