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Veronica "Rona" Ruth Engelter

June 17, 1949 ~ January 24, 2019 (age 69)

HAMILTON - On Thursday morning, January 24th, 2019, Veronica ‘Rona’ Ruth Engelter passed away of natural causes. 

She was born on June 17, 1949, to Veronica Leick Engelter and William Keogh Engelter in Mandan, North Dakota. The fourth of seven children, she attended college in Dickinson. Her first teaching job was in Richey, Montana. She then settled in Hamilton, where she dedicated a long career to education, particularly the interests of special needs and gifted children. Her love of teaching—more importantly her love of children—touched countless lives across the Bitterroot Valley. She was responsible for starting the Gifted and Talented program in Hamilton, and continued to substitute after retirement. 

Rona’s legacy will live on in the memory of her joy and generosity, and the special, thoughtful books she was constantly sharing with friends and family (particularly children). There isn’t anyone who knew Rona who doesn’t have a book that reminds them of her. Known in Hamilton as ‘Ms. E’, her hallmark color was purple. Family was a priority and the dear friendships she maintained through the years were an integral part of her life. She loved art in all its forms. Memories of Rona will always include her curiosity about the lives of her loved ones and her encouragement of their talents, her joy at finding beautiful art, her delight in trips with friends, and her unending devotion to opening the world for children through teaching. 

She is preceded in passing by both her parents and brother Jim. She is survived by one brother, four sisters, and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. She loved being a ‘great’ aunt.

A funeral mass will be held on Monday, January 28th, at 11:00 am at St. Francis Catholic Church. Immediately following the mass a luncheon will be held in her memory at the Pastoral Life Center. A summer internment in Mandan’s Union Cemetery with her parents will be her final resting place.

In lieu of flowers the family will be announcing a scholarship program in her honor through the Hamilton School District.  Condolences may be left for the family at

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