Pauline Haggerty, 89, formerly of Miles City, died on November 2, 2017, at Collier Lutheran Hospice in Wheat Ridge, CO., surrounded by her children.
Pauline was born on November 17, 1927 near Hysham, MT, to Fred, Sr. and Pauline (Neuhardt) Wambolt, both of whom immigrated from Russia in the early 1900s. She was the seventh of 13 children, and grew up on various farms in the Hysham and Forsyth area during the Depression.
After graduating from Forsyth High School, she briefly attended Montana State College before moving to Miles City, where she met her future husband, James “Jim” Haggerty. They were married on July 27, 1947, and made their home in Miles City until Jim’s death in 2013.
Pauline embraced her life as a wife, homemaker and loving Mom to their six children. She was an excellent seamstress, and made sure her daughters had new dresses for school and special outfits for the holidays. Her family remembers the nutritious meals she prepared, and many of the “old country” recipes handed down from her mother were family favorites. Her baked goods always won ribbons at the local fair, and she enjoyed sharing her special pies, breads, and cinnamon rolls with friends and neighbors. During the summers she raised a small garden to grow vegetables for fall canning, and her yard was always bordered with colorful flower beds.
She and Jim managed the IBEW Local 653 Federal Credit Union together for 25 years. In 1967, Pauline went to work as a ward clerk on the surgical floor of Holy Rosary Hospital. She found this work to be very rewarding, and formed many friendships during her years of employment.
Pauline was a longtime member of the First Lutheran church in Miles City, and joyfully dedicated her time volunteering for church activities and organizations. She was kind and generous, always thinking of others before herself. Neighborhood children knew her as “grandma Polly,” and would often stop by her house to visit.
It can truly be said Pauline’s greatest joy in life was her family. Some of her happiest moments were when she was organizing or attending family gatherings. She encouraged her son and daughters to excel in school, and loved watching them participate in their many activities, youth groups, 4-H clubs, music lessons, school sports, and legion baseball. She made certain that every achievement and milestone was honored and celebrated.
When grandchildren began arriving, Pauline and Jim traveled to visit them as often as possible, as they were scattered amidst four states. She particularly liked to entertain them with stories of her own childhood during the Depression. Each grandchild was cherished, and she will always have a special place in their hearts.
Pauline enjoyed planning and overseeing various activities, and the all-time favorite was her annual garage sale. She quickly became known in Miles City for having the “best garage sales in town!” Cars would line up in front of the house sometimes hours before the start of the sale!
In her retirement years, she and Jim enjoyed traveling throughout the U.S. to visit relatives and friends, and often joined senior bus tours. Branson, Missouri was one of her favorite destinations. To escape the cold Montana weather, they spent several winters in Arizona as “snowbirds.”
Pauline took pleasure in making patchwork quilts, crocheting, assembling jigsaw puzzles, and volunteering. She loved meeting people and making new friends. Attending local events was both an entertainment and the opportunity to chat with friends. And, whenever a raffle drawing was involved, she was the very frequently the lucky winner!
Pauline was an accomplished typist, but always preferred to send beautifully hand-written cards and letters to her children and grandchildren, and friends. Later in life, she spent countless hours creating a personalized, family history photo/scrapbook for each of her six children, a beautiful and priceless legacy that will to be handed down to her grandchildren and future generations.
In 2012, Pauline was diagnosed with lymphoma. With support of family and friends, she endured months of chemotherapy and went into remission. After Jim passed away, she moved to a retirement/assisted living facility in Colorado in 2014 to be near her children.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jim, and five brothers and four sisters.
Pauline is survived by her son, Brian (Elaine) Haggerty; daughters, Marcia (Bill) Sterhan, Barbara Guthrie (Randy Caranci), Maureen (Steve) Harrison, Lisa (Bill) Sorenson, and Janel McCormick; 9 grandchildren, Ty Sterhan, Todd (Lauren) Sterhan, Ryan (Liz) Guthrie, Kacie Guthrie, Bailey (Joe) Jensen, Lexie Sorensen, Caroline McCormick, A.J. McCormick, Jesse McCormick, and five great-grandchildren. She is also survived by brothers Leo and Edward, and a sister Helen.
A celebration of her life will be held April 2018, in Miles City, MT.
Donations in her honor can be made to the Holy Rosary Healthcare Foundation at http://www.hrhfoundation.com.