Sigrid Ragna Laird of Miles City, MT passed away February 11 at home, surrounded by her family.
Sigrid was born in Bozeman, MT January 14, 1937 to parents David and Ella (Crane) Rivenes, and spent most of her life in Miles City. After graduating Custer County High School in 1955, Sigrid attended Purdue University, where she obtained degrees in Physical Education and Biology and swam for the Boilmakers’ swim team. Following her graduation Sigrid taught P.E. in both Powell, Wyoming and Naugatuck, Connecticut. On December 27, 1961 Sigrid married Loren “Bo” Laird and moved to Ripon, California, where she spent the next fifteen years raising their four children, substitute teaching, coaching the local swim team, and volunteering for many clubs and organizations.
Sigrid and Bo returned to Miles City in 1976, and Sigrid immersed herself in the Miles City community once again. She taught adaptive P.E. for several years, and from 1990 to 2002 she taught biology at Custer High before retiring. She also managed the Miles City pool, taught swim lessons, and coached the swim team in the summers. We are pretty certain she taught everyone in Miles City how to swim. We’re also fairly sure she invited everyone she ever met to come to Miles City for the Bucking Horse Sale, and then added them to her Christmas card list.
Since her retirement, Sigrid has remained active, enjoying her time as a member of the Presbyterian Church, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Convent Keepers, the Red Cross, and several national organizations.
Sigrid loved her community and took great pride in being a Miles Citian. She participated in every community event she could and attended as many programs in town as possible. She enjoyed traveling to see her children and grandchildren, playing bunko with her friends, reading and discussing books in her book club, and attending sporting events at Custer High. She also loved discovering treasures at garage sales, attending Women’s Club conferences, drinking coffee with friends, and serving on the library board. Sigrid was a true collector, with vast collections of everything from tea sets to porcelain shoes, and from Santa Clauses to dolls. Her greatest collection, however, was her collection of friends, which she treasured above any of the others. Sigrid’s friends were numerous and invaluable, and she loved them all dearly.
Sigrid is preceded in death by her parents David and Ella Rivenes, her sister Sue Kuehl, and her beloved husband Loren “Bo” Laird. She is survived by her sister Jen Jensen (Gary) of St. Louis, MO, daughters Stephanie Pratt (Greg) and Cameron Burton (Victor) of Ripon, CA, son David Laird (Amy) of Ephrata, WA, and daughter Bridget Laird (Dave Batchelder) of Ovando, MT. She also leaves ten grandchildren she loved beyond measure: Lauren, Jacob, Kyra, and Mac Laird, Angus, Ella, Will, and Hattie Batchelder, Zachariah Pratt, and Molly Burton.
A graveside service for Sigrid will be held Tuesday, February 17 at 10:00 am at the Custer County Cemetery, followed by a reception in the fellowship hall of the Presbyterian Church. A Celebration of Life in Sigrid’s honor will be held in late July to coincide with the class reunions. Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home of Miles City is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Convent Keepers, the Miles City Public Library, or a charity of one’s choice.