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Bette (Shellhamer) ThrailkillApril 20, 1920 ~ August 4, 2017 (age 97)
Bette Shellhamer Thrailkill, 97, of Hamilton passed away peacefully at Marcus Daly Hospital August 4, 2017 surrounded by family members.
Bette was born to Grant and Bess Shellhamer April 20, 1920. Her parents moved from Illinois during the apple boom of 1910. She spent her life in Hamilton among lifetime friends, and attended Hamilton High School and Kinman Business College in Spokane. She was employed by the O’Hara Law Office in Hamilton and Geneva’s and Irene’s dress shops in Hamilton part time.
Bette married Raymond Thrailkill June 3, 1941. They had been married for 66 years when he passed away in 2007. Ray worked for the Rocky Mountain Laboratory and played trumpet in the Ray Thrailkill orchestra. Bette and Ray were active in the Hamilton Elks and Eagles Clubs, and enjoyed golf at the Hamilton Golf Club in the 70’s. Later they began spending the winter months in Palm Springs, golfing and visiting friends and relatives including lifelong friend Ann Robbins of Hamilton.
Bette was a longtime member of P.E.O. and the Hamilton Presbyterian Church. In 1942 Bette and a group of friends formed a club to provide each other companionship during the war. They began as a book club, then became a sewing club, bridge club and finally the lunch bunch. The group of 60+ years included: Alba Carls, Betty Fullerton, Kay Grimes, Juanita Hork Carl, Millie Hughes, Barbara Miller, Peggy Dowling, Gladys Bohac, Jeanne Sanderson, Marie Thane, Jean Wrobel and Bette.
As a teenager and young adult Bette spent enjoyable time at the Daly Mansion. Marcus Daly III was the same age and spent time with Bette and Ray and thier friends, swimming and playing tennis.
Bette and Ray’s family spent many summer vacations visiting Bette’s sister Barbara and family where a lifelong love of the Selway River in Idaho developed. Sunshine, sandy beaches, the wonderful river, and family including the five cousins, were the highlights of these summers, never to be forgotten.
Bette remained a gracious, upbeat, supporting, and beautiful person as well as a special mother. She touched many lives in a positive way including those who provided her health care.
Bette was preceded in death by her husband Ray, sister Barbara Johnson Baldwin of Missoula, brother- in-law Bill Johnson, son-in-law Jeffrey Brotman of Seattle and nephew Bruce Johnson of Atlin, British Columbia.
She is survived by son Grant (Dianne) of Florence and daughter Susan Brotman of Seattle. Grandchildren include Stacy Thrailkill of Seattle, Amanda Brotman-Schetritt (Antoine) of New York City, Justin (Margot) Brotman of Seattle and Brian Thrailkill of Missoula. Great-grandchildren include Leo and Simon Schetritt, New York City. Bette’s nieces Brenda Kame'enui of Eugene, Oregon and Brooke Nelson (Bill) of Kalispell remained avid supporters of their Aunt Bette as did her brother-in-law Dick Baldwin of Missoula.
A Memorial Service will be held Friday, August 25 at 1:00 pm at Daly-Leach Chapel, 1010 West Main in Hamilton with reception to follow.
The family suggests memorials to be made to the 1st Presbyterian Church, 1220 W Main St, Hamilton, MT 59840.