Verlaine Kay Van Atta, 73, of Billings, left us on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, from natural causes and surrounded by her loved ones. She entered the arms of her Lord Jesus and her precious mother Ella.
Verlaine was born on April 13, 1946, to Oren and Ella Barnhart in Kalispell. She grew up in Columbia Falls and graduated from Columbia Falls High School in 1964. After high school, she moved to Billings, where she completed a secretarial course and met her future husband. She then decided to set out for adventure, accepting a government position in Washington, D.C. Verlaine married Clinton Van Atta in 1967 in an air force base chapel in Maryland. After living in South Carolina for a time, they moved back to Montana with their two young sons.
After the birth of her daughter in 1979, Verlaine remained a stay-at-home mom in Billings and attended St. Bernard’s Catholic Church for many years. She then entered a 17-year career with Bureau of Land Management. Upon retirement, Verlaine dedicated all of her time to her husband and family. In 2012, Verlaine began her favorite job at SpringHill Suites, where she met many valued coworkers and patrons.
Verlaine was a tangible model of Christ for those closest to her. She desired no recognition for her service to others. Her quiet strength was often mistaken as weakness. She had a wisdom in knowing what to fight for and was always steadfast during pressure. The harder the battle, the stronger she fought, especially for her dearest loved ones. Verlaine persevered and finished the race with honor. “We love you gramma.”
Verlaine is preceded in death by her husband, Clinton Van Atta; and parents Oren and Ella Barnhart.
She is survived by sons Greg (Elly) and Jeff (Melinda); daughter Jamie Van Atta; sisters Gayle and Vicki (Roger); and her most cherished grandchildren, Kyle, Kimberli (Kyler), Kobi, Karli, Clinton and Halston.
For those who loved our Verlaine, interment will be 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 21, at Mountview Cemetery. Reception to follow at 12 noon at Sam & Louie’s, 1595 Grand Ave.
Donations may be made in Verlaine’s honor to RiverStone Health Hospice House.