LILLIAN EVANGELINE (EGGEN) FRASIER, passed away of natural causes at her home in the arms of her daughter Lyla. They had lived together for twenty-one years. Lillian was 102 years of age. Lillian was born April 27th, 1917, to homesteaders Tillie (Lee) Eggen and John Eggen, at their home, South of Archer, MT; an area known as "Timber Coulee", twelve miles West of Plentywood, MT. Lillian was baptized and confirmed at the Archer Lutheran Church, where at the age of eleven she played the "pedal pump organ", until it was mysteriously stolen!
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She grew up on the J bar E Ranch, which has an interesting history. In 1898 John Eggen's sister Mollie, and her husband Andrew Fadness, owned a ranch which adjoined John and Tillie Eggen's land; up until Andrew's unexpected death at age 49. Lillian's Aunt Mollie realized she could not manage the ranch by herself, as she was also raising two young daughters. Mollie asked John and Tillie to buy the "Fadness Ranch". They did, and this became the J bar E Ranch about 1921; when Lillian was age four, and her brothers Joseph age seven and Eugene age six. The ranch then had 500 head of cattle and 400 hundred horses, as horses were in demand. At an early age the Eggen children learned about hard work on a place they loved. Lillian loved horses, riding in search of orphaned calves, herding horses, going to get the mail, just a few of her many jobs. Lillian's horse was a Hamiltonian Stallion named "Red", and "Red" would only let her ride him!
Today this cattle ranch covers thousands of acres, and after five generations is owned by Lillian's Nephew, Arvid Eggen, his wife Linda and their family. The original barn, which was built in 1908, is beautifully maintained and still in use. Lillian milked a lot of cows in there.
Lillian attended the country "Lee School" for two years, around the age of five. It was a one-room school, about four miles from the ranch. She and her brothers walked to and from, creating many fun and interesting stories.
During Lillian's teen years, the drought and "Depression" of the 1930's changed their lives. The Eggen family temporarily moved to John Eggen's other farm he had near Grygla, MN. They would travel back and forth though, to check on their MT property. They worked and resided in MN until the economy got better, and the "Dirty Thirties" ended in Montana. As the "times" got better, the family moved back to the J bar E Ranch. In the meantime, Lillian attended four different high schools: Outlook, MT, Goodrich, MN, Mahnomen, MN, and Plentywood, MT. While Lillian was in Mahnomen, MN she lived with her Aunt Mollie Fadness, who moved back there after selling the Fadness Ranch.
Lillian graduated from Plentywood High School in 1934. She was chosen as PHS's first "Homecoming Queen".
Before Lillian graduated, her father would weekly take the family to the Plentywood Orpheum Movie Theater. This is the first place she laid eyes on a handsome, young man, Frank Frasier, who would later become her future husband.
In 1935 Lillian graduated from the Minot, ND school of Beauty Culture, and at the age of 18 bought a Beauty Shop in Culbertson, MT, where she worked until another change came. Her father became ill and passed away at age 54, forcing Tillie to run the ranch alone. With her older brother Joseph in the Military Service, and her other brother Eugene married and on his own ranch, Lillian sold her shop and returned to the J bar E Ranch to help her mother.
After a brief courtship, Lillian married Frank Frasier, December 29th, 1940 in the Archer, MT Lutheran Church. Lillian and Frank both worked on the ranch until Joseph returned from the service, upon which he purchased the ranch from his mother, Tillie.
Shortly after her marriage, Lillian obtained her Pilot's License, she trained and flew Open Cock-Pit Piper Cubs. She loved flying and enjoyed "Barnstorming". Frank did not approve of this risky hobby, and asked her to stop flying, she agreed, and did.
They moved to Bremerton, WA for a brief time, where Lillian worked as a hairdresser at Ward's Beauty, and Frank worked in the Naval shipyards. When they moved back to Plentywood, they purchased the Elmer Gooder Dray Line, this was a moving, trucking, & delivery service. Later they developed the first Sanitation Department for Plentywood, and in the early 1950's they developed gravel pits providing sand and gravel for commercial use. They also contracted with Great Northern Railroad company to haul freight from the depot to the area stores. They also had contracts with numerous oil drilling companies to deliver bagged bentonite to the rigs throughout Eastern to Central MT and North Dakota. Their BIG HORN COAL COMPANY, became the largest Independent coal dealership for Montana. All of their businesses were eventually joined into one company called the "CITY DRAY LINE".
During this time, Lillian continued to work, keeping her Beauty Operator and Manager's License for over fifty years. Lillian and Frank had three daughters: Janet Marlene, Rosann Jo, and Lyla Fay. Lillian was an amazing wife and mother, family was always first.
Lillian was a member of the Plentywood Lutheran Church, Golden Valley Ladies Aid, a Charter Member of the Sheridan County Saddle Club, the Rock-Hound Club, and the Montana Bowling Association.
Lillian and Frank moved to Billings, MT in 1988 and lived in Casa Village for ten years. Frank passed away December 7th, 1991 and Lillian maintained their home till the year 2000; she then move with her daughter Lyla, into their new home. Lillian resided there till her death. She is preceded in death by her parents, Tillie and John Eggen, husband Frank, brothers Joseph and Eugene Eggen, Sister-in-laws Katherine (Kohler) Eggen, Dorothy (Ersness) Eggen, and Nephew Donald Eggen.
Surviving family members are her three daughters: Janet (Kermit) Luttschwager, Billings, MT; Rosann Jo Frasier (Michael Sklarz), Honolulu, HI; Lyla Frasier, Billings, MT; Granddaughter Jolee (Chris) Gust, Great Grandchildren Parker and Paige Gust, Aurora, CO. Nephews: Arvid Eggen (Linda), Plentywood, MT; and Terry Eggen, Kalispell, MT. Nieces: Joanne (Eggen) Berry, Vida, MT; and Linda (Eggen) Shackleford (Ed), Plentywood, MT.
SERVICE will be held Friday, August 9th, 2019 at 1:30 pm, Smith West Funeral Chapel, 304 34th Street West, Billings, MT 59102 (406-656-2924) Internment in family Plot at Terrace Gardens Cemetery.
Memorial have been suggested as to "Montana Talking Book Library", 1515 East 6th Avenue, P.O. Box 201800, Helena, MT 59620-1800 (800-332-3400); or to a charity of your choice.