Pearl Langstaff (Witt)
Pearl Frances was born September 6, 1922 as the 5th child of Jennie and Sam Witt of Benzien MT. Since they lived in a homestead, her mother was taken to Sumatra MT to a midwife's house for delivery. Pearl grew up playing with her older sister Bonnie and younger brother Stanley while cattle were raised and crops and garden were grown. The elder three siblings, Geneva, Rita and Marvin were about a decade older, having been born near Belgrade MT. Sam helped build the school houses where they were taught. In second grade Pearl became ill and had to be home schooled by her mother who had been a teacher before marriage. Drought made them move to Hardin MT where they rented for over a year. Family attended the Baptist church and Pearl was baptized by the pastor at Crow Agency. In spring of 1933 or 1934 they moved to Bridger and the Witts resided there to farm permanently, living on the bank of Clark's Fork river. Four H and extended family were big parts of life. One of her classmates Edith Langstaff had a big brother, Adrian whom she would later marry. Pearl graduated salutatorian of her class at Bridger High in 1939. She entered nursing at Billings Deaconess Hospital for three years and became registered in 1944. During the war she worked at Forsyth MT hospital and in1947 went to YMCA business college in Seattle and trained in pediatrics at U. of Washington, working at Harborview hospital. She returned to Bridger and was employed for Dr. Bridenbaugh in 1947. When his office moved to Powell WY, she went to Helena MT and was office nurse at Klein-Cashmore Clinic. For two months she was stenographer for state legislature in 1949 and then Sept 7th she and Adrian were married at Bridger Methodist. He became an elementary school principal and they enjoyed raising their children of the baby boomer’s generation. Sally Dee was born in 1950 and John in 1952. Residing at 1124 N 23rd St N, they were members of 1st Methodist and their faith in God sustained them when little Sally died in 1953 in an auto accident. Mary was born in 1954 and they moved to 2107 Broadwater Ave. where Nancy was born in 1956 and Larry in 1958. Pearl joined in as girl scout nurse at camp and took turns at youth Sunday school teacher. She worked at Deaconess as maternity nurse until about 1970, usually doing night shifts. She enjoyed keeping up with close family and also writing letters to distant ones. Visits to the Bridger Langstaff ranch and the Witt farm were enjoyed. By 1970 Sam Witt had come to live with them and Pearl retired from the hospital. After kids were leaving home for college and jobs, Sam died in 1974. Then Adrian retired in 1976. He died that winter in a family car accident. Pearl began working as a dental assistant and then a home health nurse. She moved to Central Court Village and later to West Park Village. Family expanded, and grandchildren were enjoyed always. She passed away surrounded by family and much-loved July 31, 2018.
Preceding her in death were daughter Sally Dee, husband Adrian and her 5 siblings. Surviving children are son John (Gloria) Langstaff of Missoula MT, daughter, Mary (James) Lee of Billings, daughter, Nancy (Ron) Kapalka of Billings, and son Larry (Kay Ann) of Chandler AZ, and grandchildren Jasmine (Tom Hallbauer) of West Hollywood CA, Sierra (Bryan Potts) of Kalispell MT, Stephanie (Ryan) Bernard of Spokane, Mike (Paula) Lee of Billings, Kelsey (Peter) Wilson of Seattle, Ginger (Stephen) Montalvo of Kailua HI, Mandy (Nick) Madler of Billings, Leah Langstaff of Chandler AZ and Tyler Langstaff of Methuen MA and three great granddaughters, Teyla Lee, Lexi and Sadie Bernard.
Memorial services will be held Tuesday, August 21, 10:00 A.M., at First United Methodist Church, 2800 4th Ave N, Billings, MT. Condolences may be shared with the family by visiting smithfuneralchapels.com.