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Ernestine "Ernie" Smith Mader, 77, of Chester, died peacefully at Benefis Peace Hospice in Great Falls, after a short valiant battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
A memorial Gathering will be 10:00 AM on Saturday, November 3 at the Chester Senior Center.
Ernestine was born April 25, 1941 in Bakersfield, CA.She was the second born of 6 children to Ernest and Lucy (Youngblood) Smith. She graduated Arvin High School in 1958, at the age of 17. Ernie worked for Brocks Department Store in Bakersfield selling housewares for a short time. She married Carl Beshears and had two children, Robin Lynn and Starr Kay. They later divorced. She met Gary Mader in 1969 at Seaside, CA. Gary was in the service at the time and Ernie moved up to Chester Montana in Dec of 1969. Where she stayed with Bernie and Lil Mader, her soon to be in-laws. Gary and Ernie married March 30, 1970. She worked as a CNA at the nursing home in Chester for a short period before their first child, Shannon Lee was born November 25, 1970. They fostered several children through the years. May 30, 1977 they had their second child, Skye Mark. Ernie started working at the sheriff's office as a dispatcher. She loved working as a dispatcher and eventually became the Emergency Disaster Coordinator. She then worked as a bartender at the Vets Club. After that she worked at Circle K.
Ernie loved going camping and spending the summer down at the lake south of Lothair. She had a passion for reading, checking out 10 books at a time, and able to read them within a week. She crocheted, sewed, and spent many hours at craft shows. First with her daughter Shannon, selling handmade doll clothing, and scrubs, then later with her sister Tonia and daughter Starr. In her later years she loved spending time with her grandkids. Dictating what everyone should do from her recliner. And coloring in the adult coloring books. And of course reading books on a kindle.
Ernie was preceded in death by her father Ernest Smith, a sister Wanda Gibson, her mother Lucy Smith, a niece Magen Wickum, a half-sister Thelma Brown and recently her oldest daughter Robin Maples.
Ernie is survived by her husband Gary, two daughters Starr (Terry) Tyler and Shannon (Ken) Jackson, a son Skye (Tabitha) Mader, 15 grandchildren Dustin (Jerin) Tunget, Jamie (Chris) Roloff, Stacey (Banjo) Servis, Kerry (Michael) Tunget, Randi (Trevor) Violett, Ryne (Alissa) Tyler, Justen (Kyanne) Mader, Maxx Mader, Brodie Jackson, Camden Jackson and Branch Jackson. 13 great grandchildren and two additional babies on the way. 1 brother Don (Pat) Smith, 3 Sisters Shirley Harrington, Jan (Danny) Hendricks and Tonia (Steve) Wickum. And many nephews, nieces and friends.