Dorothy Jean Bensted was born to Stan and Christine (McLeod) Bensted on May 16, 1926, in Gladstone, Queensland, Australia. She grew up with four siblings, swimming in the ocean near the Great Barrier Reef. One evening during WWII, she and her sister were out after curfew. A young U.S. Army MP escorted them home. That MP was Mike Schieno. He asked if he could call again, and a long romance began. Dorothy and Mike were married in Australia on Feb. 19, 1944.
Dorothy was a brave soul like so many young war brides. She boarded a ship and sailed to San Francisco, then boarded a train to Billings to join her husband and meet his large Italian family.
Dorothy worked as a retail clerk for Skaggs Drug Center until 1973, when she resigned to care for Mike, who was diagnosed with cancer. Mike died on Dec. 11, 1974.
After Mike’s death, Dorothy was lost. She married Dwight Nelson, who also lost his life to cancer.
Recently, Dorothy has been living near her grandchildren in Colorado.
She is survived by two daughters, Marilyn (Bill) Rudolph and Kathy (Vern) Watson. She has five grandchildren, Grey, Sara, Brian, Kate and Christopher; and eight great-grandchildren, Tyler, Marisa, Emma, Lorenzo, Garrett, Ruby, Lila Ray and Ava Leath.
Dorothy was fiercely independent and requested no funeral service. Visitation will be 5-7pm Friday at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary and there will be a graveside memorial at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Billings at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22.