The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

Marilyn Lee Dykstra


December 19, 2018

On Nov. 23, 2018, our mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Marilyn Lee (Hughes) Dykstra, joined her Heavenly Family. She died peacefully in her sleep just short of her 89th birthday at her apartment in the Missoula Manor with her daughter, Carol, and granddaughter, Jana, by her side.

A celebration of life was held Friday, Dec. 7, at Grizzly Peak and a memorial service will be held in the spring of 2019 at the First United Methodist Church with burial of her cremains at the Highland Cemetery.

Marilyn was born Dec. 23, 1929, in Litchville, N.D., as the second of five children to Hugh and Emma (Tweit) Hughes. In 1942, the family moved to Richland, Mont., where her father and mother managed the Farmers Union Store. She was a big help for her mother who was the community seamstress, while her father also hauled grain with the first semi-truck in the county, which turned into a lifelong trucking career for him.

After graduating eighth-grade in Richland, with no high school available for her freshman year; she commuted by riding the mail train to Peerless, Mont., and lived there in the dorm during the week.

She moved to Glasgow, Mont., for her sophomore year of high school to live with her sister, Darlene Nichols, and her children while Harold (Darlene's husband) was in the Navy overseas in WWII. The move to Glasgow resulted in meeting two of her best friends for life, Dorothy Dolson Eayrs and Nell Collins McIntosh. In addition, she met the boy next door, Cecil Dykstra, who later became the love of her life.

It was during her junior year at Glasgow High that she met a young WWII Navy sailor, Kenneth M. Butts on leave and visiting his brother. They were married on April 1, 1947, during her senior year. Upon graduating with the GHS class of 1947, they moved to Kalispell, Mont., where their first of four children, Frank Daniel (1948) was born. The family moved to the West Coast while Ken was receiving treatment from the VA; settling in Salem, Ore., where their second child, Suzette (1950) was born. The family moved to Bellingham, Wash., where their third and fourth children were born, Marie (1952) and Carol (1958). In 1962, the family moved to Nashua, Mont., where they bought the Home Café and made it the family business, as well as having the mail route north of Nashua. In 1966, after selling the Home Café; they moved to Glasgow, and owned and managed Brad's Place (night club north of Glasgow) and the Skylark Club (now the Sunnyside Country Club).

After 24 years of marriage, Marilyn and Ken divorced.

Marilyn continued her 20-plus year career as a bookkeeper for United Building Center, Newton Motors, Econo Lumber and Econo Glass in Glasgow and later at a car dealership and construction company in Plentywood, Mont., and Winona, Minn., while her daughter, Carol, finished high school.

Marilyn loved all the places she lived, always making lifelong friends everywhere she went and later would always stay in touch with them through letters and phone calls. While she was in Washington, she would design and sew matching outfits for Sue and Marie and canned the fruits from their many trees. She would make buttermilk and butter from their milk cow.

Her love for living was fueled by her natural curiosity of life and what was yet to come... The wonder of the future and her passion to learn more...

Marilyn eventually became reacquainted with the "boy next door," Cecil Dykstra, who was working as a railroad conductor. Their renewed relationship blossomed and on Aug. 14, 1977, they were married. Having so much in common, life took on a whole new meaning for both of them. They became avid rock hounds traveling throughout Montana hunting for sapphires, agates and fossils. They enjoyed hunting and fishing, and she canned and smoked deer jerky and filled their freezer with all the wild meat.

She continued with her activities in Glasgow's Methodist Church. Her faith was very important to her. She was a dedicated member, volunteering countless hours baking or making her famous caramels, fudge, and sour cream raisin pies to raise money for the church. She also was an essential part of getting the Methodist Hand-Bell Choir started and served as its director. Marilyn took great pride in the beautiful performances the choir gave at the church and for public gatherings.

In 1989, Cec and Marilyn retired to St. Marie, Mont. They enjoyed their life in the rural community where they made many new friends. Marilyn looked forward to the weekly gatherings where they played cards or dominos and shared a potluck meal, which she always liked to bring more than one dish. During this time, Marilyn became a breast cancer survivor, and added the annual cancer Relay for Life to the many local events she never missed.

Cec and Marilyn truly enjoyed their lives together; sharing 26 years of love, music and laughter until Cecil's passing in 2003. Her youngest daughter Carol moved to be with her while Marilyn continued with her church and volunteer work and helping put together care packages for soldiers serving abroad. She and Carol enjoyed their favorite pastimes, garage sales and traveled for visits with family and friends.

In 2013, she moved to the Grizzly Peak Retirement Home in Missoula, Mont., for better health care and to be near her granddaughter and family. For five years she thoroughly enjoyed making new friends and participating in the activities there. She again started and directed a hand-bell choir; fulfilling and sharing her love for the sound of the bells.

She moved to the Missoula Manor this May where she enjoyed the company of new friends and was known for her pinochle skills. Marilyn was under the care of her daughter Carol and Hospice of Missoula. Her apartment, with the beautiful views of the mountains, was to be the final earthly home for this truly gracious woman who loved life and her family so very much.

Our mom was such a loving and compassionate lady, who always found the best in everyone. When she wasn't busy baking or other activities; she loved reading books and writing poetry. She would cut out articles about her grand and great-grandchildren's accomplishments to compile scrapbooks. Mom never missed sending birthday and Christmas cards which always had a warm, uplifting message. We will miss her beautiful smile and her loving talks.

She was a member of the United Methodist Women's Club, Al-Anon, Rebekah's Club, Degree of Honor and St. Marie Women's Club.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Hugh and Emma Hughes; her husband Cecil; two brothers, Donald (Bud) Hughes and William (infant); two sisters, Darlene Nichols and Jacqueline Alsberg Hughes; one son-in-law, Daniel Lasar; one brother-in-law, Harold Nichols; and Mrs. Mary Butts (mother-in-law and friend).

She is survived by her son Frank (Dan) Butts, of Missoula; three daughters, Suzette (Rick) Kinzell, of Glasgow, Marie (Robert) Rundle, of Hamilton, and Carol Butts, of St. Marie; one brother, Murray "Mike" (Kim) Hughes, of Joliet; one sister-in-law, Mrs. Jean Hughes, of Glasgow; seven grandsons, Daniel Butts, Kenneth Butts, Teage (Kristie) Kinzell, Trent (Deb) Kinzell, Chris Partridge, Jason Partridge and Josh (Natalie) Partridge; one granddaughter, Jana (Duncan) Crawford; 17 great-grandchildren; extended family members, Wayne (Liz) Dykstra, Debbie Walston, Connie St. John and Greg (JoAnn) Dykstra; and many loved nieces and nephews and their families.


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