Mildred Clarice (Peterson) Eyre passed away on July 21, 2019 at age 109, at the home of her daughter, Donna and Jack Marmon, in Roundup, MT. She was born on December 13, 1909 in Ulen, Minnesota to Martin and Carolina (Vehle) Peterson.
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Millie came to Montana the spring of 1910 with her parents and three siblings on the Immigrant train and homesteaded at Hingham, MT. When she was nine years old, the family moved to Arrow Creek, MT. where Millie graduated from high school. By this time, she had four younger siblings. She then attended Normal School in Lewistown and taught in rural schools where she had to start the fire in the schoolhouse every morning to have it warm when her students arrived. Millie next attended Intermountain College in Helena, MT where she met the love of her life, Don Eyre.
Millie and Don were married on July 3, 1936. They were married for 76 years before Don passed in 2012 shortly before his102nd birthday. They moved around Montana, living in seven different towns until settling in Miles City, MT in 1955. Millie was quite a sales lady. While in Hardin Millie worked at Bylunds Jewelry and for John Stockhill Jewelers in Miles City. She loved her work and was an asset to their businesses. She then worked for Don at his State Farm Insurance office and sold hail insurance on the side until they retired in 1978 and moved to Billings, MT.
Millie learned from her parents at an early age to do “everything in moderation”. She ate plain food (no fast food) and exercised. Her papa also taught her reflexology which she studied and continued doing for many years. She never let a birthday number slow her down (“Am I that old? I don’t feel like it”). She has pages of notes on how to cure most anything naturally and gave people good advice when they asked. At the time of her death she did not take any prescriptions drugs.
Her family was the joy of her life. She enjoyed their visits, trips together, and special occasions. She made and decorated gingerbread cookies for the family until her 100th birthday. She loved playing her piano for everyone. She was proud of her Norwegian heritage which was the theme for her 108th birthday celebration.
Millie and Don were active in the Elks Club and both loved to play bridge. She won first place in cribbage at the Senior Arts Festival in 1999. Until a month ago she was still winning. Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy were a nightly event for decades. She liked to go to a local casino for a break and family reunions in Las Vegas, once staying up all night because she was winning at the nickel slots.
“Life is a Gift” – that has always been Millie’s mantra. She had a smile and a twinkle in her eye for everyone. She read her devotions every day and was a true servant of our Lord. There are not enough words to describe what a wonderful, generous mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend she was to everyone.
Millie is survived by her son, Dennis (Judy) Eyre of Salt Lake City, UT, daughter, Donna (Jack) Marmon of Roundup, MT, five grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, Tracey King (Justin, Lexi) of Billings, MT, Dave (Michelle) Marmon (Jake, Chase, Luke) of Great Falls, MT., Steve (Michelle) Marmon (Addison and Halle) of Bellingham, WA. Carolyn (Todd) Stutts (Jesiah, Tobias, Jacobi, Aria) of Billings, MT. and Kate (Josh) Sandfoss (Weston) of Cold Spring, KY. She is survived by one brother, Dr. Kenneth (Joanne) Peterson of Hermiston, OR. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews who adored her.
Millie was preceded in death by her husband, Don, parents Martin and Carolina Peterson, siblings, Alvin Peterson, Esther Kitchel, Olga Wolff, Clifford Peterson, Orrin Peterson and Dolores Hollingsworth.
Visitation will be from 4-6 Friday evening, July 26, at Smith Funeral Chapel, 925 S. 27th Street, Billings, MT.
A graveside service will be held Saturday, July 27, 2019, 2:00 pm, at Mountview Cemetery, 1704 Central Ave. A Celebration of Millie’s Life Reception will be held immediately following the graveside service at the DanWalt Gardens, 720 Washington Street, Billings, MT.
A special thank you to Stillwater Hospice of Montana and Synergy HomeCare.
In lieu of flowers memorials in honor of Millie can be sent to Musselshell County Council on Aging, PO Box 556, Roundup, MT. 59072, Yellowstone County Christian Homeschool Athletic League, PO Box 20474, Billings, MT 59104 or a charity of your choice. Condolences may be left on Smith Funeral Home online guest book at www.smithfuneralchapels.com