Frances “Babe” Coleman Malesich 1922-2019

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
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Frances “Babe” Coleman Malesich, 96, died Jan. 22, 2019 in Billings, Montana.

She was born in 1922 into a loving family of Harry and Josie Coleman. She was the youngest of four daughters: Helen, Rose Mary, and Angela; so she got the nickname of Babe, that most of her friends called her all of her life. She was joined 11 years later by the addition of a baby brother, Harry. They were a close-knit family that worked hard, played hard and loved each other very much. Frances grew up in Gilmore and Leadore, Idaho. She went to work as a cook for the Malesich family that ranched outside of Dillon. She fell in love with Phillip Malesich and they married in 1942. While Phillip was in the Air Force, they lived in Texas, Las Vegas and Glendale, California.

In 1944, they had their first child, Nancy Lee. She was joined by a brother, Randy, in 1948. Their son Randy was killed in a tragic car accident in 1967. Around 1950 the family moved back to Dillon and engaged in ranching. In 1951 Richard was born. In about 1952 they moved to Moiese, Montana, and then to Thompson Falls, where Phillip worked for a car dealership and then managed an auto parts store. They moved to Harlowton in 1959 and opened their own auto parts store. They owned and operated that store until retiring in 1983. They spent their years in retirement traveling and visiting with friends and family.

Phillip passed away in 1991 and Frances continued living in the house in Harlowton until 2013, when she moved in with her son Richard in Billings. She resided there until the end of 2018 before moving into assisted living for a short time before her death.

She is survived by her children, Nancy Stephens of Whitefish, Richard Malesich of Billings, grandchildren, Heather Stephens of Seattle, Trek and Rene Stephens and their three children of Whitefish.

A funeral service for “Babe” was Jan. 28, 2019 at the St Joseph Catholic Church in Leadore, Idaho. She was laid to rest in the Leadore Cemetery.

Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel in Billings, Montana, and Brundage Funeral Home in Dillon, Montana. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at