Lillian (Boje) Knudson

Thursday, June 3, 2021
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Lillian (Boje) Knudson, 94, passed away on May 19, 2021 at GMC Extended Care in Glendive. Her family spent the days prior sharing their love and letting her know there was no more coffee to pour, no more stitches to make, no more ice cream to buy – it was time to go home.

Lillian was born on July 29, 1926 on the family farm in Bloomfield to (Gustav) Adolf and (Mary) Edna (Goddard) Boje.

She was baptized, confirmed and married in the Lutheran Church and her Christian faith was the bedrock of her long life.

Lillian attended elementary school in Bloomfield and then moved to Glendive with best friend Collette Hill to attend Dawson County High School, from which she graduated in 1945.

She married Robert Knudson on June 24, 1945, and the couple welcomed three children – Clarice, Steven and Curtis.

The family lived and farmed near Vida until 1964. During this time Lillian served as both a 4-H and Cub Scout leader.

After selling the farm, Lillian spent decades in some combination of owning, managing and working in cafes and motels, always working hard to serve others.

One thing Lillian was known for was moving a lot. She lived in many places before several years ago declaring ‘the next move will be to the nursing home or the funeral home,’ – five or six moves later she finally made it. While she could count dozens of homes with surprising recollection, she insisted the most she ever moved was three times in one day.

Ultimately, most of her life was spent in the triangle of Eastern Montana that included Richey, Circle, Glendive and Bloomfield. In spite of the violent hail storms and droughts that eventually did in the family farm, and the blizzards that occasionally made getting to and from school a harrowing ordeal, she always referred to this part of the world as ‘paradise.’ There were, she reasoned, no hurricanes, no earthquakes, no floods or famines or crime waves; just simple living.

Through years of hard work and struggle, Lillian made this ‘simple’ living seem effortless and even joyful.

Whether sewing choir robes, crocheting afghans, quilting or baking, she kept herself busy making things for loved ones.

She also devoted years in service to her church. She was called ‘mom’ by five bishops of the Montana Synod and thrilled in her extended church family across the state. Whether serving on boards, as a delegate to conventions, hosting events or preparing food for those in need, there was never a task too big or small when she was called upon to serve.

Looking for a new challenge she studied for and received credentials as a hospice volunteer while in her 70s.

Through it all, the most important thing to Lillian was family. In the early years she worked long, hard hours to provide for her young family. Later, she found joy in entertaining her grandchildren and especially her great-grandchildren. She lived to see five great-great grandchildren (with another on the way).

She also had special bonds with extended family in both she and Robert’s families. Her greatest joy came through family gatherings – the bigger, the better.

Lillian was preceded in death by her parents, husband, son Steve, brother Thomas Boje, sister-in-law Carolyn Boje and sister-in-law Patricia Boje, and son-in-law Danny Beery.

She is survived by her brother Floyd Boje, daughter Clarice Beery, son Curt (Melissa) Knudson; grandsons, Rondel (Lanette) Beery, Jess (Angie) Beery, Eric Knudson, Chad Knudson, and Kane Knudson; one granddaughter Ashley Knudson; sister-in-law June Boje and sister-in-law Lorraine Benes; great-grandchildren Danielle (Seth) Servais (daughter Dannica), Brett (Shelby) Beery (children Avery and Saylor), Bryce (Kylie) Beery (children Paxton and Grace), David (Malori) Beery, Alysia (Ethan) Staigle, Finley Fulton and Garrett Fulton; a special nephew Swede Knudson, Ken Craig and all the family and friends with whom she once shared her home.

A celebration of Lillian’s life will be held Saturday, June 5 at 2 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church with Pastor Brenda Frelsi officiating. Interment will be at the family plot in Prairie Lawn Cemetery near Vida. Everyone is welcome to attend.