In the beginning a child enters the world in the arms of the mother, soothed by her voice, encouraged by love. And in the end a mother leaves the world in the arms of the child, calmed by her presence, and released without anguish. And so it was for Beverly Lucille Fortin, age 79, who passed away October 30, 2017 at Holy Rosary Extended Care in Miles City, her oldest daughter, at her side. A quiet passing, a gentle release.
She was born September 14, 1938 to Gabriel and Josephine (Kirkpatrick) Sweet in Terry Montana. She was raised on the family ranch at Shirley Flats. Bev was a “daddy’s girl”, sassy, adventurous, and independent. When she graduated from Terry High School in 1956, she decided to go out and see the world beyond rural Montana. Defying the tradition of the 50’s era, she took off into the wild blue yonder and joined the US Women’s Air Force as a medical service specialist apprentice.
It was during basic training that Bev met her future husband, Bill Fortin. The couple married and soon were blessed with three daughters. As a military family, they traveled extensively, living in Japan, England and many state side bases. It was in Japan that Bev studied art and developed her natural talent of painting and clothing design. Bev became an excellent seamstress, with a style and flair that rivaled anything in vogue. She leaves a legacy of her art in her paintings and in the photographs of her chic attire, a confident and beautiful young woman.
In Sacramento, California, Bev began a long career with the state of California Department of Revenue. Bev bought a boat, spending many happy hours fishing along the Sacramento River and socializing with her friends. Bev studied gardening and became a master gardener. She carried her love and passion of gardening with her when she returned to her beloved Montana in 2000. “You can take the girl out of Montana, but you can’t take Montana out of the girl.” Bev bought a home in Miles City, and became an active member of the Miles City Gardening Club. Her yard was a little piece of heaven abundant in flowers and a showcase of greenery. But the greatest joy of returning to Montana was being with her grand and great grand kids, she loved them very much and they gave her the joy only children can.
Beverly is survived by her daughters, Cindy Scanlan, Kimberly (Larry) Lamotte, and Melody (James) Brun; grandchildren, Joshua Scanlan, Chelsea (Mike) Rogers, TJ Scanlan, Jessica Craigie, and David Craigie. She was great grandmother to Kaleb, Tallan, Kaley, Logan, and Addison. She is also survived by her siblings, Ann Thomason, Butch Sweet, Babe (Hal) Smith and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be held on Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11, 2017, 2-4 pm at Stevenson’s Funeral Home. Following cremation, a memorial marker will be placed at the Eastern Montana Veterans Cemetery, Miles City, Montana.