Leona Louise (Bryson) Rahr

Friday, February 14, 2020
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After 96 well spent years, the call Grandma had patiently and prayerfully yearned for came. On Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021 she was taken home where she will joyfully be reunited with family and friends; card games will be plentiful, and the coffee will always be on. She will be in a place that is never lonely, the mailbox overflows with hand-written letters, and the food is delicious. There will be no political discord or family feuds, health never fails, and love abounds. The church pews will always be full, and there will never be goodbyes.

Leona Louise Bryson was the fifth child of Percy and Lula (Kramer) Bryson. She was born on May 9, 1924 at her family home in Ollie, Mont. at the hands of the neighbor. She attended school in Ollie and graduated as the totality of ‘The Class of 1942’. She would tell you with a grin, she was the smartest person in her class…and the dumbest. She attended Normal College in Billings and naturally became a teacher. She taught in rural schools in Dawson County and later taught kindergarten out of her home.

In 1944 she met a tall, handsome fellow who she did not initially recognize as her soulmate. But with a little charm, some dancing, and an unforgettable laugh, Jim Rahr swept her off her feet. True to her no-frills way of life, she went downtown to buy a dress and was married the next day to her soon-to-depart soldier in her sister’s home, surrounded by family on June 12, 1945. Their marriage was blessed with five children. They celebrated 54 years of marriage prior to Jim’s passing in 1999.

In 1950, Jim and Leona moved to their home on Deer Creek. Leona spent her life being a homemaker, a mother, and a grandmother. She looked forward to visitors stopping by and she always had a home baked treat in-waiting on the counter, often, chocolate sheet cake. She had a miraculous ability to unexpectedly feed a crowd at a moment’s notice and she was always the last one to take a seat at the table. She created traditions that were looked forward to year after year. If she were not in the kitchen, you could likely find her in the sewing room putting together a quilt or sewing ‘cat heads’ for the hospital auxiliary. In her downtime, she read countless books, lost thousands of games of solitaire (and won a few, too), and was a faithful fan of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.

Leona was active in the Homemakers Club, a devout member of Our Savior Lutheran Church and taught bible school, a 4-H Leader, and was one of the original volunteers at The Attic.

She was most proud of her family and considered them her greatest accomplishment. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren made her glow.

Leona leaves behind a family who will eternally celebrate the way she lived her life, the love she so abundantly gave, and the lessons she left behind.

She is survived by her daughter, Linda (Marvin) Butters of Riceville, Iowa; daughter, Margie Rahr of Twin Falls, Idaho; son, Bob Rahr of Glendive; daughter, Peggy (Alan) Dunn of Morrison, Colo.; and daughter, Mary Jo (Jim) Gehnert of Glendive; grandchildren, Tammi (Jeff) Mueller of Riceville, Iowa, Terri (Darrin) Byrnes of Decorah, Iowa, Jamie (Justin) McMillan of Glendive, Kristi Wilcoxen of Aurora, Colo., Ben Rahr of Glendive, Jason Spencer of Colorado Springs, Colo., Chelse (Lyden) Christensen of Pocatello, Idaho, Jacob (Erica) Gehnert of Crestline, Calif., and Jacee Gehnert of Glendive; great-grandchildren, Gabe and Gavin Mueller, Noah and Sydney Byrnes, Jane Harrison, James and Ella Rahr, Marilyn Spencer, Tiryon and Anniston Christensen; her brother, Clint Bryson of Belle Fourche, S.D.; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021 at the Silha Funeral Home in Glendive. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021 at Our Savior Lutheran Church with Pastor Greg Lucido officiating. Interment will follow in Dawson Memorial Cemetery. Silha Funeral Home of Glendive has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Memorials in Leona’s name may be made to Grandview Retirement Home, 1711 N. Merrill Ave., Glendive, MT 59330.

Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at: www.silhafuneralhomes.com.