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Ruby Fitzgerald

Ruby (Conatser) Fitzgerald, 98, of Choteau, Mont., passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, at a local care facility.

She will be entombed with her loving husband, James, at Arlington National Cemetery later in the Spring.

She was born on Feb. 27, 1918, in Glasgow, Mont., to William J. Conatser and Mercedes (Hibbett) Conatser. She was raised on a farm at Tampico, near Glasgow. She was very proud of her Montana heritage and the diverse cultures of the area. Her Native American name given to her by a friend of the family was “Born By The River.”

She graduated from Glasgow High School and was always ready to go to a basketball game that involved the Scotties. On June 25, 1949, she married James Fitzgerald. After she and Jim were married, she accepted a position with the Forest Service on a fire lookout offering Jim peace and quiet while he studied. In 1956, Jim won a Fullbright Scholarship and later accepted a position in the foreign service, where they were both involved in assignments, traveling around the world as ambassadors from the United States.

Jim’s work with the American Embassy took them to locations all over the world including Kenya, Japan, Indonesia, Columbia and Nicaragua. While Jim was on job assignments, she did volunteer work in the communities where they lived. In Indonesia, she taught English as part of a dual culture program. In Columbia, she did volunteer work in a Columbian prison. In 1986, they returned to Alexandria, Va. There she continued her volunteerism where she worked with the Alexandria Police Department for over 15 years. She helped organize Red Cross blood drives, worked with Crime Prevention, and Neighborhood Watch programs. She continued to do volunteer work after moving to Choteau in 2005, assisting with the Food Pantry and providing snacks for Lions Club members as they worked on projects.

She was an artist, working with pottery and painting.

In addition to her father and mother, she was proceeded in death by her “Uncle Charlie” Conatser; a brother, Charles Conatser; and two sisters, Margaret Osgood and Bedelia Thomas.

She is survived by one sister, Esther Wall of Glasgow; five nephews, Jack Conatser, Tim Wall, Duaine Wall, Robert Thomas and Larry Thomas; and five nieces, Elaine Unrau, Connie Osgood, Sharon Osgood, VernaDee Osgood and Peggy Osgood.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Croxford Funeral Home.


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