Cover photo for Tonya Bare's Obituary
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1954 Tonya 2021

Tonya Bare

November 13, 1954 — August 3, 2021

Tonya Leanne Bare, 66, of Frenchtown, passed away on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, at St. Patrick Hospital after a brief illness. She was born on November 13, 1954, to Walter “Tiny” and Angeline Evjen. Tonya grew up in Missoula, except for a short period of time during which she and her family lived in Mile City. As a young girl, Tonya enjoyed spending time at her grandparent’s ranch, exploring the woods, creeks, and pastures. Tonya graduated from Sentinel High School in 1973.

Tonya married the love of her life, Mike Bare, on July 17, 1992, in Missoula. The couple later built their forever home in Frenchtown, where they enjoyed mountain views and frequent visits from Tonya’s wildlife “pets.”

Tonya became Missoula’s first “box girl” (grocery bagger/Courtesy Clerk) after being hired at Albertson’s in the early 1970’s. Tonya later worked as a Food Clerk at Safeway and continued on at the store after it was bought by Missoula Fresh Market. She retired in November of 2019 after over 45 years of turning customers and coworkers into family and friends.

Tonya was an avid crocheter whose motto was “she who has the most yarn, wins.” She enjoyed gifting baby layettes and afghans to friends and family. Tonya loved the outdoors and found peace and clarity in the mountains and woods. Up to the time of her death, Tonya was a devoted supporter of the Red Cross, having donated over 14 gallons of blood and platelets over the years. She enjoyed travelling with her husband Mike, exploring new and exciting destinations. Tonya loved the sound of windchimes, which she lovingly called “tingalings,” and during her travels, enjoyed searching for the windchime that was unique and caught her eye. Tonya’s favorite animal was the polar bear, and over time, she amassed an extensive collection of polar bear artwork and figurines. She fulfilled a lifelong dream in the mid 1990’s when she travelled to Churchill, Manitoba to see her beloved polar bears in the wild.

Tonya was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, and aunt who was happiest when surrounded by family.

Tonya was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband Mike, sons Skee (Brooke) Evjen and Dale (Le Ann) Bare, daughters Diana (Nick) Denessen and Leann “Muff” (John) Elder, nine grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. She is also survived by sisters Sonalea (Craig) Horney and Shana (John) Clayton and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

An open house Celebration of Life will be held from 2:00 – 5:00 PM on Saturday, August 14th at Garden City Funeral Home and Crematory, 1705 West Broadway, Missoula MT 59808.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Tonya’s name to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Tonya Bare, please visit our flower store.


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