Mary Pelatt, 95 of Billings, passed away on May 25, 2012 at Jensen Cottage on the campus of St. John’s Lutheran Ministries. She was born Mary Katherine Heilman in Bozeman, MT, July 28th, 1916, to Sadie & Ernest Heilman. Her father passed away when she was 5 and so was raised by her mother. Mary attended Holy Rosary grade & high school in Bozeman, and then worked as an usher at a local theater in Bozeman until her mother died in 1935. A few months later the theater she worked for went out of business as did many businesses in those days of The Great Depression.
Mary moved to Billings where she attended the Billings Business College and then was able to land a job as a secretary to the Indian Construction Office (BIA). She joined St. Patrick’s Church where she met her future husband George who owned his own business the Billings Sash & Door Co., but still found time to volunteer at his church and among other duties served as an usher. As she later joked that he was considered quite the catch she was more than surprised when one Sunday as he passed the collection basket he paused as it was right in front of her and gently shook the basket. She put her envelope in, but the basket remained. As she looked up at him wondering what was wrong she noticed a folded piece of paper in the basket. When she looked up at him again he motioned that she should take it out. She was more than surprised that it was a note asking her out on a date! They were later married in 1939 at St. Patrick’s Church.
After Larry, the youngest, started grade school, Mary began volunteering at St Vincent’s Hospital in their Pink Ladies program in which she was a charter member. Over the next 45 years she garnered many awards for service, but the most important to her were the hours of service awards…first her 500 hour pin, then her 1,000 and by the end of her volunteering days she had acquired over 9100 hours! She served as Secretary, Vice President, President, and Chairman throughout her life there. If her failing health did not stop her she’d still be at it as she was such a firm believer in all that St. Vincent’s does.
She loved her roses that she nurtured in her backyard, was an avid reader, a dedicated walker and a good friend to those who knew her. She was a whiz at jigsaw puzzles and enjoyed making hook rugs for her family.
Together, Mary & George raised 5 boys, Jim (Audrey), Michael (Pearl), Tom (Lorie), Bob (Karen) and Larry (Deanne). She became grandmother to 10 grandchildren and great-grandmother to 3 great-grandchildren.
Mary and George enjoyed travelling especially, as her boys got married and moved away, it became very enjoyable to visit them for a few weeks at a time, especially those who lived in the south where it was warmer, and spend time with their grandkids.
Cremation has taken place. Memorial Services will be held at a later date.
Please share your remembrance with others. After review you memory will be posted to this page and shared with the family.