Bessie Mae Schmaing died unexpectedly early Wednesday morning, April 17, 2013, from natural causes.
Bessie was born on July 14, 1930, to Robert and Flossie Taylor in Roundup. At a young age, she and her parents left the homestead in the Little Snowies and made their home in Roundup. Bessie graduated from Roundup High School in 1948 and then moved to Billings and earned her certification as a radiology technician through the Billings Clinic. In 1952, she married Gerald Schmaing and, together, they had three children: Louanne, Bob and Nel. Bessie worked in the radiology department at the Billings Clinic, owned and operated a small business with her husband, and later worked as a radiation technician with the Northern Rockies Cancer in Billings and Miles City. Bessie loved to travel, and she and her dear childhood friend, Ruth, covered the span of the U.S. and made an extra-special trip to England, her dad’s homeland. Bessie touched so many lives and always came away with cherished memories and life lessons from those she knew.
Bessie was preceded in death by her husband, her parents and four infant sisters.
She is survived by her daughter, Louanne Sonsteng, grandson Jared and granddaughter Katie; her son, Robert “Bob,” daughter-in-law Linda and grandsons Jerry and John; her daughter, Ronnell “Nel” Martin, son-in-law David, grandson Brandon and wife Paula, and great-grandchildren Blake, Natalie and Mallory; granddaughter Jennalyn and husband Nathan Zahn, and great-grandchildren Lilly and Sam; and grandson Joshua and wife Terryn Martin; sisters-in-law Carol (Marvin) Matheson and Gloria Amen. Mom was our biggest fan, was always optimistic and had the best sense of humor … she taught us the healing power of laughing with each other and at ourselves. We are comforted in knowing that Mom loved her family, her Lord and her life.
Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Monday, April 22, at Evangelical United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Billings Clinic Cancer Center, 2917 10th Ave. N., Billings, MT 59101, or to a charity of your choice.