Jessie Ellen Sherrard Fowler, 81 of Conrad and long time Ledger area farm wife, lost her courageous battle with pancreatic cancer on November 22, 2011.
Jessie was born on December 17, 1929 to John and Maude Sherrard in Shelby, at the home of a midwife by the name of Dr. Williams. At the time she had two brothers, John Jr. and Tom. In five years James was born and then Richard Jerry. Jessie was the only girl in that family of five and they liked to say she was spoiled. She knew better. It was survival and she was great at it.
She went to school the first few years at a one-room, a short distance north from home. Beatrice School was open until Jessie went into the fourth grade. Her parents rented a house in Galata and Gladys Scholtz Adamson was her teacher there. Johnnie and Tom were already going to high school in Galata by the time Jessie started school there. She graduated from the eighth grade in Galata and they drove out to the farm on weekends to work and visit, then back to Galata on Sundays. After the eighth grade she stayed with her Grandma Barnes in Shelby and went to high school there.
Ted Fowler and Jessie Sherrard met while attending Shelby High School. The were married on September 12, 1947 after Jessie graduated. They lived with her brother Tom for a time, while Ted helped Tom build his house. Ted and Jessie worked for Tom and Gen McCracken. Their first year working for them was the year of the flood in 1948. Ted’s mother’s place had lots of damage from the high water levels. Ted’s mother brought a house in Shelby and Ted and his brother Allen cleaned up the place. Allen then married and Ted took over the place near the Marias. Carl Fowler lived in a little house on the homestead with Ted and Jessie for a time.
When Tiber Dam went in, they moved the buildings and everything up on the hill. Judy, the oldest, was born when they lived down on the Marias. In the 1950’s they lost two babies, a boy and a girl. David was born and they moved up on the hill where Kathy and Jeanne were born. The children went to school at Union School about 8 or 9 miles from the house. Later the children rode the bus into Sy where they all graduated high school. Ted and Jessie had a very loving family. The children and grandchildren worked along with Ted on the farm. Jessie in the house. The kids all married and Ted and Jessie were blessed with eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
Jessie belonged to the Ponde-Toole Home Demonstration Club where she was secretary for time. Ted and Jessie both belonged to an archery club at Pondera School, South of the Tiber Reservoir. Jessie enjoyed her job working for Home Health and then independently in Conrad for 16-17 years. She loved her work and the people she worked for. Jessie worked independently until November 2010 when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Jessie was very sad on the day she gave up her job.
For about seven years Ted and Jessie joined a great group of friends that went dancing in Great Falls, Sun River, Fairfield, Conrad, and Chester; these were some of Jessie’s favorite memories. Ted and Jessie enjoyed a great life together and their kids have been so special to the bothe of them. They helped them so much and Ted and Jessie loved them unconditionally.
When Dr. Harrar was treating her cancer Jessie took an experimental drug that he hoped would help others. Those experimental drugs helped Jessie to survive for two years with pancreatic cancer after they gave her six months initially.
Jessie is survived by her husband Ted Fowler of Conrad; their four children, Judy Smith of Browning, Dave (Shawnee) Fowler of Terry, Kathy (Scott) Yerian of Eureka, and Jeanne (Mark) Wigen of Devon; one brother, Jerry (Linda) Sherrard of Missoula; as well as eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.