Luella Mae Wilson passed away peacefully in the early hours of Friday, April 30, 2021. She was 87 years old.
Luella’s parents, Edward and Mary, raised their family in Hazen, North Dakota, where Edward was a coal miner. Luella was one of seven children. Money was tight, and she told the story of how the kids used to fight over the piece of pork in a can of pork and beans.
In her late grade school years, the family relocated to Yakima, Washington. Luella earned a scholarship to St. Elizabeth’s school of nursing. It was during these years that she met, and fell in love with a dashing young doctor, Wesley Wilson. They married and started their family in Seattle, Washington. Wes’s training took them to Cincinnati and Portland but in 1963 they chose to make Missoula their home.
As Luella raised four children, she also made time to serve others in the community. She gave time with Meals on Wheels, Missoula Public Library, Missoula Civic Symphony, as an election judge, and as an organist at her church. When the kid’s teenage years hit, she took up running with Wes, as somewhat of a stress reliever. She came to love running, and became a constant fixture in the Missoula Bank Run and the Spokane Bloomsday race. In her 50’s, Luella took up longer distance running, completing the Governor’s Cup Marathon several times.
Luella was an avid cook and baker. She ground her own wheat, and made four loaves of bread every Monday. She loved to make German food from her childhood, and was adventurous enough to cook every form of wild game brought home by Wes.
As the kids grew, she spent time as a preschool teacher at Messiah Lutheran, and later used her nursing skill to volunteer at the Red Cross, and to do physical exams for insurance policies.
After Wes’s retirement, Luella and Wes began to spend their winter months in Mesquite, Nevada, where they took up golf, and Luella became VERY passionate about Bingo.
In her early 80’s Luella was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, the disease also affected most of her siblings. She received the most compassionate and loving care from the staff of Willow 5 of the Beehive Homes, and her caregivers at Missoula Hospice. Thank you.
Luella is survived by her husband, Wes, daughters Beth (Roger) of Kalispell, Tracy (Jerry) of Littleton, CO, Katie (Dan) of Hayden, ID, and son Land of Niceville, FL.
Luella’s eight grandchildren include Tyler (Christy) Barth of Seattle, Justin (Ellen) Barth of Bozeman, Kathleen (David) Rosenthal of Seattle, Erin (Calvin) Hoard of Munith MI, Megan Huggins of Denver, Lauren Huggins of Fresno, Patrick Martyak of Portland and Julia Martyak of Missoula. She also has one great-grandchild; Chloe Hoard.
If you feel inclined, in remembrance of Luella, please make donations to Partners Hope Foundation, or a charity of your choice. Partners Hope Foundation’s mission is to build and sustain a state-of-the art hospice center that provides end-of-life care, education and support for local residents.
Luella’s faith in God was the central point of her life. She lived it each and every day, and left a legacy to her family. A private gathering to celebrate her life will be held at a future date.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”. 2 Timothy 4:7