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1928 Phyllis 2022

Phyllis Carmen Curry Vining

August 9, 1928 — February 23, 2022

In the early morning hours of February 23, 2022, Phyllis Carmen Curry Vining, passed away peacefully in her home at age 93.

Born in Havre, Montana, to Lebanese American parents Shukry Charles Curry and Rachel Bahne, Phyllis joined two brothers, Philip and Charles.

She graduated from Havre High School in 1946, and entered Northern Montana College, where she received an Associate of Arts degree. The benefits of employment with the Great Northern Railway as a Steno interrupted her pursuit of a degree in social work.

Phyllis’ hard work caught the attention of Fred C. Mannix, a railroad equipment contractor and Canadian entrepreneur, who offered her an opportunity to work in Minneapolis. She accepted, moved into an women’s boarding house in downtown Minneapolis, and experienced life in the Twin Cities until family responsibilities brought her back to Montana.

She met her future husband, Albert Lester “Les” Vining, a GN Road Foreman, while working in Whitefish and they married in Havre on March 12, 1960. During their 57-year marriage, they moved with the railroad to Glasgow, Great Falls and Havre, Montana, before transferring to Greybull, Wyoming.

Les retired in 1979 and the family moved to Missoula so Leslie could attend the University of Montana. The majority of Phyllis’ working career was spent working for various superintendents on the railroad, but also hiring “gandy dancers” (railroad section gangs) and she once took a shorthand record of President Truman’s meeting with officials during his trip to Montana by train. Phyllis eventually retired from the Burlington Northern Railroad while in Missoula and found part-time work with Attorney, now District Court Judge, John Larson.

In her youth, Phyllis became a marksman, played drums in her high school band, and yearned for life in the big city—a dream of hers was to live in New York at the Plaza Hotel. As a young woman, Phyllis ventured with a friend to Havana, Cuba, and later would enjoy travel with Les throughout the United States and internationally. She also enjoyed travel with her daughter Leslie, especially to New York for Broadway shows and to stay at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Phyllis and Les enjoyed dancing to Big Band era songs, entertaining, golfing, bowling, and became active in several Masonic groups.

Phyllis served as Worthy Matron of Immanuel Chapter #54, O.E.S. (1990-91) and joined Tirzah Temple #3, Daughters of the Nile. Phyllis took pride in her ability to professionally manage an office and took great pride in her family. She and Les raised three sons, Rick, Bruce and Brett, daughter Leslie, and enjoyed caring for their Missoula grandsons, Michael, John, and Ryan. Her strong will, sophistication, creative and colorful talents, like gourmet cooking, painting and fortune telling, provided her family and friends with many memories – to which we hold dear.

Phyllis is survived by her daughter, Barbara Leslie Halligan (Mike) and grandsons Michael Andrew Halligan, Denver, CO; John Patrick Halligan, Whitefish, MT; Ryan Christopher Halligan (Claire), Flagstaff, AZ; and nephews Charles P. Curry and Scott E. Curry, Lakeside, MT, and Daniel R. Curry, Burke, VA.

She also is survived by her stepsons and their families, Richard Lester Vining (Ruby) and daughter Richelle Vining (Manuel Gonzalez), Olympia, WA; Bruce Albert Vining (Yvonne Villanueva and her children), and his daughter Amber Barker (Larry) Reno, NV and family; stepdaughter-in-law Karol Vining (Brett), Havre, MT, and their children Lisa Kudrna (Bruce) and family, Havre, MT; Daniel Vining (Dallas) and family, Omaha, NE ; and Brett’s daughter, Tracy Bartosik (Jason) and family, Helena, MT.

Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband Les (2017), her brothers: S. Charles Curry (Carol) and Philip Michael Curry; stepson Brett Alan Vining (Karol), step-grandson Jeffrey Bruce Ivan Vining, infant grandson Thomas Andrew Halligan; cousins Ramona Glover (Mack), Great Falls, MT, and Norma Saliba Nickles (Marshall), Santa Ana, CA.

A family service is planned at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, with burial at Highland Cemetery in Havre on March 12, at 11 a.m. Memorials may be made to Missoula Aging Services, Holy Spirit Parish, Shriners Hospitals for Children (Spokane) or a charity of the donor’s choice.

The family is grateful for the loving care provided by Encompass Hospice, Luxe Home Care, and Megan Babbitts.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Phyllis Carmen Curry Vining, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, March 11, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Rev. Terri Ann Grotzinger

130 S 6th St E, Missoula, MT 59801

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Highland Cemetery

, Havre, MT 59501

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