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Sharon Lea Guse, 83, passed away Sunday October 7, 2018 at her rural Choteau home. She finally quit smoking when cancer took her breath away. Because she wanted one last ride to Conrad, Asper Funeral Home is in handling the arrangements with cremation taken place. As per her request no funeral services will be held with scattering of ashes at a later date.
Born in Choteau on December 26, 1934 to Jean and Fredrick Gewald, Sharon was raised in the Choteau and Pendroy area by her mother and step-father Lee Hamer. She graduated high school from Corvallis, MT in 1952. Childhood stories include living in the McDonald Block in Choteau and riding her horse in the hills West of Pendroy.
Sharon and Alvin G. Guse were married in Great Falls, MT November 29, 1952. Al said when they met in high school she had a horse that he could not outrun. They moved to the family farm north of Choteau in 1957 where they spent the next 61 years. They raised their family of four while farming, raising horses and a few cattle.
Sharon was a well-known horseman. In the early years she enjoyed saddle club, O-Mok-See and even some cowboy polo. In the 1960’s she purchased her first purebred Arabian horse. Sharalki Arabians became a respected breeding program that spanned more than 4 decades. She was a founding member of the Tri-Arabian Horse Club; a member of the Montana Arabian Horse Association, and a member of the International Arabian Horse Association. Her breeding program created versatile, athletic horses that would go from a back-country pack-trip to the winner’s circle of the show ring. Offspring of her breeding stock excelled in endurance riding and at polo within Montana. Many horses that she raised were sold to some of the top breeding farms across the country. She introduced some new Arabian bloodlines to Montana, carefully studying pedigrees to choose the best.
The horse business provided for travel across the United States as after harvest, Sharon and Al would deliver sales horses to their new homes. Occasionally, to Al’s objections, she would find another one to bring home and add to the herd. They often combined the business trips with pleasure and were able to visit many friends, family, and places over the years.
Right up to the end, Sharon was a mad-knitter. This hobby was taken to new heights as she no longer rode horses and her eyesight didn’t allow for as much reading. It also gave her gave her something to do when she was in a public place, or a car, where she no could no longer enjoy a cigarette. Many a friend or random stranger was the recipient of one of her hand-knitted baby blankets.
Sharon was also known to write timely letters-to-the-editor denouncing her ire for government waste, environmentalism and politics. One never had to ask what her opinion was, she let you know. Many also knew her from her bowling days and the ceramics classes she held in her home, or in recent years when she could be found at her favorite poker machine.
Survivors include her husband Alvin at the family home. Sister Louise Stott of Choteau, brother Gary Hamer (Gail) of Corvallis, MT. One son Mark Guse (Tama) of Columbia Falls, MT; three daughters Terri Waldner (Jake), Carol Johnson (Duane), and Janie Zwerneman (Craig) all of Choteau. Six grandchildren Robert Nathan Thorne (Mandy), Laura Thorne, Trig Zwerneman, Ellie Zwerneman, Kris Johnson and Jenny Johnson. Two great granddaughters Avaleigh and Lainey Thorne. Proceeded in death by her parents Lee and Jean Hamer and Fredrick Gewald, sister Mabel Rice, brother Howard Hamer, and grandson Christopher Thorne.