Phyllis Margaret Newton

Thursday, January 6, 2022
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Phyllis Margaret Newton, age 95, of Glendive, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022 at the Wibaux County Nursing Home. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, from 6 pm until 8 pm at Silha Funeral Home in Glendive, with a Rosary service starting at 7:00 pm with Deacon Tony Finneman officiating. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022 at 10 am at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Glendive with Father Jolly Pathiyamoola officiating. Rite of Committal will follow in the Dawson County Cemetery. Silha Funeral Home of Glendive has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Phyllis was born in the Glendive hospital October 26 1926, the eldest of 6 children to William and Margaret Parker. In 1936, the family moved to Priest River near Sandpoint, Idaho. In 1944 Phyllis graduated high school in Sandpoint and later worked in Spokane for the War Department (WWII) for 3 years before visiting cousins in Glendive and being introduced to Bob Newton at a sheep camp. Love at first sight – at least for Bob who immediately announced his intentions to make her his wife. Phyllis said that when her cousins, John and Jim Rahr, brought her to meet Bob, he had suffered a stomach bug the night before and had gone home to shower and shave. He was the only one who resembled a good-looking guy since the others had been working that sheep camp for quite a while and were extremely dirty. He took her courting to show off the badlands area of the ranch and she remembered thinking that no self-respecting jack rabbit would willingly live here (having been mountain raised herself). However, she and Bob were married July 11, 1949 in Miles City and have resided on the ranch along Deer Creek since and she came to thoroughly love and respect this land and people.

Bob and Phyllis had 4 children: John Newton, Kathy McLane, Clay Newton and Connie Hilger. Bob passed away January 19, 2008 after 58 years of marriage. Phyllis is preceded in death by her husband, Bob, and one brother, Bill Parker.

In her career, Phyllis worked for the War Department, PCA of Glendive, a credit bureau, and was Office Manager of the Glendive Community Hospital. She loved collecting cut glass and China clocks and thoroughly loved her unique earth sheltered home that was built in 1979 by Bob and her cousin, Jim Rahr.

Raised a devout Catholic, Phyllis and Bob saw that their family knew a solid base in faith. She was a member of the Republican Women, Zonta, Near & Far Homemakers, Catholic Daughters and the Alter Society, was an avid Attic worker and served on the hospital foundation board.

Phyllis is survived by siblings Paul, Dick and Nolan Parker and Sharon Ahner and she loved all their families. Phyllis and Bob had 4 children, 9 grandchildren and 12 greatgrandchildren.

John’s family: Angela (Steve) Boser and their sons Kyle and Lance; Jennifer (Matt) Robertson and their children Rylen, Rhianna, Brayden, Brenna Hope and Brielle. Valoree (Andy) Althoff. Josh (Kayla) Newton.

Kathy’s family: Derry (Paulette) McLane and children Chase, Chance and Sydnee McLane.

Clay and Laureen’s family; Seth (Tiffany) Newton and daughter Dylan. Codi (Cole) Smith and children Quinn, Jense and Veronica “Sunny”; Wyatt (Miriam) Newton.

Connie and Mike Hilger’s family: Ward (Heather) Hilger and their children Kennedy, Reagan and Zack.

Mom will be remembered for several sayings. When a newlywed, she felt a slight inferiority complex when she began becoming involved in community service. Her way of combating this insecurity was a lesson for us all. She sewed little packets out of baby flannel and pinned a $100 in her bra cups. She said you could face a crowd and “stick your boobs out and walk with dignity”. It was a power base to build on and was better than therapy.

Two other fun sayings that she repeated often were: Instead of ‘sigh’, but with nervous energy: she would say: “Hope – A – Catapiddle” (we really haven’t got a clue what that meant but it was profound!). Also, when she was rushing us kids to go somewhere, she would say “Run, Run, Get the Gun! The Cat’s Peeing”. Mom always brought fun to our lives and we will certainly miss her loving heart.

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