Verda Rosecellia (Torgerson) Hoffarth Stewart, born Dec. 26, 1923, in Dagmar, Mont., passed peacefully on Oct. 19, 2013, in San Diego, Calif.
Mass for the Repose of her soul will be held at 11 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 10, at St. Catherine Laboure Catholic Church.
Her wishes were to be cremated and laid to rest at the Plentywood Memorial Cemetery in Plentywood, with her beloved husband, Roy. Date and time are pending.
She was born the second daughter of eight children to Martin and Agnes Torgerson on their farm near Dagmar. She grew up on the northern plains and lived through the Great Depression, an experience that was forever etched in her memory. She graduated from Medicine Lake High School in 1941 as valedictorian of her class and received a college scholarship but did not continue on to college.
She met her beloved husband, Roy P. Hoffarth, at a Saturday night dance. They were married in 1942 and farmed east of Raymond, Mont., later moving to Plentywood. Roy served in the Army from 1942 to 1945. Verda lived with Roy's mother, Rosa, during that time and maintained a deep abiding love for her. Roy preceded Verda in death in 1961 after a long illness.
She and her family moved to Glasgow in 1962; she worked for the J.C. Penney Co. from 1962 through 1979 in the business office and as catalog supervisor. She transferred to the Pacific Beach, Calif., store as the catalog supervisor in 1979 and then to the Fashion Valley store where she worked until retirement in 1983.
She appreciated the sunny climate of San Diego, and while she missed family and friends in Montana, she did not miss the cold and snowy winters. She loved to drive back in summer to visit family and friends and cherished the beauty of the Big Sky state.
She was an exceptional and avid dancer and danced ballroom as long as she was able. She was an accomplished seamstress and crafter. She loved to garden and had a prolific "green thumb." She was always a storyteller and several years ago discovered she had a gift for writing. She left an amazing compilation of her life's stories.
Her love of family was always the most important thing to her, not only the members that were closest to her, but all of her extended family. She imparted her belief in the importance of family, curious nature and love of learning to her children and grandchildren. She loved people and could visit with anyone, and typically did! She had a quick and easy smile and usually a twinkle in her eye.
She was briefly married to Ray L. Thompson and later to James A. Stewart.
She was a member of the St. Catherine Laboure Catholic Church, Santa Teresa Guild, American Legion Auxiliary #41 and Ladies Auxiliary VFW.
She will be deeply missed by her family, friends, and people whose lives she touched. She would want to give each and every one of you a hug and sit down for a chat.
She was preceded in death of her husband, Roy Hoffarth; baby boy Hoffarth; twin boys Hoffarth; three brothers, Marvin, Maynard and Art Torgerson; and two sisters, Verna Torgerson and Flora Mae Smith.
Survivors include one son, Garry Hoffarth of Fort Meyers, Fla.; daughters, Shannon Hoffarth of San Diego, Calif., Vernita Ares of Santa Cruz, Calif., and Jeanine Markle and her husband, Jack, of Glasgow; grandchildren, Lei Ellingson and her husband, John, Wade Hoffarth-Johansen and his wife, Dana, Matthew Hoffarth, Ryan Hudson, Dominic Ares, Amanda Ares, Drew Markle and Dirk Markle and his wife, Bonnie, of Glasgow; great-grandchildren, Lehn and Hannah Ellingson and Eric and Jackson Hoffarth; one brother, Victor Torgerson; one sister, Violet Sorensen; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in the memory of "Verda R. Stewart" to Glasgow High School Educational Trust, c/o Jeanine Markle, 904 Wedum Drive, Glasgow, MT 59230 or to a charity of your choice.
Legacy Funeral and Cremation Care of La Mesa, Calif., is in charge of arrangements.