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Reba Jo BerlandNovember 15, 1946 ~ October 1, 2017 (age 70)
Reba Jo Berland, resident of Helena, passed away October 1 after a 17 month battle with small cell lung cancer at the age of 70.
The first child to Bennie and Gladys Berland, Reba was born November 15, 1946 in Great Falls, MT. The family lived in Brady until 1952 when they build a house in Conrad, where Reba lived until graduating from high school in 1964. While growing up, Reba developed a lifelong love for dance, specifically ballet and tap, which led her to teach dance in high school.
After graduating from high school, Reba attend the University of Utah and graduated with degrees in elementary education and dance instruction. After college, Reba returned to Conrad and married Darrell McCracken in 1968. They lived on the family farm east of Ledger, and Reba taught at Union school just up the road from the McCracken farm. Daughter Shannon Lee was born in 1970 and son Aaron Patrick in 1971. With the arrival of the children, Reba became a farm wife and started teaching dance for area children at Ledger Hall. Reba would also become choreographer for Pondera County Junior Miss from 1970 until 1986.
The family moved in to Conrad in 1979. With the kids is school, Reba began working for Great Falls Federal Credit Union. Darrell and Reba divorced in 1987. Reba moved to Dutton with son Aaron in 1988, and worked at Dutton State Bank until 1993. While in Dutton, Reba started teaching dance again.
In the fall of 1993, Reba moved to Billings to pursue a Masters of Education degree, in Special Education. Reba completed her degree in 1994, and moved to Reno, NV for employment. She taught in Story and Washoe counties and also taught dance after school. Reba lived in Reno for 22 years.
In the spring of 2016, Reba was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer, and decided to move to Helena to be closer to family. She would live in Helena until passing away.
Reba had a lifelong talent and passion for teaching children in school as well as dance. She became a life master in Bridge and also bowled in Conrad leagues. She shared a love of Big Band and Jazz music with her mother as well as musical productions and theatre.
Reba was preceded in death by parents Bennie and Gladys; and younger sister Bebe. She is survived by daughter Shannon and son Aaron (Anna); grandchildren Brendan Gaylord, Holly Rossmiller, Kristin Rossmiller, Brooke McCracken and Henry McCracken; and great grandson Brady Gaylord.
Funeral service will be Saturday October 7 at the Pondera Valley Lutheran Church in Conrad, at 11 a.m.
Reba Jo and family request memorial donations to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Spokane.