- About Us
Born September 25, 1924 to Herman and Hilda Heyen In Crivitz, Wisconsin, Lois Muriel Heyen joined her sisters Sylvia and later Corrine. Moving with her family to Valier, Montana at the age of five, her grade school years were spent riding astride a horse with her younger sister to the one room Wingina school. She attended Valier High School in Montana while also spending one high school year living with her sister Sylvia in Northport, Washington.
After high school she attended Business School in Great Falls. With the advent of WWII, she spent time in Portland, Oregon working as a draftsman’s helper copying blueprints for liberty ships. When the war ended, she was back home in Valier for a visit, but then spent time in Seattle working in an ice cream shop with her sister and brother-in-law. Upon her return to Valier a neighbor, Albert Neyenhuis, came over to ask her for a date and they headed to Glacier Park later that afternoon. They were married July 17, 1949 and celebrated 56 years of marriage. They had three children, Warren, Janice and Bradley and life was full with farming, school and 4-H activities.
In 2013 she moved to Hamilton, Montana to live with Warren and his wife, Peggy Tonon, and became beloved by their many friends. Just 10 days shy of her 94th birthday, she passed away at home on September 15, 2018. Prior to her death she struggled with COPD and the difficulties of aging. Dr. Eugenie Haight made her life better with her gentle care. What doctor makes house calls and brings her patient a homemade cherry pie?
Mom had an insatiable curiosity about life and loved history, politics and current events. She was a true artist painting oil landscapes, crafting stained glass and sewing beautiful clothing. She was the consummate gardener and a font of information on anything that could be planted in the earth. Her flowers and flower arrangements were legendary. She had a green thumb extraordinaire, growing houseplants and huge vegetable gardens. She spent her winters poring over seed catalogs in anticipation of the spring. Her plants will miss her tender loving care.
Always up for a game, she was a force to be reckoned with when playing cribbage, Scrabble, dominoes, Bananagrams and doing Sudoku and crossword puzzles. She loved learning new words and kept a running list of words she wanted to look up.
Her curiosity about life extended to music and sports, cooking, genealogy and collecting anything that interested her. Classical music was her favorite and she loved attending the String Orchestra of the Rockies and the Bitterroot Performing Arts Council series with Warren and Peggy. She was a huge basketball fan and loved watching LeBron James. Baking bread was a passion garnering her blue ribbons at the county fair and her sourdough bread was to die for. She loved to cook, always knowing the perfect seasoning. Her strawberry-rhubarb pie was incomparable. She loved her collections of spoons, elephants, rocks, minerals, coins and stamps. We have all benefited from her many hours of researching the family genealogy.
Her family was so important to her. She is survived by her son, Warren (Peggy Tonon) of Hamilton and daughter Janice Drahos (Tony) of Missoula; her grandchildren Channing Sherman (Cara) of Maui, Hawaii, Alison Dunn (Alex) of Dillon, Marisa Neyenhuis (Mark Wykoff) of Vermont, Skyler Neyenhuis of Oregon and Briley Neyenhuis of California; her great-grandchildren Sierra and Ava Sherman of Encinitas, California, Olivia and Bennett Kailey and Julian Dunn of Dillon, Montana, Cruz and Cai Sherman of Hawaii, Rio Neyenkoff of Vermont, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents, sisters, husband and son, Bradley.
Per her request, no services will be held. A family celebration of her life will be held at a later date. The family suggests memorials be made to the String Orchestra of the Rockies(sormt.org), the Bitterroot Performing Arts Council(bitterrootperformingarts.org), the Bitterroot Audubon Society(bitterrootaudubon.org), the Montana Democratic Party(montanademocrats.org) or a charity of the donor’s choice.
We are thankful that her body no longer limits her spirit.