• Date Of Birth: June 13, 1942
  • Date Of Death: July 14, 2017
  • State: Montana

Mary Ruth Olson, (Fredenberg)

Born June 13th, 1942

On July 14th, 2017, Mary left this earthly life just like she lived it, surrounded by family and friends who loved her dearly.

Mary began her life journey in Kalispell Montana. On Friday June 13th1942. She was born to Orville and Mary (Betty) Fredenberg. Her Mother was her name sake and she adored her little girl, but from the moment she was born Mary Ruth was the apple of her daddy’s eye and from then on she was affectionately known to all as his ‘’poopsie”.

Mary grew up as a true Montana girl, camping with her Daddy, mother and her brother Ron in the Montana forests and fishing its many lakes, rivers and streams. However, her fondest childhood memories were of the times she spent at the homestead of her grandmother Mary Johanna Motichka. Mary Ruth loved her grandmother and would smile happily at the thought of herself and her aunt Roberta holding mock court in the chicken coop with the chickens acting as the jury or retelling the time Roberta fell into the outhouse. She also spent precious time with her much-loved grandfather Anson Fredenberg, just holding his hand and walking through the fields of his beloved farm.

Mary Ruth attended Edgerton elementary school and then Linderman middle school and Flathead high school where she made many cherished friends. While in high school Mary Ruth studied and excelled academically. She learned to play the clarinet and was an accomplished baton twirler, her along with others lead the Flathead high school band. She was stunning in the full native American head dress which was her costume. Many a young man noticed her beauty. However, it was during her junior year while she sat in a car with her then boyfriend at the Hut café that a certain young man named Hank Olson noticed her and boldly went up to the car to talk to her. That was the beginning of the next 57 years.

Mary Ruth and Hank dated throughout her senior year. After Graduation, she became Hanks Bride on July 2, 1960. She wore a beautiful white lace gown and had a bridal bouquet of white stephanotis along with her bride’s maids in lavender chiffon just as the Kalispell daily Interlake reported. She was breathtaking, this left no doubt why she had caught Hanks eye. Early on in their marriage Mary worked at the Kalispell credit bureau. Although Mary excelled at business she chose to devote herself to her family when she gave birth to their first daughter Debra Ruth in 1961 and then their second daughter Tamila Beth in 1963. She was a wonderful caring mother and wife, while always putting her family first.

Over the years Mary found that she loved and had a certain knack for decorating so for the next few years she strived to make her house a welcoming and beautiful place for all who entered. As we eventually realized, it was more to do with Mary and her beautiful spirit than any belongings in or around her home.

Mary occupied herself with family and friends, but always wanted more children. Then in 1974 Mary and Hank were blessed with their third daughter Kristin Mary. Since Kristin arrived a little later in life they doted on her. It was a very happy time for them. Shortly thereafter they moved to Whitefish, where they owned and operated Hank Olson Chevrolet. Mary was the model for the saying “Behind every successful man is a Woman” she was that woman. Mary, with her amazing head for business, managed the office while Hank sold the cars. Together they were a success. When Hank ran for mayor Mary wasn’t keen on politics but true to her character she entered that faze of their life with the same poise and grace that she carried herself with wherever or whatever situation she found herself in.

While in Whitefish Mary made many wonderful friends, too numerous to mention, all of which she loved deeply. Many of Mary’s children’s friends affectionately called her mom and have shared wonderful stories and memories of the amazing person they all felt blessed to have known. There was one person in particular who Mary took under her wing. This person became Mary’s forth daughter, Julie Watkins who is forever bound to Mary and her family by Mary’s kind heart, love and generous nature.

When her daughters married, Mary became a wonderful mother in law to Debbi’s husband Neal Barber and Tami’s husband Jim Kampf and Kristin’s first husband Dan Pettit and her current husband Shawn Hargrove. She then beamed and blossomed as she became a grandmother. First to Deneal and Dacey, then Kaycee, Jessi and Jolee. Then Zoey, Danelle, Kimberly, Donovan and Destyn. She has since become the proud Great Grandmother of 18 Great Grandchildren with another one on the way.

As Mary’s family grew busy with their own families, she gave of herself and her talents where ever and whenever she was needed. She willingly helped and thoroughly enjoyed planning the Moose lodges much talked about fashion shows along with her wonderful friends from the ladies of the Moose. She also managed the Rose Casino and worked bartending at the Par three, leaving a spectacular trail of friends. She was a long-time member of the eagles where she and Hank spent many hours playing pool, keno or just having good times with good people. Mary and Hank were always a hit as they sang together at karaoke. The song they always chose Ray Charles ‘’ I Can’t Stop Loving you ‘’ has become even more fitting and bittersweet.

Mary truly never met a stranger. She has so many friends from virtually every walk of life and would give her last Dime to anyone in need. She didn’t judge, she loved each person lucky enough to meet her. She was absolutely one in a million.

Mary was a devoted daughter who cared for both of her parents when their health failed. She loved them selflessly and came to their house daily for many years which allowed them to stay in their own home. She was a wonderful sister who despite her brother’s lifetime of silly pranks, loved her younger brother Ron Fredenberg and his sweet wife Liz who truly had become Mary’s sister at heart. Mary happily helped in raising her grandchildren and always gave her own children anything she could. She loved her husband Hank beyond measure, her children and grandchildren beyond reason and her friends beyond explanation. She loved deeply, forgave easily, laughed often and she cried when she was faced with the thought of leaving us behind.

There are no words that can tell the life story of this amazing woman who we know and love. How do you put into words the perfect essence of Mary’s spirit which is a sparkling example of pure love and generosity. Mary has earned her crown of glory and right now she is probably hugging her precious nephew Dan Fredenberg, who sadly left our world before her. Maybe she is sitting with her daddy and mother whom she has missed daily. Whatever she is doing in heaven we can be sure Mary is healed and whole, no longer in pain and dancing in the presence of her savior Jesus Christ. I hope the angels in heaven know what they have. Mary, my beautiful mother, you will be missed by all, loved and never forgotten.

Mary Ruth was preceded in death by both of her parents, many loved aunts and uncles and her nephew.

She is survived by her Husband Hank, her three daughters and their husbands, nine granddaughters and their husbands 19 great grandchildren, her brother and his wife many aunts uncles nieces nephews and her loving and adoring friends . Until we each meet her again………………….


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