Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Elizabeth May Bell, 94

On December 8, 2022, Elizabeth May Bell, known to many simply as May, passed away. May was fiercely determined to continue her independence right up to her death in spite of recent health, failing memory, and vision issues. May was born January 3, 1928.

May and her husband, Ken, had been part of the Whitehall community since mid-1960 when they purchased some bare land north of Whitehall and moved into a small cabin they had moved from Butte.

May was a very hard worker as evidenced by the many years she and her husband worked and developed the plot of ground on the Whitetail. A pioneer of sorts, May, immediately after they purchased the property, went to work building what became known as "the shop" as her husband and son fenced the property, with their little daughter, a toddler, at the time nearby.

May was always busy with something whether it was cleaning, gardening, or raising pigs. In the 1970s she was featured in the local news with her most prolific sow which produced about 14 babies!

A lovely, albeit sturdy, rock wall testifies to her efforts and determination to make use of the many rocks Ken brought in from the field. The property had become a very important part of the family and many fond memories were the result.

She is survived by her son, Bob (Marianne) Bell, and daughter Susann Melson. Other survivors include grandaughters Valeta (Chris) Stigers of Taylorsville, Utah; Tanya (Jamie) Smith of Butte; and grandsons Jarrod (Amena) Bell of Greely Colorado, and Tyler Melson of Belgrade. Great-grandchildren include Abigail Stigers, Lillian Stigers, Elizabeth (Thayne) Allen, Holly Smith, Martin Smith, Bella Smith, Sarah Bell, BrookLynn Bell, and David Bell. Great-great-grandchildren include Ahna Allen and Alex Allen.

May was preceded in death by her husband Ken. Also preceding her was son-in-law, Bob Melson, granddaughter Tasma Melson; mother and father Ed and Mary Holbert, brothers Ed, Lloyd, and Doug. May was the last immediate family member of the Holberts to pass.

A memorial service is planned for Friday, August 4 at 11 AM at the Trinity Methodist Church, with Pastor Karin Lovgren officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Gideons.


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