Sharon Waite, 77, of Billings, MT, died peacefully at home on March 2, 2019.
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Sharon was born on September 18, 1941 in Baker, MT to Wayne and Dorothy (Atkinson) Speelmon. In 1953, her family moved to Billings where Sharon attended Lincoln Junior High School and Billings Senior High School. After high school, Sharon married William (Bill) Waite. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary November 2018. Bill and Sharon's first son was born in Billings and soon after, they moved to Los Angeles, CA. Their family grew in L.A. with the births of a second son and a daughter. A true Montanan at heart, Sharon was delighted when the family moved back to Billings in 1965.
When her daughter entered first grade, Sharon began working at Hart-Albin and remained there until the birth of her third son. When he was three, Sharon joined the team at Hart-Albin Bookstore and remained there as manager until the store closed in 1990. Sharon then managed a B.Dalton Bookseller store and retired in 2000. Sharon touched many lives through her career as a bookseller and considered it much more than a job.
Like her father, Sharon was involved in Freemasonry organizations. During high school, Sharon was Honored Queen of Bethel No. 7 of Job's Daughters and an active member of Rainbow Girls. She later joined the Order of the Eastern Star. After her retirement, she donated her time to other charities including St. Vincent's Healthcare and Museum of Women's History.
Sharon enjoyed many things in life: lunches with her friends, trying new foods, vacations and trips with her family, and picking mushrooms in the Beartooth Mountains. Most of all though, she loved books. She was an avid reader and a collector of books, particularly on Montana history, and especially the history of southeastern Montana. Sharon took great joy in sharing her love of reading with friends and especially her family. She encouraged her kids to read at an early age, and they all share her love of books and reading.
She touched many lives through various endeavors, always living up to the high standards she set for herself. From her earliest childhood, Sharon demonstrated a sense of responsibility and stepped up to whatever challenges life presented her. Even in her last months, Sharon's concern was for others more than for herself.
Sharon is survived by her husband of 60 years, Bill Waite, her sister Lana (Jeannie) Cummins, sons Mitchell, Mark and Matthew (Tami) Waite, daughter Brenda Waite and grandchildren Nathan and Bethany Waite. She was preceded in death by her parents, Wayne and Dorothy Speelmon, her sister Marilyn Kay Speelmon and her brother Terry James Speelmon.
At Sharon's request, cremation has taken place and there will be a private interment with no memorial service. Friends and family are invited to share their memories of Sharon at smithfuneralchapels.com. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Stillwater Hospice of Billings. The family thanks Stillwater for their devoted care of Sharon during the last year.