November 7, 2018
Elsie Evelina (Lingle) Cusker Belzer, 94, passed from this world the morning of Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Sidney Extended Care, Sidney, Mont.
Memorial service is 11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 9, at the Nashua Civic Center in Nashua, Mont. Cremation has taken place.
She was born on July 8, 1924, to parents Earl and Ruth Thompson Lingle. She was born at home, in the community of Bodine, Mont. She joined her older brother, Bert, and an older sister, Eleanor. The family grew to include four more sisters, Margaret, Jenny, Ella and Cecil, who was born on Mom's 12th birthday.
Mom loved the outdoors. She tagged around after her Dad, riding horseback and doing all the other chores tomboys did. The family didn't have much in the way of material possessions, but they always had enough to eat and extra to share with anyone who might stop by.
As a young woman, she took a job keeping house and caring for an elderly lady who had suffered a stroke. That lady was my Dad's mother. Mom and Dad were married on Dec. 15, 1948, in Poplar, Mont. Mom thought the world of Grandma Grace and she cared for her until Grace passed away.
Mom and Dad had four children, Noela, Dawn, J.R. and Clair. Dad died in 1963, leaving Mom a widow at 39 with four young kids to provide for. Mom managed to do that by working hours and hours at night, altering clothing for dry cleaning and clothing stores, cooking and waitressing, babysitting or whatever it took. She was the best mother ever and would have done anything for us.
Even though Mom's formal education ended in the ninth grade, she had a lot of native smarts and became an accomplished seamstress, furniture upholsterer, gardener and cook. She raised a huge garden. The basement held shelves and shelves of every canned food you could think of. She baked bread almost every day and made the most wonderful cinnamon rolls.
In earlier years when we were young, Mom was active in 4-H as a leader and as one of the mothers who did so much work behind the scenes, organizing everything and helping to keep the club going. During the school year, Mom rotated with the other mothers in providing hot lunches for all of us.
Mom loved to dance. She loved jazz sessions. She square danced, polkaed, schottisched, butterflied and waltzed. She made her own square dance outfits and looked beautiful on the floor. Mom also liked to visit and she loved it when company came by. She could have a meal ready for surprise guests in no time at all.
Mom made so many quilts, I can't begin to remember all of them. She made at least one quilt for everyone in her family, the favorite probably being the Pineapple Pocket pattern made from Levi's pockets. She planned to make a quilt for just about everyone she knew, and she was working on that at the time of her accident.
Mom also loved horses, dogs and most other animals. Minnie Penny Pearl was such a good little friend to her. That's a name a three-year-old great-granddaughter gives a dog. Granddaughter Katie made sure Mom got to watch the baby lambs.
My brother built a log house for Mom and she loved it so much. She could stand at the living room window and see all the way down to the highway. She watched deer walk across the yard. Mom was very fortunate. In spite of serious health issues, she was able to live in her own home until the summer of her 90th birthday. Then she needed help and we persuaded her to move into the Savage Sunrise Manor, which was the very closest thing to home that you'll ever find. Wonderful people make it that way. At the Manor she got to know Leonard and all the ladies. Everyone was very kind. It's hard when you have to leave your home. Leonard's kindness and understanding helped make the transition a little easier.
Mom suffered a broken hip in September. She really never did come back to us after surgery and she was getting very tired. It was time for her to feel better.
She was preceded in death by her six siblings and one daughter, Clair Brown.
She is survived by three children, Neola Cusker, of Huntley, Mont., Dawn (Ted) Claymore, of Sidney, and J.R. (Debbie) Cusker, of Nashua, Mont .; one son-in-law, Darrel Brown, of Sidney; 10 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Love you always Mom.
Fulkerson-Stevenson Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements. Remembrances, pictures, and condolences may be shared with the family at http://www.fulkersons.com.