July 12, 2023
Phyllis LaVerne (Edwards) Fuhrman, 92, of Larslan, Mont., passed away at Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital in Glasgow, Mont., on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, surrounded by family.
There will be a Celebration of Life at 2 p.m., Sunday, July 16, at Bell Mortuary, Glasgow. A reception will follow in the Cottonwood Inn Convention Center.
Phyllis was born to Graydon McKinley Edwards and Emma (Bergtoll) Edwards on Oct. 4, 1930, in Glasgow. She grew up on the Edwards home place four miles south of Opheim, Mont., and was the fifth of eight children.
Phyllis went through eighth grade at Wheatland Country School one mile from the farm and attended high school in Opheim, where she graduated co-valedictorian of her class in 1947 at the age of 16, along with her brother Bub. She attended some college in Havre, Mont., and then went to work as a bookkeeper at Ryan Wholesale in Havre.
Phyllis had plans to fly planes for the Air Force, but a certain handsome Clark Gable look-alike named Harry James Fuhrman swept her off her feet and kept her grounded. They were married in Glasgow on Dec. 13, 1950, and were best friends and soul mates for 58 years until his passing in 2008. They built a home on the Kent Caraway homestead, putting blood, sweat, and tears into growing their farming and ranching dreams in Larslan, Mont. Together they had five children: twins Tara and Tanya, Kim, Penny, and Travis. Phyllis was able to stay on the farm until the very end.
Phyllis was known for so many things and wore many hats: farmer's wife, mother, grandmother, rock picker, truck driver, gardener, just to name a few. She milked cows and sold cream, and raised chickens and sold eggs. She was an amazing cook and was famous for her potato salad, sweet tea, wonderberry pie, sour cream raisin pie, sauerkraut, cheese dumplings, knoefla, cinnamon rolls, homemade bread and milkshakes. Her garden was an incredible sight to behold-she called it "her church" because that is where she felt at peace and closest to God. Her work ethic and moral standards were second to none, and her big, kind heart toward others will live on.
Phyllis loved horses from the time she was born. One of her favorite memories was leading the rodeo parade on Flossy. Her lifelong dream was to see the trotting horses and pacers. In 2009 the family took her back to the prestigious Hambletonian. A reporter for the U.S. Trotting Association caught wind of her dream trip which garnered Phyllis several perks-a special tour of the barns and horses and an interview featured on their website. Her biggest surprise was having her name mysteriously drawn to ride in the back of the starter pickup for a race! She was grinning from ear to ear after she made that lap of being just a few feet from the horses!!
Phyllis also enjoyed reading, sewing, playing guitar, singing, yodeling, dancing, and flipping brodies. She was fun-loving and a kid at heart, always playing harmless pranks on her kids. She had her quick wit until the end-especially her 101 reasons why she shouldn't take a shower or a nap.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents, Graydon and Emma Edwards: brothers Fay Edwards and Graydon "Bub" Edwards, Jr; sister Harriet Carlson; her husband, Harry James "Jim" Fuhrman; son Travis Fuhrman; and a grandson, Damon Soper.
Survivors include four daughters, Tara Andren Ebersviller (Dale), of Billings, Mont., Tanya Fuhrman, of Santa Maria, Calif., Kim Madler (John Vermulm), of Larslan/Cut Bank, Mont., and Penny Shipp, of Larslan, Mont .; four grandchildren, Alison Maddock Pusley (Kelly), of Santa Maria, Tanner Andren (Katherine), of Charlotte, N.C., Ashley Kemmis (CJ), of Glasgow, and Kelsey Madler (Charlie), of Cut Bank; great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; four siblings, Marjorie Burdette, of Glasgow, Wayne Edwards and Richard "Dick" Edwards, of Billings, Mont., Joan McKeown, of Smyrna, Ga .; and several nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorials to North Valley EMS.
Condolences may be left for the family at bellmortuarymontana.com.