Annette Schillinger Pierce departed from life much as she lived it, always questioning, challenging and willing to take a risk.
On March 8, 1958, Annette blessed Anna and Kenneth Schillinger, going home to Vida as number five, with two more siblings to come in ensuing years. Early memories of Annette in Vida include her climbing the TV antenna as a young child, being the first of her siblings to need stitches, and partnering up with Cousin Rich in creating anxiety for the two families. Among their adventures was playing in the wheat pile (forbidden), starting a fire in the play house (forbidden), starting a fire in a coffee can in Grandpa’s outhouse so they could roast marshmallows (forbidden), and disappearing on hikes (forbidden)! And it wasn’t long before she got the horse bug, thanks to encouragement from Cousins Mary and Donna. She was the first and only one of her siblings to go down that road, and she beseeched Dad for her own horse. Cheyenne was the chosen one! Horses remained an integral part of her entire life.
Annette pursued a variety of educational and career choices throughout her life. She attended barber school and studied for and became licensed in real estate. For a time she worked with a veterinarian, always loving and caring for animals. Oddly enough, it was her last employment with Federal Express where she really found her employment home. She liked the physical aspect of it and she loved the people she met. It was a huge disappointment when her health concerns necessitated her leaving her job.
One hot day in July two families and many friends gathered in Glendive to witness Annette marry a handsome young Scott Pierce. Annette and Scott made their home in Missoula. Of course, there were horses! But more important, the family was complete with the addition of daughters Kennedy and Cassidy. There were many dogs and cats and always the door was open to friends who resided with the family. There were numerous athletic events and horse competitions, much family activity. Annette and Scott especially loved the O-Mok-See events and all the new found friends, as well as years of soccer with Kennedy and Cassidy.
Annette had a passion and a nose for huckleberries! The thrill of the search never got old. “Oh, my God, Kathleen! You’re never going to believe it! I found the mother lode!” So many fun and memorable adventures. Never got “et” by bears like Mom’s dire predictions! The last huckleberry adventure was almost two years ago, after she underwent radiation and chemo, still zooming up mountains like there was no tomorrow.
She was a tough nut. Anyone who knew her would not be surprised when she demanded the medical people not cut her new boot off her badly mangled foot after her horse fell on it! Kennedy was a toddler and toddled off to aunties for watching when Annette was ordered bed rest.
In early 2022 Annette opted to take a risk one more time when she joined a clinical trial in Seattle. It necessitated her having a caretaker with her at all times. With Scott, Kennedy and Cassidy obligated in their employment and education Deb, Kathleen, Cindy and Elaine stepped out on the precipice with her for the two-month endeavor. No one will be surprised to hear that she kept those medical people on their toes and even entertained!
The last months were not easy for Annette, but she never stopped hoping and exploring. She loved life and her people. Even in the last couple of weeks she wanted her flower beds tended to, strived to find her horses new, good homes, and her hummingbirds supplied with plenty of nectar.
In the early morning of June 16 Annette found herself in huckleberry heaven, leaving her earthly home. Scott, Kennedy, her husband, Ryan, Cassidy, Scott’s family, Lyla, Julie and Spencer, and Annette’s family Kathleen, Joyce, Elaine, Jerry, LaVern and Leanne are left with a huge void but many irreplaceable memories.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, June 25th at 11am at the family residence at 3060 Big Flat Rd. A potluck will be had following the celebration.
Thank you to everyone. Annette would have appreciated memorials directed to your choice in the fight against cancer.