Marge was born in Billings, Montana on March 17, 1925 and passed away peacefully on June 11, 2020. She was born to Fred and Lydia Hein Walter and was raised on a farm west of Billings. Later her family moved to Clark, WY where her father went into ranching. They returned to Billings and Marge graduated from Billings Senior High in 1942. After graduation she worked at the Montana Cereal Company. She moved to Seattle and worked at Everett Pulp and Paper Mill during WWII. Marge met her husband W.F. “Bud” Rufus in Billings after the war. They married June 8, 1947. Marge and Bud had three daughters and were a military family for 23 years living in Great Falls, Seattle, California, Georgia and Idaho. She chose to not work during their military years and was a loving and caring stay-at-home mom. After Bud’s retirement from the Air Force, the family returned to Billings. With her girls in high school, Marge went to work and was employed at the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch for 23 years. When Marge retired, she and Bud enjoyed traveling. After Bud’s passing, Marge moved to Westpark Retirement Village where she resided for 14 years. Health issues necessitated Marge’s move to Tender Nest Assisted Living in January 2020 until her passing. Marge enjoyed sewing, ceramics, gardening, shopping with her daughters and her sister, reading and bible study. At the age of 93, she completed a genealogy of the Hein/Walter/Rufus families. She thoroughly enjoyed watching the Billings Mustangs and Seattle Mariners play baseball and cheered on the Grizzlies, Bobcats and Notre Dame football teams. She was a longtime member of Peace Lutheran Church and watched the tv broadcast after she was no longer able to attend services. Her deep faith and unconditional love for her family were the cornerstones of her life. Marge is survived by her three daughters, Beverly Ryan (Bill); Barbara Shaver (Jim) and Kathy Simek (George). Her 12 grandchildren are Bill Ryan Jr., Ali Hanson (Kyle), Casey Ryan (Katerina), Pat Ryan (Marisol), Kyle Ryan (Jackie), and Kelsey Brothers (James); Christie Kraft, Kelly Graf, Karyn Libson (Ryan) and Jim Shaver; and Dax Simek (Emily) and Katy Wolff (Dewey). Marge has 19 great grandchildren. Preceding her in death were her husband, parents, her sister, Marian Staebler and her brother, Ted Walters along with numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. A special thank you to the staff at Tender Nest and St. John’s United Hospice for their loving care of our mother. Memorials in Marge’s name may be sent to Peace Lutheran Church, 1301 Ave. D, Billings, MT 59102, the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch or the charity of your choice. A private family service will be held at Smith West Funeral Chapel. Visitation will be 3-5 pm Monday at Smith West Chapel, 304 34th Street West.
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