The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Mabel Arlene Webster

 

August 8, 2018



Mabel Arlene Webster, (88) of Whitehall, MT received her angel wings on August 3, 2018. Mabel was surrounded by her loving children and caring staff at the Village Healthcare Center in Missoula, MT., where she continued showing her servants heart until her last breath. Mom's greatest gift to all she encountered in this world was her pure and genuine love for every person she met.

Mabel was born on January 8, 1930, during the Great Depression, in Great Falls, MT to Walter Wilson, Sr. and Annie Pearl Wilson. Mabel's family lived in the Choteau/Augusta/Simms areas of Montana during her formative years. She began school in Fort Shaw and completed her education in Choteau. Mabel came from a lineage of strong & persevering women, who were all small in stature, yet able to overcome various life adversities through determination and independent spirits. Mabel lived and demonstrated these qualities throughout her life and passed them on to her children. Mabel's response to each life challenge was, "I'm not going to let it beat me," which she stated even in her last major health crises.

Upon the death of her mother when Mabel was age 14, she left school to care for her younger brothers and work at the Choteau hospital. Mabel met the love of her life, James M. Webster, Sr. of Conrad, Mt, and married Jim in Conrad on August 4, 1947. Together, Mabel and Jim began their life journey moving to Chicago for a year while Jim attended radio/electronics school. After completing this training, Mabel and Jim moved to Chinook, MT where Jim and his friend opened Johnson & Webster Radio & Electronics store. They were the first business in the area to sell televisions when these were first introduced to the public. Jim decided to change careers to trucking which required a move to Billings, MT. This ultimately led to a transfer to Sioux Falls, SD, where Jim and Mabel initially resided. As their family grew, Mabel and Jim moved to nearby Brandon, SD where they lived for 17 years. It was in Brandon, that Mabel and Jim, along with three other families, planted a church, Faith United Presbyterian Church, which continues to grow and thrive to this day. Mabel and Jim then returned to Montana, first settling in Frenchtown, MT so that Jim could join another trucking firm. When injury sidelined Jim's trucking career, Mabel and Jim moved to Whitehall, MT to lease & operate the Town Pump. Mabel and Jim grew that business so successfully, that Town Pump corporation built a truck stop which continues to this day. Mabel and Jim then opened Jim's Gem's Rock Shop as self-taught geologists and lapidary artists. This shop was later transformed into the Gold Nugget Donut Shop, which was legendary for it's tasty donuts, and often frequented by Charles Kuralt. It was after Jim's untimely death that Mabel moved into her true calling with RSVP, serving for 28 years as a senior companion, and deliverer of meals on wheels. True to her servant's heart, Mabel loved on and cared for her clients with unwavering and dedicated service.

Mabel was a member of Whitehall Assembly of God church where she was delighted to bring her homemade caramel rolls every Sunday to share. Mabel was also a long-time member of Whitehall Senior Center where she loved to call Bingo, worked on jigsaw puzzles and visited with everyone at the center. She had a gift of hospitality making everyone feel welcome and part of the center. Mabel was also a cherished member of the Montana Koinonia community.

Mabel was preceded in death by her husband, James M. Webster, Sr., parents Walter, Sr. & Annie Pearl Wilson; brothers, William "Luddy" Gorwell, Vernon Wilson, Harold Wilson, and Richard Wilson; sisters, Margaret Groot and Myrtle Wilson; granddaughter, Brittney Webster, and son-in-law, Arlo Rodway.

Mabel is survived by her children Merna Rodway (Arlo) of Whitehall, Marsha Kirchner of Milltown, Judy Webster of Helena, Jim, Jr. (Renee) of Whitehall, and John (Janet) Webster of Missoula. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Cale Rodway of Belgrade, Grant (Emily) Rodway of Helena, Jason Kirchner of Milltown, Jessica (Aaron) Ferron of Helena, Brianna Webster of Helena, Joe (Nicole) Wilson of Billings, Josh (Emily) Wilson of Idaho Falls, ID, Ryan (Tiffany) Webster of Missoula, Jared (Brittany) Webster of Missoula, and Brandon (Brittany) Webster of Missoula; and nine great grandchildren with No. 10 due in September; brothers, Walter Wilson, Jr (Kathy) of Simms & Donald Wilson (Doris) of Libby; & several beloved nieces & nephews. Mabel joins her beloved companion dog, Penny in the heavenly realms. It was touching that Mabel's life journey completed on the 91st anniversary of her husband's birth, joining him forever in paradise.

Mom taught us how to live well and love with a pure heart. In the words of her grandson, Jason, "she was an amazing, strong, and independent woman who has been an inspiration to many people, especially me." Mabel's loving legacy lives on in the lives of the many, many people she touched. She will be sorely missed. Mabel's family is especially grateful for the loving and compassionate care she received from the dedicated staff at the Village Healthcare Center. Your loving kindness blessed us all.

Interment will be held for the family at Hillside Cemetery, Conrad, MT., on Thursday, August 9th at 1:00 p.m. officiated by Pastor Ryan Webster. Pallbearers will be Mabel's grandsons, Cale & Grant Rodway, Jason Kirchner, Joe & Josh Wilson, Ryan, Jared & Brandon Webster. A Celebration of Life service will be held at the Whitehall Assembly of God church on Saturday, August 11th at 1:00 p.m. co-officiated by Pastors Bill Lanes & Ryan Webster. A reception will follow at Whitehall Assembly of God Church.

The family suggests memorials to Whitehall Senior Center, Jefferson Valley EMS, or the Assembly of God church in Whitehall. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at http://www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.

 

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