Cover photo for Bette J. MacGilvra's Obituary
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1928 Bette 2017

Bette J. MacGilvra

May 18, 1928 — April 30, 2017

Bette Emrick MacGilvra was born May 18, 1928 in Butte MT, and raised in Conrad MT. Her parents were Byers & Fern Emrick. Bette passed away peacefully April 30th in Great Falls, MT of natural causes.

Bette graduated from Conrad High School in 1945, and then attended the University of Washington graduating in 1949.  She was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority at the U of W and a lifelong Huskie fan.

She married Robert Evan (Mac) MacGilvra , June 30th 1949 at First Presbyterian Church in Conrad MT. After moving around a bit their first few years of marriage they made their home on Mercer Island, WA, where daughters Amy and Sara were born. In 1957 she earned a Master’s Degree in Library Science, from the University of Washington and worked as a Children’s Librarian for the Seattle Public Library System.

In 1966 Mac’s job with PACCAR took the family to Melbourne Australia where Bette was extremely active with the YWCA.  She loved her time in Australia with the many friends she made and lots of adventures.  In 1971 they moved to Vancouver, BC where Bette rose to the ranks of a National Vice President of the YWCA.  1973 took them to Fremont, CA where Bette was the librarian at Washington High School until 1983 when she and Mac retired to Conrad.

Her life in Conrad was busy and fun.  Bette was an elder at the First Presbyterian Church of Conrad, active in United Presbyterian Women, Daughters of the Nile, and served on the Conrad Public Library Board. She served in many positions with Eastern Star Victory Chapter including Worthy Matron. She loved being near her granddaughter, great nieces and nephews and was busy supporting them in their activities.  These were very happy years for her. Bette is survived by daughters Amy Fern (Don) Zimbelman, Sara MacGilvra (Hank) Branom, granddaughter Ashley Lyon, step grandson David (Kayla) Zimbelman, nieces Bobbi (Gary) Yeager, & Susan Emrick.

Bette is preceded in death by her husband Robert E. MacGilvra, parents Byers & Fern Emrick, brother & sister in law Robert & Virginia Emrick and great nephew Shane Yeager.  The family would like to thank the staff at the Bee Hive Clover House in Great Falls for their care, love and friendship of mom, and to Home Hospice Nurse Sue for her care in mom’s final days.  Memorials can be made to First Presbyterian Church Conrad, 123 4th Ave SW, Conrad MT 59425 or the Conrad Public Library – 15 4th Ave SW, Conrad, MT 59425 or to the charity of your choice.

A Celebration of Life will be held at the First Presbyterian Church – Conrad May 6th at noon. Graveside service 11am at Hillside Cemetery Conrad, MT

Charitable donations may be made to:

Conrad First Presbyterian Church
123 4th Ave SW, Conrad MT 59425

Conrad Library Foundation
15 4th Ave SW, Conrad MT 59425

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bette J. MacGilvra, please visit our flower store.


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