Lydia Zeiler-Barnes, 92, passed away on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. At the time of her death, she was a resident at Aspen Meadows in Billings, where she had lived for the past five years.
Lydia was born on Dec. 23, 1923, in Lincoln, Neb., to Ida and Jacob Heinrich, and was raised on a farm near Billings. Lydia married Dan Zeiler on Nov. 22, 1942, and they shared 39 years together until his death on Feb. 11, 1981. Dan and Lydia ranched west of Billings until 1964, and then operated rental properties until their retirement. She married Verlin Barnes on Jan. 21, 1984, and they shared 24 years together until his death on April 8, 2008.
Lydia loved to fish, dance and play cards. She and Dan spent many days traveling with their motorhome and boat to all the good fishing lakes in Montana; her favorite bait was a cowbell with a worm and piece of yarn. She was fortunate to find the same enjoyment with Verlin in her later years. Lydia had a gift for gardening and always had a yard full of flowers and a vegetable garden — if it could be planted, she and Verlin could grow it.
Lydia was preceded in death by her parents; husbands Dan and Verlin; sister Helen; brothers George, Jim and Jack; son-in-law Morris Dietz; and one grandson.
She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Sally (Dietz) and Jim Case of Carson City, Nev.; son and daughter-in-law Larry and JoEllen Zeiler of Butte; and Verlin’s daughters, Cindy, Naomi and Nanette. Lydia was very proud of her six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Lydia’s family is grateful to the caregivers at Aspen Meadows for their patience and compassion during her time there.
Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. A graveside service will take place at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8, in Sunset Memorial Gardens in Billings, where Lydia will be laid to rest beside Dan and her parents. Memorials may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.