Rachel Helen Pluhar, 24, of Miles City, Montana finally found peace in the arms of her Lord and Savior on May 15, 2017 at the Billings Clinic Hospital with her loving family by her side. Rachel had many struggles, but never lost that beautiful soul we loved so much. The shadow of her death will never diminish the beauty of her life.
Born on February 10, 1993 in Miles City, Montana to Dennis and Jane (Dickson) Pluhar, Rachel was a beautiful baby full of energy and a bubbly personality to match. With her older brother Marshall as her built-in best friend, she faced the world head on with a smile for everyone she met. Her playground was acres of farmland at the ranch in Rock Springs; her constant companions the cows, her beloved horse Star, chickens, dogs, and cats (and sometimes cousins) she loved so dearly. Rachel started country school at Twin Buttes for two years and then moved to town with Jane and Marshall for school, graduating from Custer County High School in 2011.
At the age of six, Rachel was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, a difficult and ongoing battle she fought valiantly until the day she went to heaven. Despite such a big setback, Rachel was still active in sports and school and loved being athletic. In the fourth grade she began playing with The Magics (go #12!), a traveling basketball team that went on to win the Big Sky State Games twice under the guidance of Mel Mader and O.J. Grasby. Rachel greatly enjoyed those years spent with a wonderful group of teammates and their families. She also played volleyball and basketball, danced with the Caledonians and, following in her brother’s footsteps, joined chorale. When she wasn’t doing school activities, Rachel was very involved in 4-H and helping her Dad out at the family ranch, looking forward to building up her own herd one day. After graduation, she attended the University of Wyoming, MCC (where she made the Dean’s list), and MSU-B to pursue her interest in health care and accounting.
On April 1, 2013 her son Adam, the joy of everyone’s life and the love of her heart, was born. Adam was Rachel’s pride and joy and continues to be a blessing to all those who are lucky enough to have him in their life. Rachel and Adam were two peas in a pod – going to movies, playing baseball, taking walks, planning Halloween costumes to match BooBoo’s, and being each other’s best friends. Anyone who saw them together felt their love. Rachel instilled in Adam a love for God, his family, and the ranch.
Besides spending time with her son, Rachel enjoyed watching the 4-C basketball tournaments at the gymnasium, watching football – especially to cheer on the Denver Broncos – and playing card games like pinochle, 500, and dammit. She flourished on the field playing powderpuff football, and rocked out to as many concerts as she could attend. She worked various jobs over the years and was employed at Stockman Bank at the time of her passing.
Rachel was very open about her battle with depression. In Rachel’s own words: “I have seen the statement multiple times ‘talk to someone.’ There’s no doubt in my mind that everyone who has posted this truly means it and it is what everyone hopes will happen when someone is having suicidal thoughts. Unfortunately, it is one of those things that is easier said than done. When an individual does have these thoughts, they feel like they’re the only one who has felt it. No one can relate. People will view and treat them differently. And that scares them more than taking their own life. I want to make a difference.” If Rachel’s death inspires even one person to come forward and talk to someone about their struggle with mental illness, then she really will have made a difference.
Her final choice to donate her organs saved the lives of many others, and will be a lasting testament to her loving and giving spirit.
Rachel was preceded in death by her grandmother Inez Pluhar. She is survived by her son Adam; her parents Dennis and Jane Pluhar of Rock Springs, MT; her brother Marshall Pluhar of Hardin, MT; grandparents: Art Pluhar, Bob and Marilyn Dickson. She is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
Visitation will be held on Friday, May 19, 2017 with the family receiving friends from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Miles City. The family will have a private graveside service. Condolences may be sent by visiting stevensonandsons.com. Memorials in Rachel’s honor may be made to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.