Lois Eileen (Grimes) Stephens 1923-2020

Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Lois Eileen (Grimes) Stephens 1923-2020

Lois Eileen (Grimes) Stephens, 96, passed away peacefully at the Granite County Medical Center in Philipsburg, Montana, on Jan. 25, 2020. The oldest child of Thelma (Jensen) and Walter Grimes, Eileen was born in Dillon, Montana, on Sept. 23, 1923. She spent her life in Beaverhead County except for the last 15 years, which she spent in Philipsburg. As a girl, she attended school in Pocatello, Idaho, for a short time and then her family returned to Dillon.

Following high school graduation, Eileen attended the State Normal College in Dillon where she received her two-year teachers’ certificate. She then accepted a teaching position in Wisdom, Montana, where she taught grades 1-3 for one year. She met and married Big Hole rancher Argyl Stephens in 1945. They were married for 48 years. He precedes her in death. The couple ranched in the Big Hole Basin until 1961 when they moved to Dillon where they continued ranching before retirement.

In 1966, Eileen returned to school at Western Montana College where she received her bachelor’s in education. She taught second grade at the Mary Innes School in Dillon for nine years.

Eileen was a very civic-minded lady. While living in Dillon she received the honor of Outstanding Woman of the Year for 1990 for her community service and leadership. She served as the first president of Parkview Nursing Home Auxiliary. She served on the Board of Trustees of Barrett Memorial Hospital for 10 years, the Board of Trustees of Beaverhead County High School and District 10. She was one of the original board members for the Beaverhead County Economic Development Committee, as well as serving as the first woman director of the Beaverhead Chamber of Commerce. She was also very active in the Dillon Garden Club.

Flowers and gardens were her passion. She grew beautiful flowers in Wisdom, Dillon, and in Philipsburg. She took great pleasure in sharing her beautiful yard with everyone who came to her home to visit. She could grow anything! She was even able to grow beautiful gladiolas in the Big Hole! She particularly loved her roses and agonized over not being able to take proper care of them as she approached 95!

Eileen moved to Philipsburg in 2005 to be near her family where she continued her very active community service. She loved the Granite County Medical Center Nursing Home residents. She could usually be found there caring for the flowers or visiting. She was named Volunteer of The Year for the Medical Center in 2012.

Eileen’s spiritual life and her church were very important to her. She was an ordained elder and faithful church member of the First Presbyterian Church in Dillon and at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Philipsburg, where she lovingly provided fresh flowers from her yard when weather permitted. Otherwise, she made sure the church sanctuary always had beautiful flower arrangements of her creation to add to the beauty of each service.

Surviving are her special friend Zane Murfitt of Philipsburg; brother Bruce (Bonnie) Grimes of Butte; daughter Terry Jo (TJ) Vietor of Philipsburg. Stepsons David (Diann) Stephens of Dillon and Raymond Stephens who preceded her in death; grandchildren, Shareece (Darrell) Beauchamp of Great Falls, Stacy Fisk of Dillon, Jason (Andrea) Vietor, Jody (Mike) Cutler, all of Philipsburg; greatgrandchildren Cassie (Richie) Taylor of Portland, Erica (Chris) Buck of Great Falls, Nathan (Debra) Fisk of Billings, Casey Fisk of Anaconda, and Sydney and Kade Cutler of Philipsburg.

She had numerous nieces and nephews.

Celebration of Life services will be held at the St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Philipsburg on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 at 11 a.m. There will be one hour of visitation prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Philipsburg.

Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral & Cremation Service are entrusted with Eileen’s funeral arrangements. You may pay your condolences at www.longfellowfinneganriddle.com.