In the early morning hours of January 26, our Mother, Verdie Nadine (Armstrong) McCallum, loving daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother slipped into the arms of the angles one month short of her 86th birthday following a courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Verdie was born in Grand Junction, Colorado to John and Hazel Armstrong. She grew up in the San Francisco area and proudly worked in architectural planning at the Alameda Navel Shipyard during WWII. There she met the love of her life, George McCallum at a USO dance. They continued dancing through the next 63 years and along the way brought into this world four daughters -- Janice, Anita, Glenda and Deborah.
Verdie and George made their home in western Montana, settling in Sanders County for 46 years. During those years, they raised cattle and sheep, owned and operated McCallum Realty and Plains Cable Television and pursued various aspects of the Christmas tree business. Verdie was the business manager for these family businesses and her excellent organizational skills and eye for detail were a large part of the success she and George enjoyed. During Legislative Sessions when George served in the Senate, she kept the ranch going and along the way befriended many calves and lambs. Upon retirement, George and Verdie made their home in Helena from 1993 to 2003 and then settled in Terry, Montana for their final years.
Verdie was a petite, gentle person who epitomized the term ‘lady’ in every way. Her loving, caring manner made everyone she met feel special. She always put everyone’s needs before her own and wanted to be sure everyone was taken care of. You could never go to her house without having a cup of coffee and some of her home-baked cookies and cinnamon rolls. More than anything else, Mom will forever be remembered as the best Mother in the world to her daughters, son-in-laws, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
Verdie was active in her community and loved crafts, sewing, gardening and canning. She was a life-time member of Ideal, Chapter 41, Eastern Star, Plains, Montana.
Verdie was preceded in death by her parents, John Armstrong and Hazel Armstrong Lantz, by seven siblings and by her husband, George Walter McCallum. She is survived by her sister, Clara Moore of Kingman, Arizona, by daughters Janice Jennings of Terry, Anita Oppedahl (Jim) of Helena, Glenda Ueland (Chris) of Terry and Deborah Swingley (Ken) of Helena, and by numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
Funeral services were held on Saturday, January 30, 2010 at at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Terry. Interment will be held in Plains, Montana in the spring of 2010.
Published Feb. 3, 2010